Quinoa Salad with Blood Orange, Clementine, Beet and Kumquat

Vibrant and Healthful (photo on foodgawker.com)
Vibrant and Healthful
(photo on foodgawker.com)
This recipe is featured on the Oranges(click), 
Instagram(click) and Whole Grains Salad (click) Feeds 
on the feedfeed website. 

Quinoa Salad with Blood Orange, Clementine, Beet and Kumquat. Not only does this salad look electrifying, but it also erupts with flavors of fresh citrus, cilantro and chives. This robust grain salad is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, perfect for a healthy jump start to the Spring season.

Fresh is Best
Fresh is Best

While perusing the produce section in Wegmans I was thrilled to find Kumquats. I had absolutely no idea what they were or how they tasted but I had to try them. In my last few posts I mentioned that I was reading the food photography book “Plate to Pixel”. Well, Helene Dujardin, the author, took a gorgeous photo with kumquats flowing out of a bowl. Their bright orange hue and petite size intrigued my senses. I immediately searched online for recipes that incorporated this runty fruit.

At least I think it’s a fruit.

Ultimately, I came across this recipe from Cooking Light. Naturally I tweaked it a bit, as I do with all recipes, so that I could make it my own. I’m a rebel like that.



1/4 cup chopped chives

2 teaspoons grated blood orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh clementine juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 and 3/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 blood orange, sliced in circles
1 clementine, sliced in circles
5 kumquats, seeded and sliced
2 medium beets, peeled and cut into circles or wedges
cilantro & chive for garnish


  1. Whisk all Dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Boil small pot of water with salt. Blanch the beets for 3-5 minutes. Drain. Soak in ice water bath.
  3. In another small pot bring quinoa, salt and water to a boil. Then lower heat to simmer for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
  4. Mix all fruits and vegetables with the quinoa and dressing. Garnish with cilantro and chives. Season with salt.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes

One night after work I trudged through the snow in our backyard, in my wedged heels, to get to our detached garage. My goal was to find this weathered chair. Aside from the fact that the snow came up to my hips, thus ruining my shoes and freezing my legs, I found the chair! I just knew that its creamy distressed seat would be a perfect back drop for a food scene.

As I am learning how to take fantastic food photos that represent how exquisite the food tastes, I enjoy showing you, my reader, what happens behind the scenes. When you look at a close up of a divine dish, you never really know the time and effort the photographer took to make it look appetizing. I mean come on, did you know this bowl was placed on a chair when you saw the first photo?

In the book “Plate to Pixel”, the chapter about styling a photograph encourages the utilization of props such as fresh herbs, silverware or glassware. These pieces connect the puzzle, so to speak, and enhance the meal’s visual appeal. Helene, the author, also enlightened me on using the color wheel to choose linens, props or backgrounds that will compliment the natural hues of the dish. I chose to pair a blue striped dish towel with my orange bowl of goodness because these colors are directly opposite from one another on the color wheel! Cool huh?

Just me, holding a bowl of fruit.
Just me, holding a bowl of fruit.

Also, when reading blogs, I like to see a picture of the food’s creators once in a while. So here I am holding a bowl of fruit in my super cute new jump suit.

This meal was very easy and fast. My husband and I both work full-time and do not get home until 5:00 pm. I was able to whip this up, with some steaks, in about 15 minutes. Now, I took forever to shoot this plate, but that is beside the point.
It was refreshing, light and healthy. This salad can also be served cold or warm. Plus the leftovers were excellent! Oh and the kumquats are a combination of sweet and tart, adding a zing to this meal. You’ll like this salad, trust me.

*This recipe was featured on the Feed Feed website. Although the picture is of this Quinoa, Beet and Kumquat Salad, the link is to my Blood Orange, Beet and Fennel Salad. Check it out here: http://feedfeed.info/Soups-Salads-Sandwiches/WholeGrainSalads *