Rooting for healthier eats

Caterer Tim the Girl and Chuck Hernandez of Arugula Catering started the non-profit organization EatSmart SA as a way to share with San Antonio their knowledge of nutrition and food preparation. San Antonio’s struggle with health is obviously a major issue, which makes eating better all the more a priority.

When Tim the Girl isn’t working as a caterer ( or giving educational food lectures and demos with Chuck, she can often be found at farmers markets looking for fresh ingredients for new recipes.

Check out this new recipe below, and look for EatSmart San Antonio on Facebook for more information.


Quinoa Salad with Roasted Root Veggies

At this time of year, there is an outstanding array of root vegetables and winter greens available at farmers markets. This simple recipe is a great way to combine them into a nutritious, delicious, and beautiful meal that can be served on its own or as a side dish. Feel free to play around with the vegetables according to your taste.

2 cups quinoa  (use regular, red, or black varieties — or mix it up)

1 red beet

1 golden beet

1 celery root bulb

1 medium turnip

1 bunch kale

5 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more for roasting vegetables

juice of one lemon

10 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley chopped, plus a few whole sprigs for garnish

1 cup feta cheese

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400.

Cook quinoa according to package. Be sure to rinse the quinoa several times before cooking to remove the saponin, which can cause a bitter taste.

Once cooked, immediately transfer to large bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, peel and cut all vegetables into 1/2-inch cubes, keeping the red beets separate as they will bleed onto the other vegetables.

Toss all the vegetables in just enough olive oil to lightly coat them and place in a large roasting pan. Put red beets in a separate pan.

Roast for approximately 30 minutes until just tender, tossing every 10 minutes. Take care not to overcook. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

While vegetables are roasting, wash and coarsely chop kale, removing the tough part of the stems. Heat a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once hot, add kale and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté until just tender, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

When all ingredients are at room temperature, add kale and vegetables to the quinoa. Toss with the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper. Top with feta and a few sprigs of fresh parsley.

This dish can also be served warm — simply combine quinoa, vegetables, and greens while still hot. Keep in oven on low heat until ready to serve. Dress just before serving. •

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