Eat More Greens, my 2014 motto, has become a little person sitting on my shoulder, saying “You could add greens to that.” This recipe is a perfect example of that. I first threw this dish together for New Years when I had R and C over for our annual Roast Chicken and Twilight Zone dinner (third year strong!). I usually just make rice to go with the roast chicken, but I decided to mix it up with our otter grain staple, quinoa. I added beets because we had them in the house and C loves beets.
The first time I made this, it was just roasted beets and quinoa. It was good, but something was missing. So when I was making this to share with you, I was thinking, what will make this dish better? The little greens cheerleader said “More greens!” and this incarnation was born.
Not only do you get vegetables and protein-packed grain, but when you make this, you’re using the whole vegetable. Most people throw away the beet greens, thinking the magic is only the root. Wrong! The magic is the entire thing! Beet greens have a mellow flavor, so they’re pretty versatile in any dish that calls for cooked or raw greens.
Maybe my greens cheerleader is getting a waste less friend…
- 3 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked quinoa)
- 1 bunch of beets with tops
- salt, to taste
- olive oil for roasting and for sauteing
- 1/2 tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 475.
Separate beet greens from beets. Wash beets and pat dry. Place beets on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap the beets in the foil and roast on a baking sheet for an hour. If you have larger beets (big than a baseball) you may need longer than an hour.
Once beets are done, open packet and set aside to cool.
Wash beet greens and de-stem the beet greens, keeping the stems in a separate pile. Roughly chop the beet greens and finely chop the beet stems.
Heat a pan to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add beet stems and cook for 2-5 minutes. Add beet greens and cook until wilted, about 5-8 minutes. Add the paprika and some salt to taste.
Once beets are cool, remove the skins and dice the beets.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, diced beets, and beet greens and stems. Combine throughly and add salt to taste.
If you want two color quinoa, combine 1/2 cup regular quinoa and 1/2 red quinoa when cooking. Who needs those expensive mixes, anyway?
Yum!! I recently roasted some beets, and they’re still sitting in the foil in my fridge…. Now I know what to do with them! Unfortunately (well, for this dish anyway) I used the beet greens in my green smoothie. It turned out not so green, and more brown because of the red in the beet stems… Though it might not have been so appetizing-looking, it was delicious! Haha