Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh with Beets and Strawberries

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

My friend Danielle and I met for breakfast yesterday morning. It was our first meeting since getting back from Spring Break and it was our time to rehash and catch each other up on what has been going on. She went to Phoenix and had told me about her families favorite eatery called True Food Kitchen. By some strange coincidence I had just made a recipe from True Food's cookbook via a magazine the night before, so I knew exactly what she was talking about. My dinner, a red quinoa tabbouleh packed with golden beets, mint, strawberries, parsley, arugula, scallions and dressed in a bright lemony garlic dressing hit the spot and was just what I was craving after two weeks of vacation food. As luck would have it, Natural Health magazine profiled some of True Food Kitchen's recipes, courtesy of Dr. Andrew Weil who is the mastermind behind the restaurant.  I had trouble picking which recipe I should make because every single thing sounded mouth watering, from the buttery Miso-Marinated Black Cod with Baby Bok Choy and Roasted Mushrooms to the Fettuccine with Kale Pesto that I'll be making tonight. Danielle also said that on the day they were at the restaurant there were huge glass containers filled with grapefruit and mint infused water. That is my kind of place. So glad I get to bring a little sampling of it home.

It is so good to be home, but it's always hard leaving all that vacation behind, especially when it looked like this:

The beach. Our favorite family spot is Paradise Cove between Malibu and Zuma
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

In-N-Out, because, obviously.
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Our Austin Rattler Bike Race group
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

I love crewing for my husband during races
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Bananarchy food truck in Austin. Chocolate covered frozen banana rolled in coconut and peanuts. That's all I'm gonna say.
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Dallas with Craig and Sal

We even snuck in a Disneyland trip!

The California coast
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Pool time! Jeremiah learned how to swim!
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Viva Las Vegas. More pool time
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Disclaimer: If you live in Austin, Vegas or LA and I didn't contact you about our stay, please know the last week was completely spontaneous and since my family lives in the LA area we were completely booked up from the time we got in until we left. Plus we couldn't stay at our usual place so we were a bit out of town.

Vacation is awesome, no doubt, but it's good to be home in my own kitchen eating the food I eat regularly again. It wasn't all awful. I had plenty of green juices and smoothies from our beloved Whole Foods, and we tried an awesome raw food restaurant called Cafe Gratitude in the Venice Beach area (if your in the area, check it out, stat! They also have other locations in LA and San Francisco. Order the "I am cool" mint chocolate shake for dessert. It's like magic.) but there was definite indulging in our favorite whole grain pancakes with endless topping choices at CiCi's in Tarzaza, and I may have eaten a churro, a waffle cone filled with mint and chip ice cream and half a hot chocolate in the same day at Disneyland, In-N-Out is mandatory (if you're vegetarian like us, order a grilled cheese animal style), and we topped our trip off with a date to Firefly in Studio City (hipest atmosphere ever) where we stuffed ourselves with the most outrageous mussels (roasted in a cast iron skillet with butter, salt, pepper and lemon, served screaming hot) then keeping with the seafood theme, ordering the tempura fried lobster and fries with orange aioli for good measure. Then two desserts.

Let's just say that when I got home and read the headline

"Kim Kardashian spirals out of control as she gains 6 pounds in one week!"

My reaction may have been a bit defensive. Like, it's totally normal to gain 6 pounds in a week when you're pregnant. Completely and totally normal. Except I was on vacation, Kim. At least I can say that. Actually I wasn't defensive at all. I started laughing and pulled Jeremy aside and was all omigosh, I am on par with Kim Kardashian now and the world thinks this is the stuff that makes up spiraling out of control! Am I spiraling out of control? Did we buy enough kale?

...And then I promptly drove home and made this tabbouleh and felt so much better about myself. The end.

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh and Spring Break

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh with Beets and Strawberries
adapted from True Food Kitchen by Andrew Weil via Natural Health Magazine

serves 4-6

1 pound beets (red or golden)
2 cups red quinoa or tri-color quinoa
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of red pepper flake
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 ounces arugula, chopped roughly
10-12 strawberries, chopped or 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup chopped almonds or walnuts

Roast and peel your beets, then chop into bite sized pieces. Meanwhile, bring four cups of salted water to a boil and add quinoa. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until quinoa is dry and fluffy. Let cool.

In a salad bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Add beets, quinoa, parsley, mint, scallions and arugula and toss well; chill until cool.

divide onto serving plates and top with strawberries or pomegranate seeds and almonds (I just tossed these in with the rest of the salad, but if you want real crunch from the nuts just top it like the recipe states). 


  1. YEAH!! So glad you posted it! I will be heading to the store to get all these ingredients. Oh, and my mint and grapefruit water is infusing right now as we speak. :)

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