Sprouted Fig (The Smoothie Lover)
December 12, 2014

Gæste-post af Dearna fra To Her Core

Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto

As I’ve been blabbering about in the last two posts I’m currently writing the biggest assignment in Danish high school – SRP. It might not sound like much given the fact that I am only still in high school, but it is a big deal. But I’ll tell more about that another time.

Anyway I haven’t had too much time left for cooking this week (and probably not the next either). At least not when the sun is still up. So I picked up the courage to ask one of my favourite bloggers, if she’d like to make a guest post here at The Smoothie Lover (; I couldn’t have been any happier when I received her anser – yes. Whoopee!

It is therefore with great pleasure I now introduce you to Deanna from To Her Core. Aaa, this is so exiting. I’m all giddy. Dearna is without doubt one of my favourite bloggers in the entire blogging-world. And that world is huge. She is so talented. I love her recipes. I love her gorgeous photos. And I love her view on food. Read her blog! She has so many great tips and thoughts on food.

Fun-fact: I still remember which recipe made me come through her blog… This delicious smoothie bowl, which I’ve made a lot of times since

Without further ado: Welcome to Dearna!

Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto

1) Why did you start blogging? (Yep, I know this one is almost mandatory, but I love hearing why people started :) )

I have always loved cooking and I love the idea of food being shared – through both cooking and eating with others but also the sharing of recipes and ideas – so I see my blog as a way to engage with others, both fellow likeminded bloggers who share a similar passion, and also others that want to learn more about food and cooking.

I am also quite interested in nutrition and wellness and I have noticed that there is a massive disconnect between people and the food they consume. Up until the last few decades, most people in Western cultures would grow a lot of their own produce, and what they didn’t grow they would have a good understanding of where it came from. Fruit and vegetables would be seasonal and only available in areas in which they would naturally grow, and eating was something that was done with purpose – it’s value was understood for the most part, and people would sit down to eat and share food together.

These days, not only do most of us not grow our own food, but we often don’t make it, preferring instead to buy either fast food or convenience food. Food is purchased from large supermarkets which stocks big brands who are often owned by overseas companies who import a lot of the food in.  We eat on the run, at our desks, and in front of the TV. And we take for granted that we can have whatever food we want, when we want it. We have forgotten why we eat, and we are disconnected from the notion of how food effects not only our bodies, but also our mental state.

This has lead to us growing increasingly sicker, and fatter. Bad news for us, but great news for the “health” care and weight loss industry which continue to grow each year world wide, and continue to put out different messages on what we should be eating, when and how, which has just complicated the issue and lead to a lot of confusion surrounding what the ideal diet is.

Eating healthily doesn’t need to be complicated, and it doesn’t need to be boring. That’s one of the key messages that I want to get through in both my cooking and my blog.

Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto

2) What is your “food philosophy”?

I guess I kind of answered this one above sorry! I can elaborate though – I think at a very basic level we need to be putting good quality, clean, wholesome food into our bodies to nourish them. And the best way to do this is to listen to your body and notice how it reacts to certain foods rather than listening to and believing every single piece of “health” advice out there. There is so much debate these days about whether certain wholefoods are healthy – I think we need to worry less about whether or not we are eating enough superfoods or too many whole grains, and instead just keep it simple and focus on eating unrefined, seasonal fresh food. Western diet is so heavily processed these days that small steps like swapping out some of the cereals and refined grains that we eat for whole foods such as vegetables and lean proteins like fish, eggs and legumes can make a drastic difference.

The other thing I think we should be doing – and something that I try to do more and more myself each day – is to eat locally and seasonally. I personally find this more challenging than actually eating healthily as we have become so used to having so many different foods at our fingertips all year round, and often imported foods are a lot more cheaper (which makes no sense when you think about it, and makes you wonder why these products that have travelled half way around the world are so cheap!) but I think that its equally important to be mindful of not only what we eat, but where it is coming from.


I’ve quoted Michael Pollen a million times before on my own site, but he just gets it so right:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.


I think if you stick to this, you’re well on your way to living a happy and healthy life.

Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto

3) What is your favourite recipe on your blog?

That’s a tough one! It changes all the time…. Can I name more than one ;) The ones that I eat most often myself at the moment would be the Thai Veggie Stir Fry and the grain free Savoury Veggie “Loaf” – its not really anything like bread, but it’s a delicious meal in its own right. . My Grain-free Rhubarb Cake was a standout and I can definitely see it being cooked again this rhubarb season. I guess at the end of the day, I cook food for the blog that I like to eat myself, so I love them all!

Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto

4) Since you live on wonderful Tasmania, and I would love to go there: What are the must-sees on Tasmania? Attractions, cafes…? 

Tasmania is such a beautiful part of the world! The new MONA museum is amazing, its such a unique building and nothing like anything I have ever seen anywhere else in the world. There are also a few restaurants/bars on site, plus a vineyard and micro brewery, and in summer there is a market and lots of concerts. The peninsula is great – there are some fantastic day walks that the government has just spent a lot of time upgrading the tracks for. The East coast is beautiful, especially Freycinet National Park, and I love the area down south of Hobart (the Huon Valley), its very quiet and still and incredibly relaxing. Some of my favorite Hobart restaurants and cafes are Raincheck and Berta in North Hobart (two of my locals), and in the city there are a few new ones which have open opened up recently that I love – Providore, Betsey and Straight Up. They all focus on real, whole foods that are locally sourced, and the food at all three places is delicious and affordable.

Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto

5) Simply because I love December: Where and with whom are you gonna celebrate Christmas?

This year I’ll be spending Christmas with my partner and his family, and the following day heading up to the North of Tasmania to see some of my family. And then spending a few days on Bruny Island with my friend after that – another must see if you ever make it to Tassie!

Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto

The dish I am sharing today is Quinoa salad with Roasted Carrot and Coriander Pesto. It’s a relatively simple dish, but it’s very tasty and easy to prepare and by using a few simple techniques you can not only boost the flavour but also the health properties.

Soaking the quinoa overnight with some raw apple cider vinegar or water kefir reduces the amount of anti-nutrients that naturally occur, making the quinoa more digestible. It also cooks quicker.

And for the pesto, roasting the carrots adds a great depth of flavour, as does using fresh coriander and coriander root.

Recipe for roasted carrot and coriander pesto

Guest Post – To Her Core: Quinoa Salad w/ roasted carrot & corriander pesto


  • Quinoa
  • 2/3 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar or water kefir
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Salad
  • Prepared quinoa (see above)
  • 1 quantity Roasted Carrot and Coriander Pesto (see link before recipe)
  • 100 baby spinach, washed
  • 70g feta, crumbled


  1. Place all ingredients in a large glass jar or bowl and stir to combine. Allow to sit at room temperature overnight (or up to 24 hours).
  2. Drain and rinse quinoa and add to a pot with 2/3 cup fresh water and a little salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 8 – 10 minutes. Allow to sit and steam (covered) for 5 minutes, then remove lid, fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  3. To assemble the salad, add the spinach to a large salad bowl. Add the pesto to the cooked quinoa and stir well to combine. Then add to the spinach, and scatter the crumbled feta on top.