beet, orange & fennel salad

Several years ago my hubby was doing the majority of the cooking & we ate salads almost every weeknight. It was fantastic. Next thing I’d lost eight kilos. Hang-on, quick calculation here…okay, 17 pounds. Looking back now it seemed so effortless (largely in part due to the fact I didn’t have to cook). Fast forward to today. Ugh!!! When I hopped on the scales this morning & discovered I’d gained 2 kilos…about 4 1/2 pounds I was shocked. Depressed. And angry. So it’s going to be salad time again. Beet, orange & fennel salad with baby spinach leaves, goat cheese, walnuts & a simple balsamic dressing to kick off salad season. 

beet, orange & fennel salad

What made this morning’s weigh-in even more shocking was I felt like I’d lost weight. With news of my sick puppy, I’ve not felt a lot like eating. Maybe I just haven’t been paying close enough attention like I thought I was. And we’ve been eating out a bit. That will always do it for me. And booze. *sigh* don’t judge me. 

beet salad

When I texted my hubby & told him about the weight gain, he reminded me of my fuck-ups this week. He was much kinder about it than that. Crap, that’s right. I’d forgot. Yes, they’re going to happen, I understand that, but I feel like I’ve been losing & gaining the same six kilos – that’s 13 pounds for the metrically challenged, for the last four months. 

beet salad

I can whine & bitch about it or put on my big girl panties. I chose the latter. Though not without some drama-filled moments this morning that my dear sister back in Australia bore the brunt of in s slew of cranky fat texts. What am I supposed to do about this gain? Give up? I’m nothing if not determined when it comes to…well, when it comes to pretty much everything. So this isn’t going to shake me. Piss me off yes, make me cave, no!

beet, orange & fennel salad

It’s not a bad thing for me to be angry. Angry me pushes forward & makes shit happen. This blip on my scale radar is no different. I love salads because I think you can be more creative with salads than you can with any other meal. And have you ever noticed they take longer to eat? I know this because I’ve timed it. True. Lots of chewing. This beautiful beet, orange & fennel salad recipe inspiration came from my new friend, Linda. She made something similar & I thought it sounded delicious so I put my spin on it & I was right, it was delicious. And really pretty. Even the sliced beets by themselves look pretty. I have to add – I can get used to saying some things the American way but “beets”, I struggle with. In my Aussie world, it’s beetroot, just saying. 

 

As I write the end of this post I’m eating my lunch – homemade spicy hummus, veggies, a few olives, anchovies & sheep feta. One of my favorite lunches & I’ve not had it in awhile. I have Mango on one side of me (she’s recently decided she loves sheep feta) & a gecko on my other side sitting on a stack of Donna Hay magazines. It’s one of a few geckos we have in the house. They’re both staring at me. I wonder if the gecko wants my anchovies?? He looks like he’s about to leap at me. Guess I best adieu, finish my lunch, unpack the dishwasher from last night & clean up my lunch mess. Maybe think about what’s for dinner. I have chicken thawed. I see a chicken, blueberry & goat cheese salad in my future. I see lots of delicious salads in my future. Stay tuned. Cheers xo. 

beet, orange & fennel salad
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 4 medium beets (beetroot), trimmed
  2. 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed & very thinly sliced (I used a mandoline), reserve some
  3. of the fennel tops for garnish
  4. 2 to 3 oranges, peeled & sliced
  5. 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  6. 4 oz (113g) creamy goat cheese, broken into pieces
  7. 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  8. BALSAMIC DRESSING
  9. 1/3 cup olive oil
  10. 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  11. 1 tablespoon honey
  12. 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  13. salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a jar with a screw-top lid; shake until well combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Wrap beets in foil, place on a baking sheet & roast for about 50 minutes or until they feel cooked when tested with a skewer. Open foil & let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel & slice beets.
  3. Arrange beets on a serving platter, top with thinly sliced fennel, orange slices & spinach.
  4. Drizzle with dressing. Top with cheese, walnuts & some reserved fennel tops.
The Fresh Aussie http://thefreshaussie.com/
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