This roasted beet and chicken salad with feta, slivered almond carrots and honey salted peanuts is delicious! It’s the perfect combination of crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty. It’s loaded with protein and packed with veggies, and the dressing is homemade!
I made this for dinner, then proceeded to pack the leftovers for lunch the next day. I ended up eating lunch at 11:30am and was surprisingly full until around 5:00pm when I was getting home from work. The ingredients make a wonderful blend of flavours and don’t overpower each other in any way. The dressing is one of my favourite parts, as it is homemade, healthy and gluten-free. I remember a few years back when I found out even standard salad dressings have gluten in them…what kind of world is this? Then I broadened my horizons and explored my options for dressing. Your base can almost always be oil, then you basically add what you like from there. Looking for a sweeter dressing? Add maple syrup or honey. Looking for a more sour dressing? Add red wine vinegar and/or fresh squeeze lemon or lime juice. For this dish, I made a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and amber honey. It made for a zesty, yet subtle splash to an already flavourful salad.
I started buying lettuce that I came across at Food Basics that comes from a local family farm. It’s a smaller container of leafy lettuce that is extremely fresh and tasty. I also love that it comes from the outskirts of our city and is servicing our local economy. One package serves about 3-4 salads. If you have other ingredients going on the salad, you can get away with around 4 smaller salads. If you’re relying on the lettuce as the main part of the salad, you’ll get approximately 2 salads out of the bunch. I am also always pleased at how affordable it is. Normally, a bunch of mixed greens or spinach is about $4.00-$4.50 for a container of about 4 salads. Those containers are great when I’m craving a different style of salad, but the container of extremely fresh, local lettuce is only $2.88. It’s an easy choice. Next time you’re shopping for lettuce, stop in at Food Basics and grab some Boudrias Boston lettuce!
I will not lie to you and say this salad is an easy one to throw together. It takes patience and time to cook everything to perfection. Mainly, I mean the beets. The beets always take their sweet time! So give yourself a solid hour to make this dinner. Although that seems like a lot, you typically get a lunch for the next day out of the recipe, and you can clean the kitchen as you cook. Then, when dinner is ready, so is your lunch for work and your kitchen is clean. This means you actually get to sit down and enjoy your dinner…and maybe even a glass of wine if you’re lucky! Recommended pairing? A crisp pinot grigio. You can’t go wrong with a light, refreshing white with a salad. Especially when there are a few flavours at play.
Serves: 3-4 salads
Ingredients for the salad: 1 head lettuce of your choice (I chose Boudrias local Boston lettuce), 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 20 beets (skin removed, boiled, then roasted), 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, 2 large carrots (peeled and sliced), 1/4 cup almonds (slivered), 2 cups chicken breast (sliced and pan-fried).
Ingredients for the dressing: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp lime juice, 3 tbsp honey.
Instructions for salad: preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to prepare for beets. Boil a large pot of water for the beets. While you wait for the water to boil, peel the skin off the beets. I find it necessary to deal with the beets first, as they take an eternity to cook. Once the beets have boiled for about 20 minutes and the oven is preheated, quarter each beet and place it on the baking sheet. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes until completely cooked through. While you have about 10 minutes left on the oven, slice chicken breast into pieces and pan-fry with whatever spices you like (I used a bit of butter and garlic powder). Slice carrots into long pieces and chop almonds. In a separate pan, fry carrots and almonds with a bit of olive oil. Wash and tear lettuce. Crumble feta. Remove the beets from the oven. Top bed of lettuce with the chicken, beets and carrot/almond blend, then pour crumbled feta and peanuts over salad. Pour dressing of your choice over the salad. *Use dressing recipe above for a healthy, homemade and gluten-free option.
Instructions for dressing: mix together the olive oil, lime juice, and red wine vinegar, then whisk in the honey.