"We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents." -Bob Ross
This was not a planned recipe. It was more of use-whatever-I-have-in-the-fridge recipe. I certainly didn't intend to turn the whole salad pink - and once I realized it was going to turn pink, I thought for sure it'd be too ugly to share.
It ended up not only beautiful to look at, but absolutely delicious as well! So much so, in fact, that I made it once and then when we ate it all, I made it again!
One of the big themes that has been coming up in my business and with clients is learning to trust yourself in the kitchen - to experiment. Trial and error. Before I went to culinary school, I loved cooking because it was my time to be creative, intuitive, and play. When I was in school, I had to follow exact recipes with precision and measure everything. I hated it! Cooking felt like a chore, and it wasn't fun.
Cooking doesn't need to be complicated - keep it simple and fun! The more you do it, the more you flex that intuitive muscle of the home chef that is inside you, the one who knows that a recipe is just a guideline for what someone else happened to like. There's no right or wrong. You can swap out ingredients, add more spice, tweak the ratio of ingredients, and make it your own!
That's my little spiel for the day - now get in the kitchen and challenge yourself to be creative, without expectations of success or failure! When you learn something, it's always a success.
Pink Quinoa! (with kale, apple, beets, and dill)
3 cups cooked quinoa
2 packed cups of chopped kale
1/2 apple, diced small
1/2 cup red onion, diced small
1/2 fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup pepitas
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
1.5 TBSP mustard (I used whole grain)
2 TBSP pure maple syrup (or honey)
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Cook quinoa according to directions. I made a large batch of it so I can't say exactly how much dry quinoa would yield 3 cups of cooked.
While the quinoa is cooking, place two beets in a saucepan with water covering them, and cover with a lid. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down to medium. Add the shredded kale to a medium size bowl. I like my kale chopped or torn into very small pieces - I find it more enjoyable to eat and easier to digest, too.
In a small jar, add all of the dressing ingredients and screw the lid on tight - now SHAKE! Set aside.
Once the quinoa is cooked, add it to the bowl with the kale. Let the two mingle together, allowing the kale to soften a bit. Check the beets to see if they're soft - you should be able to stick a knife into them. Peel the skin off, dice into small cubes, and add to the quinoa and kale, mixing together so that the quinoa turns pink. Once combined, add the diced apple, onion, dill, pepitas, and dressing.
Toss everything together until well combined, adding additional salt, pepper, or other ingredients as desired. It gets better after it sits for at least an hour and the flavors combine.