Monday, 10 February 2014

Beetroot, Chickpea, Orange & Quinoa Salad

I've started a few, for want of a better word 'resolutions' this year. Nothing too fancy - drink more water, no chocolate before 12noon, two chocolate free days a week, eat lunch every day (I used to skip lunch most days and then binge on whole bars of chocolate in the afternoon). These might sound easy but I wanted something achievable so I'd stick to it. So far so good. For lunch I've been taking salads from home and this quinoa salad has become a firm favourite. 

I've actually been eating a lot of quinoa, but find if I don't cook it with lemon, herbs and salt it can taste like polystyrene. Adding these ingredients at the beginning with the water makes for a much tastier quinoa without adding a noticeable flavour to the rest of your dish as it just seems to absorb.

1 bunch baby beetroots, trimmed and quartered
Olive oil
Sea salt
1 cup quinoa
1 lemon
Dried herbs (I used parsley and oregano)
3 tablespoons cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 fresh orange, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces

Preheat the oven to 190ÂșC.

Place beetroot on baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake for 30 minutes.

While the beetroot is roasting, make the Quinoa. Add quinoa to 2 cups of boiling water, the juice of one lemon, some dried herbs and salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the beetroot from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, combine olive oil, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a glass and whisk. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine the warm, cooked quinoa, chickpeas and baby spinach leaves. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper. Gently add the beetroot and fresh orange pieces. Don't over mix or your salad will go red.

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