Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Roasted Beet, Orange and Feta Salad

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my recipe for millet cakes pictured with a roasted beet salad.  I got the recipe for that beet salad from epicurious.com.  While I was eating it, though, I thought, "this would taste so much better with oranges and a dressing made with Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar."  I fantasized about the next roasted beet salad I would make ever since.  I had to get back to the farmer's market to buy more beets.  I had to pick up some oranges at the supermarket.  I continued to develop thoughts about how my beet salad would come together and what flavors I should include.  At the last minute, on the day I was finally going to make the salad, I ran out to buy feta cheese, because I imagined that the saltiness of the feta would nicely complement the sweetness of the beets and oranges.  I was right--I tried it with and without the feta and the feta definitely makes it much, much more delicious.

Sustainable cooking and eating requires local ingredients.  I am proud to say that I purchased most of the ingredients for this recipe from the farmers market.  Beets, shallots, honey and pea shoots are all available from local sources where I live (in Nebraska).  You might even be able to find locally produced feta cheese in many places.

This salad is hearty, so you can serve it with a light main course for a complete and satisfying meal.  We ate it with pumpkin ravioli.  Yum!

Dressing (you will probably have more than you need for this salad):
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
3 TBS Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (I found this at Trader Joe's)
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

6 or 7 small-medium beets
2 naval oranges, peeled and broken into sections
1-2 cups pea shoots

feta cheese

Wash beets and trim greens off.  Wrap tightly in foil and bake at 400 degrees for an hour and a half, approximately.  Let cool, then slip skins off with your fingers and slice. 

Put beets with orange sections and pea shoots into a bowl.  Pour dressing on, toss, then crumble feta cheese over all.  Serves 3-4.

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