Deer + Almond Copycat ‘Beets & Oranges’ Salad

I’m so excited to share a salad recipe with you today! This Deer + Almond Copycat ‘Beets & Oranges’ Salad is so easy to make and it’s packed with nutrition. It is vegetarian friendly and is free of white refined sugar. The feta cheese can easily be omitted for a vegan option (in which case I would suggest sprinkling a little bit of sea salt on the salad).

I’ve been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, and just fuel my body with healthier food in general. It seems a lot easier to eat salads if I change up the recipes frequently. For those of you who love salads, I hope you give this one a try and enjoy it as much as Kevin and I do.

Deer + Almond Copycat 'Beets & Oranges' Salad

Kevin and I went to a local restaurant called Deer + Almond about a month ago. His sister had given us a gift card from this place for Christmas, along with other fun date-night snack foods and movies. It’s probably pointless to mention how much I loved this gift. Seriously though! Movies + food = heaven for Erika.

I really enjoyed the food that we had at Deer + Almond. It is a slow food restaurant that serves tapas-style dishes. The food is meant to be shared with friends and family like you would at home. I would recommend all Winnipegers to check it out, if you haven’t already! I suppose, the rest of you will simply have to come up/down for a visit!

The truth is, I have never been the biggest fan of beets. However, I’m also kinda stubborn, and feel the need to like, or at least try all foods. For instance, when Kevin and I were in Thailand last summer, they were selling fried scorpions and tarantulas on the street. I simply couldn’t bring myself to try them. Now, most people probably would have been totally okay with not trying them. I, however, still can’t get over the fact that I didn’t try them. It feels like something I should have done at least once in my life!

Back to beets though. I have often “made” myself eat some (they are easier to eat than tarantulas after all!), with the hopes that one day I’ll like them. I have realized that I enjoy them more when they are steamed than if they are pickled. When we ordered the ‘Beets & Oranges’ salad at Deer + Almond, I really enjoyed it! Although, proportionally they added too many beets for my liking. If you love beets, however, you would probably disagree with me, and would have loved the salad just the way it was served. That’s the beauty of making this salad yourself! You get to choose how many beets you want to add! See, we all win!

Who knows how close my version of the ‘Beets & Oranges’ salad is to the original recipe, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s healthy and SO delicious! The ingredients that go into this salad are: green leaf lettuce, gala apples, oranges, steamed beets, crumbled feta cheese, chopped walnuts, sesame tahini, orange juice, lemon juice, and honey. That’s all! Scroll further down to see the recipe.

A few notes: 

This recipe makes two large lunch salads, or serves about four people as a side salad. If you are planning to take it to work, just layer the salad in a seal-able container in the following order: beets, lettuce, apples, oranges, feta, and walnuts. Store the dressing in a separate container. When you are ready to eat, simply drizzle the dressing over the salad, close the lid, give it a good shake, and eat it straight out of the container, or empty it out onto a plate.

To steam the beets, I used a double boiler steamer. Just add some water to the bottom pot, and place the beets in the steamer pot. Cover with a lid and steam for about 30 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork. I didn’t peel the beets until after steaming them. Instead, I just ran them under cold water and used my fingers to rub the peel off. If the peel doesn’t want to come off, try using a sharp knife.


You could probably replace the feta cheese with “queso fresco”. Another alternative would be cottage cheese. Just make sure to rinse it off first, so that it’s not too wet, and add some sea salt, as feta cheese is a lot saltier than cottage cheese. Now, for those of you who do not have access to sesame tahini, you can either make it (video below) or try replacing it with a smooth peanuts-only peanut butter. You will still get that nutty flavor. 

Deer + Almond Copycat 'Beets & Oranges' Salad

Thank you for reading along. I really hope you enjoy eating this Deer + Almond Copycat ‘Beets & Oranges’ Salad as much as I enjoyed making, photographing, and eating it! Wishing you all a fabulous week!

Deer + Almond Copycat 'Beets & Oranges' Salad
Serves 4
A quick salad, packed with healthy nutrients!
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For the tahini dressing
  1. 1/4 cup sesame tahini
  2. 1 tbsp. liquid honey
  3. 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  4. 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. water
For the salad
  1. 4-6 leaves of green leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  2. 2 oranges, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  3. 1 apple, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
  4. 2-3 steamed beets, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  5. feta cheese, to taste
  6. chopped walnuts, to taste
  1. Add all the tahini dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Mix well, adding water until it reaches the consistency of a creamy salad dressing.
  2. Place all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Drizzle the tahini dressing over the salad. Mix well using salad servers or salad tongs.
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Refreshing Cucumber Dill Salad

If you’re reading this, you made it to the weekend! That’s a good reason to celebrate, right? 😉 We are having the second sunny day in a row and this makes me SO happy! It is mind blowing how a little bit of sunshine can immediately lift my mood.

Today I have a really quick and painless recipe for you. This cucumber dill salad pairs really well with these homemade beans (with some tortillas on the side, of course), or any other meal that needs a little fresh pick-me-up.


This is a recipe that I learned in my mom’s kitchen. I don’t remember ever really following a recipe, so I tried to measure all the ingredients while making it, so that I could share it with you. My mom often adds lettuce and tomatoes to this salad as well, which also tastes really good. I like just using cucumbers, because it makes it so quick.


I recommend using fresh dill in this recipe. Dried dill will do the job as well, but it definitely won’t taste quite as fresh. A great tip that I learned from my mother-in-law, is to freeze fresh dill so that you can enjoy it all year round. When you are ready to use it, you simply cut off as much as you want, then throw the rest back in the freezer.


Cheers to a fun-filled weekend!

Refreshing Cucumber Dill Salad
This cucumber salad is a fresh pick-me-up to any hearty meal.
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  1. 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  2. 1 tsp. white vinegar
  3. 3 tsp. sugar
  4. 1 pinch of salt
  5. 2 tsp. milk
  6. 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
  7. 1 English cucumber
  1. In a bowl, mix the first six ingredients. Let the dressing mixture sit for a while, then stir again, making sure the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Quarter and slice one long English cucumber.
  3. Mix the dressing and the sliced cucumber just before serving.
  1. Dried dill works as well, but won't taste as fresh.
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Refreshing Avocado Salad Dip


Good gracious today is a warm day! It feels like summer never left us! It’s actually 29 degrees outside! Why am I sitting inside writing this when I should be at the beach!? 😉

You are in luck though, because I have a super refreshing avocado-salad-dip recipe to share with you. I made this recipe a few times recently, and it’s perfect for those hot days when you don’t feel like eating anything warm.


Lets talk about this beautiful, rich, and creamy green fruit, called the avocado. Not only is it seriously delicious, but it also has many health benefits.

According to Authority Nutrition, avocados are highly nutritious, as they contain 20 different vitamins and minerals. Avocados are high in “heart-healthy” monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as fiber, and contain more potassium than bananas. They can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels, are loaded with powerful antioxidants that can protect the eyes, and may help relieve symptoms of arthritis (in the form of extract). The fat in them can also aid the absorption of the nutrients found in plant foods.

To top it off, apparently one study showed that people who eat avocados are healthier than those people that don’t. Who knows if it’s true, but if eating a fruit that tastes darn delicious also makes me healthier, hey, I won’t complain! It pretty much sounds like a win-win situation to me!



I grew up eating guacamole with warmed up tortillas whenever we would have a steak BBQ. If there ever wasn’t any guacamole, the meal felt incomplete to me. My love for avocados and guacamole is never ending. And now, of course, I have set myself up for craving my parents’ food (sigh).

This avocado dip is a twist on the Mexican Guacamole. Traditionally, guacamole only has a few ingredients: Avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and some lime juice.


I added more spices to this dip, including smoked paprika, which gives it that delicious smoky flavor. I swapped the traditional tomatoes and jalapenos for crispy cucumbers and yellow bell peppers. But what really brings this dip to the next level is the mozzarella cheese, and of course, the bacon. BACON. I’ll just let you sit with this word for a while. Yum, bacon… bacon…

…you get the point! 

Serve this recipe with your favorite chips, rice crackers, or roll it up in a warm tortilla. I have also tried adding whole wheat pasta to the dip. This makes a great side dish for grilled chicken or steak, or makes a light pasta lunch on its own. 


You really want some of this dip right now, don’t you? I can see your head nodding in agreement. Well, I’d suggest you go make some! It would be time well spent, I mean… you’re probably procrastinating while reading this right now anyways, right? 😉 I am only allowing myself to say that, because I know ALL about procrastinating! The struggle is real, you guys! 


Happy Friday! Let the weekend begin!

Cheers – Erika

Refreshing Avocado Salad Dip
Serves 4
This dip is so refreshing, and so flavorful, you won't want to stop eating it! Serve it with some chips for the perfect spring afternoon snack!
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  1. 2 large avocados
  2. 1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  3. 1/2 english cucumber, diced
  4. Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
  5. 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  6. 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  7. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  9. 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
  10. black pepper to taste
  11. cayenne pepper to taste
  12. 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  13. 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  14. 1/4 cup bacon bits
  1. Mash the avocados with a fork.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  3. Serve with with chips or savory crackers.
  1. You may add whole wheat rotini noodles to turn it into a side dish salad.
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Spinach Fruit Salad with Lemon-Poppy-Seed Dressing and Walnuts


Here’s a quick recipe of a salad I made recently. It’s so easy and simple, that it almost has me wondering whether I should even post it. But since I enjoyed it so much, (and who doesn’t like a quick recipe!) I thought I would share it anyways!

This salad is sweet and light like summer, for those of you that aren’t ready to let summer go just yet. But it’s also perfect for those of you that are greeting fall with joy, as oranges and apples are great fall and winter fruits. It’s a win-win situation! Yay!

Personally, I’m pretty excited about fall! The trees are looking majestic in my neighborhood! Luna has been challenging me to get out and enjoy the warm and rich colors of fall, while she enjoys catching and munching on the fallen leaves. Oh, and did you guys see the Supermoon lunar eclipse last night!? How cool was that!?

Wishing you all a fabulous week!    

Spinach Fruit Salad with Lemon-Poppy-Seed Dressing and Walnuts
Serves 1
A sweet and light salad, perfect for transitioning from summer to fall.
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  1. 2 large handfuls of spinach
  2. 1 small orange, peeled and diced
  3. 1 small gala apple, cored and diced
  4. Lemon-poppy-seed dressing to taste
  5. 2 tbsp. of chopped walnuts
  6. 1 tsp. of finely chopped onion (optional)
  1. Place two handfuls of spinach onto a plate.
  2. Peel and dice the orange, and core and dice the apple. Add on top of the spinach.
  3. Add dressing to taste, and garnish with walnuts and finely chopped onions (optional).
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Tomato, Spinach, & Feta Pasta Salad


There are many foods that my taste buds enjoy. One of them is a a flavorful and filling salad. Now, in an ideal world I would have a salad-making robot. OK, not actually, but the truth is, I don’t always enjoy making salads as much as I enjoy eating them. They somehow seem like a lot of work, when all you want to do is eat already! Sometimes, the extra work is totally worth it though! That is how I feel about this salad in particular.


This salad has such a satisfying texture and flavor, and is really easy to assemble. While the whole wheat pasta is cooking, you can begin to prepare the rest of the ingredients, and before you know it the pasta will be done. Mix all the ingredients, Drizzle it with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette, top it with some fresh feta cheese, and voilà, you’ve got yourself a delicious salad! Perhaps you will even decide to quadruple the recipe and share it at a potluck!


I have tried a few different ‘Salads in a Jar’, and I’ve found that this recipe stores really well, and tastes great the next day! Click here to see the salad that inspired my recipe, and to learn more about how to layer and store salads in a jar. It’s an excellent way to encourage yourself to take a healthy lunch to work!



Tomato, Spinach, & Feta Pasta Salad
Serves 1
A perfect summer salad, bursting with flavor!
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  1. 1 cup uncooked whole wheat pasta
  2. 2 handfuls of spinach
  3. 2 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  4. 1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
  5. 1/8 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  6. 2 tbsp. feta cheese
  7. 2 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I use Renée's Gourmet)
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. 1/4 cup cubed rotisserie chicken (optional)
  1. Begin by cooking the whole wheat pasta al dente. Rinse with cold water when done, and drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the spinach, basil leaves, diced tomatoes, onion, and cubed chicken to a bowl.
  3. Add the cooked pasta and the dressing, and combine till evenly coated.
  4. Empty the salad onto a plate, and garnish with feta cheese and pepper.
Adapted from Organize Yourself Skinny
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