Tag Archives: beets

Beet and Quinoa Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese

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Spring blooms
My children are off school for a spring holiday, only spring itself was here merely in theory or that was the case until two days ago. We were completely overwhelmed by cold, grey and windy days and then suddenly the sun appeared and made everything bright and lively bringing along little green buds and beautiful pink blooms. And although spring is still quite shy and only stays around in short spurts we are hopeful and ready to embrace longer days, brighter clothes and lighter meals.

A little while ago I made Quinoa and Puy Lentil Salad and it was quite popular with my family and my readers. I love adding quinoa, bulgur or couscous to my greens when making salads as they make light things a bit more substantial and satisfying without compromising the health benefits. As I had mentioned in that salad post I usually cook more quinoa and lentils than one recipe requires and use the extras throughout the week in various incarnations. Beet and Quinoa Salad is another tasty way to combine quite a few nutritious ingredients together and end up with a little number that is pure joy to look at and even more to eat.Beet and Quinoa Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (cooked according to package directions)- 1 cup
  • Lentils or Chick Peas (cooked)- 1/2 cup
  • Beets (cooked and grated)- 1 large or 2 small
  • Radishes (sliced)- 5-6
  • Rocket/Arugula- 2 cups
  • Creamy Goat Cheese- 2 tbsp.
  • Balsamic Vinegar-1 tbsp.
  • Olive Oil- 1/4 cup
  • Lemon -1/2
  • Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley- 2 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Combine quinoa, lentils or chick peas, grated beets and sliced radishes and set aside. If you are not a regular beet eater let me assure you they are very easy to cook. Just boil them like you would regular potatoes until are easily pierced with a knife. Life is even easier for the UK readers as packs of cooked and vacuum packed beetroot are readily available in any supermarket. I would steer clear of the canned beets. They are pretty horrid and lacking in the nutrition department for sure!

Make your vinaigrette dressing by mixing together balsamic vinegar, juice of 1/2 lemon and chopped up parsley, then slowly pour in olive oil in a thin and steady stream while whisking the entire time. You can use an immersion blender or food processor if you like your vinaigrette to be very smooth but a regular whisk will also do the trick.

Dress your salad with vinaigrette until evenly coated, taste it and add salt if needed, toss with rocket/arugula and goat cheese. Allow 15 minutes in the fridge before serving for the flavours to meld.

Quick, easy and tasty! Just what I like for this spring season.

Beet and Quinoa Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese

Beet and Quinoa Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese

Russian Root Vegetable Salad “Vinegrette”

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A long string of bleak and rainy days is a sure proof that the winter is upon us. So instead of fighting it I decided to embrace it. It’s quite dark outside and I need some cheering up to do. What is better than bringing some colourful food onto my family’s dinner table? In order to do that I had to dig deep and access my Russian roots. Here is what I came up with-a beautiful, healthy and very nutritious salad that won’t break your budget.

First off, let me warn you it contains beets. Of course, it does! It is Russian after all. Secondly, it provides very much needed vitamin C that comes from cabbage. Surprised? Don’t be because cabbage has as much if not more vitamin C than a traditional orange and virtually no sugar! I can not tell enough just how healthy this salad is, so do yourself a favour and give it a try.

Ingredients:
Green cabbage-1/2 of a small head
Beets-2 medium
Red onion-1 small
Potatoes-2-3 medium
Carrots-2-3 medium
Tart apple-1 medium
Dill pickles-4 medium
White wine vinegar- 2 tbsp.
Extra virgin olive oil-2tbsp.
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put beets, potatoes and carrots in a pot and boil all the vegetables until fork tender but make sure not to over-boil. Beets will take longer than the rest. I recommend boiling them in a separate pot.
Meanwhile, take your washed cabbage and slice it discarding the core into bite-sized pieces. Then add your course salt and vinegar directly to the sliced cabbage and start squeezing it with your hands until it softens and releases some liquid. Cover it with a plate and put something heavy on top of it like a kettle full of water. Set aside for about 1 hour to let the vinegar work it’s magic. What we are trying to accomplish here is usually a long term marinating process but you are getting an abridged version.
When your potatoes, carrots and beets are cooked, cool them completely, then peel them, and dice them into little cubes.
Now take your cabbage and add the diced vegetables to it, do the same with pickles, onions and apples. Mix everything together and dress the salad with the olive oil. Taste it and add salt and pepper if needed. You might think that the salad is already salty enough because of the pickled cabbage and cucumbers.
I do hope you will be adventurous and give it a try.  Although it doesn’t resemble the usual salads that you eat it offers so many nutritional benefits in comparison to green lettuce and cucumbers!