I’m all about a good salad. To me, there’s nothing better to make you feel alive, refreshed and healthy. As the warm weather hangs on for a little bit longer, I thought I’d enjoy some heirloom tomatoes with fresh garden herbs, fluffy quinoa and an out-of-this-world sauce made from carrots and naturally sweetened with Natural Delights Medjool Dates (the best Medjool dates around, if you ask me). These chewy, sweet fruits are chock full of flavor but there’s not refined or added sugar in them. Just the goodness of pure date in each bite, which is why I’m so excited to share this recipe with you. I assure you, you’re mind will be blown when you make this carrot sauce. It’s my new favorite condiment that I’m adding to EVERYTHING. Yes, everything. And all you need are these chewy, fabulous Medjool dates as well as a few other simple ingredients and food processor. Doesn’t get much easier than that folks. Let’s get started!
This Tomato Quinoa Tower is quite possibly the easiest recipe you’ll make all year. Well, maybe aside from oatmeal, but that’s not really a recipe. I know you’re thinking that this looks complicated but I assure you- it’s not. All you simply need to do is cook up a pot of quinoa and layer it with a big heirloom tomato, toss some fresh herbs on top and drizzle it with my Magical Carrot Sauce. O ya and don’t forget the fresh lemon zest on top; that’s a simple way to add a punch of fresh flavor and more natural sweetness to every bite.
So, what makes this Magical Carrot Sauce so magical?
The Medjool dates, of course.
If you haven’t tried Medjool dates, well then, I’m sorry to say you are MISSING OUT. Yes you are. These babies rule my life. They’re in pretty much every recipe in the dessert chapter of my cookbook and they add such a lovely touch of sweetness to everything. All you need to do it remove the pit, which is super simple to do and then toss these Medjool dates in a food processor for this sauce.
I also love to use these Medjool dates for smoothies- when you don’t want to use maple syrup or honey- the Medjool dates will sweeten your smoothie right up. They’re also great in a whipped hot cocoa recipe. But one of the easiest way to indulge in these Medjool dates is to toss the pit and stuff them with a spoonful of warm, creamy almond butter then sprinkle them with sea salt. Now that. THAT. THAT is the best. Try it. I promise you, you’ll be eating it for a dessert for the rest of your life.
I don’t know why it took me so long to realize how incredible Medjool dates were. They weren’t as popular as the other dried fruits hanging around the store but now that I’ve used them in countless recipes, I’ll never stop purchasing them. They’re so versatile and easy to use, plus they add a lot of flavor to any recipe from dressings to marinades to dips to ice creams and even oatmeal with no fuss at all. Just a pop of the pit and you’re good to go. Doesn’t get much easier than that.
So, head on out- pick up one of these seal-able boxes of Natural Delights Medjool dates and have a little party of your own. I assure you, you’ll be beyond delighted to get a bit of sweetness in your life without any added sugar.
- ¼ cup quinoa
- 2 large carrots
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight in water for at least 12 hours, then rinsed and drained
- 3 pitted Natural Delights Medjool Dates
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick lengthwise
- 2 small scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil or parsley
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork and then set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Roast the two carrots with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Combine the soaked (and drained) walnuts, Natural Delights Medjool dates, almond milk, roasted carrots, ¼ tsp. sea salt and ¼ tsp. pepper and puree in a food processor until creamy.
- Meanwhile, place a tomato slice in the center of a serving plate. Do the same for another serving plate. Top with a scoop of quinoa and a drizzle of the sauce. Continue to layer the tomato slices and quinoa and sauce until the tower is either too high or until you run out of ingredients. Garnish with scallions, basil and sea salt and pepper to taste.
This post was sponsored by Natural Delights. All opinions are my own.