Quinoa Salad with Beets and Herbs
Making hearty salads like this Quinoa Salad with Beets and Herbs is a great way to meal prep for nourishing lunches and hassle free dinners during the week. Preparing lunches that are packed with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and filling protein will keep you energized throughout your workday. You can also have it made ahead of time for an easy evening meal when you get home after a busy day. The beets, tomatoes, and herbed salad dressing combine to make the most beautiful and flavorful quinoa salad. So if you need a little pick-me-up party at work or a healthful meal to come home to, definitely add this to your repertoire. This recipe is also perfect for picnics, family gatherings, and weekend brunch/lunch.
About the Quinoa Salad with Beets and Herbs Ingredients
Whole grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Quinoa is a seed that acts like a whole grain when cooked. It is higher in protein than other grains, with 8g of protein in 1 cup of cooked quinoa. It is rich in fiber, and vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of B-vitamins and also has vitamin E. It is especially high in minerals like manganese and magnesium, which help with many functions in the body including reducing inflammation and supporting the metabolism. It is also a good source of zinc and iron.
Beautiful beets have a sweet, earthy flavor and are a source of the antioxidant betalain which helps up-regulate detoxification in the liver, supporting the body’s natural elimination of toxins. Beets are a good source of B-vitamins, and are especially high in folate which is important for healthy cell growth and red blood cell formation. Beets are also a good source of potassium, making them a heart healthy food.
Tomatoes and Butternut Squash
Colorful veggies like tomatoes and butternut squash offer antioxidants and a variety of important vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene that has heart protective and anti cancer benefits. Both tomatoes and butternut squash are high in vitamin C, and vitamin A, as well as fiber and a variety of minerals.
Garbanzo beans are high fiber, plant-based protein and important minerals like zinc and iron, manganese and copper. Legumes are great for sustained energy throughout the day and keeping blood sugars in a healthy range. The high fiber content supports digestion with 10g of fiber, or almost 50% of daily needs, in just one cup. Including legumes in your diet can be heart protective as they can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Here’s a little more info about the health benefits if you’re interested.
Making a Balanced Bowl
This quinoa salad had all of the components for a balanced meal. When making a balanced salad or nourish bowl, you want to include a variety of vegetables, like the tomatoes, beets and butternut squash in this recipe. You can also add some leafy greens if you want. Next add some complex carbohydrates and some protein. Then finish it off with some healthy fats. In this bowl the healthy fats come from the salad dressing, but you can also add in some nuts and seeds or avocado, too.
Making the Quinoa Salad with Beets and Herbs
The Quinoa and Beets
The first step is to prepare the quinoa and the beets. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then combine the quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down to low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is fully cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and fluff it with a fork. Set it aside and let it cool.
Prepare the beets by piercing them with a fork, and then wrapping them in foil. Once the oven has reached 350 degrees, place the beets in the oven and cook for about one hour. To check if they are done, carefully peel back some of the foil and pierce with a knife. The knife should glide easily through the beet when it’s fully cooked. When the beets are done, remove them from the oven, remove the foil and place them in a large mixing bowl to cool off.
Preparing the Vegetables
Once the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and chop them into small pieces. Place them in a large bowl and add the butternut squash, quartered cherry tomatoes, and the garbanzo beans.
Making the Dressing
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Putting it all Together
Gently fold the quinoa to the mixed vegetables, and drizzle with the dressing. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately or portion it into containers to have as leftovers for the next day. if you try this Quinoa Salad with Beets and Herbs, be sure to let me know!
Quinoa Salad with Beets and Herbs
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium red beets
- 1/2 bag (5 oz) frozen chopped butternut squash, thawed for 2-4 hours you can also use 1/2 a medium-sized fresh squash
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried basil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the quinoa and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, over low heat until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Set it aside to cool.
- Roast the beets in foil for one hour then set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and chop them into small pieces. Place them in a large bowl and add the butternut squash, the quartered cherry tomatoes, and the beans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Gently fold the quinoa into the mixed vegetables, then drizzle the bowl with dressing. Serve immediately or portion into containers to take as leftovers.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.