Marinated Beet and Spinach Salad with Feta, Avocado & Walnuts

This is the take of one dressing used three different times to create this salad.

Basic Mustard Vinegar Dressing

 

Basic Mustard and Sherry Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Sherry Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp each of Dried Granulated Garlic, Dried Granulated Onion and Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  1. Put all the ingredients into a mason jar and shake to combine.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Store unused in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  2. If you don’t have a mason jar, well a bowl and whisk would work just fine.  Store in a container with a lid.

 

Okay, I made this dressing sound easy, because it is that easy.  At any time you can switch out the sherry for another type of vinegar, change the dijon to grain mustard, change the olive oil to…well, another oil and/or add any type of herb or spice and you have a new and improved version or the original.  Yet at its core, it is still the same.

I made the beets by peeling them and steaming them for around 20-30 minutes.  Basically, when I could poke a knife into the beet and it went through, they were done.  Let the beets have some bite to them though.  Which means, if at all possible don’t overcook them.  Look, here is the basic idea…

Steamed Beets

  • Peeled Beets (all around the same size)
  • Steaming Basket, a Pot or Pan to Steam in and 2 inches of Water
  1. Fill the bottom of the Pot with 2 inches of water and place steamer inside.
  2. When water starts to boil, add beets into the steamer.
  3. Steam for @20-30 minutes or until you can put the tip of the knife into the beet.

 

Okay, so that is really all the understanding this recipe needs.  After you steam the beets.  Let them cool for a bit…slice them and then in a bowl toss them with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette.  Set them aside (in the fridge) until plating.  You can eat this as is as a side, in a salad or let them marinate overnight to really get the dressing soaked in and them eat them straight from the container you stored them in.

I also used the vinaigrette to marinated in a large freezer bag my chicken breasts.  Just enough dressing to cover the chicken.  Seal it up and place in fridge for a couple of hours or for a day.  Grill the meat off.  Let it rest and then slice to serve.

Here is how the salad comes together…

Beet and Spinach Salad

Beet and Spinach Salad with Feta, Avocado and Walnuts

Serves Four Main Servings

  • 2 Steamed Beets that Have been Marinated in the Vinaigrette (see above for details)
  • 2 Marinated and Grilled Chicken Breasts, sliced or chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 Bag of Pre-Cleaned Baby Spinach (or 2 bags if you are big eaters or love the spinach)
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese Crumbles
  • 1 Avocado – Pit Removed and Sliced and Peeled
  • 1/4 cup Toasted Walnuts (or Glazed Walnuts if you want a sweet element)
  • @1/4 cup of the Basic Mustard and Sherry Vinaigrette (see recipe above)
  1. After the beets have been dressed (see above) and chicken has been cooked through and sliced (also see above) toss the spinach with dressing.
  2. Divide the spinach onto four dinner plates.  Put 1/4 of the Feta Crumbles and Walnuts onto each plate.
  3. Slice the beets and place 1/4 of the slices onto each plate.
  4. Divide the chicken and avocado into 1/4 portions and put on each plate.

 

I don’t know, after the prep work of making the dressing, marinating and grilling the chicken, steaming and marinating the beets and slicing the avocado…the rest is just plating.  I used the vinaigrette three ways in this dish, but it isn’t redundant.  It just helps to make it all taste…good!  Both the kids loved the beets, but they didn’t want walnuts or feta, so I adjusted on their plates.  This is fancy enough to entertain with…people will be impressed that you steamed and marinated your own beets.  You can prove you did by showing them your ruby red fingers!  I would serve this with a nice crisp white wine if you know, I was drinking with this meal. Maybe a nice Sauvignon Blanc.

I forgot to mention…if you are Vegetarian, omit the chicken.  I you are Vegan, omit the chicken and feta and honey (in dressing).  If you are Paleo, omit the feta and beets and honey (in dressing).  You are home free if you are Gluten or Grain Free.  See, everyone can love some part of this salad!

**You can substitute the honey for coconut sugar or stevia or (gasp) white sugar to adjust to your diet needs.  Stevia makes this sugar free (except natural occurring sugars in the beets and other vegetables).

No matter how you use the Mustard and Sherry Vinaigrette, go and make a family meal of you own…Clink!

 

 

 

 

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