Last year before we left Switzerland, I took the train west to visit a good friend in the Swiss Alps. She's a fellow health coach but also a seasoned ski and trekking guide, yoga instructor, and massage therapist. It was a visit I'll always remember. Between the quality time we had to catch up on all things coaching, health, and food-related, she treated me to a private day trek and picnic in the Alps (just like she does for her group treks), a Thai massage, and of course her delicious meals.
When I was small, I loved staying over at close family and friend's homes. In fact, whether at home or away, I would excitedly anticipate breakfast, asking what we'd be having the night before . As an adult I still enjoy being a guest. Though I refrain now from asking about breakfast the night before, I love observing the everyday rhythms in other people's kitchen. We don't get this insight everyday in our own kitchens, so it's refreshing and inspiring to be a guest in someone else's routine, and watch how they think about food and assemble a meal, breakfast or otherwise.
One of the dinners my friend in Switzerland made us was a beet and quinoa salad with pea pesto, hummus fritters, greens, and a homemade French vinaigrette. It was a gorgeous meal that inspired today's bowl. Here, chopped beets are cooked directly in the quinoa for ease (and to give the entire salad a pink hue), then tossed with red onion for a fresh bite and a simple French vinaigrette for brightness. Individual bowls are topped with a generous scoop of sweet, nutty, and creamy pea pesto.
We think this one's a winner, and I hope you do too!
Beet & Quinoa Bowls with Pea Pesto
- 1 cup (195 gr) quinoa
- 2 small beets (200 gr.)
- 2 cups (500 ml) water (1 1/2 cups / 370 ml if quinoa soaked)
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- Pea Pesto (recipe below)
- French Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- Scrub and rinse beets well. Chop into 1/2 in (1 cm) pieces. (I keep skin on if it's smooth and blemish free.)
- Bring quinoa, beets, water and a big pinch salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 15-16 minutes, until water is just absorbed. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes to steam. This will also help release any beets stuck on the bottom.
- Fluff with a fork, stir through sliced red onion and 3/4s of the vinaigrette. Spoon into bowls and top with pesto.
Note: Recipe calls for basil, but mint, cilantro or any combination of the three also work.
- 1 1/2 cups (250 gr) frozen peas, defrosted
- 1/2 cup (70 gr) toasted almonds
- Juice from 1/2 - 1 lemon
- Small bunch (15 gr) basil
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- Heaped 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. water (or more if thinner consistency desired)
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, or to desired consistency. If using a small processor, do this in two batches.
Note: I toss 3/4 of the vinaigrette with the beets and quinoa and serve the rest at the table to drizzle over individual bowls. This makes just enough for these quinoa bowls. Double if you'd like extra to use throughout the week.
- 6 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine.