{Dining in: Roasted Beet & Fennel Quinoa Lentil Salad}

“I’m too tired to make dinner.”

or

“I have no energy, so I’m just gonna raid the pantry and snack on random things for dinner.”

One of my resolutions this year was to put a stop to those excuses and prepare more well-balanced meals during the busy work week.

So far I’ve been doing well, the key to my success: planning ahead!

As my training increases, I’ve been getting home later and later (around 8pm – 9pm) which means saving time on making dinner is extremely important. I want quick, delicious and healthy dinners with a nice balance of protein and carbs to replenish my body after my workouts using seasonal ingredients.

I get my inspiration from the seasonal produce in my weekly grocery delivery, the Farmers Market, Casel Marche (my fave grocery store) which carries my go-to Blush Lane Organic produce and food magazines.

This week I was inspired by this picture I found in the January issue of Bon Appetit..

So this past Sunday I got to work and roasted a batch of pretty pink striped chiogga beets and a huge fennel bulb and roasted them on parchment with an extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. I baked them at 400F for 20 minutes, let it cool on the sheet and packed them up in tupperware for easy peasy salad toppings.

I’m not a huge fan of raw fennel, but roasted till they’re nicely caramelized makes them sweet and OH so delicious.

Other things I prepped this past Sunday:

  • I cut and deseeded a pomegranate. Want to avoid a huge red mess? I follow this method here.
  • Cooked up a pot of yellow and green lentils
  • Made a batch of protein packed quinoa (Tip: I added flavour by cooking it in a vegetable broth)
  • A jar of miso tahini dressing to use for the week

I also make sure to stock my fridge and pantry will these essentials at all times for easy salad or oatmeal add-ins/toppings..

  • black sesame seeds
  • hemp hearts
  • chopped raw almonds
  • raisins
  • raw cacao nibs (Scharffen Berger from my trip to San Fran)
  • raw cashews
  • dates
  • raw pumpkin seeds
  • raw hazelnuts

Here’s tonight’s combination:

Lentil quinoa pilaf:

  • 1/3 cup each of cooked lentils and quinoa
  • handful of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts
Throw all these into a bowl and stir in with a couple of tablespoons of miso tahini dressing:
Miso tahini dressing:
  • 3 tbsp miso
  • 3 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • juice of a lemon
  • pinch of indian spice blend (jamie oliver)
  • ground pepper
  • chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • water to thin out
Put all the ingredients into a glass jar with a lid and shake it up. If it’s too thick you can pop it into the microwave for 20 sec to melt down the tahini.
Toppings:
  • 1 grated heirloom carrot (ribbons created with vegetable peeler)
  • roasted beets
  • roasted fennel
  • pea shoots
  • herb goat cheese
  • pomegranate seeds
Dinner is served..and ready in a pinch. Doesn’t it look like something that belongs in a fancy food magazine?
And it not only looked pretty, it tasted amazing too 🙂

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