Quinoa Pasta with Golden Beets and Greens

Quinoa Pasta with Golden Beets

Have you ever had a conversation with your significant other that went something like this:

Sunday, 4 pm, apartment is filled with beautiful sunlight.

Ashley: I’m going to go somewhere dark for awhile.

Me: Um, okay. Is something wrong?

Ashley: No, everything’s fine. I’m just going in the bedroom and closing the curtains.

Me: …Why?

Ashley: I feel like there is too much sunlight today. Exits room.

Does anyone else think that is strange behavior?  Should I be questioning if I am dating a vampire?  I guess I better wait it out in the kitchen until I am sure.  And since I’m in the kitchen, I might as well create something for dinner.  (Maybe with extra garlic? Just in case…?)

On a non-vampire related note, have you been composting your beet greens?  ‘Cause if so, we might need to have a chat right now.  Beet greens are the most nutritious part of the beet plant, even more so than the beet root.  Pretty cool, huh?  I usually juice mine or blend them in green smoothies, but I’ve been adding them to stir fries and pastas lately.

This pasta is a hearty, one dish meal that takes a little cooking time, but minimal prep time.  I love using quinoa pasta and golden beets in this recipe, but you could easily use any type of pasta and beets that you like.  Just don’t forget the garlic.  
Quinoa Pasta with Golden Beets and Greens
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches of beets and greens
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup french lentils, uncooked (optional)
  • 1 pound of dry quinoa pasta
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional)
Instructions
  1. Wash the beets thoroughly. Chop the beet greens and put them aside. Place the beets in a medium pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat for 45 - 60 minutes, or until the skins can be rubbed off with your fingers. (To test one, fish it out of the pot with a pair of tongs and run it under cold water until it's cool enough to handle.) When the beets are ready, give them a few minutes to cool, then peel the beets using your fingers and cut them into bite-size pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the lentils (if using). Add two cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Add the lentils and cook until they are done (but not mushy), about 25 minutes. Drain if necessary.
  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  4. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a pan over medium-low heat and sauté the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and beet greens and sauté for an additional 3 -5 minutes, until the greens are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and toss contents with the olive oil, pasta, and beets. Top with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, and a little nutritional yeast if desired.
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