Alright. Confession time.
I don't always follow recipes.
In fact, most of what comes out of our kitchen is improvised... it starts with some kind of ingredient inspiration (which I ask dinner guests to suggest before they arrive), a vague idea of the method with which I will prepare said ingredient, which other on-hand things I'll throw in, and some kind of estimate of how long it will take.
It usually also involves a scrap piece of paper or the note-taking app in my iPhone, where I keep track of what I do and in what order, in case the chaos churns out something edible that we might want to repeat.
This week, another accidental batch of goodness. I should probably branch out a little and stop putting quinoa in EVERYTHING, but let's be straight up about this: few gluten-free grains are as delicious, filling, and easy to make as quinoa.
So here it is again, along with Wednesday's inspiration ingredient: BEETS.
Our dear friend Jeff - whom I know from this fabulous theatre company in Vancouver, now also a New York resident - joined us for dinner and was kind enough to let me know of his relative unfamiliarity with beets as we were planning dinner. Of course, this meant beets would have to be featured prominently. (Stay tuned for my next recipe... beets in dessert. It absolutely happened.)
Let's press on, shall we? I'm excited to share how this unlikely combo of plants - inspired by a recipe at Gluten Free Goddess turned a little on end - became a darn fabulous summer dinner!
Toss together with quinoa + the dressing outlined below... and enjoy. It's seriously yummy.
- 4 medium beets, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium sweet potato, washed and cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil + 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa + 3 cups cold water
- 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 cup chickpeas, cooked (canned works fine, just remember to wash them!)
- 2 loosely packed cups broccoli rabe, washed + thick stems removed
- 6 dried Turkish apricots, sliced
- pink sea salt to taste
- cinnamon to taste
- 1. Preheat oven to 400F.
- 2. Toss beets and sweet potato with 2 tbsp olive oil, arrange on baking tray and pop in the oven. Bake for 40 minute or until firm-tender.
- 3. In the meantime, combine your quinoa and cold water in a pot. Bring to a boil on the stovetop. Once it reaches boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, keep covered and let sit for 10 minutes.
- 4. Combine remaining olive oil, tamari, garlic, and vinegar in a food processor and process until evenly mixed. You can also finely chop the garlic and whisk these ingredients together in a bowl instead.
- 5. Heat chickpeas with tahini in skillet on stove top until sauce is evenly distributed and starts to brown slightly. Transfer to a bowl.
- 6. In the same skillet, add broccoli rabe with 1/2 tsp of water, cover, and let steam for 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat.
- 7. By this point, your veggies in the oven and your quinoa should be done. Transfer the quinoa to a large mixing bowl, pour in olive oil/ tamari dressing and stir to combine. Then add beets, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, broccoli rabe, and apricots. Stir to combine.
- 8. Portion out into bowls, topping with sea salt and cinnamon to taste.
- While the beets and sweet potatoes are baking, you can set the quinoa up to cook on the stovetop and prep your other veggies, chickpeas, and dressing. It's super efficient and means you can have this whole thing thrown together in just over half an hour.