Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Crunchy Wife in the Kitchen: Beet, Walnut, and Feta Salad

Going on the topic of a healthy new year, I thought I'd share a great vegetarian recipe I tweaked to make my  own.  Beets are usually in season several months out of the year (May-October), but they are known as a "winter" crop.  Part of this is due to their wide availability as a canned product, although they are pretty delicious fresh and roasted, as well.

Beets have pre-cooked texture of a radish, but give off a more earthy tone on the palate.  Most beets have a vibrant red color when cooked, once widely used in the textile industry for dying fabrics.  (They'll dye your skin, too!)  This is also nature's way of telling us that they're loaded in all kinds of great vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants.  Because beets are pretty much in-season all year round where you can find the canned variety, this salad is not only a great "winter" vegetable recipe, but can be enjoyed any time of year.  

I made this salad for lunch today to try to counteract some of the bad fats and carbs I'll be consuming during our typical Irish New Year's Day feast later this evening.  This recipe has lots of good fats and carbs (fiber), and tons of good-for-you nutrients.  You can make this as one big serving for a main dish lunch or increase the goodies and divvy it up into smaller portions as a side for a meal.  You can use almost any greens you like, but I happened to have some romaine on hand that needed used.  Spring mixed greens, spinach, or arugula would be great.  You can also use almonds, pine nuts, or almost any nut you like.  The cheese is equally as interchangeable.  I used Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil feta, but you can use plain feta, blue cheese, goat cheese, Gorgonzola  or whatever suits your fancy or your contents of your fridge.   Serve this up with some in-season clementines and it's to die for.  Here the recipe, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Crunchy Beet Salad with Walnuts and Feta

1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup slice canned beets, sliced into slivers
1/4 cup (1 oz.) crumbled Tomato-Basil Feta
1 oz. walnuts halves and pieces (about 14 halves)
Half of 1 small onion, thinly sliced and diced, Divided for use in Dressing

Half of sliced and diced onion from above
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch sugar
Dash salt and freshly ground pepper (or to taste)

Place lettuce on salad plate.  Top with beets, feta, walnuts, and part of onion.

Add remaining onion to a small bowl and whisk it together with vinegar, oil, sugar, and salt and pepper.  Once blended, add to top of salad.  

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutritional info:  Using half of dressing, 456 calories, 20g carbs, 39g fat, and 12g protein.  Using all of dressing:  575 calories, 21g carbs, 39g fat, and 12g protein.  
I hope you enjoyed this Crunchy recipe, and there are sure to be more in the New Year!  In the meantime, Green Appetit!

Also, check out this cool Acacia Salad Bowl and OXO Good Grips Little Salad and Herb Spinner from my Google affiliates at surlatable.com!

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