February is all about the heart and I LOVE it! It's American Heart Month and starts off on February 1st with National Wear Red Day to help bring awareness to heart disease in women. But really, we all need to be aware of the epidemic that is heart disease.
48% of Americans today have a heart-related issue. That is nearly half of us! What's more, is that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in America. This is scary, but the good news is that a large majority of heart issues are completely preventable or reversible. We just need to take care of our hearts with a healthy amount of movement and a balanced, real-foods diet.
With heart health on my mind, I wanted to share a recipe that is good for keeping your ticker in top shape, as well as delicious to eat. This Healthy Heart-Beet Salad is perfect!
Beets are SO good for your heart! They contain a high concentration of nitrates which help lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure helps to decrease your chances of a heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Beets also improve our bodies ability to use oxygen efficiently, making them a top choice for athletes. They have lots of vitamins and minerals, and also have betalain, which has anti-inflammatory properties, also supporting the fight against heart disease.
This salad has a simple vinaigrette that is tossed with arugula and topped with roasted beets and edamame, making it a great warm salad for our cold winter days. I like adding goat cheese and toasted pepita seeds, but both are optional.
I hope you enjoy this heart healthy salad and help reverse the heart disease epidemic in this country by prioritizing your heart health!
Healthy Heart-Beet Salad
Makes 4 salads
5-6 medium sized beets
3 tablespoons olive oil + 4 teaspoons for drizzling
3 tablespoons pepita seeds
2 cups frozen edamame, thawed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 cups arugula
Bunch of fresh basil, torn
1/4 cup goat cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
On a baking sheet, layer foil and then parchment paper, placing beets on the parchment paper. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and fold the parchment and foil over the beets, creating a sealed package. Roast for 60-75 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and carefully open the package to let the steam out. Let the beets cool until you can handle them.
Remove the outer layer of the beets by rubbing off the skin. Cut them in quarters.
While the beets are roasting, on another baking sheet, lay out the pepita seeds and roast for 3-5 minutes, until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Next, toss the thawed edamame with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay on a. baking sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the vinegar. Add the arugula, basil, edamame, beets, and pepita seeds to the same bowl and toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topping each salad with goat cheese.
Meal Prepping Tip: This salad is really good cold and perfect for meal prepping! Follow the directions through step five. Portion out all of the ingredients into containers, but instead of mixing them with the dressing, combine the dressing in a glass jar and shake. Leave in the fridge and add to the salads when ready to eat, or portion it out into small dressing size containers to add to your salad when ready.
Vegan: Omit the goat cheese.
Naturally gluten free!