Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Orange Beet Quinoa Salad

This weekend, a friend from high school was in town and came by for lunch. I rarely see her, but always really enjoy catching up with her. She is such a sunny and energetic person, and the day was bright and sunny. This punchy and flavourful quinoa salad was the perfect thing for the spring-like day, before being walloped by this week's snow storm.

The sweet orange, salty feta, and vinegary beets complemented each other nicely, and were rounded off by the more hearty and subtle red quinoa on a bed of baby kale. This dish was full of bright and distinctive flavours, which accentuated each other without being overwhelming and brought us both back for seconds. Oh, and my favourite part? My aunt gave me the beets, which she had grown and pickled herself. How lucky am I?

This salad is enough to be a full meal on its own, but since I had a guest I paired it with leftovers of my peanut tomato soup which I had stored in the freezer.

A pot full of my beloved red quinoa.
I also experimented a bit while taking pictures, and found this less challenging than my ill-fated asparagus soup photographic endeavors. I tested out Snapseed, with mixed results. I wanted to highlight the mixture of colours in this salad, but struggled to find the balance between brightness and garishness. Thoughts? Suggestions?


  • 1/2 container pre-washed organic baby kale (about 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1/2 cup pickled beets
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup brine from beets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Put kale in a large serving bowl, and place quinoa on top of the kale. This order allows the quinoa to absorb the flavour from the other ingredients.
  2. Add beets, with some pickling brine from the jar.
  3. Peel orange, slice each half length-wise, and divide sections. Add to salad.
  4. Combine beet brine, lemon juice, and olive oil in a jar. Shake to combine, and add to salad as desired.
  5. Crumble feta over top of salad. I am not really sure how one measures feta - I think I used about a quarter of a cup, but add however much or little feta you desire.
Salad with a dash of Snapseed


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