Beet Salad with Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette


This Thanksgiving is the first where I truly know what it means to be thankful. I speak a lot about being grateful and appreciating the things you already have (even starting your day with a gratitude journal) but is this the same as being thankful? Who are we giving thanks to?  Life is beautiful and more often than not, we do not take the time to really appreciate all of our blessings.  If we all lived in the moment a little bit more we would see, and be thankful for, the beauty that surrounds us everyday.  The other evening Savannah and I arrived home and it was a stunning clear night.  The stars were sparkling and the moon was so bright and so close you could grab it.  Savannah reached up to grab the moon and said “oooooo” and we both took a moment to look at the breathtaking view and I said “oooooo” as well.  If we all just put down our phones more and really took the time to soak in the gifts we are given and the abundance thats surrounds us.  This morning I woke up and stared at Savannah’s little toes and perfect little features – and thought wow life is truly miraculous.

This Thanksgiving I am not only grateful for my family, friends and the beauty of life but I am also grateful for my personal growth and development.  Embracing the moment and surrounding myself with positive people who help me be a better version of me. Setting healthy boundaries and communicating my wants and needs.  They say the best project you will ever work on is YOU, I have come to understand that all you have to do is take a close look at yourself and you will understand everyone else.  I am deeply grateful for my experiences (good and bad), my energy, my love and my spiritual journey.

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. I absolutely adore the beautiful side dishes and the array of colours this celebration brings.  Our family is so large that we celebrate every holiday twice!  This is definitely one holiday I do not mind repeating.  I decided this Thanksgiving to make a colourful beet and goat cheese salad paired with a pumpkin maple vinaigrette.  This colourful beet salad is a simple dish that screams fall and just happens to be really pretty too!

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As a nutritionist, I am always thinking about the health benefits of the foods my family and I enjoy.  Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre and essential minerals.  For all you mothers out there who are expecting, you will want to stock up on beets as they contain the B vitamin (folate) which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

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As we all have come to know and experience, turkey often makes us feel sleepy.  Although this could largely be due to the mere fact that many of us overeat during these holidays, turkey contains the amino-acid tryptophan which forms the basis of brain chemicals that make people tired.  My beet salad will counteract this sleepy feeling by giving you a healthy jolt of energy!  A single serving of beets can boost your energy as they contain nitrates. Nitrates are compounds which improve blood flow throughout the body – including the brain, heart, and muscles. So make sure to give yourself a nice dollop of beet salad so that you can last till the dessert stage (look out for my next post on my healthy and tasty Thanksgiving dessert!).

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Ingredients

1 box of Arugula

5-6 large Beets

Goat cheese

1/2 cup Walnuts

Pumpkin Maple Vinaigrette 

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Parsley (as garnish)

 

1/4 cup Pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons Maple syrup

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 cup Olive oil

2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar

1 medium garlic clove (minced)

                                                               Salt & pepper to taste

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Instructions 

  1. Place beets into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool, then cut in to cubes.
  2. In a medium sized mason jar, whisk together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, dijon mustard,apple cider vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing.
  3. Place a large helping of arugula onto the platter, then place the cubed beets on top allowing for the greens to frame the platter.  Top the beets with goat cheese and walnuts and drizzle with the dressing.  Sprinkle parsley on top for added flavour and colour.