Beet Salad – A Healthy Twist

Beet Salad

This Beet Salad was featured in my Swedish Affair post. A delightfully healthy spin on a traditional Swedish beet salad, with pickled baby beets, oranges, spiced pecans and a honey, ginger, balsamic vinaigrette. A wonderful combination of flavors to wake up those Scandinavian taste buds!

Beet Salad – My Spin

When I am creating a menu with an ethnic spin, I always debate the finer points of keeping things authentic, vs. taking creative license.  In this case, something fresh and tangy was needed to balance out the cream sauce for the meatballs and the rich almond cake. That led me down the path of a green salad. I decided to include both pickled beets and oranges, for added flavor and color. The spiced pecans added crunch, and were coated with “pie spices” to help tie them to the flavors in the meatballs.

As you put together a menu, it’s important to think about the balance of flavors, color and textures across the dishes selected. I’ve heard it said that we dine in 3 ways – with our eyes, with our noses and with our mouths. That means that making food that looks good, as well as smells and tastes good, provides an even more pleasant dining experience. This salad was created with those goals in mind.

Enjoy this salad as is, or get creative and and spin it your way! That’s one of my favorite things about salads. They are very flexible and adaptable to what you like and have on hand. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, a majority of recipes are really more of a guideline vs. a strict “how to manual.” The one exception to that is baking. Still room for creativity there, but more rules-based for sure. My favorite catch phrase is – Cooking is Art but Baking is Science.  In total transparency – I am a much better artist than scientist!

Beet Salad – A Healthy Twist

Serving Size: 4-6 servings


  • 8 cups Mixed Greens
  • 8 ounces halved pickled baby beets (or cut large pickled beets into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup orange segments (I peeled some Halos, but canned mandarin oranges, drained, would work too)
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
    Spiced Pecans
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
    Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar (or use a white balsamic + some finely grated ginger, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper


  • Place greens, beets, oranges, chives and feta in serving bowl which is large enough for tossing salad. Toss with desired amount of dressing and top with pecans.
    Spiced Pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans in a bowl. Melt butter over low heat in small saucepan and stir in spices. Remove from heat and stir until well combined and sugar dissolves. Pour over pecans and mix well.
  • Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Cool completely before serving. This recipe will make more than needed for the salad, but are great for snacking too. They can be kept covered in refrigerator for a week or can be frozen for future use.
    Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Combine all ingredients in a a small jar or container with tight fitting lid and shake until well combined. Can be made in advance and refrigerated. Let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes prior to use.

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