Sometimes thinking of meat free meals that are protein packed is challenging, especially when pulses and legumes are off the menu because they’re not Sarah friendly.

This is why I absolutely love Quinoa!

Quinoa is a complete protein (meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids in the right proportions) so it can be used as the protein source for a main meal.

Other benefits include high in fibre, magnesium, B12 and iron. It’s also low in fat and has a low glycemic index, keeping you fuller for longer.

Enjoy this salad as a meat free meal or as a colourful side dish.

What you will need:


½ cup red quinoa - rinsed

1 ½ cups water

Pinch of salt

2 cups of cubed pumpkin

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tsp rosemary (dried or fresh)

1 tsp oregano (dried or fresh)

1 tsp thyme (dried or fresh)

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp pepita (pumpkin) seeds

2 large handfuls of rocket

½ punnet of cherry tomatoes - quartered


Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp EVOO

1/8 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

What to do:


Preheat oven to 180°C

Combine quinoa, water and salt in a pot and cover with lid.Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed

Remove from heat and using a fork stir through the quinoa to “fluff up”

Combine pumpkin, EVOO, herbs and salt on a lined baking tray

Cook in oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown, turning the pumpkin every so often so all sides are golden.

Place pepita's on another oven tray and cook in oven for 5 minutes

Mix the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well

In a large bowl, toss the rocket, quinoa, pumpkin, cherry tomatoes and petitas

Enjoy with a drizzle of dressing!

Sarah xx