You know those days when you’re just craving something lean & green? Your body can’t get over its need for some fresh veggie goodness? I’ve been there. Actually, I’m there. This week I’ve been treating my body to some serious workouts and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my food cravings when I begin getting hungry. Typically the cold weather has me all about soups, curries, oatmeal and anything else that’s super warming [because I’m alwaysss chilly]. But the past few days have been fresh veggie central – fresh juices, huge green smoothies, and big salads. Lesson learned :
treat your body with love –> it’ll love ya right back ♥
This isn’t to say that warmer, cooked dishes aren’t healthy [because they definitely can be] – but sometimes I’ve gotta get the vibrant, uncooked nutrients in my belly after a sweat-drenched workout. This Heart Beet Winter Salad is made with amazing seasonal goodness from our farm box and although I’m way ahead of the game, I was inspired to make it because Valentine’s Day is coming up! Ok, it’s still a month away, but any reason to celebrate love and vivaciously pink colored fresh fruit & veggies is alright in my book.
The dressing isn’t actually made with seasonal ingredients, but I’ve been all about having a stash of frozen organic berries in our freezer lately. So I wanted to take advantage of having access to beautiful strawberries in the middle of winter to make an amazing dressing with a hint of sweetness to balance out the balsamic vinegar. Make this dressing ahead of time for your salads throughout the week, and double the recipe if you just can’t get enough.
Heart Beet Winter Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
- about 4 cups mixed greens
- 1 large beet; sliced thinly or into matchsticks
- 1/2 pomegranate; seeds removed & saved [*see note below]
- 3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- 4 strawberries [I used frozen, but fresh is good also]
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
To make the dressing, simply blend all the ingredients in a blender until it is totally smooth. If you don’t plan to use it immediately, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Assemble the salad into two bowls, beginning with greens [obvi] and then adding your toppings and finishing it off with the Strawberry Balsamic Dressing. Toss it and its ready to go! Feel free to add in a protein boost, such as chickpeas, roast chicken or salmon, and share the extra bowl with someone you love. ♥
*Notes : Removing the seeds from a pomegranate seems like a big pain in the you-know-what, but its actually really simple and relatively not messy. The trick – do the task in a big bowl of water. Cut the pom in half then, in the bowl of water, begin to push the seeds out [turning the pom inside out helps with this process]. Pom seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the membrane [I know, strange term] will float to the top, which makes it super easy to remove. You can also just buy the seeds in a package to avoid doing the dirty work.
Playing with seasonal ingredients is my favorite – especially the abundance of pomegranates, beets, and citrus right now! I’m finding more and more that I have a really difficult time buying any produce at the store that’s NOT in season [Do I really want asparagus that’s traveled for thousands of miles? No, thanks.] My body has become accustomed to it, also, and it allows me to flow better with the seasons – even throughout my least preferred season [ahem, winter].
What kind of winter produce is at the top of your list??