For me, this Quinoa, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad represents what I love most about spring and summer: color!
Although I’m slightly obsessed with roasted beets and would gladly eat them every day, I’ve also recently developed a love for raw beets. While raw beets lack the subtle sweetness that develops in roasted beets as they caramelize in the heat, they possess a wonderfully earthy flavor and crunchy texture that’s just divine in salads. In addition to their flavor and nutritional value (they’re rich in B vitamins, manganese, and antioxidants), red beets also turn everything they touch a beautiful shade of fuchsia. This is bad for clothes and cutting boards, but great for food. (Seriously though, you might want to change into a ratty old t-shirt when it comes time to shred the beets. Consider yourself warned.)
**First off, I’m honored to share that Dr. Frank Lipman has featured my recipe for Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza in his Gluten-Free Recipe Round-Up: Best Pinterest Recipes of 2012!! I noticed a couple of months ago that I had been getting a lot of views on my site from Pinterest thanks to a repost by Dr. Lipman. This prompted me to do some research and I instantly fell in love with Dr. Lipman’s philosophy! He takes a holistic approach to health; he stresses that health is not just the absence of disease, it’s a combination of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. I couldn’t agree more!! Click here to check out all of the amazing recipes included in his roundup or to browse Dr. Lipman’s site and learn more about his fascinating approach to health.
Now, on to the recipe…
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’ve become even more cheesy and sappy than usual–I didn’t think it was possible!
As I was cleaning out the kitchen drawers over the weekend, I stumbled upon heart and star-shaped cookie-cutters. The odd thing is, I don’t even remember buying them. But, the fact that I found them so close to Valentine’s Day seemed like a sign from the food gods that I needed to put them to good use. I had already planned to make my new favorite salad with roasted beets and sweet potatoes, so I opted to cut the veggies into adorable hearts!
I know it sounds silly, but they tasted even better this way!!
Heart-shaped veggies or not, this salad is amazingly tasty! I’ve been intentionally making extra roasted beets and sweet potatoes as well as dressing to keep in my fridge so that I can toss everything together in a flash when I want an easy and delicious salad. You can use any kind of beet (although red beets may be pretty messy and will turn the other salad ingredients hot pink, too–but there’s nothing wrong with a hot-pink salad!) I used beautiful chiogga beets in the picture above and I love the various colors that pop in this beautiful salad!
Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Salad with an Orange Ginger Dressing
Author: Rachel Gutierrez
1 small sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large or 2 small beets (I used chiogga beets in the salad pictured above), peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
½ Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 cups (or more) of mixed salad greens
1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced in half, pit removed, and sliced into thin slivers
a handful of pecans, roughly chopped
1 orange, juiced
¼ tsp. orange zest (plus more for decoration)
1-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 Tbs. EVOO or sesame oil
a few drops liquid stevia (or 1 tsp. honey)
¼ tsp. sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the sweet potatoes and beets in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the veggies out on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for approx. 30 minutes, turning the veggies halfway through. The veggies are ready when they’re cooked through (you may need to watch them closely to make sure that they’re not over-cooked). Allow the roasted veggies to cool before tossing with the other salad ingredients.
Plate the salad greens and top with roasted veggies, leek, avocado, and pecans.
To make the dressing, mix the orange juice, zest, ginger, oil, stevia, and sea salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour over the salad and top with remaining orange zest.
One of my many informal New Year’s resolutions is to slow down and take pleasure in even the little things. I have a horrible tendency to rush everything. I often just want to hurry up and get to the end of things (ahem, school) and don’t think to enjoy the process. Well, by January 2nd I had already forgotten about this particular resolution. That morning, I rushed to the grocery store to quickly grab what I needed and sprint back home. After unloading my groceries into the trunk of my car, I started running with the cart to put it back, hit a bump in the concrete, and went tumbling to the ground, but not before flipping over the cart first. The result was a bruised shin and hands, but, more painfully, a bruised ego. Like any bumbling fool, I jumped to my feet to look around and see if anyone else had witnessed my embarrassing fall, and then I scrambled to get my cart upright so that I could run back to my car and hide my shame. Because I bruise like a peach, I still have a purple lump on my shin that serves as a constant reminder of the importance of this resolution.
This morning when I woke up, the sun was shining and I felt refreshed after a long night of good sleep. This time when I went to get groceries, I took my time and enjoyed the experience; when I’m not trying to rush things, grocery shopping (like cooking) is a truly relaxing and therapeutic experience for me. It actually calms me down. Not to mention, when I take my time, I usually stumble upon amazing foods that I’ve never tried before. For example, I recently bought golden beets for the first time and instantly fell in love
I’ve been noticing lately that there are a lot of people on Facebook posting something different each day for which they’re thankful. For example, today one of my friends posted, “Day 12: I’m thankful for a warm, dry home for my family,” while another posted, “I’m thankful for oversized sweatshirts and yoga pants!” Some of the things mentioned are obviously more significant than others, but I love the idea of taking time each day to give thanks for all of the things–big and small–that we may take for granted. Although I haven’t joined along with the Facebook posts, I’ve been inspired to develop a list of what I’m thankful for in my own life. I’ve devoted that little bit of time between getting in bed and falling asleep to thinking about my list and it’s amazing how happy I am when I fall asleep each night I haven’t actually written anything down on paper, but I almost think it’s better that way because my list constantly changes and each night I have to remind myself of everything I’ve thought of before. It’s also amazing how long my list has grown!
One of the things that always makes my list is this blog. It might sound silly, but I’m extremely and unbelievably thankful for the opportunity to meet and share with so many like-minded people. One of the wonderful products of this blog that I hadn’t anticipated is the many connections and relationships that have formed over such a short amount of time. So please know that I am so thankful for YOU! Continue reading →