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February 14, 2012 | Issue 387

Valentine's Day Beet

Spinach Salad with Creamy Beet Dressing

This simple salad is the perfect starter for a romantic evening or any healthful meal. Baby spinach and green beans are mixed with a creamy, vibrant red beet dressing. Beets are a nutritional powerhouse full of manganese, potassium, folate and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Plus, this dish is low in calories and fat so you have a little extra wiggle room for a dessert like our chocolate-dipped fruit.

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 86 calories, 4 g total fat (< 1 g saturated fat), 11 g carbohydrate,
3 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 119 mg sodium.

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped, drained canned beets, or vacuum-packed cooked beets (see note)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup French green beans
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 medium endives, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, about 1 cup
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet onion, cut in very thin crescents
  • 1 small roasted or cooked beet

Directions

  1. For dressing, place beets, mustard, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of broth in blender and whirl until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of blender as needed. With the motor running, pour in remaining broth, then oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3/4 cup thick dressing. Dressing can be made ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered, for 24 hours. If necessary, before using, thin chilled dressing with additional broth and adjust the seasoning.
  2. Cook green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge immediately into bowl of cold water. When beans are cool, drain well and set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine spinach and endive, then divide between 2 salad plates or wide, shallow bowls. Sprinkle onions over greens, then add green beans.
  4. Cut beet crosswise into thin slices. Cut each slice into matchsticks and sprinkle over salad. Drizzle on 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Serve immediately.

Note: When buying beets in a can or jar, be sure they are not pickled.

Grocery list

Canned beets, or vacuum-packed cooked beets
Dijon-style mustard
Apple cider vinegar
Fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
French green beans
Baby spinach
Endives
Sweet onion
Roasted or cooked beet

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Did You Know?

Beets are related to chard and their leaves are nutrient-rich. Try steaming and coarsely chopping beet greens, then drizzling them with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.


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