I love my husband. I love him the most when he goes out.
I kid, I kid. But I do enjoy the opportunity to do some recipe development sans witnesses (just in case...), especially when I pretty much making things up as I go along. Still very much on my quinoa bender I put some time into coming up with a few new, interesting recipes that showcase quinoa in a way that hasn't been done to death. The result was this delicious, flavoursome carrot, quinoa and herb loaf.
It's sort of like a bread in the sense that's in the shape of a loaf and would be delicious served toasted with poached eggs, grilled mushrooms and roasted cherry tomatoes (or any other toppings). It's not like bread because, well, it's not like bread, but those with a gluten intolerance or people like me who just don't really enjoy store-bought bread will find it a very satisfying substitute.
I've used garlic, mixed herbs and chilli flakes which give it a really nice kick but you can customise the flavours to suit your taste or your pantry supplies. Sage would be lovely, as would rosemary or thyme. The base is made form a mix of carrot, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, for maintaining healthy cell membranes and B group vitamins, which helps with the production of energy in our cells. Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of tryptophan, the amino acids that is important for the production of seratonin, and are very high in zinc, which is necessary for immune function, eye health and prostate health.
The loaf is gluten-free, grain-free, vegan and naturally high in protein, meaning it should please just about everyone regardless of their nutritional philosophy. Serve with beetroot hummus, as shown, or with poached eggs as described earlier. Serve it any which way you like! And if you're really lucky maybe you won't have to share the loaf with your spouse either..
Carrot, Quinoa and Herb Loaf
1 cup dry (uncooked) quinoa
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp mixed herbs
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 tbsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1) Cook quinoa according to packet directions (should make about 2&1/3 cups). Set aside to cool slightly.
2) Steam or microwave grated carrot until soft.
3) Combine sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and grind into flour/nut meal.
4) Pour meal into a large bowl and add flax seeds, herbs, chilli flakes, garlic and salt. Add carrot and quinoa then mix well, using as much water is needed to bring the mixture together.
5) Preheat oven to 200C. While the oven is heating press the mixture firmly into a lined loaf tin and leave to sit, approximately 20 minutes.
6) Bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in tin and store in the refrigerator.
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