Beet carrot & quinoa salad with plump golden raisins, toasted pecans & apples tossed with a stone-ground mustard maple vinaigrette: perfect any time of year – from holidays to backyard barbies & everything in between.
Maybe it’s because spring is on its way. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve spent several weeks helping my husband clear his mum’s house out after she recently passed away, but I’ve been in spring cleaning mode at our house this week. A recent dig around & tidy-up of our big freezer produced a jar of quinoa & a huge bag of chia seeds which broke open in the freezer as I was pulling them out. It alluded me as to why I’d have either of them because I rate them on par with matcha & kombucha – all of which I can live without. The chia seeds made a ridiculous mess, like birthday party sprinkles, I’m going to be finding them everywhere for months.
Rather than waste the quinoa (for the chia seeds it was too late as they’d already met their demise) I remembered a salad I’d made on my TV show many moons ago. It was delicious & relatively straightforward so I pulled the recipe from the vault & well, you can see for yourself I took some pics of it. And now I’m sharing it with you. Plus with the added bonus & the real reason for making this, the quinoa is gone. What was left I threw away. Why keep something don’t want or like?
I’m baking bread & it smells fantastic. Hopefully it works. I’ve been making a sourdough starter for a week. It was working, until I mixed it into the dough. Then it petered out. So then I made my usual bread that’s a bit like a sourdough with a tiny bit of yeast & that takes a couple of days to make. You have to make a poolish first. I didn’t want to waste the doughs from the failed sourdough so I joined them altogether, with the poolish. It was like a science experiment. It just kept growing. I made two loaves. I should of made four. They’re huge! Really good, artisan bread making is my new mountain to conquer. I’ve much to learn but it’s exciting when it works.
Back to the salad….this salad is still good the next day even though the crimson from the beets has leeched through everything. It still tastes good. Good leftovers for a work lunch, stuff it in some pita bread with a dollop of hummus. We ate the salad on its own but it’d be really good with grilled chicken breast or a steak. Okay, off to check my bread again, fingers crossed. Until next time, take it easy, Lovoni xo.
PS. Are you looking for more salad ideas? Then you have to take a look at our two part salad feature – 10 salads get a make-over.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
- 1 1/2 cups diced apple
- 1 cup golden raisins (sultanas)
- 1 cup pecans, toasted & coarsely chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
- pinch of salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra leaves for garnish.
- 1 1/2 cups grated peeled beets
- arugula or spinach, to serve
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- pinch of salt & pepper
- To make the vinaigrette, place all ingredients in a jar. Shake to combine.
- Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse with cold water until water runs clear. Place in medium saucepan; add 2 cups of water & a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, for 10 to 15 minutes or until almost all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat. Cover & let stand for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork. Rinse under cold water using a fine mesh strainer; drain well. (rinsing the quinoa after it is cooked is optional. I do it because I’m horribly impatient & want to cool it down quickly. If you make it the day before assembling the salad, no need to rinse it again).
- Combine cooled quinoa, carrot, apple, raisins, pecans, green onions, a pinch of salt & pepper & the basil in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette & toss to combine. Add beet & gently toss. Garnish with extra basil leaves. Serve with arugula & spinach if desired.