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Greens, grains and roasted roots

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Balancing crazy, busy lives with the “oh, I want to eat healthy” mentality is often like tiptoeing across a high wire – with no safety net. Thinking back to a favorite quick, but not fast food joint, turned on the clever hash slinger light bulb.

Sadly, that restaurant has closed, however one stellar menu item was simply titled, “Hippie Bowls.” Said bowls were a cross between a composed salad and a layered casserole; assorted salad greens were piled with your choice of veggies, meats, tempeh and brown rice, then doused with peanut sauce or creamy wasabi. Scrounging through the kitchen, various ingredients were gathered, placed and combined to build a greens and grains salad bowl.

Greens, Grains and Roasted Roots Salad
(Makes 4 servings)

8 cups mixed salad greens, washed and spun dry
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups roasted golden beets cut into wedges
8 tablespoons chevre
Tarragon vinaigrette (recipe below)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

  • Prepare vinaigrette: Whisk together ¾ cup olive oil, ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon. Set aside.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees; scrub beets, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap in tin foil and roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until done. Allow to cool to the touch. Slice into wedges and dress with 1 ½ tablespoons vinaigrette.
  • Place stock in a 4 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Add quinoa, reduce heat and simmer approximately 20 minutes. When the quinoa is done the liquid will be absorbed and the kernel will be visible. Cool slightly.
  • To assemble the salad bowl, place 2 cups of greens on each plate or wide pasta bowl. Top with one cup of warm quinoa, ½ cup beet wedges and 2 tablespoons of chevre. Generously drizzle with tarragon vinaigrette. Season with salt and cracked pepper.
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