Beetroot, Quinoa & Rocket

I always forget how much I love beetroot until I end up with little else to prepare for lunch or dinner. Then, I break into a sweat and wonder what on earth I can do to make it interesting. This recipe was invented on one such day. Now, I’m not for a moment going to pretend that quinoa is a cheap food. It’s not. That is to say, a 500g bag retails at about €7.00 but that bag gets you get about sixteen servings (4 meals of 4 servings). There is no waste and it’s full of various vitamins, calcium, folate, magnesium, maganese, phosphorus and potassium. It’s also very low in sodium. At least, that’s how I justify it to myself every time I baulk at handing over so much money for half a kilo of tiny grains.

Beetroot and walnuts are one of nature’s obvious parings – like garlic and mushrooms or potatoes and leeks – so, in the spirit of ‘If it ain’t broke…’, I included them in this recipe.

Beets on Leaves

Beetroot, Quinoa & Rocket

125g of Quinoa

300mls of Water

2 Onions (I used red)

Knob of Butter

50g of Walnut Halves

2 Red Chillies (optional)

250g of Cooked Beetroot

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

100g of Rocket Leaves (1 small bag)

Peel and chop the onions.

Wash the rocket if it’s not already washed.

Halve the walnut halves (so you have walnut quarters!)

Grate the beetroot.

Snip the chillies with a kitchen scissors.

Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold water.

Tip the grains in to a saucepan and cover with the 300mls of cold water and bring to the boil.

Once the quinoa is boiling, turn the stove down low and allow it to cook for another 15 minutes. You know it’s done when the little ‘tail’ sprouts out the back of each grain.

While the quinoa is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.

Add the onions, chillies and walnuts.

Stir them for a  minute or two, until they are covered with the butter.

Put the lid on the pan and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Then add the beetroot and stir.

Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Tip in the quinoa (which should have absorbed all the water).


Empty the rocket into a large bowl.

Pour the beetroot and quinoa over the leaves.

We had this with boiled and buttered spuds.  Yum!


Urid Dhal

With us still fridge-less (a new one is coming next Tuesday, so I’ll stop banging on about it!), I am in no position to cook double quantities of anything to store or freeze. So I cooked half the recipe that I’ve written here. It was sitll more than enough for dinner for the three of us.

This is another dhal recipe – but as we had no tinned tomatoes, it is a very simple one. I used urid dhal today, but green lentils would work just as well.

Raw Urid Dhal


200g Urid Dhal

1/2 Teaspoon of East End Turmeric Powder

1 Teaspoon of Coriander Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder

1 Small Onion

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Sort through the lentils – picking out any bits of stone, dirt and discoloured lentils.

Rinse the lentils in several changes of water until the water runs clear off them.

Replace the water with clean water and soak the dhal for about 45 minutes.

Change the water again and bring to a boil.

Simmer the dhal until it is of a creamy consistency (about 40 minutes).

Peel and chop the onion.

Fry the onion in the oil.

When the onion is translucent, add the spice powders and continue to fry over a low heat for another five minutes or so.

Add the boiled lentils to the onion and spice mix.

Stir thoroughly and cook for a further ten minutes or so.

We had this with rocket, rice and a good dollop of my favourite Indian pickle – tender mango. 🙂

More Urid Dhal