beet salad with goat cheese

Last night, I was in Pasadena for as part of an audience for Patt Morrison’s show on NPR. The topic was navigating L.A.’s food deserts. It was an informative and multi-faceted discussion on why predominately black and brown communities lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables and which falls in line with why there are significantly higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and other preventable diseases attributed to diet, nutrition, exercise, etc. I also learned that LA is one of the most park deprived cities in the country. They showed this video about two moms that swapped neigborhoods to go grocery shopping. One from Santa Monica and one from Boyle Heights. The differences in what they find is very eye-opening. Here are some pictures from the event.

One of panels from the event focused on encouraging people to shop at farmer’s market and even brought in a wide variety of produce people could enjoy and take home there.¬† I made a salad with my beets I bought last week at the farmer’s market in my local neighborhood. Enjoy!

beet salad with goat cheese (adapted from allrecipes) serves 6

4 medium beets – scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1 (10 ounce) package spinach, washed
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese

  1. Place beets into a saucepan, 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. While the beets are cooking, place the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing.
  4. Place a large helping of baby greens onto each of four salad plates, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over the greens. Place equal amounts of beets over the greens, and top with dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing. (Note: I added 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans to the recipe, add some of your fav veggies)

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