Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Beet Salad

The other day I roasted up a bunch of gorgeous red beets, but that was as far as I got until tonight. Their purpose all along has been to become Chicken Beet Salad, inspired by Tosca Reno and perfected by my own self, but I didn't have time to make it until just now.

Following Tosca's directions for roasted beets* I cubed them and stuck them in the fridge until later. Cooked beets are so bright, smooth and shiny; they look like little gems. Tonight I combined them with leftover cooked chicken, celery, feta cheese, walnuts, olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar. This salad is a great combination of colors and textures. I'd been looking for a way to enjoy beets other than on my typical Greek salad, and this chilled salad fit the bill. I wasn't so sure about it at first, as beets aren't exactly a mainstay of my diet, but after I tasted this when I made it a few months ago, I was hooked. The beets are deliciously sweet, feta and vinegar provide a nice tang, walnuts add a nutty dimension, celery is just the right kind of crunch, and leftover chicken punches up the protein factor. What a fantastic lunch or snack, straight out of the fridge! I might try some in a whole-grain wrap tomorrow.

* Oven-Roasted Beets, from The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno
6-8 medium-sized beets
Extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, passed through garlic press
Parchment paper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash and scrub beets. Remove any strings. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place beets on the lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle mixed garlic over beets. Cover tightly with tin foil and place in the oven.
3. Bake 1 hour.
4. Remove from heat. Let cool enough that you can handle the beets. The skins slip off easily at this point. Slice and place on a dinner plate next to your main course. Beets keep well in the fridge.

Looking forward to lunch....

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