I’ve been hooked on this Quinoa Salad with Beets and Kale for going on 3 weeks now. This power food salad is chock-full of nutrients ….and it’s very satisfying and filling. When I’m really hungry, I’ll add some baby greens and maybe some diced grilled chicken for a more substantial salad.
I like beets better if they’re diced into small manageable pieces… and when they’re mixed with green apple. The sweet, tart crunch of apple balances the earthy flavor of tender beets nicely.
I’ve never been a true fan of beets, but over this past year they’ve grown on me significantly. Not so much so that I can say I love them…but I can honestly say that I like them a lot…especially in this salad. Beets offer so many health benefits that I’m constantly looking for ways to make them so I’ll want to eat them more often. This Roasted Beet and Apple Salad does that for me. The apples do the trick.
I hope you give this completely addicting Quinoa Salad with Beets and Kale recipe a try. I’m completely in love with it and I hope you will be as well!
Beets – Beets have been shown to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They contain compounds that help protect against heart disease and certain cancers, and they contain lutein and zeaxanthin which provide health support with respect to eye health.
Quinoa - Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods on the planet, containing all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is high in fiber (which helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels). Quinoa is high in iron and rich in magnesium (magnesium is good for the heart and helps to relax blood vessels), Vitamin B2, and manganese.
Kale - Kale is high in iron, fiber, calcium (good for strong teeth and bones), Vitamin A (good for vision and skin), Vitamin C (protects immune system), and powerful antioxidants (which help protect against various cancers). Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food (which helps fight against autoimmune disorders). Kale also offers cardio support and can help lower cholesterol levels.
Apple – Apples are high in antioxidants (helps protect against various cancers and strengthens immune system), they help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Certain studies have shown that consumption of apples on a regular basis (an apple a day is not just an old adage) helps with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes.
Walnut – Walnuts have a high concentration of omega-3 fat. The omega-3 fat found in walnuts and walnut oil is not the same as the kind of omega-3 found in fish (salmon). The omega-3 fat in walnuts is called alpha-linolenic acid, the same kind found in flaxseeds. Omega-3s help lower triglycerides and reduce plaque formation. Certain studies have demonstrated greater attention (less “ADD-like” behaviors) in schoolkids when given omega-3s. Walnuts are high in protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
Quinoa Salad with Beets and Kale
3 large red beets, peeled and cut into dice
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into dice
2 cups sliced kale (stalks removed and discarded)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup raw or toasted walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the diced beets on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Fold the foil so the beets are sealed and place on a large cookie sheet. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a fork pierces easily into the beets. You want them soft but still a little firm. Remove the beets from the oven and set aside to cool. Add the kale, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apple, beets. Drizzle some walnut vinaigrette over ingredients and toss. Add the quinoa and walnuts and gently toss again. Garnish with goat cheese.
1/4 cup sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar will work but omit about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup walnut oil (if omitting walnut oil – then use 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon clover honey
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the vinegar, honey and mustard in a bowl. While whisking, slowly pour a steady stream of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.