Beets are one of my favorite foods. If there’s a beet salad on a menu, I’ll order it – roast beets, arugula and goat cheese…mmm. But I realized the other day that I’ve never attempted to make my own beet salad.
For some reason I’ve always been a little intimidated by the beet. Long roots, big stems, dirty…blah. Plus, all the roast beet recipes I’ve looked at involve individually wrapping each beet in foil (I never cook with foil because of the aluminum-Alzheimer’s connection), checking on them multiple times, and peeling them after when hot – it just didn’t seem worth it.
Well, last night I was determined to get over my fear of roasting beets and decided to go for it. The beets turned out perfect, and I managed to re-create an easy beet salad and one of my fave menu items.
I used a Dutch oven instead of foil, and if you let them cool for 15 minutes after they come out of the oven, the skins just wipe right off. This recipe requires a bit of planning though as the beets take an hour to roast in the oven, plus cooling time.
Beets also have some awesome health benefits:
- For all you preggars our there or ladies that are planning to have a baby in the future, beets are an amazing source of folic acid – an important vitamin that prevents spinal defects in babies (it’s better to get folic acid from food vs. supplements for better absorption)
- High in fibre, low in calories = keep you feeling full!
- Great tasting healthy carb
Roasted Beet, Arugula and Feta salad
Serves 4 or 2 with lefties
4-5 medium-large red beets
4 large handfuls arugula (combine with baby spinach to tone down the peppery flavor)
Half large avocado, diced
½ cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
Salt & pepper to taste
For the dressing:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400 F.
To prepare the beets: cut off roots & greens (leave about 2 inches of the stem on – this keeps the beets from drying out), and wash with cold water (no need to dry).
Place beets in a Dutch oven, and pour in half a cup of water. Cover, and roast for 1 hour. Remove from oven, and prick the beets with a fork. If your fork slides in and out easily, the beets are done.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes. While beets are cooling, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, and prepare the other salad ingredients.
With a pair of tongs, hold the beet in one hand. With your other hand, use a paper towel to wipe off the skins. If the beets are done, the skins should wipe right off (the paper towel is recommended to avoid staining your fingers & nails purple).
Cut beets into small, bite-sized pieces. Place on a bed of arugula, and top with avocado, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds. I also added a few pieces of roasted organic chicken, but you could add organic peas, edamame or chickpeas for a vegetarian version. Drizzle with dressing, and season with salt & pepper. Enjoy!