Beet Quinoa Recipe

Beet Quinoa Recipe Recipe

Quinoa is a fabulous side dish that contains no gluten. This gives you other options besides pasta and rice. Last night, I prepared it with beets. It added a beautiful color and subtle sweetness. I usually like to add beets to plain, bland food; they revive the most boring dishes and aren't complicated to cook. Simple shredded beets cook extremely fast. 

Baby Aria is so talkative now and her thirst for knowledge is growing everyday. She always asks what she's eating. She loves how "funny" the word quinoa sounds and she adores beets. I bet she's going to request more of this dish in the near future!

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

1 cup quinoa
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth
2 red beets
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ cup dried garbanzo beans
1 clove garlic, freshly grated
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon horseradish mustard
juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper


Directions

For the garbanzo beans:

In a bowl wash the garbanzo beans thoroughly; pick out and discard any badly-shaped beans. Soak them for several hours or overnight. Drain as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

 

In a saucepan, combine the soaked beans and grated garlic. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil (I used garlic-infused oil). Add water; the water should cover the legumes entirely. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer and cook for about 25-30 minutes. Add salt half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the beans and they'll be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. The liquid should evaporate. Remove any liquid (if necessary). Note: For a faster cooking time, you could also cook them in a pressure cooker. It would take only 15 minutes.

Preparing the beets: Remove any dirt and scrub the beets under tap water. Trim off a little piece from the ends of the roots. Peel the beets and boil them for 5 minutes. Drain as much liquid as possible and pat dry. Using a mandoline slicer on a medium setting, cut into matchstick-like pieces. 

Making quinoa: 

Pour the vegetable broth into a saucepan. Add the quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid evaporates. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Cover and let cool to room temperature. 

Cooking the beets:

In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil, add the pre-cooked garbanzo beans and cook until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the beets, sugar, and about ¼ cup of water. Cook for 8-10 minutes until bright red and fork-tender. Adjust seasoning. Season with more salt (if necessary). Cover and let stand until ready to assemble.

For the sauce:

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Whisk well, season with salt and cracked pepper. Pour over the beets.

Assembly:  

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and beets. Toss well.

Serve at room temperature.

Bon appétit!


Tips

If you don't have quinoa, you could use semolina (coarsely-ground durum wheat), bulgur (wheat grains that are partly cooked), regular couscous (tiny pasta made from semolina), Israeli couscous or even cooked pasta such as orzo.

The garbanzo beans are a great source of protein and are perfect for a vegetarian diet. Dried garbanzo beans can be found in any Indian store at a very low price.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on March 20, 2014.


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