Quinoa and carrot salad with a herb dressing – low fodmap

This is a salad that is vibrant and although rainbow carrots have been used these are not essential to the dish, it can be made cheaply with plain orange carrots, if needed. The dressing is fresh and adds another dimension to the taste. It is important to use flavourings when fresh garlic and onion are not available to brighten up salad dressings. I have never really got along with quinoa – I find it’s grains hard – but adding grained mustard to it has for me improved the flavour if not the texture of this grain. I like the taste of this dish, so I will be making it again. It is very nice for a light lunch on its own or to accompany meat or fish if you eat them. I wish I could like quinoa a little more, looking at Wikipedia I came across an interesting article suggesting it has potential as a food option for controlled ecological controlled life systems. In other words, Nasa have investigated its properties for use as food in longer term space missions. It has a favourable amino acid profile and can be grown hydroponically to give a good yield. But if this is the only offered grain it looks like I won’t be considering long term space travel soon – I will have to take a large jar of mustard with me if I do!



1/2 pack of coriander

1/2 pack of flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons of garlic infused oil

1 teaspoon of cumin

Season to taste


1 heaped teaspoon of grained mustard

1/2 cup of quinoa

3/4 cup of boiling water

Season to taste


1 Pack of rainbow carrots

Mixed salad leaves

Drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Few capers for decoration



Pour the oil into a blender and add the herbs, cumin and seasoning

Blend till smooth

Heat in a pan to cook the cumin – 5 minutes only are needed just to release the flavour. If you cook it for too long the heat will affect the colour of the dressing. Cool.


Add the quinoa and boiling water to a pan – cook for five minutes and then add the lid to the pan and leave for 20 minutes to cook in the hot water. Cool.

Mix in the mustard and seasoning to taste.


Peel the carrots into strips along the length of the carrot.

Add the salad leaves

Build the dish


Serves 3

Quinoa deli filler

This deli filler can be used in gluten free wraps, sandwiches and on the top of jacket potatoes and is a really quick easy recipe to make. It has a very fresh taste and is a great option for summer al fresco dining. Just perfect if you want to go out for a picnic or need some alternative ideas for your lunchbox. I used Clearspring organic quinoa trio. Packet quinoa can be used hot or cold and is suitable for a low fodmap diet, just ensure you check the ingredients list before you buy. The recipe does contain egg in the small amount of mayo used to bind the ingredients together. The quinoa contains some oil but you could add a little dressing instead of the mayonnaise, if you are vegan, to bind the rest of the ingredients. You could also cook your own quinoa but this would defeat the point of making this dish as easy as possible so you can quickly make your sandwiches or wraps and get outside in the sunshine, for a picnic perhaps!


1 packet of Clearspring Quinoa

6 radishes

5 chives

3 tablespoons of pine nuts (these are expensive – leave them out if you wish)

150g of white cabbage

2 roasted peppers (use roasted from a jar to save time)

3 heaped teaspoons of extra light mayonnaise


Wash the vegetables.

Slice the radishes thinly, chop the white cabbage, chives and the peppers

Empty the packet of quinoa into a dish

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Taste, then season if needed – the ready made quinoa already contains salt, I certainly didn’t need to add any extra.



(The quinoa was purchased by me, other makes of quinoa can also be used in this dish if needed.)

Adventures with Quinoa Flour

Due to a fortuitous reduction in the price of Quinoa flour at a local health shop I have purchased some to try baking with it, for you. I decided to bake some blondies – ginger ones, or may be I should call them gingies! I love the flavour ginger – in fact ALL things ginger. Now THIS particular quinoa flour, according to the packet, is sugar-free, saturated fat-free, cholesterol free, trans fat-free, sodium free, low-fat, (as is all flour – nothing new here, then ) non-gmo, gluten-free AND ‘caution extremely organic’ – but not that funny – or clever! What they forgot to tell me was wheat free, milk free, egg free but unfortunately no mention of nuts. Really great then? The protein content of the flour is not really that high at 4g /100g but quinoa has a good amino acid profile as a grain, although the flour is a fine milled white flour (- contains some fibre though at 3.5g/100g,) so it cannot be assumed that the amino acid profile is exactly the same as the raw grain. It has not been tested for fermentable carbohydrate content although quinoa grain itself is completely suitable for people following a low FODMAP diet.


So how easy was it to use? My first attempt was a bit of a culinary disaster. I added some zanthan gum and 2 teaspoons of ginger and a small amount of chopped stem ginger. This resulted in a very gloopy texture and after baking, on tasting, the slice was really strongly flavoured, not that pleasant in fact. The taste reminded me of the taste of chickpea flour, again this is fine to use, but I would suggest that as both these flours impart a very strong flavour to baked items it might be better to use them for very strongly flavoured dishes. My second attempt was better and as I increased the ginger flavouring the taste was very much improved.

IMG_1570As part of a flour mix this flour would be suitable, as other free from flours, such as rice or gluten free flour as these should reduce the flavour. So was it worth the purchase – at full cost, or even discounted? I feel that the ‘benefits’ of this type of flour should not command such a high cost. Most people will not be able to afford to purchase and include it in their diet on a regular basis, so nutritionally you are not likely to see the benefits of the amino acids; gut ‘calmness’ wise – there are other options to choose, which do not impart strong taste or flavour. So I will not be buying this flour on a regular basis. However for your enjoyment I have included the recipe for you – you could try it with other flour mixes! Also as this recipe is high in fats and sugars the gingie is really just suitable for an occasional treat. The random images in the post are my whistful desire for summer – it’s really cold today.



135 g Quinoa Flour (or other free from flour)

120 g dairy free margarine

2 eggs

100 g of dark muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon of crystallised ginger liquor

3 teaspoons of powdered ginger

40 g of chopped crystallised ginger

Pinch of salt

Chopped dried ginger to decorate

Melted dark chocolate with ginger to decorate (milk free if needed.)



Add the flour, ginger & salt to a mixing bowl

Melt the margarine in a pan with the sugar, and chopped crystalline ginger and ginger liquor, warm slowly do not boil.

Cool the melted mixture slightly, add the two eggs and mix well.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients then add the mix to a paste. Add this to a tray and bake at gas mark 5 for 25 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack and melt the chocolate and pour this over and sprinkle with finely chopped dried ginger pieces.