Saturday, January 21, 2012

Big Beats Salad

I've spent a lot of time over the past few months trying to live well, eat well and generally build the best me. The more time I spend on it the more I realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg; but as with all research projects, if you never get the chance to present your findings, what was the point in doing the research in the first place.

The Good Stuff. 
Try adding the following items into your diet, they're jam packed with good stuff and make much better ingredients/snacks than the usual bag-o chips or chocolate bar.

Chia Seed: 
I love chia for a lot of reasons, it's a very versatile ingredient, has relatively no distinct taste and is loaded with things that are good for you. I add it to both fruit smoothies and salads, it's in my granola and pretty much anything else I can add it to. Here's the down and dirty on chia.

I know I've gone on about quinoa in the past but it truly is one of the best alternatives to pasta and rice; quinoa doesn't come with all of the starchy regret and is loaded with protein. The recipe I've presented below includes many of my favorites in one place and is yet another quinoa recipe on this site.

Sure beets aren't new or unique but they're good for you and very easy to prepare. They're sweet, delicious, great hot or cold and can be purchased at any grocery store.

Not only do pecans taste delicious, they're also very good for you. Read up here (Pecan Nutrition).

Try putting all of the above, and more, together here.

Big Beats Salad: 

4 large beets
1 cup of quinoa, red, black, whatever... it doesn't matter.
3 green onions
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons chia seed
1/4 cup small swiss cheese cubes
1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup apple cider / white wine vinegar, either works
good splash of white wine
1 tablespoon ground pepper

Boil your beets until they are thoroughly cooked through, cook times vary depending on size, if you can spear them on a fork and they EASILY slide off then they're done. I usually take the beets and cut them down into quarters to help them boil faster. No need to remove the skin before boiling, it's actually easier to do after they're cooked and after they've cooled. Skin your cooked beets, cut into small cubes.

Mix 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups water, cook until the quinoa starts to become translucent, remove from heat once cooked, leave the lid on and let cool.

Let rest, refrigerate the warm beets and quinoa, if you add in the other ingredients when these two are hot your cheese will melt and string, dried fruits will plump, world as we know it will end. If that's what you want then giv'er, it's not always fun to follow the directions...

Chop up your onions, pecans, cube the cheese. Mix everything in a large bowl then add your wet dressing ingredients, if it needs more bitter add more vinegar, if it's to dry more olive oil and of course more pepper means more peppery spice. Super simple, super good for you, super easy.


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