Friday, March 12, 2010

Beet, Pear, and Almond Salad


Beets, beets, I know, either you love them or have awful memories of eating canned or pickled beets as a child. Luckily I didn't have any memories of eating beets as a child so when I first tried them I fell in love. I began making fresh beet juice in my juicer, using them in cultured vegetables, roasting them with salt, pepper and olive oil, or using raw grated beets in salads.

Beets are an excellent cleansing food, being particularly useful during the Elimination Diet. The beautiful purple hue indicates that they are full of powerful antioxidants. Research indicates that beets may increase liver enzyme detoxification function, decrease the risk for colon cancer, and help to effectively lower cholesterol.

There are many ways to prepare beets. If you own a pressure cooker you can cook the whole beet, peel and all, for about 25 minutes, then cool (the peel slips right off) and cut into cubes for this salad. This is probably the easiest way and the best way to preserve nutrients. Steaming is another option but you will need to trim the ends off of the beet first, then peel, then cut into cubes for steaming. This is the next best option of you do not own a pressure cooker. You can also roast beets in the oven after partially steaming. Mmm, this is delicious! Sometimes I thinly slice raw beets and roast them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar (that recipe is in our cookbook).


Beet, Pear, and Almond Salad with Mint Dressing
This excellent salad is simple with complex flavors. The beets, pears, and almonds marry perfectly with the peppery, minty dressing. Serve this salad for brunch or a family dinner. I like to keep the beets, almonds, and lettuce in separate containers and serve over a few days. I cut the pears up when I am ready to serve and dress individual salads then. Use this salad during Phase 3 of the Elimination Diet for testing nuts/almonds or use during Phase 2 without the almonds.

3 large beets, peeled
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
2 to 3 pears, cored and diced
1 large head leaf lettuce
1 recipe Pepper-Mint Dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel beets and trim the ends off. Place into a steamer basket in a medium-sized pot. Add about 2 inches of water. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until beets are fork tender. Drain off water and set aside to cool.

To roast the almonds place them in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and place into preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place onto a plate to cool. Chop on a cutting board with a large knife once cooled.

Dice pears and set aside. Tear lettuce into pieces and rinse and spin dry. Assemble each salad by placing lettuce on each plate. Top with beets, pears, and almonds. Drizzle dressing over each salad. Enjoy! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com.


Melissa at Gluten Free for Good, also has many fabulous recipes using beets. Beet Ice Cream, Chocolate Cupcakes, and Beet & Spinach Salad just to name a few.

Also, my Pepper-Mint Dressing was featured in this week's Crazy Sexy Life Newsletter!

You might also like these great salads:

We are vacationing in Kauai right now and although we absolutely love reading your comments we may not get to publishing them for a while (all comments go into moderation before being published because of the amount of spam comments we get now). We taught our oldest daughter (almost 8) how to snorkel a few days ago and she is just loving it! The younger ones we put on a raft designed for seeing fish (through a window on the raft). Everyone is having so much fun! Off to the beach now! :)

14 comments:

  1. Looks wonderful. I'm on the "love 'em" side of the beet debate and lately can't seem to get enough of them. This looks like a great new way to enjoy them. Thanks for the recipe!

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  2. I am a beet-lover too! Enjoy your stay on Kauai! It is definitely my favorite island. We were just there in December and had a blast, can't wait to go back! :)))))

    Can't wait to try your latest concoction. The mint dressing is absolutely fabulous over grilled salmon.

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  3. Wow, this sounds perfect. I LOVE beets - I prefer roasting them but it takes FOREVER. I think I need to make this salad though. yum.

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  4. Have a great vacation in Hawaii! My sister and her husband honeymooned on Kauai a few years ago and loved it. I've been to Maui once and hope to go back again someday...it's paradise!

    Recipe looks delish, by the way. :)

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  5. We've made the Balsamic beet recipe from your cookbook and it is a must try for anyone on the fence with beets. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing all of these tasty recipes with us. Love your blog! Have a great trip!

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  6. I love beets too! This salad looks great!

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  7. Well, I'm not sold on beets yet, but I'm still learning to eat new foods, so there's hope yet! The salad is so gorgeous.

    I'm so happy you are having such a wonderful vacation in Kauai. :-) I've only been to Maui, but I think all of Hawaii is fantastic!

    Shirley

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  8. I love beets, but I have always boiled them whole with skins. The skins come off after cooling. I'm wondering if this way of preparing looses nutrients?

    I'm glad you're having fun on your vacation!

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  9. What is your opinion (or what are the facts) about microwave ovens? We haven't used one in our house (don't even own one) for over 3 years. I'm wondering if it's helping at all, or if microwaves don't even matter?

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  10. This salad looks really yummy! I am a huge beet fan, and I was raised on canned beets! I actually am learning, reluctantly to prepare them from scratch.

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  11. Beets are great! I notice that you mention Worlds Healthiest Foods as a resource. It is definitely mine for cooking vegetables.
    George says to quarter beets, steam 15 minutes and peel when they have cooled enough to handle. This has worked out well, though one time I had beets that would not cook that quick, they took forever!
    I can't wait to try the mint dressing. It sounds really good-but what is half of 3/4 cup?

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  12. Half of 3/4 cup is 6 tablespoons. :)

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  13. Hi Ali and Tom,

    I love beets but I'm a little concerned about adding them back into my diet, due to gmo cross - contamination issues. One of my local, organic farmers told me they couldn't guarantee 100% that they're beets were gmo free because of cross - pollination so I haven't touched them since. Do you have any thoughts on the matter and could you possibly offer up any substitution ideas?

    Thanks!

    Keryn

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  14. Fantastic recipe! This blog and your book have completely revolutionized my family's health and eating and I have rediscovered my love of cooking!

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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom