Strong Bones and Beet, Fennel, Asian Pear Salad with Chickpeas

by Joanne on October 10, 2011

If you swim, have you noticed a slight soreness in your shoulders, back, maybe your legs, after doing laps in the pool? That’s water resistance. I naively assumed swimming was an upper body exercise. This email from SparkPeople opened my eyes to benefits for the other end of the bod:

“…a recent study from Israel’s Wingate Institute in Netanya indicates that women who frequently swim laps have greater leg bone mass than women who don’t swim at all.
Action Sparked: While weight-bearing exercises are the best way to strengthen your bones, swimming is another option, especially for obese exercisers who experience pain and difficulty moving. Try adding a few laps to your regular routine to relieve boredom, and to surprise your muscles…and bones!
Time Involved: At least 20 minutes”

Can’t Beat a Beet Salad:

The other week, my friend mentioned that she had the BEST red and white beet salad. I recall having a salad that had the red and white beets and she was right, it’s a SUPER salad. She and I went on a mission to find the white beet. We did. Minimum order was 50 lbs. Ok. We could do that. Both of us enjoy cooking and, split between us, we could use 25 lbs of beets a piece. It was the price that stopped us.  $80.00. There was no way we were paying $80 for beets. The salad was good but come on!  Steaming mad

This is the salad I came up with, replacing the white beet with an Asian Pear.

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Serves 4

  • 4 cooked beets (directions below)
  • 1 small fennel bulb – cleaned and white parts only – sliced
  • 1 washed, cored and sliced Asian pear (leave the skin on)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (14 oz) can Chick peas – drained and rinsed

Dressing:

  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • juice of one large orange
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey mustard
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste. (I used about ¼ tsp each)

Topping:

  • 4 oz Feta cheese (or use Blue cheese crumbles)
  • 1 green onion – Green part only, chopped

Cooking the beets: Wash. Place in a pot with a little water and steam for 40 minutes. Allow to cool then remove skin (using gloves is wise since they will stain your fingers) and slice into ¼ inch or thinner slices.

Mix your dressing. Cloves, juice, vinegar, mustard, oil, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

In serving bowls/plates: Add equal parts spinach, fennel slices, pear, beets and chick peas. Toss lightly with dressing. Top with feta and green onion.

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This was a light, healthy meal that allowed us to eat quickly, feel satisfied and not stuffed right before our swim.

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Have you ever heard of, or seen, OR used white beets?

white beets

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