I have an on-again, off-again love affair with beets. I *want* to love them, so I keep trying recipes with beets in them, but the intensity of the beets are usually so overbearing that I can’t finish it.
Beets have so much going for them that not liking them seems silly. Beets are jam-packed with vitamin C, potassium, and folate, not to mention some pretty powerful antioxidants. One of the superpowers of the mighty beet is the color pigment, betalain, which gives beets their gorgeous ruby red color. Betalain is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that also displays potential cancer-fighting properties.
I am committed to loving beets for all the reasons I’ve listed above, but also because I keep getting them in my CSA along with a tasty salad mix, that I also never use.
I have never really loved salads. I know, salad are supposed to be a staple of a vegan diet but I’ve always considered lettuce to be fairly unexciting rabbit food. Even the tastier lettuces have never held much appeal for me and most salads leave me wanting more.
I can’t in good conscience keep composting my uneaten bags of salad greens, though, so I decided to get creative and this salad was born. It’s very simple, sweet, and has some sneaky ingredients that make the salad delicious, satisfying, and filling.
With a little advance prep, this salad can be ready in minutes when you’re hungry. I recommend cooking the barley early in the day and letting it sit until you’re ready. You can roast the beets in advance, too, but if they’re thinly cut, they don’t need too much cooking time.
Enjoy this sassy summer salad!
(serves 1 person)
1/4 cup barley
1/2 cup water
2 small beets, scrubbed and quartered, then sliced into thin pieces
1 Tbs coconut oil (liquid)
1 tomato, cut into chunks
1 handful of salad greens
1/8 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds (combined)
2 tsp umeboshi vinegar
a few fresh basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Advance prep: cook your barley. It should take about 30-45 minutes for your barley to cook. I recommend doing this step earlier in the day and letting it sit. That way it will be cool and ready to add into the salad
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the beets with coconut oil and salt. Place on a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes. When the beets are fork tender, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a small pan, toast the coconut, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. remove when the coconut begins to lightly brown.
Combine the tomatoes, beets, lettuce/salad greens, toasted coconut/seed mixture, barley, and basil in a bowl. Lightly toss with the umeboshi vinegar and salt/pepper to taste.
Enjoy the sassiness!