Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Roasted Beet & Sweet Potato Spinach Salad

Don't you just love it when you mull over a meal idea in your head and it turns out better than you imagined??

That would be what this salad did for me. When I decided I was going to do the 21 day cleanse, immediately I got to making a food list ~ I'll let you in on a little secret, I constantly make lists. There are post-its stuck around the house with to-do lists, grocery lists, handyman lists, gift lists, etc. etc. I probably have all my grocery lists from the past 2 months crammed into my purse and there is often a post-it note stuck inside my jacket pocket. This little 'habit' of mine is quite annoying to my better half, but I can't help it. I think its a genetic trait!

One of the first meal ideas I jotted down was a spinach salad with beets & sweet potato. I saw this in a magazine and it looked delicious and really pretty on the plate. I've been thinking about trying it, but if I have the choice between a processed veggie burger or a salad, you can guess which one I normally would choose. Well, that was the old me and now I am the salad diva extraordinaire!! I am also a sweet potato fiend as you can tell from my many sweet potato recipes!

Roasted Beet & Sweet Potato Spinach Salad
1 medium beet, peeled and cubed
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt
1 c baby spinach
2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp dried cranberries

2 - 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350. Toss the cubed beets and sweet potato with a drizzle of olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I was worried that the beets might run and discolour my sweet potatoes, but they didn't run at all.

Roast the sweet potatoes and beets for approximately 40 minutes, making sure to flip halfway through. You want them to be soft and starting to brown.

Once they are roasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool for five to ten minutes.

Start assembling this amazing salad.

  1. Arrange your spinach on the plate.

2. Add the potatoes and beets.

3. Add pumpkin seeds and cranberries.

4. Drizzle with dressing.

5. Savour every single bite.

This salad makes one large dinner serving or two to three sides.

Of course, you can use your favourite dressing, but I came across the most fabulous recipe for an easy balsamic dressing recently.

Homemade Balsamic Dressing
Very slightly adapted from Oh She Glows

2.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or regular mustard)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 minced clove of garlic (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk! Makes about a 1/2 cup of dressing. The only changes I made to the recipe was to reduce the maple syrup from 2 tbsp to 1 tbsp. I found it too sweet with 2, however you can adapt the measurement to your taste. I didn't have garlic and it was fantastic without, but I think next time I would definitely add it in.

I stored my extra dressing in a small mason jar in the fridge. I am a crazed-balsamic vinegar maniac, so I never have to worry about it going bad. Someday you might catch me slurping it up with a straw (ok, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but you hear what I'm saying ~ I really love it!!)

So there you have it, two awesome recipes in one post. If you love sweet potatoes and beets, you are going to love this salad. The crunch of the pumpkin seeds paired with the sweetness of the cranberries puts this salad over the top. Add the most amazing and easy homemade dressing ever and you have one awesome salad...and believe me, the old me would never have used the words 'awesome' and 'salad' in the same post let alone the same sentence!!


  1. sweet potatoes + beets + spinach = my kind of meal. So tasty and cleansing. Congrats on making it so far in the cleanse!

  2. Mmm...beets and sweet potatoes sounds like such a good combo. I wish I had known how much I liked beets earlier in life. I feel like I missed out on years of beet enjoyment!