Monday, February 13, 2017

Beeting Heart Quinoa Salad; Vegan; Meatless Monday

When I was browsing my local newspaper the other day, I came across this salad recipe that had roasted beets cut into heart-shapes! I just fell in love with the look of it! I cook beets regularly in the form of stir-fry, salad, sauté etc. I have never roasted them! I roasted them this time and I wondered to myself: why didn't I ever think of roasting them before??? I like the roasted beets. The original salad recipe was using salad greens as the base. I didn't have salad greens handy and wanted to make something more filling and nutritious, hence decided to make it a quinoa-beet salad. I also tried this dressing which was so unlike any dressing I have made until now. I was fearful at the beginning, but in the end it was totally worthwhile! The original recipe calls for shallots to be sautéed and then ground with grape seed  oil, champagne vinegar & mustard .  I didn't have some of those ingredients, so I modified the recipe by substituting shallots with white onion and champagne vinegar with red wine vinegar. Instead of grapeseed oil, I used extra virgin olive oil. I also added 1 green chilli while blending to give the dressing a spicy kick! This dressing has a nice creaminess to it without the calories!

You can also serve this salad on a bed of baby greens.
Do try this salad if you guys get a chance. I am sure you will like it!

Servings: 4-6

Prep time: 15-20 minsCook time: 15-20 minsTotal time: 30-40 mins

Ingredients :

For the quinoa salad:

Quinoa: 1 cup, uncooked
Water: 2 cups
Salt: a pinch
Cucumber: 1, medium-sized
Cherry tomatoes: 10, sliced into halves,
Walnuts: 1/4 cup, toasted
Scallions: 1, chopped fine.

For the beets:
Beets: 3 medium-sized one
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Salt: to sprinkle lightly

For the Marinade:

Olive oil: 1 tbsp+ 1/4 cup
White Onion: 1, medium ( around 1 cup, chopped)
Red wine vinegar: 3 tbsp
Dijon mustard: 1 tbsp
Green chilli: 1
Sugar: 1 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp


Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.
Peel and slice the beets and arrange them on a greased baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil and salt on the slices. Keep the tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30-40 mins or until the beets are tender.

Let the beets cool down. Once they are cool enough to handle, using a heart- shaped cookie cutter, cut the beets into heart-shaped. Keep it aside. Chop the remaining scraps of beets and keep aside.

While the beets are cooking, make the quinoa.
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup washed quinoa. Reduce the flame to low, cover the saucepan and let it cook for 15mins. When done all the water should be gone and you should see small curly strands on the quinoa. Fluff it with a fork/ spoon and keep aside to cool.

When the quinoa is cooking, chop the cucumber, scallion and slice the tomatoes. Add the vegetables to a bowl. When the quinoa is cooked & cooled well, add it to be bowl. Keep aside.

For the marinade:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Sauté chopped onions until transparent. Turn off the flame and let it cool. Grind it with all the ingredients listed under " for the marinade". Keep aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

Assembling the salad:

Add the desired amount of the dressing to the bowl with quinoa and veggies. Mix well. Add the roasted walnut pieces.

Serve  on salad plates. Top with beet hearts!

You can serve this salad on a bed of salad greens.


Cooking made easy:

You can use the leftover roasted beet scraps in the salad by chopping it and mixing it. You can modify this salad by using ingredients that you have on hand.

Tip for healthy living:

All the ingredients in this salad are healthy and nutrient-rich.
Quinoa is a good source of protein. Beets have multiple benefits.

Food for thought:

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination. Voltaire

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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