Red pepper and coriander leaves make for a flavourful, low FODMAP pair.

Sooner or later, this had to happen – the quinoa craze reached Squashablanca. Mainly because it’s a tasty, nutritious and versatile grain; the cute factor is just a bonus, cross my heart… come one, have you seen those tails? Here’s why you should make this low FODMAP grain salad: it’s quick, portable, delicious (obviously), and it’s also vegan, low fat and can serve as a full meal! Definitely consider it next time you’re going to a potluck, it will also keep in the fridge for some 4-5 days if you want to batch-prepare your lunches or dinners… if you’re like me and don’t mind eating the same thing every day. The yield assumes you treat the salad as a main course, so if you’re just looking for a side dish, decrease the proportions. As for the dressing, here’s a confession: I hate coriander. At least, the me I have known for nearly thirty years does. But two or three days ago, I suddenly felt an insatiable craving for the metallic flavour of coriander leaves and have since been putting it in everything, from this salad, through salsa, to a quick veggie and tofu stir fry I made the other night. There are several possible explanations of this fact, my favourite is that I accidentally jumped to a parallel universe where everything is exactly the same, apart from the fact that the ‘me’ in this reality loves coriander. At least, that’s the only difference I’ve noticed so far… you guys don’t shoot lasers from your eyes, do you now?

Crunchy quinoa salad, a low FODMAP vegan meal.

Crunchy quinoa salad

(Yield: 8 portions, preparation: 40 minutes, total time: 1.5-12 hours, difficulty: easy)

  • 2 cups dry quinoa
  • 3/4 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1 large, ripe red pepper
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 12-16  stems of coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped chillies, mild or spicy (I went for mild)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk (low fat is OK)
  • juice from one lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

Rinse quinoa, cover with plenty of cold water, bring to boil and simmer until little white tails appear. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. Once cold, combine the quinoa with chopped red peppers, hazelnuts, chopped spinach, chillies and corn. In a small container, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over the salad and mix thoroughly. If it seems too dry, add a bit more coconut milk. This can be eaten immediately, but it definitely gets tastier if you cover it and leave for a few hours in the fridge. In Poland, we used to say the salad is biting through itself.

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Welcome to Squashablanca!

When your love for onion rings, whipped cream latté and apple pie has to surrender in the face of a gastrointestinal war... when the world becomes a bleak place, full of chicken soup and carrots... do not despair! There's more than one sweet fish in the sea, and your culinary adventures have only just begun. I hereby present you Squashablanca, the land of plenty for people following a low-sugar version of the low FODMAP diet. Enjoy your food!

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