Tuesday, July 05, 2011

{Tasty Tuesday: Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad with Feta, Parsley and Pine Nuts}

Beets give this salad so much gorgeous, vibrant color. It's amazing, and there's
nothing artificial about it -- just surprisingly bright and natural goodness.

The flavor from the combination of ingredients is equally impressive. It's kind of hard to
see it all the way it's piled into a bowl in the photo above, but there are so many things
happening in every bite. A little tang from the feta. Crunch from the pine nuts. Freshness
from the parsley. Nuttiness from the chickpeas. Sweet, moist, softness from the beets.

Each time I've made this salad, I've used the exact ingredients listed below but changed
up the quantities, depending on how much quinoa I used. With the amounts noted here,
I used all the cooked quinoa. The other time I made it, I only used a cup of cooked quinoa.
So, I decreased the rest of the stuff a little -- one can of chickpeas instead of two, three
beets instead of five, half the pine nuts, etc. Obviously, you can use the list of ingredients
in the amounts that suit you.

5 medium red beets
1-2 cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 tbsp EVOO
juice of 2/3 a large lemon
2-3 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Roast beets. (Click here for directions in how to roast them.) Allow to cool. Peel and cube.

Place chick peas in a bowl with a tsp of olive oil and some paprika (Hungarian, if you have
it). Make sure they are coated. Put 'em in a dish where they can lay in a single layer. Bake
at 350 for 15 minutes or until lightly roasted. Remove and allow to cool.

Cook quinoa. Put one cup quinoa and two cups water into a small pot with the salt. Bring
to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or just until all the water
is absorbed. Allow it to cool.

Toast pine nuts in a dry pan for a few minutes to release the flavor. Keep them moving
so they don't burn.

Make dressing to taste. (I'm not a big dressing person, but this combo of lemon, honey
and oil is fabulous. It really helps bind all the ingredients in the salad while giving the
quinoa some needed moisture.)

Combine all your ingredients and watch the beets turn everything a beautiful fuchsia color.

Enjoy by itself of with warm pita. (I was too lazy to do the pita.)

And that's it. A super delicious meal that takes a little more prep time than your average
salad but leaves you with so much complete, delicious, healthful nutrition. Let me know
if you try it. I'd love to hear what you think.

I'm off to realign myself, after being pretty far out of whack for the last few days. A long
walk with the dogs was a clarifying start to my morning, and I intend to have a focused,
positive, healthy day today!


alissa {33shadesofgreen} said...

Hi Samara - Your salad looks beautiful. The colors of the beets are just so pretty. I just bought beets at the market on Saturday!

Just listening to the radio and they are taking about a huge dust storm in Phoenix. Did that effect you? Hope not!

sooz said...

Oh my goodness, this is the best salad! I served it for my family tonight and they loved it! I too have always been a beet lover, but out of a can (bad, I know) I've never had fresh and I don't think I can go back to canned now! I have also tried your brown rice salad and the tomato and green bean salad. So delicious! Thanks for sharing! As a fellow Arizonan, I love the cold salads during our hot summer.

Samara Link said...

Yes, Alissa. The dust storm passed right over my house. It was amazing to see that cloud coming our way, and it hit while I was at the post office. Things went from dusk to dark in an instant, and the very windy, gritty storm left a quarter inch of sand on everything in it's wake. But we all survived to live another day! :) It was actually fun to have some weather with intensity and variety after several months of sun and blue skies.