Coleslaw with Beets and Quinoa

Coleslaw with raw beets and carrots served over quinoa and topped with apple, pumpkin seeds and cranberries.

The inspiration for this coleslaw came from a couple of different places. The first was from a trip we took to Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton back in September for our 8th wedding anniversary.  At lunch one day there was a cabbage salad served with a vinaigrette over quinoa. It was lovely but I prefer a richer dressing with cabbage. The second source of inspiration came from Jamie Oliver’s recent cookbook, Jamie’s Great BritainHe used a mayonnaise-based dressing on a huge pile of cabbage, carrots and beets that he ran through his food processor and then dressed them with mayo, mustard, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, etc.

Jamie suggested walnuts as a topping but I thought the pumpkin seeds would be really pretty against the pink coleslaw. The apple and dried cranberries give it a nice balance with their sweetness. The quinoa makes this a lovely, complete lunch or light supper. I liked the quinoa still warm but it could be served cold.

Yields 4-6

Coleslaw with Beets and Quinoa

Coleslaw with raw beets served over quinoa and topped with apples, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. This is great for a healthy, light lunch or as a starter for hearty dinner.

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • generous pinch of salt
  • Coleslaw
  • 1/4 of a green cabbage
  • 1/4 or a red cabbbage
  • 3 beets, scrubbed clean or peeled
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayonaisse
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of pepper and sugar (skip the salt)



  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, quinoa and pinch of salt to a boil. Stir and reduce it to a low simmer, cover and let it cook until all the water has been absorbed. Approximately 20 minutes.*
  2. Set it aside. The quinoa can be served warm or cold.
  3. Dressing
  4. Whisk all the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Coleslaw
  6. In a food processor fitted with a course grating attachment (not the blade), press the cabbage through to grate it. Empty the cabbage from the food processor into a large bowl. If you don't have a food processor then finely slice the cabbage to get thin strips.
  7. Peel the carrots and then run them through the food processor to grate or use the course side of a box grater. Add the grated carrots to the bowl with the cabbage.
  8. Scrub the beets using a course nylon scrubber (looks like steel wool but is coloured plastic) or peel the beets.
  9. Run them through the food processor to grate or again, the course side of a box grater and add them to the bowl with the other grated vegetables.
  10. With a knife, finely slice the apple into thin, finger length shoestrings. Set the apple aside to use as a garnish for the finished salad.
  11. Toss the cabbage with the dressing. It will all turn pink because of the beets.
  12. Spread some cooked quinoa on a plate and top it with the dressed coleslaw. Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and apple on top. Do this for each serving. Enjoy.
Recipe Type: Salad


*The quinoa that I use has been pre-rinsed. If you are not sure if what you have is pre-rinsed, run it under cold water in a fine-meshed sieve for one to two minutes otherwise it will be quite bitter when cooked.



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