Beet, Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

by cakeduchess on January 22, 2012 · 32 comments

Yes! It’s a salad recipe. I know you were maybe expecting another yummy cake. Are you in the mood for something amazing and healthy? I am!

How can it be that I’ve just recently fallen in love with quinoa? What took me so long to realize it’s nutty, delicious flavor.

How could I have had a bag in my cupboards for months go untouched. And when I did finally open the bag, it seemed the quinoa possibilities were endless. I’ve been cheating on my beloved pasta and risotto dishes with this wonderful and healthy grain. I just can’t get enough of quinoa.

I came across this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine I received in January 2011. It took me a whole year to finally make this recipe. I did and can’t wait to make it again!  Adding citrus to a dish in the middle of winter adds a pop of sweet flavor and a little bit of sunshine. It’s too bad I was out of avocados. The original recipe calls for blood oranges and avocados. If I could find some blood oranges, they would be in this recipe. Next time I make this recipe, it will include some ripe avocados. The last batch of kumquats I found at Whole Foods were very bitter. The kumquats I found this time were as sweet as honey.

If you add the beets to the quinoa with the other fruits, the quinoa will turn a lovely shade of fuchsia.  If you can find some lemongrass, I definitely recommend adding it to the recipe. beet-orange-kumquat-and-quinoa-salad-3
A light and healthy lunch to enjoy now while sweet citrus fruits are in season. I roasted my own red beets, but I think this salad would be fantastic even with golden beets.

*I roasted my beets with a little salt and olive oil like I did with my roasted golden beets. My mom just called me to remind me to mention how I made the beets because she said they aren’t glistening that much in the photos but they were very moist. So even though they weren’t glistening in these photos, they were sweet and moist from being roasted with a little olive oil.


Beet, Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad
slightly adapted from Cooking Light, January 2011


zest and juice of one grated orange
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh chive, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemongrass, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup orange sections cut in half
6 whole kumquats, seeded and sliced
2 medium beets, cooked and cut into wedges
4-6 basil leaves chiffonnade.


To prepare dressing, combine first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Set aside.

Combine 1 3/4 cups water, quinoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover,reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.

Combine quinoa, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, orange sections, and kumquats in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine. Add dressing; toss gently to coat salad. Spoon 1 cup salad onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1/2 cup beets.

I hope all of you are enjoying this month and for my friends in the snowstorms, stay safe and warm. Thank you for stopping by. Peace out. xo

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy January 22, 2012 at 4:00 am

I love this! Beets are on my menu every day, but combine them with quinoa and citrus and you have a winner! I love the quinoa in this as well, may just become my lunch this week :)!


Ann January 22, 2012 at 4:47 am

It looks fantastic! I’m new to loving quinoa, too and I’m surprised at how versatile it is! LOVE beets as well! GREAT recipe and beautiful photos!


Angie's Recipes January 22, 2012 at 5:09 am

The salad looks absolutely delicious with all the fresh and healthy ingredients.


Lisa January 22, 2012 at 7:51 am

What a gorgeous, colorful salad, Lora..The kumquat and beets with the oranges, basil and quinoa is such a great and healty combination! This is how I need to eat, and I bet you don’t feel one bit deprived!


Priscilla - She's Cookin' January 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

Yes, I’m in the mood for something healthy! Gorgeous salad and glad you found some sweet kumquats and have come to the quinoa side ;)


Maureen January 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

I’m so looking forward to making this salad. It looks amazingly good.


Maris (In Good Taste) January 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm

This is so bright and colorful with the added benefit of being so healthy


Lizzy January 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Oh, how I adore beets!! What a fabulous recipe to showcase them…mmmmmmmm. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend, Lora~


Jamie January 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Wow that dressing sounds fabulous!!! And isn’t it funny how beets and oranges go so well together? And quinoa – gee whiz everybody is using quinoa these days and it always looks so good! I need to get on the ball. But kumquats. Wow! Haven’t eaten a kumquat since I was a kid and my dad forced us to taste one… But this is a wonderful winter salad!


Claudia January 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I love variations with quinoa – and how fun to find unexpected ingredients like kumquats. However, exceedingly jealous of the sunshine on your deck.


Reeni January 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I am a recent convert to quinoa too! I can’t get enough of it. Your salad is like a breath of delicious fresh air on this snowy NY day! xoxo


Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} January 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I love this salad!!
quinoa is one of the seeds I try to make my family eat more than just 1 time/week and beets are sneaked into the morning juice almost daily along with some oranges.


Eliotseats January 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Just started enjoying quinoa!


Sandra January 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I love your salad..what an amazing combination Lora! I will have to try it soon because I love beets!
Nicely done on the photos too!
Wishing you great week ahead!


SweetSugarBelle January 23, 2012 at 1:18 am

Ahhhhhh! I have all the ingredients! You got me.on a beet roasting kick so tell mom you did okay ;-) looks lovely!


Cake Duchess January 23, 2012 at 2:01 am

I will!;)I hope you do make it and let me know if you like:)


Sarah-Jane - January 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

quinoa is something I’ve yet to try and yet to cook.

Your salad looks lovely though – I adore orange and beetroot. Currently addicted to giant couscous so may try a similar version with that


A Thought For Food January 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Love the vibrant colors and flavors of this dish! Something that makes these dreary winter days so much brighter


Kiri W. January 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm

These colors are so stunning! I love beets and kumquats, but I still haven’t gotten around to trying quinoa. Sounds like I am definitely missing out!


Junia January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm

i LOVE quinoa. avocado and kumquat sound delicious together. and i love how beautiful the beets turn the quinoa. :) have a wonderful week!


Nancy January 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I’ve been on a total tear lately with grain salads so this is right up my alley! Wishing I had a bowl of this for lunch!


Jeanette January 24, 2012 at 3:26 am

Gorgeous healthy salad! Love it!!


Farmgirl Gourmet January 24, 2012 at 6:15 am

Looks so good Lora! I am bookmarking for summer when I have beets coming out of my ears. (not really). :)


Barbara | Creative Culinary January 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Just gorgeous; makes me want to ‘give beets a chance.’


CulinaryCache January 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Beautiful recipe, this looks like a very tasty salad!


Sara @ Saucy Dipper January 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Cooking Light is the best. I have so many recipes from that mag in my arsenal. Those beets look tasty. Makes me want to run to the store to make some for lunch.


Yuri - Chef Pandita January 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Great salad. All my favorite ingredients are in that bowl!


Ms Bibi January 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

That looks absolutely yummy….I just bought some beets last week and wasn’t sure what to make. This is perfect lunch.

Bibi @ Frugal Wannabe Cooks


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray January 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Love the addition of kumquats in this gorgeous, bright salad!


claire @ the realistic nutritionist January 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I ate a jar of beets for dinner last night. Nothing else. I’m so obsessed with them now!!


livingthesweetlifeblog January 26, 2012 at 3:05 am

What a beautiful salad – - I love all the flavours and the colours against the quinoa is just gorgeous :)


Grubarazzi January 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Beets are so amazing fresh. and I love quinoa as well, especially if it is cooked correctly. Really lovely recipe.


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