Both carrots and witlof (similar to radicchio in flavour) are a very good source of pro-vitamin A, which is vital for supporting healthy mucous membranes in the gut and skin. Witlof is also a good source of fibre and helps promote the secretion of bile, which aids the liver and gall bladder in digestion. This superfood also contains a potent flavonoid called kaempferol, which pre-clinical studies show possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
135 g (3/4 cup) black or tri-colour quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
375 ml (11⁄2 cups) water
500 g (approx. 1 bunch) Dutch carrots, tops trimmed
2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
200 g (approx. 2–3 heads) witlof, leaves separated
1 large handful mint
35 g (1⁄3 cup) walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped
For the dressing:
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange
60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 umeboshi salted plums, pitted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon warm water
2 teaspoons manuka honey
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas Mark 6). In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the quinoa for 15 minutes until almost all of the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes, or until the quinoa’s ‘tails’ have sprouted and the remaining water has been absorbed.
Spread the quinoa out on a tray and set aside to cool. Arrange the carrots in a baking tray, dot with ghee and sprinkle with ground coriander. Roast for 15 minutes, or until just tender and beginning to caramelise. Set aside to cool.
To make the dressing, blend all ingredients except for the pepper in a small food processor. Season with pepper.
Combine the quinoa, carrots, witlof, mint and walnuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine
Carla's tip: if witlof is unavailable, substitute radicchio or other bitter salad leaves such as rocket (arugula) or chicory (endive).
Low FODMAP option: Use some pure organic maple syrup to sweeten the dressing. Goat’s cheese can also make a flavoursome addition, and according to Monash University, it's low FODMAP at 40 g per serve.