Chipotle Taco & Quinoa Bowl

Chipotle Taco & Quinoa Bowl

Every day I pick my kids up at the babysitter after work and every day I get the same cranky question:

“Moooooom, what’s for dinner?”

They’re not even completely inside the car before they’re hounding me about what we’re having to eat.  And for the record, it’s not just a casual question.  There’s no “Hey Mom, how are you?  What’s for dinner?”  or “You’ll never guess what happened at lunch today!  By the way, what’s for dinner?”  No, there is none of that.  It is a daily query, raised with the explicit expectation that they will be disappointed, so it is therefore asked in a tone dripping with contempt.  Dripping, because there is so much disdain for the as-yet-unknown dinner, it can’t be contained by a simple question.  As they sit there in the backseat, every part of their being is exhibiting a hostility with regard to the dinner, that mind you, I haven’t even disclosed yet.  But when I respond with  “We’re having tacos!” then I get cheers and all is well…for the time being.

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Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad with Arugula Pesto

Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad with Arugula Pesto

Arugula pesto, you are one of my new favorite things.  

Sidenote: Arugula is also known as salad rocket, garden rocket, or simply, rocket.  Doesn’t that make you laugh?  What a funny name!  Apparently this name is due to arugula’s lightning-fast growth rate.  It makes me wonder if even I, Allison of the Black Thumb, could grow it.  But then, a plant that is fast-growing doesn’t necessarily make it an easy-to-grow plant.  And by easy, I mean that the said plant has to be able to survive and thrive through drought and intrusion of weeds, aka a general neglect on the part of the gardener –>me.  

Pesto is a genius creation, don’t you think?  Basil, which can have sweet, floral undertones is way different than arugula but substituting arugula is just as good.  Instead of sweet and floral, you get grassy and peppery, which works very well with the earthiness of roasted beets.   Adding arugula pesto to some quinoa and beets makes a salad that is a fantastic combination of grains, vegetables, and nuts.  I first made this with barley instead of quinoa, and I loved it with barley too, but if you are gluten free, quinoa works just as well as is pictured here.  

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