Quinoa with beets, fennel, goat cheese, and curry vinaigrette

Me and everyone else after Thanksgiving: diet starts tomorrow
Me and everyone else after the weekend following Thanskgiving: diet starts Monday
Me and everyone else Monday: diet starts January 2nd 

The. struggle. 

This salad made me feel for a minute that I was succeeding. In fact, I did succeed for a minute—for one meal. I made this after Thanksgiving for lunch and remembered, as I do every time I have quinoa, how much I like it, especially tossed with a bunch of other things I love in a hearty salad. But unfortunately Doritos are another thing I love, and that's what I ate an entire bag of a few hours later. 

But my detox really worked for the two hours I let it. 

This salad is packed with nutritious (and seasonal) things, and quinoa really helps to transform any salad into something a little more complex and interesting. It's just got the best texture—not exactly crunchy, but almost snappy—and it adds an earthiness that I love.

Quinoa with beets, fennel, goat cheese, and curry vinaigrette

Yields 4 servings
3 cups arugula
2 cups cooked quinoa, lightly salted
½ cup thinly sliced fennel (this is about half a large fennel bulb)
¼ cup pepitas, plus a little extra for garnishing
2 oz goat cheese, plus a little extra for garnishing
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup curry vinaigrette (recipe below), or more if need be
3-4 roasted beets, thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine arugula, quinoa, fennel, pepitas, goat cheese, and parsley, and toss together. Pour dressing over salad, and toss to thoroughly combine. Serve salad in bowls, and then lay a few sliced beets on each serving. I like to sprinkle each bowl with extra pepitas and goat cheese, and then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. 

This salad stayed fresh in the fridge for a day, but if you wanted to make it further ahead, I’d just leave out the arugula and beets and toss those in when you’re ready to serve it.

Curry vinaigrette

1½ tsp curry powder (if you want a more pronounced curry flavor, up amount to 2 tsp)
½ cup plus 1 T extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 T honey
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
Good amount of freshly cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients and whisk vigorously (or shake in a mason jar) until thoroughly combined and oil is emulsified. Store in fridge until ready to use. Ideally, let it sit, letting flavors develop, for at least an hour before using.

PS: Kale salad with barley, dried cranberries, and goat cheese