If you want to implement more protein into your diet, try this bistro quinoa with beets and goat’s cheese salad to get more adventurous in your diet. Replacing greens with quinoa turns culinary classic into a heartier dish with a completely different personality. For the deepest, sweetest flavour, the beetroots are roasted rather than boiled or steamed. Plus if you like, you can swap the almonds for walnuts.

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the dressing:

16tbsp mayonnaise 

2tbsp white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

1tbsp extra- light cream 

1tbsp agave nectar 

¾tsp mustard powder

¼tsp dried sage 

salt 

For the salad:

3 medium beetroots, tops and roots removed 

1tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

560g cooked quinoa 

60g chopped toasted almonds 

45g currants 

salt

freshly ground black pepper

a ‘log’ of fresh goat’s cheese

1 bunch fresh basil (about 64 leaves)

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a baking sheet, lay out a sheet foil large enough to wrap around the beetroot.

2) Place the beets in the foil, and rub them with the olive until completely coated. Fold the foil into a parcel around the beets and crimp it closed. Roast the roots until they are tender. Depending on the size, beetroot can take up to an hour. When they’re done, remove from the oven and carefully open the hot foil packet. Allow to cool until they’re safe to handle. Rub each one with your fingers to slip off it’s jacket. Set aside for now.

3) In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, almonds and currants. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the beetroots in half from top to bottom, and cut each half into ½cm- thick crescents. Cut the goat’s cheese log into ½cm- thick rounds, and cut each round in half.

4) In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, extra -light cream, agave, mustad powder and sage. Season with salt to taste and set aside.

5) Divide the quinoa mixture between four plates. Arrange the beetroot rounds on top, then the goats cheese rounds. Tear and scatter the basil evenly across the plates. Serve with the dressing on the side.

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