vibrant valentine's day: pink quinoa salad w/ beets, blood orange + chimichurri / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

it's funny, for two people who choose not to really celebrate valentine's day, the occasion is a significant date in me and frank's dating history.  we were friends for a few months before we began dating, and although he and i didn't speak to one another much, we kept in touch through facebook (i would often read and laugh at his rants about film vs digital projection, or how 3D movies aren't the wave of the future).  the following year, frank reached out to me on valentine's day to ask for a date.  while i wasn't sure if we would be more than just friends, we went out to a movie and a walk in central park a few nights later, and we've been together since then.  it was 2 years later when we celebrated our anniversary by going to the same movie theater and taking the same route through central park where frank asked me to marry him.  we're coming up on 5 years together in a few days and i can't help but feel super mushy and overcome with happy feelings about this life that he and i have together.  sometimes it feels like we were little babies then, and sometimes it feels like it was yesterday; we've grown, and changed, found new personal paths, and remain wholeheartedly committed to rooting for one another.  

speaking of rooting...this beet salad!  (<--- see what i did there?!)  these past couple of years i've shared chocolatey valentine's recipes, here and here.  this year i wanted to create something just as festive but in salad form - basically because i've been craving all the savories lately.  while i wasn't always a firm believer in beets, i've come to love them in almost any form (even tacos!), i also knew they would make my quinoa the most vibrant shade of pink/magenta.  because beets are so earthy in flavor i wanted to juice it all up by adding some acid in the form of some lovely blood orange segments, and a parsley chimichurri sauce.  it's all served up with some green sprouts, toasted hazelnuts and a few squeezes of orange juice; a simple meal or side to enjoy in the company of others, or on your own! :)

also, tiffany (from offbeat + inspired) and myself contributed some advice  on how to throw a gluten-free dinner party - it's over on the recently re-launched Epicurious.  i also have an interview of sorts over on Zeit Magazin, it's all in german, so google translate is a good tool to have here!  

have a lovely week! xo

vibrant valentine's day: pink quinoa salad w/ beets, blood orange + chimichurri (v + gf)

i love this salad, not just because it's super heart and tasty, but because most everything can be made ahead of time and assembled the day of.  or, assemble the salad (sans toppings) and refrigerate until ready to serve.  either way this dish is most forgiving.  

| serves 6 |

chimichurri ingredients

  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves and stems roughly chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salad ingredients

  • 3 medium red beets, washed 
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 blood oranges, peeled and segmented
  • juice from half of an orange, or a few squeezes lemon juice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • course sea salt

to finish

  • big handful sprouts/micro green
  • handful chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped



  • place chopped parsley, garlic, salt, chili flakes, vinegar, and olive oil into a food processor or upright blender and blend, scraping down the sides until thoroughly combined.  taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  transfer to a lidded jar and refrigerate until ready to use


  • preheat oven to 400° 
  • place beets inside a foil packet; prick beets all over with a fork, drizzle with olive oil to coat.  secure foil in a packet and place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake for 1 hour, or until fork tender.  remove from oven and let cool until ready to handle.  once cool, slip beet skins off, rinse beets and pat to dry.  cut beets in eighths and then slice into small chunks. set aside
  • place rinsed quinoa along with a big pinch of course salt into a saucepan; cook according to directions on package.  once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.   
  • in a large bowl, combine the beets and quinoa, add orange segments, chimichurri sauce, and orange juice (or a few squeezes of lemon juice); toss to combine.  taste and adjust
  • serve warm, topped with sprouts, chopped parsley, and chopped hazelnuts