Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quinoa & Beet Salad

Roasted red and golden beets, and red quinoa are the base for this tasty & nutritious salad that is great as a make-ahead dish or planned leftovers.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 medium-sized beets (any color combo), roasted and diced then chilled
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (use more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 - 2 lemons, depending on preference
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint (or 2 Tablespoons fresh mint)
  • salt & pepper to taste
I roasted the beets in the morning while I worked around the house (by cleaning them, cutting off green stems, roasting whole with peel on for 45 minutes at 375 degrees until barely "done" so as not to be too mushy), and cooked the quinoa the previous night while making dinner (see notes below for soaking and cooking directions).

To assemble salad, in a large bowl combine quinoa, chilled roasted beets, onion and garlic.  Stir.  Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over all, add mint, salt & pepper.  Toss.  The salad is great on its own.  For lunch the next day, I scooped some onto a bed of mixed salad greens and garnished with some kalamata olives.  Feta or goat cheese would also make a great topping.  Green onions would be a tasty substitute for the regular onions, too.  This would be a great filling for a pita or wrap.  Enjoy!

Note for quinoa prep:  Since quinoa has a bitter natural pest repellant coating its exterior, it is a good idea to soak your quinoa before cooking.  This is best done by soaking for at least 6 hours, but is fine to do overnight or even longer.  After soaking, rinse thoroughly in a colander prior to cooking.
To Cook:  Use 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water - for this recipe, I used 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water.
      *Bring water to a boil
      *Add soaked, rinsed grain
      *Return water to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover pot with lid
      *Simmer for 15 minutes
      *Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for approximately 15-20 minutes to allow the remaining water to be absorbed (doing this allows the grain to be cooked thoroughly, yet not mushy and starchy)
      *Store in refrigerator until ready to use (can be kept for several days)

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