This is a totally vegan quinoa salad recipe, but if you enjoy a little goat cheese now and then, I think this salad would be delightful with a crumble of fresh, organic goat cheese. I've also served this quinoa salad with a sprinkle of toasted slivered almonds.
- 2 beets, trimmed and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari sauce, preferably organic
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or local honey, preferably organic
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- Crumbled goat cheese or slivered almonds, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the beets on a medium-sized roasting pan and coat with the olive oil. Season with sea salt, to taste. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast until the beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the beets from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skin, and cut the beets into bite-sized pieces.
Combine the extra-virgin olive oil, orange juice, tamari, vinegar, and agave in a glass measuring cup and whisk. Set aside. Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chickpeas and baby spinach leaves. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
Gently add the cut up roasted beets and fresh orange pieces. Do not overmix or the entire salad will turn beet red. (I think it's more attractive to keep the staining to a minimum.) Serve with some fresh goat cheese or slivered almonds, if desired.