Beet, Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

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

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