blissful eats with tina jeffers: Tahini quinoa bowl with beets, kale and chickpeas

Do you ever take a step back look at your life and wonder how you got here?  I’m sitting in my car with my computer on my lap waiting for my son to get done with soccer practice.  Somehow I’ve become what I always dreaded; I’m a Volvo driving soccer mom.  I never thought that I would become such a stereotype but that is exactly what has happened. 

When I was in my twenties I was positive that not only would I never get married but that I was never going to be a mom let alone one that did carpools and volunteered to take care of a classroom tortoise.  I was to busy being selfish and enjoying my freedom, going to concerts, sleeping until noon, spending all my money on clothes, make-up and eating out in nice restaurants.  Flash forward fifteen years and I am desperately trying to figure out how I am going to get everything done in a day.  Between my job, blogging, and running from practice to practice I barely manage to get the dishes in the dishwasher and run a comb through my hair.  I want my life to look like a Martha Stewart Magazine layout but in reality I feel like I am constantly drowning in laundry, dishes and a to do list that grows longer by the second.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my family and my busy schedule but I wish that I were better at organizing my time.  I am not good at planning and scheduling my days, I am definitely a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal and sometimes things pile up, like figuring out what recipes I am going to test or when I'm going to shoot my photos.  

It’s times like these that I am grateful for the simple things, like a lovely bowl of quinoa that I can throw together in a few minutes and have a nice quiet lunch before the chaos closes in.  I love recipes that come together quickly with ingredients that I usually keep in the pantry or fridge without a lot of fuss. 

I grew up always thinking that I hated beets but I have really developed an appreciation for them in the last few years.  They are super healthful and add a pleasant sweetness and crunch to this bowl.  I’ve paired the beets with kale and chickpeas and a nice garlicky tahini dressing but you can easily swap out the vegetables in this bowl if beets aren't your thing.  Try replacing the beets with avocados and some shredded carrots or cabbage and if you don’t mind dairy some feta would be a nice addition as well.  Don't skimp on the dressing, it really makes the dish.  

Practice is almost over so it’s time for me to pack up my laptop and head home to get dinner on the table.  The next time you find yourself pressed for time whip up a quinoa bowl for a quick nourishing meal in minutes!  


Tahini quinoa bowl with beets, kale and chickpeas

Serves 3-4                                                                                   


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 pound raw beets (around 2 medium), peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 bunch kale, stems and ribs removed and torn into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • kosher salt and black pepper 


To make the quinoa, first rinse the quinoa in a mesh colander under running water to remove any bitter coating that might remain.

Place the quinoa in a medium bowl with 4 cups of water and cook for 12-14 minutes then drain in a colander.  Place the colander over the pan you cooked the quinoa in, cover it with a clean dishtowel and let steam for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. 

To make the dressing combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, miso paste, vinegar, and water in a blender and puree until smooth.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste, you may also want to add additional water if necessary if it’s too thick.

Toss the quinoa with the beets, chickpeas, kale and dressing until well combined and serve.

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