Beet and Arugula Salad with Lentils

My husband, Mike, and I are just back from a road trip to Washington DC, Savannah and Charleston. After two weeks of overindulgence on wine and southern food, I’m feeling the need to cleanse. Here’s a recipe for one of my favourite “clean-eating” salads. Beets are very detoxifying for the body and the lentils make it hearty enough to serve as a meal.

Here are some fast facts about beets that may entice you to eat them more often. Beets are:

  • detoxifying as they help to purify the blood and support the liver
  • a unique source of betalains, a red pigmented nutrient that reduces inflammation in the body and may be an anti-cancer agent
  • high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps to cleanse the body
  • a source of fiber, which helps to pull toxins from the intestinal system

Beets are an all-around high-nutrient food source and taste wonderful roasted, steamed or even pickled. The greens are full of good stuff as well so don’t throw them away! You can add them raw to salads or simply sauté them in a little olive oil and garlic for a nice side dish.

Here’s the recipe for Beet and Arugula Salad with Lentils (serves 4 for a starter or 2 for a hearty lunch):

  • 8 red or golden beets (fresh or pickled)Beet
  • 4 cups (or more) of baby arugula, a.k.a roquette (I buy PC organics prewashed)
  • 2 cups canned or home-cooked green or brown lentils
  • half a small log of goat cheese (omit for a vegan salad)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp agave syrup or honey (use the agave for vegan)
  • fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. If using fresh beets, cut the tops off, wrap the beet roots in foil and roast in the oven at 350 F. The roasting time will vary depending on the size of the beets. Large ones generally need about an hour, smaller ones less. Test them with a fork for tenderness. Allow them to cool before peeling and quartering.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and agave to make the dressing
  3. Assemble the salads on four (or two) plates starting with the arugula, then the lentils. Top with the beets, goat cheese and fresh ground pepper.

TIP: if you have leftover lentils, they are a great low fat, high fiber addition to or replacement for taco or burrito ground meat.  Add them once the meat is browned or cook them alone, mashing with a fork, with your favourite taco seasoning.  Cooked lentils also freeze well.



  • Categories: Meals Like Mine, New

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