Pink Quinoa Salad with Beets, Chickpeas and Arugula

Embrace Spring with this pink quinoa salad bursting with tangy flavors and vivid colors. The bite of arugula, fresh herbs, salty capers and lip-smacking orange vinaigrette pair perfectly with filling quinoa, buttery beets, and creamy chickpeas for a perfect Spring lunch that is quick, easy, and portable.

This recipe takes less than twenty minutes to throw together, and everything can be done while your quinoa cooks. With the protein from the chickpeas and quinoa, the balance of roots and leafy greens, and the hint of fat from the coconut oil, this salad doesn’t need any accompaniments to make it a complete, well-balanced meal.

If you’re pressed for time as so many of us are, pre-cooked beets are a great option that will shave a good forty-five minutes off the cooking time.

This salad is very flexible; you can add or subtract whatever you like. For a heavier lunch or if you’re serving this for dinner, the addition of cubed avocado would be lovely. As would thinly-sliced red cabbage, olives, grated carrots and/or cubed cucumber. If you don’t like arugula you could substitute baby spinach or swap in sweet potato for the beets…have fun experimenting! It’s hard to make this taste anything other than delicious!

I hope you enjoy this delicious, nutritious, gorgeously pink salad! Remember this recipe for those whirlwind days when fifteen minutes are all you have to whip up a filling and nourishing meal.

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Salad ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 5-6 small beets, steamed or boiled (I love these pre-cooked ones from Love Beets)
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • Small bunch parsley, washed and blotted dry
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice from half an orange
  • 6 tsp extra virgin olive oil

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For this quick recipe, begin by adding the quinoa and 1 cup of water to a small pot over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil before turning it down to simmer.

Let the quinoa cook for 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad.

First, make the dressing. Simply combine all four ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well until homogenous. Set this aside.

Melt the coconut oil in a small pan on low heat. Quarter your beets and stir them into the coconut oil, making sure each cube is coated. Let the beets cook on low for the next five minutes until warmed through. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Roughly chop the parsley and dill.

When your quinoa has absorbed all the water and is gorgeously fluffy, add the chopped herbs and the capers and stir well.

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Now assemble your salad. Place the quinoa in a medium-sized serving bowl along with the beets and chickpeas. Mix well.

Just before serving add several handfuls of baby arugula to the bowl and gently toss the salad to incorporate the leaves into the quinoa mixture.

Last but not least, drizzle the orange vinaigrette over the entire salad and mix well.

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Pack this simple, quick and flavorful salad for lunch on the go. You could take a piece of fruit with you and a handful of nuts to keep you full until dinner.

This salad would also make a lovely main course for an afternoon picnic as it packs well and will last several hours at room temperature.

Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, don’t forget to sit in the sunshine while you do and be thankful that Winter is finally over!

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