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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweets and Beets and Tahini Silan Dressing

It's that time of year, the annual 9 day pot luck luncheon when a whole bunch of us women get together to eat, shmooze and try out out each others dairy dishes. Every year I agonize about what to make and inevitably I almost always end up making some form of a salad. Now, I know quinoa is overdone, or at least I feel it is overdone, but I had lots of it, it is super healthy and I find it a challenge to come up with new ways to use it. This is the salad I made. Roasted ruby red beets and sweet potatoes fresh from the Farmer's market, a little fresh herbs and a delicious tahini and silan dressing. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Silan is date honey, a sweetener made from dates that is readily available in Israel and starting to find its way to America as well. It has a distinctively different taste than honey or maple syrup and a beautiful dark color but in a pinch if you can't find it then substitute maple syrup or agave nectar to sweeten the dressing. Enjoy!




2 Tbl oil
2 cups quinoa
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
2 medium beets, peeled and cut into cubes
3 Tablespoons oil
3 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Rinse the quinoa very well under running water for at least a minute. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a pot and add the quinoa. Stir for a minute to toast the quinoa slightly. Add the stock or if you are using water add the water and season it with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Once the water is absorbed close the flame and leave the pot covered to let the quinoa steam. Uncover after 5 minutes, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool.

Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, preheat your oven to 375. On a baking tray place the cubed beets and sweet potatoes. Drizzle on the 3 Tablespoons oil, season with salt and pepper, mix and place in the oven. Roast the vegetables until they are easily pierced with a knife (the beets will be a bit firmer than the sweet potatoes).

To assemble, place the quinoa in a bowl. Top with the scallions, roasted beets and sweets. Drizzle the dressing over it all and garnish with the sesame seeds and chopped parsley.

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup tahini paste
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 large clove garlic
4 Tablespoons Silan (or maple syrup or agave nectar)
1/3-1/2 cup warm water as needed

Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic and silan. The mixture will be thick and a little hard to mix. Slowly mix in the water adding as much as needed until you achieve the desired consistency (you should be able to drizzle it over the salad.)



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