With her love of whole food and knowledge as a chef, Amy Chaplin’s will inspire you to eat well at every meal. At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen (Roost Books, 2014) is filled with naturally gluten-free, vegetarian recipes that anyone will love. The following recipe for Quinoa Beet Salad makes a great base for a variety of salads.
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Here, marinated red beets are tossed with plain cooked quinoa; I love the way they add vibrant, rich color and blood-building nutrients to plain cooked grains and find myself adding them to brown rice and millet too. I have used this beet-stained quinoa base for many different salad variations, adding cooked chickpeas, chopped dill, or parsley and roasting vegetables I have on hand like sliced carrots, sweet potatoes, or other root vegetables and tossing them in too. It’s a terrific make-ahead salad; just bring to room temperature and top with feta, garlic-chili mixture, and beet greens right before serving. Speaking of beet greens, this salad is a great way to use up any you may have left from buying beets by the bunch. If they’re not available, you can use Swiss chard or another dark, leafy green, or simply serve the salad without greens.
Quinoa Beet Salad Recipe
• 2 medium-large red beets (1 pound), leaves reserved
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 4 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 4 shallots, sliced
• Sea salt
• 2 fresh red long chilies, thinly sliced
• 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• Beet greens from 2 bunches beets, large stems trimmed (6 cups packed)
• 6 ounces goat milk feta, drained and crumbled
PREPARE THE BEETS:
1. Place the beets in a medium pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender. Test them by inserting a toothpick or tip of a sharp knife into beet; it should glide in easily.
2. Drain beets and slip off skins under cold, running water.
3. Cut beets in half, thinly slice, and place in a medium bowl. Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Toss gently to combine; set aside.
MAKE THE SALAD:
1. Transfer cooled quinoa to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Add marinated beets, mixing until completely combined. Set aside.
2. Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and a pinch of salt; sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and toss with beets and quinoa. Season with salt to taste, and set aside. Wipe out skillet, and warm remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add chilies, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 2 minutes or until garlic is golden. Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.
MAKE THE BEET GREEN GARNISH:
Place same skillet, retaining any oil residue, over medium heat. Add beet greens and a splash of water; stir until greens begin to wilt. Cover pan, and cook for 1 minute. Remove lid and continue cooking until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
Spoon quinoa-beet mixture into bowls. Crumble feta over each portion and top with garlic-chili mixture. Garnish with beet greens.
More Whole Food Recipes from Amy Chaplin
From At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin, © 2014 by Amy Chaplin. Photographs © 2014 by Johnny Miller. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA.