Beet and Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a vegetarian meal.  I’ve been on a paleo inspired path for the last 9+ months and I’m pretty positive this is the first vegetarian meal I’ve cooked during this time frame.  Wow!  I started this blog as a vegetarian 6 years ago.  All I can say is I’ve come along way with my food journey!

These days I’m not bound by eating one particular way.  I enjoy trying different styles of eating, discovering what works for me and what doesn’t.  While I like paleo I definitely discovered a few things.  For one, I really do have to watch my carbohydrate intake.  It’s easy for me to eat too little carbohydrates when following paleo guidelines.  Yes you read that right too few carbs!  They are good for you people.  These days I workout regularly with weights and started to notice a decrease in my performance.  So I started to make an effort to eat more carbs, the good ones of course, and things balanced out.  I recently bought a book with an in-depth explanation of being a paleo athlete.  I haven’t read it yet, but I’m curious to learn more about this approach, even though I’m not 100% sure it’s for me.  Also when eating paleo it’s easy for me to start consuming too much protein.  I am always really good about eating a large quantity of vegetables, I love my veggies!  But since I like to cook large amounts of protein at once (to have for lunches and other meals) sometimes my consumption is too much.  And as with anything if you eat too much your body stores it as fat.  Always a lesson to be learned!

So I’m bouncing around eating foods I haven’t eaten for months, particularly grains, and decreasing my intake of animal protein.  I’m liking how things are working out.  I should point out I eat for my health.  No matter what method I’m following if any this is my motivation.  I want to feel good before, during, and after I eat.  I want to be strong and energized to have fun with my family, exercise at high intensities, and of course to feel confident in who I am.  This vegetarian meal met all my expectations, was definitely delicious, and also satiating.  The greens were from our garden, yippee!!!  But the what really made this salad was the fresh tarragon vinaigrette.  I am a total sucker for tarragon anything and the dressing was awesome with the flavor of beets and quinoa.

Beet and Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Yield: Serves 2

Beet and Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

A summer salad filled with crunch and color. Greens, beets, cucumber, snap peas, kalamata olives, quinoa, feta, and egg all tied together with a homemade tarragon vinaigrette.

Ingredients

    For the Salad:
  • crisp greens
  • 3 beets
  • 1/2 cup snap peas, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 persian cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, cooked according to package
  • 3-4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
  • For the Dressing:
  • small shallot
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4-5 tablespoons tarragon leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

    Make Dressing:
  1. Mince shallot to get about ~2 tablespoons worth. Place in a jar along with the lemon juice (~3 tablespoons) and lemon zest from both lemons. Let marinate at least 30 minutes.
  2. Mince garlic and rub the pieces with the side of the knife until a paste forms.
  3. Chop tarragon leaves.
  4. Add the garlic paste, mustard, and tarragon to the shallot and lemon juice. Mix well and season with s&p.
  5. While whisking drizzle in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Place in the fridge.
  6. Make Salad:
  7. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the beets and cook 20-30 minutes until tender. Rinse under cold water to cool. Peel off skin and slice into wedges. Place beets in a small bowl, season with s&p, and toss with a tablespoon or so of dressing. Set aside.
  8. Cook the quinoa according to the package. Once cooled add the prepared snap peas, cucumber, kalamata olives, and feta. Season with s&p and add a few tablespoons of dressing. Enough to coat. Set aside.
  9. Bring another pot of water to boil. Once boiling add the two eggs and continue to boil for exactly 7 minutes. Immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel carefully.
  10. Place greens in bowls and top with the quinoa salad and beets. Lastly slice the egg lengthwise and add to salads. Season eggs with a bit of s&p. Serve with the extra dressing.
http://mydailybite.com/beet-and-quinoa-salad-with-tarragon-vinaigrette/

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