Setting gears for the jolly good days? Twinkling lights, aroma of baking cookies filling up the house or that of simmering mulled wine, chatter of the loved ones and the non stop eating. YES, the non stop eating! Preparing yourselves for that? I am!
I might have told you before that I am on a weightloss program for the past 3 months. Well, more of a “feel good” program! When you have one kid and then the other and then just some how life takes over in the name of cooking and cleaning and meal times, and laundry and scheduling, you suddenly realize after years that there’s one person who has long been forgotten… YOU! You forgot that your duty was also to take care of yourself and your health and the way you look and feel abut yourself. So 3 months back I decided to go back to loving myself. And slowly and steadily I am getting there.
Eating the right kind of food, in proper proportions has been a big part of this program of mine. Of course, like everyone else, I love me some good food! And I am talking about all the burgers and medium rare red meats and those cakes I can find. But honoring my body by also filling it with good wholesome, healthy food at the same time has helped me a lot. So while I gear up for some hearty holiday cooking and munching, I am also planning how to balance that diet with some healthier compliments.
This Beetroot Kale and Quinoa Salad is on top of that list! I am literally addicted to this salad and love it so much I swear I’d give up on cake for this….. I am serious! Try it and you will know why. The earthiness and mild heat of mustard, with the sweetness of honey paired with the punch of lemon just works so so well. And toasted nuts and sweet discoveries of grapes in them with the bitterness of kale, just makes it a whole heart meal in itself.
Ingredients: (Inspired by Playful Cooking)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 medium sized beetroot
2 cups curly Kale (deveined and chopped)
1 cup grapes (any variety) diced
1/3 cup almonds (toasted and coarsely chopped)
For the Vinaigrette:
Juice of one lemon (approx. 2- 2 1/2 tablespoon)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon shallot (minced)
1 1/2 tablespoon honey dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and cracked pepper
Clean the beetroot. Peel the outer skin. Rub olive oil. Cover in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven at 400 deg. F for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Take out of the oven. Allow it to cool before dicing into cubes.
Bring all the ingredients of the vinaigrette together in a mason jar. Tighten the lid. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds until all the ingredients are well combined. Set aside. Can also store in the refrigerator for days.
In a large salad bowl bring all the ingredients of the salad together. Pour the vinaigrette and toss everything well for the vinaigrette to mix well with the salad. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1-2 days until ready to serve.