Meatless Monday – Beet & Apple Salad with Almonds & Feta

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I know what you’re thinking…raw beets, yuck!  Think again.  Did you know that Beets are considered to be nature’s Viagra? (I’m not making this up) The ancient Romans, used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac and science has backed them up. Yep!  Apparently, it’s all about Boron which is used in the production of hormones. That aside, beets are surprisingly sweet and delicious when eaten raw, especially if they are thinly sliced, shaved or shredded.  In fact, that they are so sweet, especially in combination with the apple spirals, that they need an acidic dressing, fresh herbs and buttery almonds for balance.  I also love the addition of creamy feta or goat cheese to round out the flavors and add a bit more protein.

 

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Okay, I’m admitting to a mild obsession with my spiralizer.  Who knew how gorgeous raw beets could look when spiral sliced into angel hair proportions! I added Fuji apple because I thought they would be a good combination, but another veggie or fruit combo would work too, like kohlrabi or carrots.  OR try several colors of beets for a very pretty salad.  You really can’t go wrong here. If you don’t have a spiral slicer, you can use a grater or mandoline but it will be a bit more work.

In case you are still not convinced about Beets, from a nutritional standpoint they have a lot to offer. They are good sources of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid.  They are also wonderful for the liver and work as a purifier for the blood. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate. At the same time they are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, as opposed to chocolate). Very few foods found in the natural world are as beneficial as beets in this regard.  Whoa, heady stuff here!   But I know you’re still thinking about Boron and Nature’s Viagra. Am I right?

TIPS: I love almonds with this dish.  They add just the right buttery crunch, however, almost any nut will work.  If your almonds are raw, just toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Let cool before adding to salad.

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BEET & APPLE SALAD WITH ALMONDS AND FETA

2 medium raw beets
1 large Fuji apple (or other firm sweet apple)
2 large scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)
1/4 cup fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, etc), chopped

VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (0r red wine vinegar)
2 Tbsn olive oil
2 Tbsn lemon juice + zest from one lemon
1 Tbsn fresh parsley or mint, chopped
1 Tbsn maple syrup, honey or agave (or more to taste)
1/3 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

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  • Cut off the stem end and peel the beets.  Using the smallest blade on the spiral slicer, slice  beet into angel hair strands. Repeat with remaining beet. Place beets into large bowl or platter.

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  • Peel apple and slice into angel hair strands. Add to platter.

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  • Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette and pour over beet apple mixture along with scallions and herbs. Toss to combine.

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  • Top with toasted almonds, scallions and feta.

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  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Beet & Apple Salad with Almonds & Feta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

20150830_142537 

2 medium raw beets
1 large fuji apple (or other firm sweet apple)
2 large scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, etc), chopped

VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (0r red wine vinegar)
2 Tbsn olive oil
2 Tbsn lemon juice + zest from one lemon
1 Tbsn fresh parsley or mint, chopped
1 Tbsn maple syrup, honey or agave(or more to taste)
1/3 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

  • Cut off the stem end and peel the beets.  Using the smallest blade on the spiral slicer, slice into angel hair strands.
  • Place into large bowl or platter.
  • Peel apple and slice into angel hair strands. Add to platter.
  • Add toasted almonds and scallions.
  • Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette and pour over beet apple mixture.
  • Toss to combine.  Top with feta or goat cheese.

2 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Beet & Apple Salad with Almonds & Feta

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