Man alive, yesterday was not my day. I stayed up too late the night before (will I ever learn?) and told myself I’d hit the ground running in the morning anyway. Ha. I ate lasagna for breakfast, forgot several important items on my grocery list and fell over in yoga class. More than once. Maybe it was a normal day after all.
I managed to piece together this mega colorful beet salad with ingredients from the store and some substitutions based on what I had at home.
The original recipe called for two beets instead of one beet and one carrot and chopped mint instead of cilantro. I also toasted the nuts (it’s a pain, but adds so much flavor!) and tinkered with the dressing a bit, too.
The recipe comes from a brand new cookbook called Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci. Ali has a blog by the same name and offered me a copy of the book. The creative, produce-driven recipes all feature “spiralized” vegetable noodles in some fashion, from sweet potato waffles to celeriac alfredo. This cookbook is really geared toward low-carb, gluten-free, meat eaters instead of whole grain-loving vegetarians like myself, but I found plenty of inspiration in Ali’s book.
I don’t have a spiralizer (the contraption that turns vegetables into noodles), so I picked a recipe that didn’t necessarily require one (although, if you’re buying the book, you’ll need a spiralizer as well). I made do with my mandoline and julienne peeler.
All that said, don’t worry if you don’t have any of those things! You can make this salad with a sharp chef’s knife as well. (Or better yet, Charlotte grated the beet and carrot on her box grater!) This salad is as flavorful and nutritious as its bold colors would suggest. It’s a meal-in-a-bowl version of my simple beet and arugula salad that helped me find some much-needed balance during my totally ungraceful day.
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup frozen organic edamame
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- 1 medium raw beet, peeled
- 1 medium-to-large carrot (or 1 additional medium beet), peeled
- 2 cups packed baby spinach or arugula, roughly chopped
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or cilantro
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar
- ½ to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
- To cook the edamame: Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the frozen edamame and cook just until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- To toast the almonds or pepitas: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds or pepitas, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
- To prepare the beet(s) and/or carrot: First of all, feel free to just chop them as finely as possible using a sharp chef's knife OR grate them on a box grater. If you have a spiralizer, you can spiralize them using blade C, then chop the ribbons into small pieces using a sharp chef's knife. If you have a mandoline and julienne peeler (this is a pain), use the mandoline to julienne the beet and use a julienne peeler to julienne the carrot, then chop the ribbons into small pieces using a sharp chef's knife.
- To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified.
- To assemble the salad: In your large serving bowl, combine the toasted almonds/pepitas, cooked edamame, prepared beet(s) and/or carrot, roughly chopped spinach/arugula (see note above about leftovers), cubed avocado and cooked quinoa.
- Finally, drizzle dressing over the mixture (you might not need all of it) and gently toss to combine. You'll end up with a pink salad if you toss it really well! Season to taste with salt (up to an additional ¼ teaspoon) and black pepper. Serve.
Make it vegan: Opt for maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.
Make it nut free: Opt for pepitas instead of almonds.