I bought the cookbook Feeding the Whole Family when Kea was born, about 12 years ago – and at that time we discovered and fell in love with both of these salad recipes.  Ever since, they’ve been our go-to recipes for potluck dinners, picnic meals in the park and just general salads to keep in the fridge throughout the summer to compliment any meal.  We LOVE these salads:-)

Quick Lemon & Garlic Quinoa Salad

1 cup dry quinoa

8 cups water

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/3 cup parsley, minced

1/4 cup sunflower seeds


2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbl tamari

Rinse quinoa with warm water and drain through a fine strainer.  Place quinoa in 3-quart pan and dry-roast on low heat (about 5-8 minutes). Stir grains constantly until they begin to change colour and give off a nutty aroma.  Bring water to boil in a large pot.  Add salt and toasted quinoa to boiling water. Boil for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain quinoa through a large strainer (in the same way you would prepare pasta.)

Prepare dressing and place in a large bowl.  Add carrots, seeds, and parsley.  Add cooked quinoa and toss well. (I usually reverse the order of this) Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Luscious Beet Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

4 large beets

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

1 bunch beet greens

2 scallions, finely chopped

1/4 lb feta cheese (optional)


3 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbl balsamic vinegar

3/4 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1 Tbl finely chopped fresh basil

Wash beets and remove tops.  Place beets in a large pot filled with water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until beets are tender (about an hour).  Set aside and cool.

Toast pumpkin seeds by placing seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Move the skillet back and forth over the heat with one hand; stir the seeds using a wooden spoon with the other hand.  This will toast the seeds evenly and prevent burning.  When seeds begin to pop and give off a nutty aroma they are ready.  Remove seeds from skillet and set aside.

To prepare beet greens, bring a large pot of water to boil. Wash beet greens by submerging the bunch in a sink full of cold water.  Shake off water and chop the bunch into bite-size pieces.  Drop greens into boiling water and let it cook for about 30 seconds, just enough to make the stems tender.  Place greens in a colander and run cold water over them to halt cooking.

Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Peel beets and cut into small cubes.  Squeeze excess water out of the cooked beet greens.  Put cubed beets, beet greens, pumpkin seeds, and scallions in a salad bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.  If using feta cheese, crumble on top.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.