Warm Quinoa Beet Salad

quinoa-and-lentil-saladThis recipe makes an excellent hot or cold side dish for a Fall party, picnic or game-day celebration. The variety of veggies bring to life the flavors, colors and nutrients of Autumn!

Ingredients for Salad

3 whole beets, well rinsed with leaves removed and reserved
2 cups diced butternut squash
2 cups baby carrots
1 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini squash, diced
1 large onion, chopped into 1 inch wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
3 cups low-sodium veggie broth
1 1/2 cups dried quinoa, prepared according to package instructions

Ingredients for Sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Salt and ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap each beet loosely in foil and place on cookie sheet. Prepare a second baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Spread carrots and butternut, yellow, and zucchini squash in an even layer on sheet. Scatter onion, garlic, and rosemary over top veggies and sprinkle lightly with olive oil. Place beets and vegetables in oven and roast 35 to 45 minutes, flipping midway through. Check beets for doneness by piercing with a fork. Beets should be tender and pierce easily. Roasted veggies should be browned around edges. When beets are slightly cool, gently rub them inside the foil to remove the skins, then dice.

Meanwhile, bring lentils and veggie broth to boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered for 20 to 25 minutes or until liquid is mostly absorbed. While lentils are cooking, prepare quinoa according to package directions. Chop reserved beet greens and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, sprinkle lightly with water and microwave for 45 seconds to steam. Stir cooked quinoa, roasted veggies, and steamed beet greens into cooked lentils.

Combine all ingredients for sauce and pour over mixture, stirring well to combine. Serve warm or cold.

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