Quinoa with Beets and Spices

Grains are truly a delight just on their own with a bit of butter or tamari. All the same, delightful and healthy grains just invite themselves to be dressed up to go along with a meal. And this brings me to mention Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck. Truly a staple for any cookbook collection if you enjoy grains as much as I do, and a vegetarian looking to properly balance their diet ought to incorporate a variety of grains as much as possible into their meals. I highly recommend this stunning and creative book, complete with extensive descriptions of valued grains and helpful instructions on how to cook various grains contained throughout and tips on many of the additions to the dishes offered up — certainly a perfect choice. Lots of easily adaptable recipes with very little fuss, and your body with thank you as will your taste buds. Plenty of mouthwatering photos adorn the book as well that will be sure to inspire cooks to expand their approach to grains.

quinoa with beets and spices

Witty and informative, readers are presented with elegant and easy to prepare recipes for breakfast, breads, salads and sides, soups and stews, savory cakes, pasta, mains and sweets. Not all of the recipes are strictly vegetarian, but Ms. Speck does often offer substitutions for many of the dishes that contain meat or fowl that make her recipes perfectly suitable for vegetarian and vegans too.

I truly appreciate her no nonsense approach to healthy cooking. Raised by a Greek mom who always provided nourishment, and inspired by her German father, the author appreciates the value of eating whole grains, but she is no puritan. You can have your truffles and eat tasty grains too. "… I do not eat whole grains because they add so many nutritional benefits to my diet. Like all of the food spread out on my table, I eat whole grains simply because they taste amazingly good." That said, Ms. Speck does understand the value of adding whole grains to your diet and, indeed, what a taste delight to go along with your meals.

 Quinoa with Beets and Spices Quinoa with Beets and Spices
Recipe by
Adapted from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More
Published on June 1, 2012

Colorful and zesty, this simple beet and quinoa pilaf is delicious, wholesome and very nourishing

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and shredded
  • juice from 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Rinse the quinoa and soak for 8 hours or overnight in 2 cups of water.

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds and stir and fry for a minute or until the cumin seeds darken a few shades. Now add the quinoa and the soaking water, along with the salt and sumac if using. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt and garlic. Sprinkle with a dash of sumac if desired and set aside.

  • Once the quinoa is cooked, add the beet, lemon juice and cayenne and gently simmer for another few minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve, topped with a dollop of yogurt.

Makes 4 servings
quinoa with beets

More quinoa dishes you are sure to enjoy from my vegetarian kitchen:
Quinoa Soup with Corn
Breakfast Quinoa Porridge
Quinoa with Mushrooms and Scallions
Parmesan Quinoa on Sautéed and Lemon-Braised Celery Root

On the top of the reading stack: cookbooks

Audio Accompaniment: pouring rain


Spice up the Curry said...

this looks so delicious. nice recipe

Abby said...

What a great way to use beets! I've been getting them frequently in my weekly CSA box and am always looking for new ways to use them up.

hännah @ dishesanddishes said...

I am also a big fan of that cookbook! You've inspired me to try and get in from my library again, and in the meantime, I'll give this recipe a try!