Let's be honest here - January is not a salad month. It is a soup, stew, broth, curry, chili month. It is about food that warms and nourishes rather than cleanses and cools. And yet a lot of us choose January as the Detox month. While a seasonal detox is a healthy way to recharge when the weather changes (although, that seems to be a bit more vague these days), one at the beginning of the year always feels more important because of the two weeks of decadence we seem to all share at the end of December. I'm running a 28-day gentle detox program. It's online, it's open to anyone, and it is already has 14 members signed up! The start date is a week from Saturday, the 14th of January. If you'd like to join, please email me. I'll be going through it too (though, admittedly, the meal plans I've created aren't too far removed from my normal diet). In addition to food, the program also covers exercise and lifestyle tips, as well as shopping lists and recipes. I'm trying to make it as easy on you as possible! What I do promise is that there will be no fasting, no juicing, and no ridiculous costs. If it isn't the right time for you, I'm going to be running these regularly throughout the year, so check back in a few months time!
But I digress.
The salad issue. The one I've chosen to highlight in this post, while definitely a salad, is still completely relevant to the time of year. It features roasted beets and oranges (blood oranges if you can find them - they should be appearing soon). It's light, cleansing, and rejuvenates the blood and liver. You don't need any fancy equipment to make it look beautiful (though I would suggest buying a mandoline, which is so much easier than attempting to slice your vegetables paper thin using a knife).
This recipe is 100% approved on my Renewal Detox meal plan (just so long as it is combined with some form of protein - it would go nicely alongside some steamed fish or a quinoa dish). I might make this over the weekend for a birthday treat! I've already been promised vegan gluten-free pancakes in bed tomorrow morning :)
Orange, Beet & Fennel Salad
- 2 red beets, tops trimmed
- 2 oranges (navel or blood oranges)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (mandoline)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- handful fresh cilantro leaves
- Heat oven to 400F. Wash beets, leaving a little water on the skin. Wrap each one in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast beets until tender - about 1 hour. Leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the oranges by removing the skin and pith with a sharp knife. Either slice the oranges crosswise or remove the segments. Place in a bowl with the lime juice.
- Peel the cooled beets and slice thinly. Strain the juices from the oranges into a small dish and whisk with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Divide the beets among the plates, then top with the fennel and oranges. Pour over the citrus juice dressing and garnish with the cilantro.