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.

Substitutes: 

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
Instructions
  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.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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.
Notes
  1. Dried dill works as well, but won't taste as fresh.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

The Best Summer Elote

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Today has been one of those days that started off with the great intention of checking a few things off my to-do list. Instead, it ended up being a day that was less productive than I had hoped for (to be fair, the goals that I set for myself are often unrealistic). I’m trying to learn that it’s OK to have some of those days, and not beat myself up over it too much. So here I am trying to push myself to get this blog post up before the day is over, and trying to remind myself of the things that I DID get done today. 😉 At least I have my true little companion (AKA my little pup Luna) beside me, keeping me company. She’s been resting all day since she got spayed two days ago, and seems to be hurting still.

On a bright note, I’m sharing my favourite way to eat corn on the cob with you tonight. Trust me, you want to stick around for this.

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This recipe brings back memories of my family eating corn on the cob on hot summer days, accompanied with a glass of cold milk. Although I don’t drink milk with my corn anymore, those two used to go hand in hand for me.

I remember attending Summer Bible School during several summers as a kid, at which we usually got corn on the cob as one of our meals. They were always served with butter and salt only. As delicious as this combo is, I remember always missing the way my family ate them, covered in delicious ingredients! I mean, of course we ate them with just butter and salt too some times. However, I will still always prefer them loaded with a medley of flavours!  

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So, next time you are in the mood for some corn on the cob (maybe a few more times before the precious summer comes to an end!?), why not try topping them with the following ingredients:

  • Start by spreading them with mayonnaise (or you could use butter if you don’t care for mayonnaise).
  • Then top with: seasoned salt, onion powder, paprika, dill (dried or fresh), and Parmesan cheese (or any other freshly grated cheese). 
  • Play around with it: you could try smoked paprika, add garlic powder/salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, etc. etc. etc.

Here is a basic method for cooking corn on the cob. There seem to be many different ways of doing it, but this is one of the ways.

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It’s really that simple. It takes longer to prepare each corn on the cob than if you’re only using butter and salt, but every bite will be a sweet reminder that it was worth it!

Oh – and if you’re day wasn’t quite as productive as you had hoped, don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re not alone in this. Plus, tomorrow is a fresh start. 🙂

Happy weekending! – Erika