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“Can you cook with all the colours of the foooooooood?” This is my ‘Pocahontas Salad’, and I don’t mean that it was first prepared in Virginia but is now more commonly made in London, I am referring to, of course, the song ‘Colours of the Wind’ in Disney’s film version of the tale, in which this song appeared and inspired this salad.

I loved Disney’s Pocahontas, and I mean loved it. I watched it so much on VHS (90s kid y’all) that the end of the film was wobbly because I had kind of melted the tape from watching it too much. I ran through the trees at the back of my infant school garden really fast because that’s how she ran, when I had swimming lessons, I tried to dive so my hair would flutter the way hers did but it never worked because the diving platform wasn’t a rocky cliff over a lake (sigh). I had ALL of the Pocahontas memorabilia, and don’t get me started on the Barbie’s, my sister and I had all of the Disney Princesses; Meg, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine you name it, it got to a point that we lost track and had duplicates, and then Pocahontas happened: Grandmother Willow, John Smith, Chief Powhatan, the leading lady herself, as well as the Red Indian camp (racks of fish n’all). Any fancy dress party, school non-uniform I dressed up as her in a brown dress with tassels my mum made, I even had a crush on Thomas, but let’s face it, who didn’t, he was voiced by Christian Bale and wore a flat cap.

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But I digress; very often is the case for me, and no doubt countless others, that I take more pleasure in preparing and eating food which is colourful than otherwise, it fills me with hope that one day my insides will look like the inside of a 1960s Volkswagen van. And not only is this salad delightfully colourful, it’s also pretty darn tasty, or delicioso as a friend once said. So here’s how it’s made:

Ingredients:
75g spinach
4 small bertroot balls or 2 large, sliced
2 slices of smoked salmon
75g quinoa
A good few slices of cucumber
2 chopped sprigs of fresh dill
4 cherry or vine tomatoes, sliced in half
1tbsp homemade humous (recipe to follow)
Good ol’ sprinkling of fresh black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Optional: 15g sesame seeds

For the dressing (this is to last!):
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh black pepper

Method:
– Combine all the salad dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake.
– In a large mixing bowl, mix the spinach, dill, beetroot, salmon, quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice, black pepper
– Mix in 1tbsp of the dressing into the mix (it’s not lot but it makes a lovely subtle difference) and the humous.
– Optional:In a small frying pan, gently heat the sesame seeds until they start to brown and add them into the bowl. (I keep this as optional as it adds to the sesame taste of the humous and it goes so well with the beetroot and smoked salmon, or you could substitute the humous for the sesame seeds, whichever you like, it’s your taste buds after all).

Put it all into your lunchbox and I’ll jump off a cliff into a lake before playing with my raccoon and hummingbird if this doesn’t fill you up for the rest of the day 🙂

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