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For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.
Today: A hearty beet-and-quinoa salad, spiked with pears and walnuts, that's all about moderation.
I developed a weird beet habit the first summer I spent in New York City. On a personal mission to visit as many farmers markets as I could, I set out every Sunday to a different tent-lined street and returned to my tiny studio sublet laden with vegetables. The goal was to buy whatever stood out to me as interesting, different, or particularly great-looking, so one of the first weeks I came home with a bunch of giant beets.
I don’t think I’d had a beet before that moment, and that bunch completely changed the game. It was all downhill from there. Just a dark internal spiral of serious beet addiction. I roasted them and shredded them and stained all of my clothing cutting them. I brought big tupperwares to work for lunch full of raw beet cubes and would sit in Bryant Park, crunching. It was totally weird. I went back to college that fall having morphed into a big ol’ human-sized beet.
Turns out you can have too much of a good thing, so I had to learn to cool it on the beets. Now I am an adult, or something, so I’m much better at moderation. I am learning to balance out my root vegetable intake with pears and walnuts and quinoa. And cheese. Goodness gracious. I guess what I’m saying is, keep an eye on me. This is an awesome salad and you should make it right this second. But if next week’s Hangry is about beets again, and so is the week after that…send help.
2 cups cooked quinoa (I prefer red, so the beets don't bleed)
2 medium-sized beets, scrubbed
1/4 cup walnuts
1 large pear, cubed
3 ounces crumbled feta
Salt and pepper
Photos by James Ransom