Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Hi. It’s spring…nearly summer. And do you know what that means? VEGGIES! Fresh amazing veggies. They are sprouting up everywhere in my garden. Beets and carrots and spinach and kale and cilantro and cucumbers and tomatoes! I can’t wait.

This weekend I enjoyed renewing my Saturday ritual of going to the Farmer’s Market bright and early and drooling over the produce and transplants that the local farmers had brought.  It makes salad making an adventure. Not your boring ol’ iceberg here…no spring rocket, and baby leaf kale, and beautiful sorel! Throw in some herbs, roasted beets, and avocado…yaaaaa, NOW you have heaven.

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Beet, Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad

Inspired by Pinch of Yum and my Blood Orange and Avocado Salad

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large beet
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups of raw kale, washed, destemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (or spring lettuce mix)
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into sections
  • 1 cucumber, cut into thin slices
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (or lemon juice or lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice (reserved from cutting up grapefruit for salad)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or with nonstick spray. Wash the beet thoroughly and scrub the outside very well. Remove the top and bottom of the beet. Cut in half and continue to cut up the beet until you obtain even 1-inch cubes. Place into a large bowl and drizzle with about 1/2-tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place beet cubes onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
  2. Wash the fennel bulb thoroughly. Remove the bottom root portion. Slice longways into even 1/4-inch width slices. Place in a clean bowl and drizzle with 1/2-tablesppon of olive and salt and pepper. Place the fennel slices onto the second prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. When the fennel and beets are done roasting, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Set aside. Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and kept refrigerated.
  4. Wash kale and massage with hands in a large bowl. Gently toss in the grapefruit pieces, cucumber, cilantro, and dill.
  5. Combine dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Just before ready to serve, pour dressing ingredients over the kale, grapefruit, and cucumber. Add roasted beets and fennel and toss all ingredients together gently so as not to stain everything red.
  6. When you are ready to serve the salad, add the avocados and gently combine everything because the avocados will melt and mush quickly into the salad. Top with any additional herbs, walnuts, and feta.
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Miso Harissa Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets with Kale

Miso-Harissa Roasted butternut squash and beets

I spent last week in the great city of Omaha for a new project at work. There is something amazing about being able to get out of the office and work with my hands, learn new things, meet new people, and wear my favorite boots…steal-toed boots. Ya, that’s right. Grrrrr!

Miso-Harissa Roasted butternut squash and beets

My biggest problem of being on the road is trying to eat well. Seriously, you put big plates of food, and booze, and fries in front of my face and I will inhale them! You’d think that I was a ranch hand or a growing teen boy from Nebraska. I tried to order grilled salmon and salads whenever I could, but…. oh fries…and ketchup…and breweries!

Miso-Harissa Roasted butternut squash and beets

Needless to say, my body and belly are thankful to be home, eating more wholesome foods and detoxing. To help with the wholesomeness, I roasted a butternut squash and beets with a miso-harissa dressing. Toss the roasted veggies with some fresh kale and extra dressing, and that, my friends, is a bowl-full of healing greens!

Miso-Harissa Roasted butternut squash and beets

Miso Harissa Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets with Kale (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 medium-sized beets, scrubbed, stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 Tablespoon harissa paste
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and destemmed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a shallow roasting pan and set aside.
  2. Whisk together olive oil, miso paste, harissa paste, lemon juice, cumin, and honey in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, combine the cubed butternut squash and the cubed beets with 1/3 cup of the miso-harissa mixture. Once the cubed vegetables are well coated, spread evenly on the roasting pan in a single layer. Roast the vegetables for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 F, stirring halfway through. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven.
  3. Chop the washed and destemmed kale into 1-inch pieces. Place the kale into a large bowl and stir the remaining miso-harissa mixture into the kale until it is well coated. Add the warm roasted vegetables to the kale.

Grilled Yellow Beets and Beet Greens, Camping Edition

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A few years ago, my husband and I flew to Eugene, Oregon and purchased a 1974 VW camper van and drove it back across the US, taking small highways and traveling through small towns until we made it to our home 8 days later in KC. We have lovingly named our bus the Annabelle Lee, because she is like our great ship that takes us every year in search of America. Annabelle is stocked with a couch that folds out to a full size bed, an ice box, a sink, collapsible tables, and a pop top. She is truly the best camping mobile anyone could ask for. She is part of our family.

The beauty of Annabelle is that she makes you take life a bit slower and enjoy the scenery more. She takes us back to a simple time, where people traveled on the blue highways and not interstates, finding the unique mom and pop shops and ice cream parlors that defined small American towns. She makes you leave “Generica” and the big box retail stores behind and realize that all you need in life is the ones that you love. When we travel, people look at her and smile. You can’t help it. We feel like we are traveling in a parade with people waiving, truckers honking, and trains whistling. It’s true.

Every year we set out for a great American road trip, usually heading north to escape the summer hot box. Two years ago it was Minnesota. Last year, we drove to Wisconsin, the land of beer and cheese curds!!!!

This year for our annual trip, we are headed….yes, north and west to Custer State Park. We are in search of great buffalo, blue highways, a good root beer float, slower times, good beer, hiking trails, and each others company.

The other thing I love about camping is camping food! No, not hot dogs. I love grilled chicken hobo packets, eggs and bacon in the morning with gritty coffee, and grilled bananas and marshmallows at night. This year I tried something new. I grilled some fresh beets and beet greens that we found at a farmer’s market to go along with the grilled lamb burgers the other night. So good. If you are a beet virgin like me, jump on this! And if you love beets, like my husband, you will want to devour the whole batch. So easy and you don’t waste any part of the beet. Winner winner. and it’s puuuuurty!

Grilled Yellow Beets and Beet Greens
Serves 2

Ingredients
One bundle of fresh beets (about 5 small beets), sliced 1/4-inch thick and greens removed
Beet greens, washed and sliced in 1-inch strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced
Salt and pepper

Instructions
1. Heat grill.
2. Pull out a 2 foot sheet of aluminum foil. Fold in half. Open and spray with nonstick spray. Place sliced beets and onions in the middle of the fold. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place beet greens on top. Fold packet in half again, making a pocket. Fold all edges and seal.
3. Place on indirect heat on a grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Opening packet every five minutes and stirring veggies.
4. Remove from grill. Enjoy!

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