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Kitchen Witch

Rosy Quinoa Salad

by Lily

Summertime has always been a time where I spend as much time outside as I can. The city where I live has summer temperatures in the 80s and 90s nearly everyday in summer. I'm outside in the garden wearing as little clothing as necessary and not spending much time in the kitchen during the heat of the day (which is sometimes until nearly midnight.)

What I like to do is spend one late night (or early morning) cooking up a big batch of something that can be eaten cold over several days. Rosy Quinoa Salad is one of those recipes.


1/2 cup quinoa
2 large beets
1 cup garbanzo beans, cooked, or 1 cup canned garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
3 green onions, washed and sliced thinly.
1/4 cup plain yogurt (either dairy yogurt or soy yogurt will work just fine)
2-3 Tbsp. of fresh mint, chopped (spearmint is nice)
1-1/2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Quinoa is an ancient South American grain that is high in protein and minerals. A food mainstay for the Incas, it has been grown for more than 5,000 years. It's creamy in color and looks a little like sesame seeds. You can find it in a natural foods store, most likely in the bulk food section. Once it's cooked it unfurls into tiny spirals and absorbs any delicious sauce you put on it. Be sure to wash it by swirling the grains around in a strainer under water before you cook it because it has a coating of saponin that needs to be washed off. This soapy layer will leave the quinoa bitter if you don't remove it first. Most quinoa is pre-washed somewhat when you buy it but I recommend you wash it again to make sure no saponin residue remains.

  1. Start a large pot of water boiling on the stove. Wash the beets and trim off the leaves (don't peel them!) and put them in the boiling water. Make sure there's enough water to cover them and boil them until they're tender. Depending on the size of the beets this could take 20-30 minutes or more. Once they're cooked, drain the water off and let them cool. The skins will slide right off the cooked beets. Chop the beets up into 1-inch cubes and set them aside in a bowl.
  2. Start 1-1/2 cups of water boiling in another large pot. Wash the quinoa in a strainer under running water for several minutes and drain it. Scoop the washed quinoa into the boiling water and boil until just tender, 9-12 minutes. As soon as it's tender, drain the quinoa and rinse it in cool water to stop the cooking process. It gets rather mushy if it's overcooked, so try to catch it right when it's tender. Put the quinoa into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. In a small bowl mix the yogurt, mint, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together to make the dressing.
  4. Now you're ready to mix it all together. Grab your favorite kitchen cauldron (a large bowl) and a large spoon. As you stir together the beets, quinoa, garbanzo beans, green onions, and dressing, it's time to add a spell:

    Bounty of our abundant earth.
    Luscious beauty of Summer's wealth,
    Spirals of grain and rosy roots,
    Nourish body, spirit, health.
    As summer sun shines I do believe,
    All we need we shall receive.
    Blessed be.
  5. Serve the salad right away or refrigerate it until it's chilled. Go outside and dine in the summer sun! The salad also keeps for several days in a covered container in the fridge. Enjoy!