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It’s no surprise that beets are one of the healthiest foods out there, containing antioxidant phytonutrients that boast anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits. Plus, they are quite tasty and colorful in a salad. While beet salads are trendy right now, this recipe has some unique twists with juicy orange segments, creamy ricotta and toasty macadamia nuts.
8-10 ounces dark leafy green (baby kale, spinach, swiss chard, etc)
1 ½ cups, cooked and diced red beets
1 ½ cups, cooked and diced golden beets
2 oranges, segments removed
¼ cup fennel, diced
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese*
¼ cup macadamia or pistachio nuts, finely chopped
*Look for fresh ricotta, or a boutique brand ricotta, in the specialty cheese case at your grocer.
1. Beets can be bought freshly prepared from many store delis. Or, to cook beets, and preserve the most nutrients, fill a steamer pot with 2 inches of water. Add beets with skin on, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Remove beets from the pot and rub the skin of with a paper towel. Let cool before dicing
2. In a large bowl, toss the greens with a conservative amount of olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Toss until all of the greens are well coated. Transfer the greens to a large platter or divide between plates for a nice presentation like shown in the picture.
3. Sprinkle the fennel and beets over the greens. Place the orange segments throughout the beets.
4. Dollop the ricotta cheese over the top of the salad, and sprinkle with the nuts.
Jess Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. Jess recently launched Harmony Bar, and all natural gluten-and soy free bar designed to tasted like a soft baked cookie. She is an ex-professional XTERRA triathlete and mountain biker, and current elite amateur road cyclist for the SPY GIANT RIDE p/b MRI Endurance team. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page, as well as the “Harmony Bar” Facebook page. Also on twitter @fitfoodbyjess and @harmonybars.