With fall upon us, it’s time to indulge in the produce that is the essence of the season. While the weather gets cooler, it only seems natural to eat vibrant and hearty root vegetables roasted to perfection. Beets are fabulous incorporated in the season’s bounty in this Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad. In this recipe, I used Alter Eco Royal Pearl Quinoa (my latest favorite) which combines earthy beets together with the decadent goat cheese; It’s perfect for curling up and savoring on cool fall day. Also, this recipe includes the beet greens which are super healthy! These hearty leaves look very much like Swiss chard, and cool like it too. One cup of beet greens has only 39 calories and zero fat, but it contains 220 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin A and 60 percent of your RDI of vitamin C.
For more information on Royal quinoa (or “quinoa real”), it’s grown only in the Bolivian Altiplano on the edge of the salt flat and at the foothill of Andean volcanoes. Like with Champagne, Royal Quinoa can only come from this part of the world. Royal quinoa is grown at 13,000 feet above sea level and the harsh conditions dictate that only the strongest and most resilient quinoa grows and thrives there. As a result, royal quinoa is believed to be larger, nuttier and more nutritious than other types of quinoa. Additionally, the richness of the soil in the Bolivian Altiplano contributes to the special qualities of the royal quinoa, as does the expertise of the farmers there.
Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 cups cooked Alter Eco Royal Pearl Quinoa
3/4 to 1 pound beet greens (the greens from 1 generous bunch)
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or diced (1/2 cup)
2. Blanch the greens in a large pot of generously salted water or steam them above an inch of boiling water until wilted, one to two minutes. Refresh with cold water, squeeze dry and chop.
3. Heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the caraway, beet greens, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir over medium heat for 30 seconds to a minute until the greens are nicely infused with the garlic and oil. Add the beets and quinoa. Toss together until the ingredients are well combined and the quinoa is heated through. Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle evenly with goat cheese.