Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, Spinach and Orange

Quinoa is known as the "super grain" and after reading about it a bit,  it seems like quinoa can solve all your problems. Love the combo of flavors and textures in this salad. Really light, but super satisfying. Added
bonus - it's totally vegan. (Unless you top it with goat cheese like I did and serve it alongside some grilled chicken.) Either way, it's delicious!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, Spinach and Orange
Recipe from glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

3 cups COOKED quinoa (check package for cooking instructions)
2 beets, trimmed and quartered
Olive oil
Sea salt
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons tamari sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar or honey
1 cup drained rinsed chickpeas
2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 fresh orange, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces

Roast the beets in a medium size roasting pan, by combining the beets with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast until the beets are tender (roughly 45 minutes). 

Remove the beets from the hot pan and set them aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skin. Cut the beets into bite sized pieces.

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, orange juice, tamari, vinegar, and agave in a glass measuring cup and whisk. Set aside.

Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chick peas and baby spinach leaves. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Gently add in the cut up roasted beets and fresh orange pieces. Do not over mix or your entire salad will turn beet red. 

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh goat cheese, or slivered almonds, if desired.