I was recently told about something called Stehdhal Syndrome. It is a condition where you become physically moved to tears, or a fluttering of the heart by beautiful things. I believe I have the food related version of this syndrome. When I took a bite of this salad, I seriously almost cried. Now, Im not saying this is the absolute best quinoa salad you could ever have but, its really really good.
Maybe it was the beets. I've had beets as a child, out of a can. What a sad way to be exposed so such a wonderfully delicious root vegetable. I saw how Abby had become smitten with beets, and made a mental note to pick up some fresh ones from Stanley's. I brought a few home and forgot about them until this weekend when I needed to throw something together for a bbq. The house was hot. We don't have air conditioning so that last thing I wanted to do was bake a cake, or a pie (never thought Id ever say that!). I rummaged around and saw my beets. I wondered what they tasted like raw.
Lord, thank you for beets. I took one bite of this delicious beet and I was giddy. So earthy! So dark! So sweet! Amazing! What can I put with this!? I pulled out my trusty Flavor Bible, a gift from my father who always encourages my cooking endeavors, and saw that beets pair well with salty cheeses, sweet or tart fruits, and a few kinds of nuts, balsamic vinegar, and herbs like tarragon and mint. I got to thinking and looking in my pantry and came up with this lovely salad. It turns out to be strikingly beautiful as well, my i phone certainly doesn't do it justice. The lighter colored quinoa soaks up the beet juice and turns a gorgeous soft magenta, which is nice next to the bright green apple skins.
Orange Scented Quinoa Salad with Beets & Apples
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2 cups water
2 Beets, peeled and cubed
2 Granny Smith Apples, cubed
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of queso fresco, crumbled.
A few sprigs of peppermint
1. Let the quinoa soak for about 20 minutes in cold water. Rinse well.
2. Cook the quinoa according to your preferred method.
3. Let the quinoa cool, you want it cold.
4. Mix the juice of the orange with the apple cider vinegar, a little bit of the mint.
(this is the "dressing")
5. Toss the quinoa with the dressing
6. Incorporate the apples and beets.
7. Add the queso fresco, crumbled on top
8. Garnish with remaining mint.
For those of you who are not used to eating these sort of dishes, I encourage you to try it. It is such a cool sensation of different textures and flavors. I try to incorporate the occasional raw recipe into our diets, just because it's so good nutritionally speaking, and its just fun. Raw beets are especially good for new to be mommies or women trying to get pregnant (they are really good for the baby too), they are high in folic acid, and cooking the beets depletes that. They also contain vitamin B6 and vitamin C. You can read more about how great beets are here. So, just from a nutritional standpoint, you should try it!!
Thanks for reading.