Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pagan Lentils with Beets, Avocado and Quinoa

Many children have started school this week.  Mine are still at home which has been such a treat.  We are in the process of moving them into toddler beds telling me they are no longer babies.   Where does the time go?  Each day I take pause to appreciate them for who they are in this exact moment as I will never get it back.  I already find myself fondly viewing baby photos wondering where did the time go?  The days may be long, but the years are flying quick.  Most days we head to a park, museum or our local zoo to discover the world around us.  I think the train room at the Discovery Museum is Austin's favorite as he is a big train and car aficionado just like his dad and grandpa.   Olivia prefers the big parks like Mission Dolores where she can climb, explore and slide down the huge slide.

Today's recipe is inspired by the annual pagan festival taking place out in the desert right now.  Every year I reminisce with a hopeful thought I may make it back one day.  For now, I'm happy to be clean and cooking a meal I would have brought out there to share.

Here is what you will need:
4 small beets
1 avocado
1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups cooked black lentils
Parsley for garnish

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.  Scrub and dry beets.  Drizzle with olive oil in a bowl and wrap into two separate aluminum foil packages.  Roast until tender, about 45min to an hour (I use a fork to test when juices run easily they are done).  Let cool just enough to handle, allowing the skins to peel off easily with your fingers.  Cut them into 1/4 inch wedges and place into large salad bowl.

Rinse quinoa under cold water.  Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil and add quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Reduce heat and let simmer until quinoa is fluffy but still has a bit of bite.  Drain and rinse under cool water to stop cooking.  Drain and add to beets.

Add the lentils and avocado to the bowl and toss gently.

Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle over salad right before serving, and serve at room temperature within 2 hours.

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