With the warm summer months fast approaching, this refreshing and nutritious side dish is bound to be a crowd pleaser at any cookout. What’s more is it looks as good as it tastes! Bright colors like this are a great way to get picky kids to eat something healthy! They can even help mix it all up!
For the Salad:
2 cups cooked quinoa
4-5 medium-sized beets, diced and roasted until soft (I suggest par-boiling them first to cut down on cook time)
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 avocados, cubed
For the Dressing:
3/4 cup fresh cilantro
2-3 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 tbsp agave nectar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil (may need to add more, depending on flavor and consistency)
Salt and Pepper to taste
- First, prepare the dressing so the flavors can bloom while you prepare the rest of the salad. Combine the cilantro and fruit juices in a blender and blend about 30 seconds until beginning to get smooth and combined. Add the olive oil gradually and the agave nectar and continue to blend until liquified. Add a dash of salt and pepper and place the dressing in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Prepare the quinoa according to the package and roast the beets until soft (you can also just boil them but I find that roasting makes the flavor sweeter).
- Allow the quinoa and beets to cool before adding the other salad ingredients. You can place them in the fridge if you’re on a time crunch.
- Once the quinoa and the beets have cooled, combine them with the diced pepper and avocado in a large mixing bowl. Remove the dressing from the fridge and give it a good shake to mix it all up again. This is where you want to taste it to make sure that it’s the balance you’re looking for. If not, you can add more oil, salt and pepper, or juice. I leave this up to the chef because some people like things zestier than others.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, mix together, serve and enjoy!