Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beet Green Chopped Salad

Finally a recipe with beets!  I feel obligated by the name of my blog to at least have a few beet recipes on here every once and a while.  I don't have a particular love for beets or anything...I just couldn't think of a better name and it seemed to fit with the vision I have for this blog.  Anyway, I got a bunch of beets in the CSA share this week and thought this recipe sounded good.  I always feel guilty throwing the beet greens away because I know they are so good for you, but I never know what to do with them.  
This recipe was really good!  While the amount of dressing was adequate, it might have been nice to have a little more.  If you enjoy dressings/condiments like I do, I would suggest increasing the amount of each ingredient in the dressing.  It was super tasty and I would have liked to have had more!

As a side note, I'm still getting the hang of taking pictures while I'm cooking.  It's quite inconvenient and I hate having to stop what I'm doing, wash my hands and try to take a lovely picture of something that may or may not look lovely.  A big reason I got a fancy new camera was to take pictures for my blog, but I'm still learning how to use it.  I hope the photography will improve with time!  Anyhow, on to the recipe:  
  • 1 bunch of beets, including fresh looking greens
  • olive oil and sea salt for roasting beets
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Tahini dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. honey (or agave nectar), depending on desired sweetness
  • 3 Tbsp. water, or as needed
  • hefty pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped chives (I didn't have chives and it was just fine without them)
1.  Preheat the oven to 450'.
Beets ready for roasting 
2.  Cut the greens from the beets at their stem. Rub a bit of olive oil on the skin of the beets, sprinkle with salt and wrap them all in a foil pack. Set on the middle oven rack and cook for 45-55 minutes until you can easily piece through with a knife. Set them aside to cool.
3.  While the beets roast, clean and dry the greens. Chop off and discard the long red stems. Chop the greens and put them in a large mixing bowl.  Also begin cooking the quinoa.  Rinse it well, bring it to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes and then let it sit with the top on for about 10 minutes before allowing it to cool off.
4.  To prepare the dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and water. Mix in the garlic, hearty pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Add more water if you prefer it thinner. Mix in the chives. Adjust to your taste and set aside.   
5.  Once the beets are cool enough to touch, you should be able to just push the skin off with your fingers. Use a paring knife to help it along. Dice the peeled beets. Thinly slice the scallions. Add the beets, scallions, quinoa and avocado to the mixing bowl and toss with a generous amount of dressing (note: the salad will turn pink from the beets. If this bothers you, you can toss everything without the diced beets, and sprinkle them on top). Sprinkle in the sunflower seeds, give it one more toss.
Health Benefits

Beets-  These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.  More info here

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) -  Many of you may have heard of quinoa because recently it's been talked about a lot as being a superfood.  Quinoa is not a grain and is actually a seed related to the spinach family.   It actually cooks and tastes like a grain, making it an excellent replacement for grains that are difficult to digest (and it's gluten free!).  Quinoa is full of phytonutrients, antioxidants AND can even help balance your blood sugar.  Quinoa is a complete protein.  It contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.  It also contains high levels of magnesium, which helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure.  This also helps with migraine headaches.  Visit here or here for more info on this great food!

No comments:

Post a Comment