I have many fond memories of long afternoons spent in our local park, picnic-ing under the summer skies. My parents had a good group of friends, all with little ones of similar ages, and we would all congregate on the grass for big picnics. We would run around, learn to ride our bikes, or spend hours testing out our new roller skates, and occasionally run back to the group to grab a snack and re-fuel. We must have clocked up a fair few hours in that lovely park. Whenever I go there now, those memories all come flooding back. I am grateful for a happy upbringing, with so much time spent outdoors.
We haven’t really had the right weather for picnics this year, and the British nation is patiently waiting some serious sunshine (rumour has it some heat is on its way this week). I decided that I wasn’t going to let the weather stop us from eating alfresco this weekend, so we opted for a garden picnic. Our new kitchen leads directly out into the back garden, so it’s handy for running back inside if it does start to rain, which coincidentally, it did! Picnic foods aren’t just great for alfresco dining, I love simple, quick bites that you can throw together for a quick, fuss free dinner in the week.
Whilst I try to make wholesome, homemade recipes most days, sometimes you just need something you can grab and go – right? That’s why I love Higgidy’s range of pies and quiches. Higgidy’s range of products offer a large range of delicious flavour combinations, and make a great picnic addition. Each product is handmade (no robots here) with love. I’m taking part in their #HiggidyPicnic and bringing this zesty quinoa and sweet potato salad along with me! Quinoa is great (incase you didn’t already know!) as it contains iron, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, and is one of only a few plant-based foods that is a complete protein. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, yay!
- 1 sweet potato (scrubbed)
- ½ aubergine
- 1 cup / 190g quinoa (I used a mix of red and white)
- Lemon thyme (optional)
- ½ cup/120ml extra virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Handful fresh oregano
- Olive Oil - for roasting
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C
- Chop the sweet potato and aubergine, place on a lined baking tray, scatter with S+P, lemon thyme (if using) and coconut oil. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the veg is soft.
- Rinse your quinoa in a sieve under some cold water. Place in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Put on a hob and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and let it cook for 15 mins (you want to retain a little bite in the quinoa)
- While that's cooking, make your dressing.
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender (or into a jug and use a stick blender) and blitz for 10 seconds, taste and check for seasoning.
- Once the quinoa has cooked, drain any excess liquid, then add the quinoa to a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the roasted veg, and a good glug of your dressing.
- Stir it well so the quinoa can absorb the dressing.
- Enjoy al fresco.
See who else is joining the #higgidypicnic ;
This recipe is sponsored by Higgidy. All opinions are my own, stay individual friends.