This pretty salad is loaded with both flavor and nutrition, from the earthy tasting beets, soft, sweet pears, crunchy nuts (toasted sunflower seeds would be yummy too!) and tang of cheese to the pepper flavored arugula, spinach and delicious Orange Balsamic Salad Dressing.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Roasted beets
- Red Anjou pears (or another variety)
- Goat Cheese (or another tangy cheese – even a non-dairy version will work!)
- Toasted, chopped Hazelnuts or another toasted nut (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on (they will be easy to peel once they’re cooked), and remove the greens. I like to save them and use them in another dish!
Place the beets in a small baking dish with a lid or on a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and cover or fold the ends and sides of foil (creating a small package).
Depending on their size they will need to be baked for anywhere from 35 to 60 minutes. A knife should slide easily through the largest beet. Cool until you can handle them, and then remove the skins. Slice, cube or julienne the beets and arrange with the pears, and a smattering of goat cheese (or another smooth, tangy cheese of your choosing), and hazel nuts on top of a bed of arugula and spinach. Top with my Orange Balsamic Salad Dressing (or another of your choosing).
Orange Balsamic Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (approximately 2 large oranges)
- 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (honey, organic cane sugar) OR 1/2 Tablespoon agave
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
Mix together and refrigerate. Enjoy on this or any other salad!
Health benefits of beets:
They are a nutrient-rich root vegetable, low in calories but high in good carbohydrates, which supply your body with energy. Because they help to lower cholesterol and trigylcerides, while increasing HDL (good cholesterol), they are beneficial for a healthy heart. They are also a good source of Vitamin B folate (important to pregnant women for reducing some birth defects), and contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones. Some people call them nature’s Viagra. By being potassium-rich, they help to reduce strokes by reducing blood pressure and have been shown to lower the risk of certain cancers – like colon, lung, and skin. An ingredient in beet juice called betaine stimulates liver function. That same substance is also used in certain treatments for depression. Beets also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate.