New Year, New You! I think I’ve heard that in at least a dozen advertisements and it’s only the second week of January.
Everyone is starting fresh in 2017…and with that comes the usual New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and to get back into working out. Well, I can’t help you with the working out part…I’m struggling with that myself; although, to my credit, I ran three miles today. What I can help you with is creating a dish that will help you to eat healthier and feel good about what you’re putting into your body.I present to you the Oven-Roasted Beet Salad. This salad is substantial, with a great medley of flavors that is actually pretty darn healthy for you…just keep in mind moderation when you’re adding the dressing and accoutrements, like the cheese.
I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of “eating in moderation” as opposed to dieting or withholding certain foods. At least for me, as soon as I say I can’t have such-and-such, that seems to be the only thing I want….and that’s what I obsess on, never finding satisfaction in the “healthy” stuff I “should” be eating. Can you relate?
So, I find that it I don’t cut out entire classes of food, like bread, pasta or dessert, and just eat in moderation, I am able to stick to a lifestyle that is actually manageable and still allows me to experience all the great foods! A note on moderation: I’m talking real moderation…and unfortunately, as good as it tastes, an entire huge meal at Cheesecake Factory is not moderation. But that doesn’t mean don’t eat at Cheesecake…just box up half (…or two-thirds) to go and save it for another meal or two. You get what I’m saying. That way you can enjoy and love great food in life without worrying about counting every last calorie. Add a little physical activity to your day—even just a walk around the neighborhood—and you’re ahead of the game!
Thankfully, there are some foods that I love that are super healthy and super tasty. I find beets to be one of those. Now, beets have been flying under the radar for years. Let me change that a bit. People know about beets…they just seem to automatically say, “I don’t like beets.” Come to find out, their only experience with beets are those limp, red, tasteless shoestrings that you find at the local salad bar. If that is your experience, too, then you have NEVER tasted beets.
Fresh beets are a whole different ballgame than the canned. It’s like comparing canned potatoes to a crispy baked potato or canned tuna to seared Ahi. Convenient, yes. Super tasty, noooooo. If you’ve had a canned beet, it’s time to turn the page on every impression you have about beets and give this recipe a shot. Fresh beets are hearty, they’re rustic, and when you roast them in the oven, they get soooo sweet and satisfying. I just love them when the outside starts to caramelize from the natural sugars in the beets.
The good news about beets is that they are great for you. They’re low in calories, with about 60 calories in a cup of beets. And they’re a great source of folate (Vitamin B; see more at WebMD), manganese (processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates, and protein; see more at WebMD) and potassium (see more at WebMD). Plus, beets are high in antioxidants and nitrates.
I encourage you to give this recipe a try. And once you roast beets for the first time, you’re going to forget that you’re eating healthy and just might find yourself craving them and incorporating them into other dishes…or even on their own as a side dish. Recipe idea: you can chop the beets up into cubes, roast them and toss them with olive oil, freshly Italian parsley, a dash of balsamic vinegar or Shallot Vinaigrette and your fresh herb of choice (perhaps some Thyme)…and if you want to get really fancy, add a spoonful of Burrata cheese.
This Oven-Roasted Beet Salad is going to surprise you and change your notion about the beet. I know you’re going to love it!
When you make this salad, please let me know how it turn out and if you were successful in getting any beet skeptics to change their impression about the beet.
Oven-Roasted Beet Salad
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Line Baking Sheet with Aluminum Foil. Drizzle Olive Oil onto the Aluminum Foil.
- Rinse off Beets, dry them and place on the foil-lined Baking Sheet. Drizzle Beets with a little more Olive Oil and roll them around, making sure they are thoroughly coated with Olive Oil.
- Tear off another sheet of Aluminum Foil and place on top of the beets. Roll up sides of the foil to create, essentially, as sealed foil bag.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, removing the baking sheet from the oven at the 30 minute mark and rolling it around to make sure the Beets are not sticking to the foil. Do Not open the sealed foil.
- After an hour, let the Beets cool until they are cool enough to handle. When still warm, peel off the skin of the beets using a paper towel and light pressure. Disposable gloves are recommended here--or even a couple of plastic bags--so that your hands don't turn red.
- Once peeled, cut the Beets anyway you like....slices, cubes, wedges.
- Slice the shallots into rings.
- Toss the Salad Greens, the Shallots, half of the Cherries, half of the Pumpkin Seeds and half of the Feta Cheese with the Shallot Vinaigrette.
- Plate the tossed salad, topping it with the Beets and the remaining Cherries, Pumpkin Seed and Feta Cheese.