Ok, so I'm a little biased when it comes to beets. I do love them so!! They are all the rage right now because of their versatility and their long list of nutritional wins. Their deep red color is a tell tale sign of their high disease fighting antioxidant content, like those in blueberries, goji berries, or cranberries. Beets are a great blood detoxifyer, full of anti inflammatory properties, and can help reduce blood pressure. While these are impressive facts, the truth is, I eat them because they are delicious, and pair well with many other foods, like in this salad. Their sweet nature balances out the bitterness of the basil, the acidity of the vinegar, and the crunch of the celery,. I created this recipe for a client who loves beets just as much as I do, using sprouted quinoa to make it a little more substantial to eat with a green salad, or as an afternoon snack. Combining protein with fiber, like in the classic example of peanut butter and apples, is what satiates your body, so you don't have to go looking for anything else to eat. It's perfect for a quick hunger fix, but be warned, their staining power is merciless, check your teeth before resuming any public activities :-)
Let me know how it turns out by posting your comments below.
Roasted Beet Salad with Sprouted Quinoa and Basil
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/4 cup roasted baby beets (1 bunch baby beets with 4 or 5 beets, or 2 large beets)
1/4 cup dry sprouted quinoa, cooked with 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup green beans, blanched in boiling water
1/3 cup celery, small cubes, cut a little smaller than the beets
1/4 cup scallions, sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Beets
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- Trim the beets on both ends and rinse them under cold water. Be sure to save the stems, as they are delicious sauteed, or steamed. Don't worry about washing the beets too much because the skin is going to come off after cooking. If using large beets, cut them in half and place them in a small glass baking dish and fill the dish about 1/3 of the way with water. This is more of a steaming method, but I find the steam helps to loosen the skin. Baby beets can be left whole.
- Cover with foil, and bake for about 1 hour or until fork tender
- Remove from the oven, drain the beets into a colander, and rinse with cold waterl. When the beets are cool enought to handle, using your hands, gently rub the skin off. Running them under cold water can help facilitate this process.
- Cut the beets into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a medium bowl. Beets will keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, and are great for mixing with other roasted veggies, or even pureeing to make a sauce for a veggie burger; of course, there is always borscht.
For the Quinoa
- Place the quinoa ina small holed strainer and rinse under cold water. Quinoa contains a mild toxin called saponin that can be quite bitter. Rinsing will remove this
- Place the quinoa in a 1 qt saucepan with 1/3 cup of water and cover
- Allow the water to boil, reduce the heat and cover, and cook on low heat for about 12 minutes or all the water is absorbed and you see the little curly q's. If this hasn't happened after the 12 minutes, just add another Tablespoon or so of water and cook for a few more minutes. Every stove and pan is different, so cooking times and amounts will vary.
- Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to sit with the lid on for 3-5 minutes or until it is dry and fluffy. Add to the bowl with the beets
For the Salad
- Mix all of the ingredients together and serve
- Store remaining salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.