Looking for a way to cool off this summer? Try this easy and tasty beetroot and cucumber salad. This recipe features spinach, roasted beets, and a lemon tahini dressing for a tasty and hearty veggielicious salad.
Salads don’t have to be boring. Not when you add beets to the equation. I love beets not only for their nutritive properties but the delicious taste they bring to this recipe.
Beets Contain a Lot of Nutrition
The addition of this hearty vegetable makes this beetroot and cucumber salad a nutritious meal to add to your day.
Beets provide a good source of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C
Based on the estimated daily values, it says a cup of raw beets provide the following percent of Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for an adult
- Fiber – 7%
- Folate – 37%
- Vitamin C – 7.4%
- Vitamin A – 0.3% for men & 0.39% for women
- Magnesium – 7.83% for men and 10.97% for women
- Phosphorus – 7.77%
If you are looking to add more fiber to your diet, beets are a great food to add. Beets provide almost 4 grams in a one-cup serving. Each serving also gives you 2 grams of protein.
In addition to the essential vitamins and minerals found in beets, they also have powerful compounds that offer antioxidant properties. They include the following:
- Inorganic nitrate
Betanin is a pigment in beets. It is what makes the beets the color red. The substance is thought to have biological activities that can improve health.
Inorganic nitrate. Not to be confused with food nitrates, this compound is found in leafy greens. When digested bacteria in the mouth and intestines turn it into nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is a compound that helps oxygen, blood, and nutrients get to where it needs to be in the body. So having enough of this compound can benefit health.
Beets Add A Nice Flavor to Your Meals
Normally beets will have an earthy flavor due to a compound called geosmin. The addition of cucumbers, red onion, and tahini dressing will subdue the bitter flavor and make your beet root salad taste great.
Cucumbers Make a Refreshing and Healthy Addition
What makes this beet cucumber salad recipe so refreshing? It is the cool cucumber.
The cucumber is about 96 percent water so it’s a great way to add more water to your day. If you’re finding yourself parched this summer add a cuke for some extra hydration.
How to Make this Beetroot and Cucumber Salad
Gather all your ingredients:
- 4 cups spinach
- 2 cups roasted beets
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
You will first need to prepare and cook the beets
How to Prepare the Beets
If you’re using fresh beets you will need a sharp knife to cut off the green part with about 1 inch of stem left. If the greens are in good shape you can save them to make roasted beet greens.
I usually leave the skin on until after they are cooked. This makes peeling so much easier.
Once you wash and dry the de-stemmed beets now it’s time to cook them.
How to Cook the Beets
In this particular recipe, I roasted the beets. I like roasting because it is an easy cooking method. It also adds flavor to the veggie.
Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a baking sheet or deep pan. I will use a pie dish sometimes since the beets can leak when they cook.
You want to wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 60 minutes or until they are soft.
Once they are cooked you can let them cool on the stove or put them in the freezer for 30 minutes to do a quick cool.
When cooled you want to peel the skin off the beets. It should come off pretty easily. After peeling, chop the beets into small 1-inch chunks and set them aside.
Prepare the Rest of the Salad
Next, peel and dice the cucumber and set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl place the spinach, beets, cucumber, red onion, and set aside.
Now you want to make the dressing. In a small bowl add the tahini, lemon juice, and mix well.
Save time With Batch Cooking or Pre-Cooked Beets
The one downside of beet salads is that roasting beets can be time-consuming. There are a few things you can do to save time when prepping the salad. They include:
- Batch Cooking
- Use pre-cooked beets
If you’re looking for more easy recipes, a simple beet salad can be made with batch cooking.
To save time during the week I like to prepare my meals ahead of time. I make a bunch of food at once to have on hand. This can include roasting various veggies then throwing them in the fridge or freezer to have as a meal later in the week.
If you don’t have time to batch you can also look for pre-cooked beets. Some recipes will suggest canned beets as a time-saving tip. I usually avoid canned foods due to the high sodium content. If you can find low sodium beets, those will do.
This company called Gefen makes vacuum sealed cooked, ready-to-eat beets. If you cannot find them in the supermarket they are available on Amazon. If you don’t open them right away they will last a couple of months in your pantry. Once open they will be good for about a week.
Other Ways You Can Cook the Beets
Roasting does take a lot of time. So if you want a more simple beet salad you can try putting them in the slow cooker, air fryer, or microwave.
In the slow cooker add two cups of water and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
The microwave will take about 12 to 15 minutes. You will want to stop halfway around 6 minutes to turn them over. Be sure to place them in a dish with water covering the bottom.
The air-fryer has the same temperature as the oven. It runs 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 20 minutes. You will need to cut the beets up into pieces to speed up the cooking process.
Make Your Beetroot and Cucumber Salad a Meal with Protein Foods
Salads can be filling but you still want to make sure you’re getting enough protein at each meal. I like to pair my salad recipes with protein foods to make them more filling.
You can top the salad with grilled chicken or steak. Another good option is to add hard-boiled eggs. Slice them on top and you will have yourself a beet and egg salad.
If you are a vegetarian and can tolerate dairy you can top it with feta or goat cheese.
For those who may vegan, you can use a plant protein like quinoa, beans, or even hemp seeds. Just a few tablespoons of those offer a nice serving of protein.
Swap Out the Greens if You Like
If you can’t find spinach or don’t like it, no sweat. You can substitute in arugula, kale, or another leafy green. A beet kale salad or Beet arugula salad will taste just as good as this beet spinach salad.
Equipment Use in this Recipe*
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Paring knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Salad tongs
- Food processor
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Beetroot and Cucumber Salad (Gluten & Dairy Free)
- 2 cup roasted beets (about 1 lb or 5 medium beets)
- 4 cup spinach
- 1 medium cucumber peeled and diced
- 1 medium red onion diced
Tahini Salad Dressing
- 2 tbsp Tahini
- 1 Lemon
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
Roasted Beet Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut off the top green part of the beet leaving 1 inch of the steam. Slice off the bottom of the beet and repeat for each beet.
- Then wrap each beet in aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped beets on a deep baking sheet or pie dish and cook for about 65 minutes or until fork tender
- Place the cooked beets in the freezer for 30 minutes to cool.
- Once cool peel the skin off the beets and chop into small 1-inch size pieces
Veggies Prepping Instructions
- Continue prepping the veggies: peel and dice the cucumber and onion. Set the prep veggies aside. Next make the salad dressing
Tahini Salad Dressing Instructions
- In a small mixing bowl add extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice tahini, and mix well.
How to Compile the Salad & Dressing Instructions
- In a large mixing bowl add spinach, beets, cucumber, onion, and set aside.
- Add the dressing to the salad, toss until well covered, and serve.
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