Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Beet Greens, Chickpeas, and Mango-Orange Dressing

(*It took me far too long to learn how to pronounce quinoa, and I won't let the same thing happen to you, hence the "keenwah" repetitiveness in this update. I've got your back.)

Whew boy, have these past couple of days been long. Em-PHAH-sis on the long. Getting home after a day of working/working out/wedding planning (love those W's), makes me want to do nothing but sit and eat lime chips with my main squeeze.

But, I am a big girl (sometimes), and can pull myself together enough for a nice inviting bowl of quinoa (keenwah).

I've grown to really dig this seed. It's the only one out there that is a complete protein by nature (making it superb for vegetarians), and it melds with any flavor imaginable. From what I've witnessed. Maybe not tobacco chew. Sorry, I'll help you get your appetite back, keep reading.

We got our Full Circle Delivery on Monday, creating a massive overflow of green in our crisper. It made me want to incorporate more ingredients into tonight's dinner, but it just didn't seem right. I wanted the quinoa to be well-balanced and not hiding in the shadows of every vegetable I could get my hands on.

I had never cooked beet greens before, and really wanted to experiment. I also knew I needed a little extra protein, mainly just because I want bigger guns.

The dressing recipe comes straight from Karina at Gluten Free Goddess. I've had it starred for awhile, and am thrilled to have another slinky dress to put on my quinoa (keenwah). GFG has my heart - she has an abundance of vegan and vegetarian recipes, all being comprehensive and make you want to yell "I CAN MAKE THIS!" The goddess ain't trickin' you.

Quinoa (keenwah!) Salad with Beet Greens, Chickpeas, and Orange Dressing
Makes about 4 cups

To prepare the quinoa:

3 cups rinsed quinoa
3 cups water

Combine rinsed quinoa and water into one pot; heat over high heat on the stove until water begins to boil; decrease heat to low and cover until the water is gone; take off stove and fluff with a fork.

To prepare the mango-orange dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mango-orange juice
2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar

Whisk all ingredients together in a (preferably) pourable measuring cup and set aside.

To prepare the beet greens:

about 8 leaves of beet greens - tough interior stem removed and torn to bite-sized pieces
a bowl of ice cold water

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil on the stove; add the beet green bits for for 2-3 minutes until they are tender; drain and immediately place in ice cold water to keep them from cooking any longer. (You just blanched a vegetable!) Cut or tear the leaves into smaller, pieces.
To prepare the whole shebang:
Mix the warm quinoa, beet greens, garbanzo beans, and cranberries all together in a bowl.
Pour the orange dressing on and mix once more, until it's all enveloped together.

Dig in!

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