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Eat Well May. 19. 2015
Breakfast

Beetroot Pineapple Salad with Mint

May. 19. 2015
Breakfast
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

As of right now, I’m still in San Francisco shooting my cookbook and it’s been full of emotions; being absolutely spent and exhausted at the end of the day from excitement, working hard, and doing something I love is a feeling I’ll never take for granted. I wish I could show you all what’s going on with all the cookbook recipes, but for now they’ll just be little glimpses of what I’m up to on Instagram– today we’re shooting main entrees and wrapping up shooting all the soups, which are so good!

THIS. This salad has been my go-to for the past several weeks leading up to traveling, I just can’t seem to eat enough or stop making it each batch cooking day! It’s super simple, requires no more than 5 ingredients, is incredibly balanced in flavors, contains fibers, carbohydrates, antioxidants, enzymes, and nutrients galore! Juicy, sweet and slightly tart pineapple combines with sweet and earthy roasted beets, topped with blood sugar stabilizing cinnamon, soothing fresh mint and a drizzle of healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil. The entire salad takes less than 5 minutes to pull together once you have the beets roasted and tastes sublime!

Garden meets the tropics

This is one of those everyday simple meals I always rave about, the simpler the food, the better! Especially in the spring and summer when you’re body, like mine, may be craving something sweet, hydrating, and filling all at once. Here in Nashville, we seem to have an endless supply of root veggies like beets, which I’m SO grateful for as I find myself using them in everything from smoothies, juices, dips, and roasted for salads. Unfortunately, I wish I could consume only local ingredients, but let’s face it that would mean I’d never get to experience a pineapple, a banana, avocado, etc.; and that’s where I urge flexibility in the whole “supporting local” movement. Gathering as many local fruits, vegetables, animal proteins if you consume them, and others as much you can in your region and supplementing it with some of your favorites and trying to get those organic as much as possible. Now to this salad…

It truly is the ultimate digestive friendly and detoxification supportive salad I may have on the entire blog right now- and it’s all from 5 simple, yet purposeful ingredients! The two stars of the salad are beets and pineapple, followed by fresh mint, cinnamon, and olive oil giving a little extra boost. Beets are incredible to incorporate into your diet, they’re loaded (and when I say loaded, I mean loaded!), with antioxidants and support detoxification mainly in Phase 2 detoxification (there are two phases), which involves the enzyme glutathione-s-transferase a.k.a. GST. GST’s basically work to “catch” and “hook up” unwanted toxic substances in our bodies with nutrients- this allows the toxins to become water soluble and neutralized from the nutrients, therefore safe for the body to excrete through your urine or other processes. And on a funny note about consuming beets, don’t be afraid if your urine actually turns slightly pink, this is a natural occurrence for many who eat beets- interestingly not everyone will experience this!

Pineapples on the other hand really work on a digestive level more so than beets, they’re high in fiber and contain natural enzymes which help break down proteins and may also may help relax uterine muscles which helps shed the uterine lining that can help with menstrual cramps (the science behind the efficacy of this is lacking, but some studies have shown benefits of bromelain and it’s potential of penetrating the uterine wall). Manganese is also plays an important role in amino acid, cholesterol, and carbohydrate metabolism in the body and a diet rich in manganese can help women during their menstrual cycle by preventing and treating PMS symptoms such as cramping and mood swings. Cinnamon is my all time favorite spice with my beloved turmeric coming in close second! Cinnamon is great because it can pretty much be used in anything from sweet to savory dishes, provides a sweet heat, and helps stabilize your blood sugars. Adding ground cinnamon to any carbohydrate rich dish will help your body balance the natural highs and dips that occur when eating carbohydrates- the mix of healthy fats and fiber will already be a naturally built in blood sugar stabilizer!

So there you have it, three main ingredients in this salad that are a powerhouse of nutrition! I will always note, detoxification is a daily practice and a lifelong habit, which I strongly practice and recommend to my clients as well. Detoxification can’t occur simply by doing a “cleanse” for one week or juice fasting- our bodies actually do a tremendous job at detoxifying our bodies through multiple channels if we give them the space, nutrients, proper practices to enhance, and time to do so. Luckily all three of these main salad ingredients help support our bodies and so does each recipe I share, cheers to that!

I enjoy this most as a refreshing side salad or snack, but have definitely enjoyed it equally as much having it as an entree by adding a bit more healthy fats from avocados, chopped almonds, hemp seeds, or adding protein rich beans or serving grilled wild caught fish or a poached egg (following the NS way) on the side- whatever you’d like, it’s good!

 

Beetroot Pineapple Salad with Mint
Recipe Type: salad
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6+
A delicious spring and summer inspired salad using less than 5 ingredients with sweet pineapple, roasted beets and fresh mint.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chopped beets, roasted
  • 3 cups chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 cup mint, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a lined baking sheet evenly spread chopped beets and roast for about 40 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. Chop pineapple in large chunks, about the same size as the chopped beets.
  3. To serve, plate chopped pineapple, cooled roasted beets and drizzle with olive oil, dust with cinnamon, add a pinch of sea salt, and top with thinly sliced fresh mint.
  4. Enjoy at room temperature.

I hope you all enjoy this simple spring and summer inspired salad! Tag #nutritionstripped so I can see your creation!

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 6+

Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped beets, roasted
  • 3 cups chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 cup mint, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Dash of ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a lined baking sheet evenly spread chopped beets and roast for about 40 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. Chop pineapple in large chunks, about the same size as the chopped beets.
  3. To serve, plate chopped pineapple, cooled roasted beets and drizzle with olive oil, dust with cinnamon, add a pinch of sea salt, and top with thinly sliced fresh mint.
  4. Enjoy at room temperature.

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