Find some (p)inspiration

Sick of salads?  Sounds like you need some inspiration...or some Pinspiration.  Yes!  That same site used to plan imaginary weddings, hoard inspirational quotes and gather organization techniques you will never use can actually be utilized for something other than killing time on commercial breaks!

 

So dig into your recipe board (no doubt entitled something clever or quirky or cute like "Get in my Belly" or "Food Porn" or "Yummy Tummy") and...here it is...actually make one of those recipes!  Or at least let the recipe guide your next meal.  That's what I did with the following recipe - I took the basic principle and ingredients of the recipe, just changed a few things to fit my taste (and what I had on hand).

 

[Disclaimer: I am guilty of several of the aforementioned Pinterest sins.]

 

The original recipe for this salad (found here - do yourself a favor and check out this woman's food photography - totally gorgeous) came from a raw food blog.  While I eat a diet high in raw foods, I am not exclusively a "raw foodist" by any stretch, and I don't have a dehydrator which the original recipe requires.  So I changed a few things in order to suit my own needs and preferences.

 

Orange Thyme Salad with Beets and Walnuts

(adapted from Rawmazing)

Makes 2 large meal salads

2 medium beets, sliced and then quartered

balsamic vinegar & olive oil

4-5 cups greens (I used arugula)

segments of 1 orange

 

For the dressing

juice of 1 navel orange

1 tsp orange zest

1 tsp dried shallots (I would use fresh if I had one on hand)

1 T fresh thyme

1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard

3 T olive oil

 

For the walnuts

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tsp orange zest

1 T maple syrup (use the real deal)

sprinkle of sea salt

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss beets with a sprinkle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt.  I never peel my beets, but feel free to do so.  *I chose not to fully glaze these beets.  There are already a lot of sweet elements in this salad (beets, orange slices, orange juice, walnuts, maple syrup), so I reduced some of the sweetness along the way.

Roast beets until they begin to soften and brown, about 30-40 minutes.  Be sure to give them a toss throughout cook time so the bottoms don't burn.

As those cook, blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender.  *I left the walnuts from the original recipe out of the dressing, but if you'd like a creamier dressing, you can add about 1/3 cup walnuts to the blender.

Combine walnut ingredients in a small bowl and give them a toss.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread walnuts out evenly on sheet.  Put in preheated oven until slightly browned and fragrant - only about 5 minutes or so.  Keep your eyes on the walnuts, because they will burn quickly!

Add greens to a large mixing bowl and toss with the dressing.  Then add orange segments, beets and walnuts and toss again.

I served this salad with roasted Brussels sprouts (roasted same time as the beets).  This salad would be FANTASTIC served with a little bit of goat cheese, as well.  Enjoy!