Quinoa with Beets, Chick Peas, Spinach and Orange

A lively gluten-free vegan salad that is perfect for parties. Serve this quinoa salad with a sprinkle of toasted slivered almonds- or if you enjoy a little goat cheese now and then, I think this salad would be delightful with a crumble of fresh, organic goat cheese.

Quinoa with Beets, Chick Peas, Spinach and Orange

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked quinoa
2 beets, trimmed and quartered
Olive oil
Sea salt
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons organic gluten-free Tamari sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar or local honey
1 cup drained rinsed chick peas
2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 fresh orange, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces

Optional

Slivered almonds or crumbled goat cheese

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

2. Using a fine mesh sieve rinse 1 cup of organic quinoa in cold water. Dump rinsed quinoa into your rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water. Turn on your rice cooker.

3. While the quinoa is cooking, roast the beets in a medium size roasting pan, by combining the beets with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast until the beets are tender (roughly 45 minutes). Remove the beets from the hot pan and set them aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skin. Cut the beets into bite sized pieces.

4. To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, orange juice, GF Tamari sauce, vinegar, and agave in a glass measuring cup and whisk. Set aside.

5. Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chick peas and baby spinach leaves. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Gently add in the cut up roasted beets and fresh orange pieces. Do not over mix or your entire salad will turn beet red. I think it's more attractive to keep the staining to a minimum.

6. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh goat cheese, or slivered almonds, if desired.

Additional Info:

Serves 4

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