Tag Archives: beets

Fresh Express and Orange Beet Spinach Salad

I am a Featured Publisher at Foodbuzz.com. This means that in addition to meeting other great food bloggers, there are additional perks. The Tastemaker program is one of them. This program gives members an opportunity to receive certain featured products, and write recipes using those products. Most of the time, the products aren’t gluten and dairy-free, so I don’t participate as often as some others. This time, however, the product was something I would happily use – Fresh Express bagged salads!

While I love to get fresh greens from the farmers market, life and the various seasons get in the way for me to be able to do that consistently. Often, I fill my need for tons of salad with bagged salads. When I received coupons for the Fresh Express bags, I went and picked up some Spinach and Ruby Red bags. I already had some beets and oranges at home that were begging to be included in this salad, so the addition of spinach and red lettuce would be perfect.

Other than roasting the beets, which took some time (but it was mostly hands-off time), this salad came together very quickly. It was bright and eye-catching, but most importantly, it was full of sweet, tart, and slightly spicy flavors. Definitely a salad I can turn to when entertaining!

And because I was so lucky to receive such a bounty of coupons for free Fresh Express salads, I’ll be happy to send some out to a lucky winner. Please leave me a comment telling me what you would do with a Fresh Express bagged salad, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. That’s it – no strings attached. But act quickly, because this giveaway ends Saturday, October 23.

And now, for the salad.

Orange Beet Spinach Salad

3 medium beets, peeled and cut into eights

1 T grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 seedless oranges, one zested and juiced, one sliced into ½ inch slices

2 T chopped fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish

1/8 t ground chipotle chile powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 T white balsamic vinegar

2 T olive oil

1 bag Fresh Express Ruby Reds blend

¼ c toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss cut beets in grapeseed oil, salt and pepper and roast in a glass baking dish for 40-45 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine the orange zest, juice, chopped basil, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper, and white balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until combined. Adjust seasoning as needed.

To assemble salad: Place Fresh Express salad blend on a chilled plate. Arrange beets, orange slices, and walnuts on top. Drizzle dressing over and garnish with basil leaves.

Serves 3-4.


Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Remember the other day, when I promised to tell you about a beet salad I brought to the Dallas Food Bloggers potluck? Well, I always want to make good on my promises, so here goes.

I can’t take credit for this recipe. Wish I could, as it’s absolutely divine. Of course, I love beets, particularly roasted beets. But this salad truly makes them shine. It’s a great way to eat something that makes your mouth feel good, and it’s good for your body!

About a month ago, I won a book called Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons over at one of my favorite blogs, Cookin’ Canuck.  (Warning: If you’re the least bit hungry, be careful visiting her blog. She has some of the most delectable recipes, and even more delicious photos!) This book was something that I would have likely passed by if I was browsing at a book store. It’s just not something I’d gravitate towards. (sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between the good and the bad with these monster-sized cookbooks.) I’m so glad this didn’t happen, and that I was lucky enough to win a copy. As soon as I opened the book, I couldn’t put it down. Recipe after recipe sounded mouth-wateringly delicious. If you think a vegetarian diet means boring or restrictive meals, this book will make you change your mind.

After debating where to start, I finally decided on this recipe. I was in love. While I did grill steaks for my husband and I that evening (yes, I realize that’s not exactly vegetarian, but he’s not interested in beets, and hey, I’m totally accepting of a good piece of beef), I left most of my steak for my husband, and instead ate more beet salad. That’s how good it was. The recipe is written for 4 servings, but if this is going to be a large portion of your meal, or if you have a beet fanatic, I’d suggest doubling it.

I was still so enamored with this recipe that I made it again and brought it to the Dallas Food Blogger potluck this past weekend. It was a perfect potluck dish, as it can sit at room temperature, and it looks so gorgeous with the jewel-toned beets. The positive reviews sealed the deal – this is a “go to” salad in our house from now on!

Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette, adapted just barely from Vegetarian Planet

3 medium beets, peeled and cut into eighths

3 T olive oil

salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

1 seedless orange

2 T balsamic vinegar

3 T chopped basil, plus a few leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the beets in a roasting pan and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the beets. Season with salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated with the oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until beets are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Allow beets to cool for 10-15 minutes.

While beets are cooling, grate the rind from the orange, and with a paring knife, peel and section the orange. (For instructions on how to section an orange, check out Amy’s tutorial over at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.) In a bowl, combine the orange rind, any juice that accumulated when sectioning oranges, the balsamic vinegar, and the basil. Whisk together, and while whisking, slowly pour in the remaining olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the beet and orange pieces on a large plate and spoon the vinaigrette over. Serve the salad when the beets have come to room temperatures. (Can be refrigerated overnight – the oranges will take on the red color of the beets though.)

Serves 4 as a starter.


Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Salads, Vegetarian

Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Beets, and Beet Greens

food-891The other day, I discovered a wonderful new website. www.eatgreendfw.com If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you should visit this site! It’s almost like visiting the farmer’s market from the comfort of your home…you can order local, sustainable produce, meat, dairy, and other items from area producers. (Don’t live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? There is a great website for anyone in the U.S. http://www.localharvest.org/ I actually found a little farm not far from our house that sells fresh eggs from this site!) I was excited about the idea of this site, so I ordered some winter vegetables from Garden Harvests, a local farm near Waxahachie. Within 2 days, I received a box that contained some of the freshest, most beautiful winter vegetables – swiss chard, collard greens, beets (with their greens), and a bunch of cilantro. I was literally so excited that I jumped up and down. (yes…I realize that makes me a bit weird…jumping up and down over a bunch of vegetables. I am comfortable with my eccentricities.) What to do with all of these vegetables?

Well, as for the chard, I simply chopped and sauteed it with a bit of olive oil, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Check out Simply Recipes, Elise happened to have a recipe that worked wonders for this vegetable. It was slightly sweet, and just what I wanted. http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/000965swiss_chard.php

But that’s not what this post is about. I’m getting to that.

I also have had a bit of a butternut squash “thing” lately. It’s one of the most wonderful winter squashes. Sweet and creamy, and you can put it with anything. Since I happened to have one in the kitchen, I figured, why not use it? As for those beets, they were gorgeous. See? GORGEOUS.

Gorgeous Red Beets

Unlike most of the beets I’ve purchased in the past, the greens were still quite pretty. I didn’t want to waste them. So I began to think…why not use these ingredients together, for one super-whiz-bang vegetable side? And suddenly, this dish was born!

Of course, you can serve any one of these three vegetables on their own. Or combine two out of the three. But the three together complimented one another quite well.

I’ve listed each recipe out separately.

Roasted Butternut Squash


1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into ½ inch cube

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 sprig thyme, leaves picked


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an 8X8 baking dish, toss diced squash with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Roast in oven on center rack for 30-40 minutes or until squash is soft and lightly browned.


Sauteed Beets


Olive oil

5-6 small beets, peeled and diced into 1 inch cube

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper


Heat a shallow, wide skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil, swirl to coat. Add beets, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Turn meat to medium-low and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes. Once beets are browned and soft, add garlic, and sauté for 1-2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Beet Greens


1 T oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ c water

1 T sugar

¼ t crushed red pepper flakes

About 1 lb beet greens (or greens from about 6 beets), rinsed thoroughly and chopped into bite size pieces

2 T sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper



Heat a large saucepan to medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add water, sugar, and red pepper flakes and stir. Bring to boil, and add greens. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



To serve: Put a portion of beet greens on each plate. Top with beets and squash, and serve.


Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Side Dishes, Vegetarian