Beetroot & Fennel Salad.

This is a delicious autumn salad with seasonal beetroot and fennel. You could have this warm from the oven, room temperature or cold. If it's warm, eat it straight away so that the greens don't wilt.


This salad is so great for digestion too.. We use fennel in naturopathy to calm the tummy and ease bloating whilst rocket is a bitter green which stimulates the release of digestive enzymes to help to breakdown and digest your salad better.


Also, beetroot is an excellent vegetable for cardiovascular health. Similarly to the cardiovascular system and blood itself, beetroot is a deep red colour. We call this "doctrine of signatures" ...it looks similar to the part of the body that it supports. Beetroot contains natural nitrates which increase nitric oxide in the body to have a vasodilatory effect on the cardiovascular system - meaning it helps to open the veins and arteries to allow more efficient blood flow.


This salad also includes butter beans and quinoa which gives a good amount of protein to help balance blood sugar as well as extra virgin olive oil, a "healthy fat" that is also excellent for heart health.


Most importantly, it's yum!



RECIPE


Ingredients

- 2 medium beetroot (or 1 giant one which is what I used)

- 1 large fennel bulb

- 1/2 cup raw quinoa

- 1 cup veggie stock

- 1 tin butter beans

- 1-1 1/2 cups of rocket


Dressing...

- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

- salt & pepper

(This is my go-to dressing for most salads! The ACV cups through the oil and supports digestion)


- Optional: sunflower seeds


Method

- Preheat your oven to 180C

- Chop your beetroot into cubes & slice your fennel into half and then 1-2cm thick wedges. Keep any green fronds that come with the fennel too

- Place the beetroot and fennel on a baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, mix up so that everything is coated (keep the veg to their own sides of the tray otherwise your fennel will turn pink) then bake in the oven for around 25-35 minutes or until cooked through. The total time will depend on the size of the pieces

- Meanwhile, cook your quinoa in a pot on the stove with the veggie stock. Bring to a simmer then turn down to a low simmer with the lid on. It will take around 15 minutes to cook. Once done, leave the lid on and let it steam while the veggies continue to cook

- Mix your salad dressing in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork to combine

- Drain and rinse the butter beans well then add to a salad bowl with the quinoa, pour over the dressing and mix well

- Add in the rocket and fennel and toss to combine

- Plate up the salad then add the beetroot on top. if you mix the beetroot into the salad earlier it will all turn pink! Sprinkle with sunflower seeds for added crunch & add any fennel fronds on top too

- Enjoy!