Beautifully Bright

[donotprint] When you have something beautiful and bright to look forward to for lunch it makes working from early morning that much easier.

This salad came about for a number of reasons:

  • I hadn’t had quinoa in what seemed like forever
  • There was a delicious perfectly ripe mango sitting waiting to be eaten
  • A bag of raw beets were taking up much needed room in the fridge (I put everything in the fridge for fear it might go off before I get a chance to eat it)

I’ve been neglecting one of my favourite grains of late, brown rice has been taking it’s place, and when I decided to opt for quinoa I was pretty sure I had a full bag stored away…but it was no where to be found. Luckily enough I had just enough left for one serving in a crinkled up bag found underneath a pile of other grains, dried fruits, seeds and nuts.

I went with roasting the beetroot; the easiest, cleanest way to prepare them, unless you fancy eating them raw (not something I’m completely opposed to). The protein rich quinoa got a extra hit of protein for generous sprinkling of cooked chickpeas, straight from the can as you do; us working women can’t do it all from scratch all of the time!

The contrast of colours was beautifully bright when I got around to assembling the components in work. I packed the beets up separately to avoid a one big plateful of purple; I know it would have tasted the same, but I had an image in my head I needed to create!

Mango, Beets, Quinoa, Chickpeas, all pulled together by a generous helping of fresh mint and a simple balsamic olive oil dressing. I might have gone a little overboard on the portion side…it could definitely probably serve two, but I managed to clean my plate.

The raw, fresh, juicy,roasted and fluffy combination was incredible. It was one of those salads that I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from, I didn’t know what to expect; I knew the individual pieces could pack a punch on their own (there may have been a little nibbling prior to lunch time…), but in terms of the amalgamation of them I was just holding out for something a little tastier than merely edible.

Completely taken aback and more than satisfied with my experimental salad; I love it when things come together! [/donotprint]

Roasted Beet, Mango, Quinoa Salad

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Servings – 1

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 small beets quartered
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small mango peeled and diced
  • 45g (1.5oz) uncooked cream quinoa + 250ml (1/2 cup) cold water
  • 3 tbsp cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F).
  2. Place beet on a non stick baking tray, drizzle with teaspoon of olive oil and rub to coat.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes until tender (a toothpick or skewer should be inserted easily).
  4. Cover quinoa with water, bring the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
  5. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic, pepper and salt.
  6. Combine all mango, quinoa, beet and chickpeas, pour over dressing and toss/stir to combine. Serve topped with fresh mint.

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