When you go out to a restaurant, it is probably pretty likely that you have a “go- to” item or two in mind before you even have the menu in hand. For me, it is the beet salad. If there is any salad on the menu that contains beets, you can pretty much guarantee that I will be ordering it. From a health standpoint, I think it is extremely helpful to have some go- to meals in mind when going out to eat, as it can help you keep your health related goals when heading to a restaurant to grab a meal. I also love how most restaurants have their menus online, so you can scope out the food before you go there. I always look at the menu before I go to the restaurant and pick out what I’m going to order. I know that if I have a game plan of ordering the grilled sea bass with mediterranean quinoa and roasted veggies, I will feel less tempted to order something that would prevent me from eating healthy or getting a nutritious meal. I highly recommend looking at a menu before you go out, so you have an idea of some healthy items you can order before your eyes and stomach tell you to do otherwise.
Balsamic beet salad at Prado, Balboa Park
Back to the beet salad. Typically this salad has beets, a sprinkling of some goat-y cheese, and maybe a few other ingredients thrown in, like pistachios or another veggie. To make the salad a more filling meal, I order mine with some grilled salmon or chicken breast. Obviously, the star of the salad is the beet. This root vegetable is full of antioxidants (revealed by their rich color) and is a great source of countless vitamins and minerals to boost your health.
Pesto, pistachios, and grapefruit slices make this beet salad burst with flavor at Sea and Smoke, Del Mar
The beet salad is very versatile, and can be made easily and creatively at home. I’m sharing one way I make the beet salad at home. It makes a nice, light meal, or you can make a big bowl full for serving as a side dish while entertaining.
My take on the beet salad for Summer
Feel free to use any cheese, or vegetable you like- be creative, there is no right or wrong way to make this salad (unless you forget the beets, of course). I will often use the fruits and veggies that I have leftover in the fridge from other recipes- it makes preparing this salad even easier!
1 1/2 cups Spring mix lettuce
several beets, roasted and sliced (when I’m short on time, I use ready to eat beets, like LoveBeets)
4-5 Strawberries, sliced
several spears of grilled/roasted asparagus
1 1/2 ounces of cheese ( in my opinion, goat cheese is the king cheese for this salad)
1-2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
I feel silly even writing directions to compose a salad because it is such a breeze to do! Just take all your ingredients and toss them together! Crumble the cheese over the salad, drizzle the balsamic, and dig in. This salad is so simple and fresh, I bet you will be as obsessed with it as I am! Let me know what other ingredients you would put in your beet salad, and what are some tips you have for eating healthy when dining out? I would love to hear from you!