As the weather gets warmer, I opt for a light lunch whenever possible. However, after a workout session with  Tony Horton, I need a lot more than a serving of lettuce with some parsley sprinkled all over it.  😉 Last week I prepared a salad based on red quinoa with a bit more substance, but still compatible with the 90F day.  It turned out delicious!  It lasted a couple of days in the fridge, and got even better.  If you do that, just bring it to room temperature half an hour or so before lunch time.

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for ginger-orange vinaigrette
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 Tbs sugar (or less, if you prefer)
1 Tbs grated ginger
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste

for salad:
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 medium beets, peeled and cut in large chunks
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 celery stalks. diced
fresh mozzarella cheese. diced
walnut pieces, toasted

Place the rinsed quinoa in a rice cooker, add 2 cups of water and a little salt.  Cook, adding a little more water if when the machine turns off you think the quinoa is too crunchy for your taste.   It should be ready in 15 to 20 minutes.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and let it cool.   Reserve.

In a medium bowl, place the pieces of beets, add a little olive oil just enough to coat the pieces, season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the pieces to a baking sheet, and place in a 400 – 420 F oven to roast until done (about 40 minutes, depending on the size).  Reserve.

Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing the vinegar, orange juice and zest and the sugar, until the sugar dissolves.  Add the oil slowly to form an emulsion, and season with salt and pepper.   You won’t need to use it all, save the leftover in the fridge, it keeps for about 1 week.

Assemble the salad by mixing all the ingredients and adding as much dressing as you like.  Adjust seasoning, and serve.


to print the recipe, click here

My little rice cooker does a great job cooking all sorts of grains (and seeds, like quinoa).  I usually don’t bother with precise amounts of water, I try to add less rather than too much.  In case the cooker turns off but the grains are not exactly how I want them, I add a small amount of water and switch it back on for a few minutes.

I wanted to have this salad over a bed of baby spinach, but forgot all about it when I first made it.   On the following day, with the spinach, the salad looked really nice, but then I forgot to take pictures.   Such is life.  But, please feel free to  use your imagination!   😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Couscous Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts

TWO YEARS AGO:  A Simple Salad a la Jacques Pepin

(that proves that three years in a row I’ve got salad in my mind! ;-))

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19 thoughts on “RED THEME FOR A SALAD

    • It will be delicious with white too, I don’t detect difference in taste between them

      The other day I saw black quinoa and almost brought it home, but we are in the process of trying to use up what we have in the pantry, so I resisted…🙂

      the most important step in cooking quinoa is rinsing it well (unless the variety you bought is pre-rinsed, but they are not very common)

      Hope you will love this seed, it has unique taste and texture.


  1. What a tasty looking salad and I see that you used your rice cooker for the quinoa … great reminder! I must get that going… red quinoa is so pretty and what a great photo Sally; love how the beet is bleeding onto the mozzarella. Such vibrant colours! Now, I have to go check out Tony…🙂.


  2. Coincidentally, I have salad on the mind as well.. I think it’s the swimsuit season ominously looming ahead:D You know I love beets.. and would adore everything in this salad! Quinoa is one of my favs for adding protein to a salad.. it gets tiresome looking for meat dishes, especially when it’s warm outside!


    • So true! I happened to organize some magazines today and saw a photo of a beef stew on the cover of a Fine Cooking or some other publication… made me a little queasy – way too hot for that type of meal


  3. In a million years, I don’t think I would have thought to make a salad with quinoa. That delicious little grain is a favorite around here, though, so you can bet we are going to try this out. Looks scrumptious! Thank you for sharing.

    ~ Cara


    • Hi, Cara! I hope you try quinoa in salad preparations, I particularly like the fact that next day it’s usually even better, so I make a big batch and enjoy it several times.


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