The weather is FINALLY warming up in the PNW which means I’m keeping the oven off and opting for quick and easy meals like this gorgeous green salad with semi-sweet pink grapefruit tossed with raw red and golden beets (yes, eat them raw and save the roasted beets for another time), cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, and goat cheese. Gotta have the goat cheese. So good. And then drizzled with a homemade balsamic dressing.
Actually, no I don’t. I hear from the running community that carbs like whole grain pasta are awesome sources of fuel. But the idea of running super far after finishing off a plate of pasta just doesn’t sound like it would be a wise idea. I think I’ll save the pasta for the post-race celebration.
Besides eating this green salad with grapefruit and colorful beets simply because it’s so dang good, it actually does have some perks for runners. I did a little research and check this out…
Beets –> they contain dietary nitrates (this is a good kind of nitrate versus the bad nitrate we always see in processed foods) which is shown to improve time to exhaustion during exercise (more energy for a longer period) and reduces the oxygen cost of exercise. Check out this article for more on beets. But basically the article says I will run faster if I eat my beets!⚡
Grapefruit –> contains a ton of the antioxidant vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system to better fight germs. It also contains antioxidants from vitamins A and E. Eating foods like grapefruit that are high in antioxidants can help counteract free radical damage caused by exercise. The B vitamins in grapefruit juice contribute to keeping energy levels high, while calcium and potassium, two electrolytes naturally found in grapefruit, help to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat during a workout. This sounds like my kinda fruit! Find more info on grapefruit here.
Tomatoes –> an awesome source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6 (which may help with glycogen storage) as well as calcium and vitamin K (which help in strengthening and performing minor repairs on your bones). Check out this Best Foods for Runners article.
And I haven’t even touched on almonds or mixed greens, which apparently have awesome benefits for runners too! Read all about almonds and mixed greens here.
Finally, top the salad off with goat cheese. Just because. We don’t need a reason for this right?
This salad inspiration actually came into being one day when myself along with a couple of my workout amigas ventured down to the local coffee shop/bakery after exercise class. Which btw, doesn’t it seem like bakeries and coffee shops are always just so conveniently located near exercise class? I think they play off our post-class weakness of wanting to literally eat everything within sight. You sneaky baristas and bakers. I’m on to you.
My boss/friend/what do you call someone who is technically your boss but is super cool and is your friend too –> bossend? I don’t even know. Anyways, my boss friend saw a beet and grapefruit salad listed on the menu and was definitely oohing and aaahing over how much she has recently come to love beets. Then with a half joking, half serious voice she looked at me and said, “Shannon, you need to come up with a beet salad for me and put it on your blog.” And in my head, I’m like “is this coming from my boss, like I better do this or else” or is it more of a “heeey girlfriend, you got a food blog and if you made a beet and grapefruit salad for me you would be the bomb!”
So that was 3 months ago and I’m just now getting to the promised salad. And I still work for her and she’s still my friend so I think we’re good. She actually asked me about the promised beet salad today during exercise class and when I told her it was made, photographed and just needing to be posted on the ole blog, I’m pretty sure I saw her do a small happy dance while she was instructing. I hope you love it bossend.Print
Green Salad with Grapefruit and Red & Golden Beets + Balsamic Dressing – A super healthy and gorgeously delicious salad that is quick and easy to prepare!
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1–2 Tbs honey or agave or desired sweetener
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 cups leafy greens (I used Earthbound Farm’s Organic Spring Mix Salad)
- 1/2 grapefruit, peeled, halved, and sliced
- 1 small red beet, peeled and julienned
- 1 small golden beet, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup goat cheese (or any other soft cheese you might like such as feta)
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- Whisk all ingredients together for 30 seconds or until blended.
- Add greens, grapefruit, red beets, golden beets, tomatoes, almonds, and cheese together in a large bowl.
- Drizzle evenly with the balsamic vinaigrette (or dressing of choice), and toss until the salad is combined and evenly coated.
- Serve immediately.
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