Greens, Roasted Beets and Afternoon Gelato

Like many of you, I spend a few days cleansing at the beginning of every new year. Cleansing my house, my clutter, my mind and my body. There are several large trash bags filled with toys and unnecessary things waiting to be donated. This makes me feel both better and guilty. Better because I cannot function surrounded by clutter, yet guilty because it highlights how wasteful we can manage to be. I am striving for a more austere year in the material realm. I will let you know how that goes. Something tells me I will be challenged.

But back to cleansing my body.

Perhaps what I call cleansing is really not a strict cleansing diet as many experts would define it. I don’t limit my foods to juices. Maybe I should, but since I am a pretty healthy eater as is, I just try to eliminate certain extras, like red meat, dairy, sugar or too many grains. My skin is actually the first organ to notice. It feels good.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean everyone around me is on board.

Last week I was feeling particularly good about my choices after a roasted beet, greens, pistachio and chia seed salad lunch. Had a blood orange for dessert followed by a cup of ginger tea. Then the phone rang. “Is it ok if we stop over for a bit?”, asked J. “Of course!”.

And there I was five minutes later, faced with a pint of toasted almond gelato. I pulled out some crumble from the freezer, baked it and made everyone a nice bowl of blood orange segments, topped with almond crumble and toasted almond gelato. And what can I say, not what I had intended, but a great way to spend the afternoon nonetheless.

Roasted Beet, Greens, Pistachio and Chia Seed Salad

makes 1 serving

1/2 lb. baby beets, golden and red
2 cups mixed greens (romaine, spinach, watercress, beet greens)
1/2 medium spring onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbs unsalted pistachios, chopped
1 Tbs chia seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp grainy mustard
2 tsp hazelnut oil
1 Tbs olive oil

Trim the tops of the baby beets. Wash them and toss them on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake them in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes or until tender. Let them cool a bit and then peel them. The skin should come right off.

Mix the greens, sliced beets, onion and pistachios in a bowl.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking the chia seeds, salt, mustard, hazelnut oil and olive oil together. Pour over the salad and toss.

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50 Responses to “Greens, Roasted Beets and Afternoon Gelato”

  1. I admire your dedication to taking care of your body. At the same time I would have absolutely brought out the dessert for my friends. They are worth it to me! I love that you did the same.

  2. Refined, fresh and delicious looking food! And your pictures are stunning. Visiting you blog always feels me with joy…



  3. Sorry, I meant “fills me with joy”… ;-P

  4. I sent 4 trash bags off myself this week. It. felt. So. Good.

    I’ve always been a big believer in balance … and bad karma if you skip dessert. ;)

    Delicious-looking, as always!

  5. Nadia says:

    Great way to start the year :) and the salad looks absolutely delicious and perfect for a simple detox…

    I have only one healthy advice – don’t eat fruits after the meal, because they ferment in the stomach and the food can’t digest properly. Fruits are to be eaten alone, on an empty stomach. Simple and effective for the digestion :)

    P.S. Lovely photos, as usual!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious, why would you want to eliminate “too many grains” from your diet? Its been my understanding that whole grains are very good for you.

  7. Svet says:

    I´ve just came back home with a big bag of veggies and am eager to start my detox programme.

    You pictures look so inspiring!

  8. I’m now craving that gelato. I wish I was stopping in this afternoon.

  9. Nadia- I didn’t know that so thank you for clarifying. It’s funny because growing up, we always had fruit or yogurt for dessert. I will read up on it some more.

    Svet- hope you make something delicious with them.

    Anonymous- whole grains are full of nutrients and not necessarily bad for you, but when you have autoimmune and Gi issues like I do, then limiting grain consumption can be beneficial. They can be difficult to digest. Many experts I have talked to also recommend soaking grains before cooking them. When I was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance, my doctor took me off all grains (quinoa and buckwheat are the two things he allowed me to eat because they are not true grains but seeds). Hope this makes sense.

    Thanks everyone!

  10. Little Rus says:

    Every picture looks so fresh and every recipe sounds amazing! x

  11. a. maren says:

    oh beets, how beautiful. this salad is as pretty as any patisserie.

  12. Shelley says:

    Chia seeds!!! I’ve just recently fallen in love with chia seeds. Currently obsessed with chia seed pudding.
    Your whole meal looks amazing!!

  13. Jess says:

    Ok, that dessert is beautiful. I’m not sure I’d be able to eat it.
    Jess : )

  14. Beets are my favorite. I love the photographs; you made me realize I need to make beets tomorrow.

  15. Me encanta tu blog! todavía no intento ninguna receta pero lo haré pronto… Soy francesa y vivo en México, así que me proyecto mucho en tus palabras… Acá la chia se usa mucho para hacer agua de saber, chia y limón osbre todo, una delicia. No entendí bien, ¿congelas el crumble? así na más?
    Bueno, muy feliz año y yo, también hice limpieza de casa, es una delicia…

  16. Looks like I’m in good company! I’m cleansing right now too. No animal products, wheat or refined sugars. I love how I feel. Good for you! Can’t wait to try out this salad.

  17. shari says:

    I’ve never heard of chia seeds, but I love trying new things… I haven’t done a cleanse yet this year, as I usually do it in the spring. (Nature’s time of beginnings…) But I have cut down on meats and refined foods.

    Your meals always look amazing! I just made your tortilla de patatas, and it was DELICIOUS!!! I want to make it again already, and I just made it last weekend. Yummmm….

  18. Sarah says:

    oh, so fresh and wonderful looking! i just had some golden beets for dinner last night myself. also, i definitely agree with your version of cleansing… i could not live on juice alone!

  19. nothing brightens up a winter day like the color of beets — thanks for this great recipe!

  20. Gelato is never an unwanted addition to the day :) Pictures are lovely!

  21. Amazing! Love the salad and the dessert, do you have a recipe for the dessert too? yum!

  22. I love visiting your blog and seeing the photos- you create great images to each post. I feel I just finished that salad – yum!!

  23. Iratxe says:

    ¡Qué bueno Aran!, ayer justamente terminé de recoger todo y de limpiar la casa de artículos navideños, ¡qué paliza!. Todavía no he empezado con mi cuerpo pero empezaré pronto. ¡Qué ricas recetas!.

  24. Your cleansing idea is a really good one. It’s great to be balanced. I love beetroots, and so does my family. They’d definitely be on board for that!

  25. Oh that looks just beautiful – I’ve found that once I altered my eating habits I actually enjoyed food that *nourished* my body more so than others. I am definitely trying this tomorrow night, I have fresh beetroots awaiting such a lovely recipe :)

  26. Tu blog me ha enamorado de principio a fin, es increíble que cada imagen sea tan perfecta, enhorabuena, eso no se ve todos los dias, y es un placer hacerlo aqui :)
    Pd: que ganas de probarlo todo! mmmm!!! ^^

  27. Robo Stir says:

    This roasted beet, greens, pistachio and chia seed salad sounds wonderful. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  28. Anonymous says:

    That gelato looks criminal! I want some! Awesome pics.

    Great Gifts

  29. Juliandra says:

    the pics make me to taste the recipe… I’m dying here to taste it. I’m getting yummy recipe ideas from myBantu and it sounds wonderful. If you are interested to get more recipe ideas check cheers

  30. This looks sooo good. I love beets.

  31. Your photos are so dreamy! I would love this salad, as I am crazy about beets and greens and pistachios; I have never had chia seeds, so I need to try this. The gelato with crumble and fruit also looks delightful (especially with the toasted almonds); all in all, a very satisfying day at your place!

  32. Diets …Painful…torture…Hate em , but i got 2 stone to lose myself so ill prob give your salad a whirl….in the meantime im still fighting my choccie craving and sitting here with a handful of nuts n raisins….Bah humbug.

  33. Nothing wrong with a sweet treat after a healthy salad! And that salad looks lovely. I have never used hazelnut oil, but sounds wonderful.

  34. jennifer. says:

    Adorable photos, I love the light!

  35. I so need to follow your example; with two kids under 2 the place is full of unnecessary things and we ( myself and wife ) struggle to keep a healthy and balanced diet- not the kids fault anyway, just using them as an excuse :-)
    Love the photos as usual and the beautiful propping.

  36. Missy says:

    Your blog never fails to feed me visually. Beautiful photos and food ~Thank you.

  37. Deeba PAB says:

    Just right for this time of the year Aran, and similar thoughts hit me too. ‘Not everyone on board’… true here as well. While I struggle to make life healthier {red meat virtually knocked out, whole grains are in}, the kids struggle to make it tastier…a balancing act in itself! This is a gorgeous salad, and I love that it says ‘serves 1’! That toasted almond gelato is calling my name though, crumble and all! Have a wonderful 2011… you continue to inspire as always!

  38. Growing up in a French/Dutch household, we used to eat beets often, later it was intermingled with other recipes… and I really loved their color, taste.

    It’s a shame I can’t find them readily available here, or maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

  39. Cherry says:

    Hmmm nice presentation. This looks great and maybe it tastes good as well. Can’t wait to try this at home.

  40. Amanda says:

    I tried roasted beets once before with balsamic vinegar which was yum but I think I didn’t roast them long enough so they weren’t super soft and sweet. I love looking at your photos! Oh and I tried your cocoa macarons and they turned out great! Thank you!

  41. mary says:

    I am a new fan of your blog. So beautiful! It makes me smile every time. I was wondering about chia seeds. I recently saw them at the store but I haven’t had much time to research them yet. Would anyone mind posting a blurb about them?

  42. Rebecca says:

    Mmmmm looks délicieux! I love beets (though can’t say that without laughing since you know what the word pronounced “beet” but spelled differently means en français ;) J’adore your site, keep up the amazing recipes, photos and stories! Very inspiring. When does your book come out ? Can’t wait!
    Bisous from an American in Paris,

  43. All that cleansing is still on my ‘to do’ list! I know what you mean about being surrounded by people who are not quite as keen to come with you. Beautiful pics as always.

  44. Y says:

    If that’s as indulgent as it’s going to get for you this year, I think you’ll do fine :P

  45. Mary- chia seeds are packed with protein, omega 3s and are overall great for you. here’s a oink for more info

    Y- you know me… i’m pretty balanced, a plate of bacon, another plate with omelette and potatoes, a bowl of fruit, some gf bread thrown in there…. i can eat a LOT as you witnessed, but i’d say pretty healthy no? :)

    Thanks all!

  46. I love your photos. I’m totally smitten by them. I tend to go for closeups, not props in my photos, but that’s just because I don’t really have any lovely props!

  47. I just picked up some Chia seeds on Sunday…and I am crazy about this salad, delicious :)

  48. Equipoise says:

    Great salad idea, love the pictures too. Thanks.

  49. Excellent post… was just what I was looking for! Thanks again.

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