After the many indulgences of the holiday season (and there WERE many) I've been trying to make an effort to get back on the path to losing weight. So, salads. Salads were the key to my staying healthy during pregnancy, so turning to them once more seems wise – not to mention tasty. I find a good salad to be extremely satisfying. It can hit all the right spots: sweet, salty, crunchy, fatty, hearty…
Of course, you can't just throw some lettuce in a bowl. A proper entree salad needs something more. Lydia over at The Salad Diaries has got the right idea. If you need a little salad inspiration head over to her blog or follow her on Instagram. I started following her a while back and find her passion for salad to be infectious – just what I need after a season spent letting my bad habits run amok.
Anyway, THIS salad is a good one. I used a store-bought poppyseed dressing because homemade vinnaigrettes are not really part of my post-baby life at the moment. It's sad when you can't spare two minutes to whip up a salad dressing but there it is. Shit is getting real around here. As for YOU, I'd suggest anything on the sweet and sour side. Poppyseed, balsamic, fruity vinnaigrette, that sort of thing.
The pickled beets are what make this salad special. They go really nicely with salty feta and crisp, sweet carrots. Fresh berries and crunchy nuts would also be nice things to add, if you have them. I've been enjoying variations of this salad topped with sliced turkey, leftover roast chicken, and in my dreams – a lovely hunk of sockeye salmon with nice crunchy skin. (A girl on a tight grocery budget can dream.)
Quick Pickled Beets
- 1 large beet, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces rice vinegar
- 4 ounces water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- Combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar and spices in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.
- Stir in the beets, then let the mixture cool to room temperature. The beets can then be chilled in the fridge until use. (They'll stay good for about two weeks. After that they may get mushy.)
Spinach Salad with Quick Pickled Beets
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 raw carrot, shredded, thinly sliced or spiral cut
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- 1/8 cup pickled beets
- Dressing to taste
- Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and devour promptly.