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I want to share this recipe with you today because it’s a big favourite of mine and a great one to take to pot luck parties and BBQs. Very simple to assemble and you will love the earthy, sweet and aromatic flavours of the beets, dill and garlic.

Quinoa is the base for this warm salad, I use it a lot as it’s such as  a fantastic alternative grain on a gluten free diet. For someone eating a mainly plant based diet it’s a great source of high quality protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, including lysine and isoleucine necessary for the synthesis of collagen, connective tissues and other amino acids. It provides a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients and flavonoids and is also a very good source of manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, dietary fiber, folate, and zinc.

Roasted beetroot is so delicious, earthy and sweet, as well as the myriad of nutritional benefits it offers you. Their beautiful deep blood red colour is a powerful antioxidant fantastic for assisting in lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the brain aiding memory and concentration.

Dill‘s green wispy and fernlike leaves have a soft, sweet, aromatic taste and have been used medicinally and in cooking for thousands of years. Traditionally it has been used as a stomach soother but more recent research has proved dill to have ‘chemoprotective ‘ qualities meaning it can help neutralise certain carcinogens we assimilate in our bodies such as pollution and cigarette smoke.

The last ingredient which brings this dish together is garlic. Garlic is an amazing food and in a recent college lecture on super foods I wasn’t that surprised to see it there listed there among the blueberries and more exotic super foods. It’s main and most well known benefits being antibacterial and antiviral, but when eaten raw as in this recipe we can benefit from the antioxidant properties of the allinase enzymes which are otherwise destroyed by cooking.beet-quinoa-dill-salad3

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Ingredients:
2 cups quinoa
2 large whole beets or 3-4 smaller ones
few sprigs of dill – chopped
1-2 cloves garlic – crushed and chopped (depending on how strong you want the garlic to be)
juice of half a lemon
drizzle of olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

Soak the quinoa for 1-2 hours to remove the bitter saponin coating, rinse thoroughly, then place in a pan and cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until soft (10-15min).
In the meantime, individually wrap the beets in foil and bake in the oven on medium heat for approximately 1hr to 2hrs until you can stab a fork though and they are soft.
When the beets are cooked take them out and let them cool down enough so you can handle them. Peel the skins off with a knife – they should come off very easily, then chop up into chunks.
Mix together with the cooked quinoa and see it take the beautiful colour of the beets. Add in the crushed and finely chopped garlic and chopped dill and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt to taste.

Enjoy! x