Beet Salad with Feta and Walnuts

I came up with this easy recipe as part of a heart healthy meal plan for Valentine’s Day, but it can be enjoyed any day of the year!

My mom used to make a salad with beets and kidney beans and though I didn’t like eating the beets alone, they were surprisingly tasty in the salad along with the other vegetables.

I prefer using store-bought cooked beets, but you can cook or roast your own. (Warning: Working with beets can make your kitchen look like a crime scene afterward!)

I also decided to pack my salad with other heart healthy ingredients like walnuts, onions, and spinach.

What Makes These Ingredients Heart Healthy?

  • Spinach and Beets: Contain fiber, nitrates, vitamins, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These may help decrease blood pressure, inflammation, and risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • Kidney Beans: Are high in fiber, potassium, and B vitamins, and may improve cholesterol levels and decrease risk of heart disease.

  • Olive Oil and Walnuts: Are high in omega-3 fatty acids which may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and inflammation.

  • Onions: Contain potassium and phytochemicals that may reduce cholesterol and possibly blood pressure.

Beet and feta salad with walnuts, spinach, and purple onions.

how to make Beet and Feta Salad

Start by toasting 1/2 cup fresh walnuts in a skillet on medium-low heat for a few minutes, being careful not to burn them. Set them aside.

Then rinse and dry 8 cups baby spinach and add to a large salad bowl. If using canned beans, rinse them and add 1 cup to the salad.

Next, add in 1 cup cooked or roasted beets that have been sliced or diced, as well as 1 cup pickled red onions.

Other vegetables you can add include sliced bell peppers, julienned carrots, and/or sliced avocado.

Finally, add in 1/2 cup of crumbled feta. Feta adds a nice salty brininess to the salad. If you’re not a fan, goat cheese or parmesan can be used instead.

Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle on some of the dressing, and toss well. Save some dressing to serve on the side.

how to make Dijon balsamic vinaigrette 

In a small bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 minced clove of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk the dressing well until the oil and vinegar are completely emulsified.

Alternatively, you can add all ingredients into a small jar, close the lid, and shake very hard.

Taste and add more oil or vinegar if preferred.

Most salad dressings have a higher ratio of olive oil to vinegar, but I like the flavor of vinegar so I use a 1:1 ratio. Adjust the amounts to your preference.

In fact, the amounts of all the ingredient are just estimates. Add more or less of whatever you like.

Also, feel free to switch out the veggies, beans, or nuts. Adding any type of these foods to your diet will still be good for your heart.

Most vegetables and legumes contain properties that improve your heart’s health, as long as you just eat more of them!

here are some Other salads to try

Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
This salad is full of all the good things that go into a hummus wrap: chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and of course garlic & tahini!
Check out this recipe
Chickpea salad with tahini dressing, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley.
Pasta Salad with Feta and Grilled Veggies
Pasta and grilled veggies mixed with a creamy feta dressing.
Check out this recipe
Plate of pasta salad with feta and veggies.
Easy Creamy Salad Dressing
A quick creamy dressing that can be easily customized.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen bowl salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, croutons, feta, seeds, cranberries, spinach, and creamy dressing.
Tomato Cucumber Raita
This popular Kerala condiment is served at almost every Indian function!
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen bowl of yogurt tomato raita.

Joby's Test Kitchen bowl of beet and feta salad with walnuts, spinach, and purple onions.

Beet Salad with Feta and Walnuts

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A fresh salad full of heart healthy ingredients and flavor!
Prep Time 13 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 324 kcal

Ingredients
  

Beet and Feta Salad

  • 8 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup cooked or roasted beets, sliced or diced
  • 1 cup canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sliced pickled red onions, optional
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup feta or goat cheese

Optional Vegetables:

  • bell peppers, sliced or diced
  • carrots, julienned
  • avocado, sliced or diced

Dijon Balsamic Dressing:

  • 3 tbsps (45ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsps (15-30ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey, optional
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Beet and Feta Salad

  • Toast walnuts in a skillet on medium-low heat for a few minutes, being careful not to burn them. Allow them to cool.
  • Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle on some of the dressing, and toss well. Save some dressing to serve on the side.

Dijon Balsamic Dressing

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified. Alternatively, add ingredients to a small jar, close the lid, and shake hard. Taste and add more oil or vinegar if preferred.
Keyword beets, feta, kidney beans, spinach, walnuts

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