Sweet Beet Salad
I used to hate salad. There was nothing more unappetizing to me than a bowl full of lettuce. How boring. Lettuce doesn’t pack much of nutritional punch so I thought, Why bother? I can get my vegetables in other ways. Then I discovered that you could add a variety of delicious things to a salad to make it one of the most exciting meals of your day. I usually add fruit to my salads. There is nothing better than a handful of halved red grapes hidden inside a chicken spinach salad. They are like sweet little treasures your mouth is happy to discover. So it is with this beet salad.
I got the idea for Sweet Beet Salad from the cookbook Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso. Unfortunately, the recipe for her exact salad is not listed on her website, so all I can do is point you to her cookbook–which is fantastic by the way, go buy it now!–and tell you how I made mine.
This was my first time roasting beets. Prior to this recipe, the only thing I’d ever done with beets is juice them. Paired with grapefruit juice, beet juice is amazingly delicious. It tastes somewhat like dirt, but it a nostolgic kind of way. I was always reminded of my parents garden when I tasted beet juice on my tongue.
But my husband and I don’t juice anymore (too much sugar and no fiber–hello insulin spike!) and I hadn’t dared use them in my kitchen in any other way until now. To roast them, I scrubbed them and cut the greens off. I’m sure there is a perfectly good use for the greens but I just threw them into my compost bin. After washing them, I wrapped them in foil and roasted them in a 400 degree oven for an hour. If you opt for this method, put them on a cookie sheet in case they leak out of the foil. You don’t want to be cleaning burnt beet juice from your oven.
After they cooled, I took the foil off, scraping off the skin with it and then cut them into cubes for the salad. It’s that easy, folks. If you roast some potatoes or squash in the oven at the same time, you’ve killed two birds with one stone.
Sarah’s salad called for beets, arugula, celery, walnuts, red onion and homemade vinaigrette. I couldn’t find arugula at the store so I bought a container of spring mix, which contained some arugula and some baby spinach. I also didn’t have time to make vinaigrette so I just put some store bought raspberry vinaigrette on it. I don’t usually buy store bought dressings because they often contain a ton of sugar, some awful form of plant based oil (soybean or vegetable) and preservatives. In this instance though, I was running short on time and I didn’t have time to worry about it. Hey, I’m not 100% Paleo and I’m not afraid to admit it. #realtalk
The walnuts that I thought were in my pantry were nowhere to be found, so I used pecans instead. All in all, it turned out well and the people I served it to loved it. I even gave some to my one year old son, who loved it too. I was not prepared for how purple his diaper was the following day however. If you give your little one beets and they are still in diapers, don’t be alarmed when you see their purple bum.
Sweet Beet Salad
Roasted, diced beets
Diced red onion
Chopped Pecans or other nut of your choice
Mix together everything except leafy greens. When thoroughly mixed, pour over a bowl of greens and toss gently. Serve.