I have been introduced to quinoa few years ago, and I used to see it often at wholefood’s food bar mixed with salads, and then I started making my own with chickpeas and some vegetables, it was ok and but wasn’t too crazy about it. However, one time I was invited to a friend’s birthday party and she had beets in a quinoa salad. And, I fall in love with the combination.
I love beets myself so I started adding my creation to this healthy salad. So when Faris turned about 1.5 and started eating more solid food I noticed that he loves beets, so he’s 4.5 now and this is one of his favorite food so I make it often at home, and since he is a selective eater this is one of the few things he loves.
The only way I grew up knowing of how to make beets is by boiling them in water, then a few years ago I started grilling them instead, and wow this method of baking is much better. With boiling, beets can get overcooked and lose some of the nutrients. So baking is much better and preserves the beets color. Then they’re easy to peel once the beets are soft and baked. So here is how I do it, I cut stems from both sides and wrap them with foil and bake in a regular oven or a toaster oven if you have one. It takes about an hour to an hour 20 minutes, depends how fresh are the beets, also the smaller they are the less time they need. To test if they’re soft beets can be poked with a fork after an hour of baking. I usually do few together, and keep them in the fridge, they last for 4-5 days. Once they’re cooled off the skin comes off easily, I just rinse under running water.
I love the combination of red cabbage with this salad, so in addition to beets, I add cabbage with some red onions and corn. Keep in mind quinoa takes a lot of lemons to bring up the taste, so I do love my salad to be on the sour side and be generous with the olive oil.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 large beet or 2 small ones
- 8 ounces of shredded red cabbage
- ½ cup sweet yellow corn
- ¼ of a red onion
- 1-2 lemon juices
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- Cook quinoa separately: rinse ½ a cup of uncooked quinoa and place it in a pot and cover with 1 cup of water. Once it starts boiling cover it and turn the heat on low and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bake beets: cut stems of each side, wash beets thoroughly and wrap them with foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees preheated oven, or toaster oven for about an hour to an hour and a half.
- Once beets are cooled off, rinse them under running water to peel the skin off. Chop beets into squares.
- Add, chopped beets, shredded red cabbage, corn, onions, olive oil, lemon juice and salt over quinoa and mix everything together.
- Ready to serve.