heart beet salad

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A Week of Valentine Treats

Day Four

I thought it would be a good idea to at least include one healthy recipe for our Valentine’s line-up since it’s heart health month! I myself have been eating a lot healthier since the beginning of the year. I do the majority of cooking in our home, so everyone else in my house has been eating pretty healthy too.

Here’s the yummy, totally heart-healthy salad that Jeff and I enjoyed today for our lunch. Just in time for our week of romance! You’ll want to make the roasted chickpeas in advance… or, if you’re in a hurry, substitute shelled, unsalted pistachios for the chickpeas. Whatever you prefer. Enjoy!

makes 2 entree salads or 4 “teacup” salads

for the salad:

3 to 4 loosely packed cups of spring greens and/or fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 cup peeled, chopped, fresh beet

a few slices of fresh beet to make heart garnish

1 large, cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into cubes

1/3 cup roasted chickpea “croutons” (recipe below)

a sprinkle of pink peppercorns

Chop the greens into 1/2 inch pieces and chop the beet into 1/4 inch cubes (or grate it, if you like.) In a big bowl, mix up the greens and beet pieces until well incorporated.

for the dressing:

juice of 1 large lemon

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

Place all ingredients in a canning jar and shake until mixed. Pour over the salad in the mixing bowl and stir until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.

Divide the greens and beet mixture between 2 single serving salad bowls, or 4 teacups (for smaller, appetizer salads.) Top each with some of the chicken, roasted chickpeas, beet hearts (cut out with a mini heart cookie cutter,) and a sprinkle of pink peppercorns.

for the roasted chickpea “croutons”:

2 (15 oz.) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, thoroughly drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (optional)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. and place rack in center of oven. Gently blot the drained/rinsed chickpeas to remove excess moisture (careful not to mash them.) Place chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the oil and spices. Spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp (approximately 35 to 50 minutes.) Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a glass, airtight container.

Happy Valentine’s!



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