Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas and Orange

Recently I had this salad from Cookbook (thanks, Ali!) that lingered in my mind for weeks. Couscous with chickpeas, roasted beets and bitter frisee. I was particularly excited because I’m very picky about beets and we’re always getting them in our CSA. I did a little digging on ye ol’ internets to see if any recipes out there were similar until I decided on one to try. Not only did it work out once, but I’ve made it three times since – sometimes as a side, sometimes as a main dish when I’m feeling particularly in need of a healthful meal.

This recipe uses quinoa instead of couscous, which is great because I try to eat as little wheat as possible as my body prefers it. And with the exception of the quinoa and chickpeas, I used all veggies from our CSA, so no frisee for me, but the greens used in this recipe can be substituted for really anything – this recipe I worked with called for spinach and I’ve used kale, chard and arugula. Also, the first time I made this I used a little bit of sweet potato as I had one little guy on hand. It’s delicious but not necessary. The recipe I found also includes oranges, which I think is the biggest winner in this salad. We had just been sent these incredible sweet pink Cara Cara oranges in the CSA the first time I made this that made the salad downright pretty. But regular navel or mandarins are great as well.

Let’s get to it:

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas and Orange
adapted from Gluten Free Goddess
3 cups cooked quinoa
2 beets, peeled and quartered
optional: 1 small sweet potato
Olive oil
Sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 cup drained rinsed chick peas
2 big handfuls of dark greens – spinach, kale, chard, frisee, arugula, etc. (I sauté the kale or chard a bit first)
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 fresh orange, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Toss the beets (and sweet potato if you’ve using it) with olive oil and sea salt and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until tender – roughly 30-40 minutes. While the beets are baking, make your quinoa. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa on the stove or rice cooker.

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, orange juice, tamari/soy sauce, vinegar, and honey/agave in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk. Set aside.

Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chick peas and greens. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Gently add in the roasted beets and orange pieces. The beets will stain everything red if you mix too vigorously!

Optional: top with slivered almonds or goat cheese.

Photo by Kate Miss, taken with Mamiya 645AF with Kodak Portra 160 film. 

Holiday Drink Recipes

I recently made a boozy cider for Work/Shop and got so many recipe requests that I decided to sit down and share it with the internet, as it makes the perfect holiday party drink. Or a just hanging out alone drink. No judgement. I also thought I’d round up the drink recipes I’ve shared over the past couple years as they are all party-ready.

Boozy Cider
Props to The Boys Club for inspiring this one. You can follow their original cider recipe (at the bottom of the page) for a totally handmade cider if you’re feeling ambitious.
This recipe was very off-the-cuff since I had to make a huge amount and didn’t have a recipe for a huge amount. If you’re not up for interpreting recipes or being intuitive/casual about ingredients, it’s not for you. It all fit in a 3 Liter air pot.
100oz of unfiltered apple juice (I used roughly 1 1/2 64 oz jugs)
6 cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp all spice
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp grated nutmeg
1-2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp cardamon pods (you could use grated instead)
1/2 C – 3/4 C maple syrup (the real stuff, please) alt: brown sugar or agave
peel of half a lemon (I used Meyer, my preference)

Combine all of the ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a low boil and let boil for roughly 30 minutes. It’s going to smell delicious and you will be full of the holiday spirit. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for at least 1 hour. Add the maple syrup and lemon peel and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it cool. Strain into another container (this is temporary) using cheesecloth and/or a fine mesh sieve. Rinse the pot out and return the liquid to it.

This is where you could stop if you have kids/pregnant ladies/Mormons who want to drink this. If not, pour bourbon, whiskey, or rum in to taste. I would guess that I used about 3 cups, but don’t quote me on that. If you add too much and realize all of your guests are going to have alcohol poisoning by the end of the evening, add more apple juice (always good to have extra on hand). I used Makers Mark, fyi. Add more sweetener if necessary. Reheat to a non-mouth burning temperature. Serve straight from the pot with a ladle or if transporting, use an air pot.

Other delicious drinks from my recipe stash:

The Bella Donna
Cardamom Fashioned
Herbal Lady
Maple Sour (my #1 go-to)

And because the Rosemary Lemonade Gin Slushes are amazing, but not cold-weather appropriate, revised to be a non-slush drink:
2 oz gin
juice of half a lemon (preferably meyer if you can get one)
1/2 oz rosemary simple syrup (recipe in the link above)
Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, pour into a glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig if you have people to impress. (Who doesn’t?)

Happy holidays, everyone! Stay tuned this week for a very exciting Weekly Music post.

Recipe: Arugula Walnut Pesto

Years ago, my friend Emily had us over for dinner and being the amazing chef that she is, wowed me with her pesto that she used arugula and walnuts in, instead of the classic basil and pine nuts. I’m definitely a classic basil pesto fan, but something about the bitterness of the arugula calmed by the smooth walnut flavor remained with me for a long time. At the time I didn’t own a food processor, so the recipe slipped from my mind for a long time, until about a month ago, when challenged with having a vegetarian over for dinner (I was vegan for years, but a TERRIBLE cook back then) the recipe popped back into my head as the perfect star of the meal.

It’s ridiculously easy to make, and you can basically eat it on anything. Just plop that stuff right on any meat, veggies, toast, GO WILD! I have a very small food processor, so you can double this recipe to have leftovers or feed more people if yours is larger. This recipe was enough to top pasta with for four people.

Arugula Walnut Pesto
2 cups arugula, packed
1/2 cup shelled walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 olive oil (extra virgin will taste better, but I never have it on hand as I cook with regular)
6 garlic cloves, broken up but not peeled!
salt to taste

Heat a pan with a small bit of olive oil and add the un-peeled garlic. You want to cook them until the garlic inside is soft – the skins will turn a golden brown and start to absorb the oil. It takes roughly 8-10 minutes. Remove the garlic, but not the oil, and let the garlic cool down. Add the walnuts and toast for a few minutes. When the garlic is cool enough, peel the skins off.

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Once well combined, slowly add the olive oil until smooth. Add salt to taste.

The first night I made it, I put red and yellow cherry tomatoes tossed with olive oil in the broiler for a few minutes and we ate the pesto and tomatoes a top angel hair pasta. It was dreamy.

Photos by Kate Miss, taken on a Pentax Honeywell Spotmatic with Portra 160 film. Holding a spoon and focusing a manual camera takes skills I apparently don’t have all the time.