Warm Quinoa Salad

Warm Quinoa Salad

My Beautiful Mum

I’ve just got back from a month in beautiful Argentina (check out my photos on Facebook).  My time out there was a mix of tough, beautiful and love-filled. I feel very blessed to have a mum who is a total inspiration to me. In her 70s, newly in love (3 years), and now dealing with the possibility of losing the love of her life, she still manages to smile and remain open-hearted and philosophical in the face of her own pain and the suffering of someone she loves. Not only that, but she is also able to hold amazing compassion and empathy for everyone around her, from people living on the street to her family and friends. If I manage to have one tenth of her grace I will be happy.

Warming Up

2020 got off to a slightly slow start for me because it straddled two countries and two time zones. Now I’m warming up 🙂

I love the beginning of the year – so much potential rises up in me. I’m settled in my yurt, I’m feeling excited about what I’m going to share with you all this year (remember Ready, Steady, Juice? Among other things, one of my favourite programmes is making a comeback), I’m detoxing with our New Year Vitality Detoxers, and getting back into swimming. I bought myself some new trainers in Buenos Aires and have downloaded the brilliant app C25K, which has made running fun for me. It does rain a lot in Devon though, so it’s not happening as often as I’d like!

2020’s Work (and the Happy Payoff!)

I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself around romantic relationships with an amazing therapist. I had a habit of being attracted to emotionally unavailable men, and I can tell you this does not lead to happiness in the romance department! I’ve been working on my self-worth and on being more choosy.  I have now met someone amazing. They say that you are attracted to someone who mirrors you, and if this is the case then all my hard work has paid off.  I love what I see in the mirror. My gorgeous new man plays guitar for fun, and sings at folk clubs. He’s actually got me singing too, and hopefully I’m actually going to perform at an open mic night with him (glug!). He also goes to Ceroc classes, which I’m about to start. Singing and dancing – my new 2020 hobbies! Life feels good and easy, which I need after the often tough times of last year. Phew!

The Big Bang

Of course, the New Year often starts off with grand plans and action. My sister, who runs a well-being centre in London, said that they see a big influx of new people into their yoga classes in January, and then it peters out in mid-march. What do we need to do to keep these good plans going? I’d love to hear any strategies you have (you can post them in the comments below 🙂 )  What I’ve worked out is that you’ve got to actually ENJOY what you’re doing. You can only bully yourself into doing something for so long, but if you truly love it (the taste, the feeling, the result) you’re more likely to keep doing it, or at the least come back to it again and again. Enjoy the recipe! xx

This Week’s Recipe: Warm Quinoa Salad

I can’t stop eating this! It’s delicious on its own, or with a poached egg and greens. You could add chunks of feta, or smoked salmon or chicken and eat it with a green salad, or serve it is a side dish with a main meal – so many options!

Makes 2 servings


100g quinoa
200ml water
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium parsnip, diced
1 medium leek, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1cm ginger root, minced
3 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp harissa paste (optional)
¼ lemon, juice of
unrefined salt and pepper to taste


Bring the quinoa and water to boil in a pan over a high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, with the lid on, for a further 10 minutes.
Over a medium heat, cook the parsnips in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, in a covered frying pan for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the leeks, reduce the heat, and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the garlic, ginger and mushrooms. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring regularly, until the mushrooms are cooked.

Add the cooked quinoa, harissa (if using), lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste, to the frying pan. Stir through, adding more olive oil if you like.

Serve hot or cold.

Keeps in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.

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