Foundation Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Christmas Eve Salad with Red Beets, Arugula, and Jicama

This eye-catching salad contains red beets, arugula, oranges, jicama, and plantains. In Mexico, it is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.
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vegan

20min    30min    easy  
  Water 84.0%  80/10/09  LA : ALA


Ingredients (for servings, )

Click for nutrient tables
For the Christmas Eve Salad
1 smallRed beet (3.5 oz)
1 Orange, peeled (4.6 oz)
1 Jicama (Yam bean, Mexican turnip or Chinese potato, ahipa) (23 oz)
1 Granny Smith apple (5.9 oz)
1 Plantain (6.3 oz)
1 ⅜ ozPeanuts (raw? organic?)
3 ½ ozArugula
For the dressing
1 Orange, peeled (4.6 oz)
1 Lime (2.4 oz)

Equipment

  • skillet (frying pan)
  • saucepan
  • stove
  • vegetable peeler
  • citrus juicer (lemon squeezer)

Type of preparation

  • cook
  • squeeze
  • dry roast
  • peel

Preparation

  1. For the Christmas Eve Salad
    Peel the red beet and orange, and cut both into 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) thick discs. Peel the jicama and cut into 1/2-inch (1.2 cm) pieces together with the apple. Peel the plantain and cut into 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces.

    The original recipe for 5–6 servings calls for a medium-size green apple and a very small jicama.

    When peeling the red beet, you may want to wear gloves in order to prevent your hands from being stained a reddish, violet color.

  2. Simmer the beet slices in a small saucepan with enough water to cover over medium heat until just soft, about 4 minutes, then remove from the heat. Remove the beets, set aside, and reserve the simmering liquid for use in the dressing.

  3. Briefly toast the peanuts in a skillet. If you prefer, you can use pepitas instead. Combine the red beet, arugula, orange, apple, jicama, plantain, and peanuts or pepitas in a salad bowl or arrange them on a platter.

    If you want to prepare this salad in advance, add the arugula just before serving and combine.

    Pepitas (in Spanish “small pumpkin seeds”) are hulled, green pumpkin seeds.

    Ratio of fatty acids: For a better ratio of the two essential fatty acids, you can use walnuts instead of the peanuts. Use without toasting. This substitution will bring the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids down to 4:1.

  4. For the dressing
    Juice the orange and the lime. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice, and 3–4 tablespoons beet water.

    Optional: For a recipe that makes 5–6 servings, the author Jason Wyrick includes the following optional ingredients for the dressing: 1 (2-inch) piece piloncillo or 2 tablespoons brown sugar melted into simmering liquid, as well as crushed chiles de árbol to taste.

  5. Serving
    Let the dressing come to room temperature and pour it over the salad.

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Notes about recipe

This eye-catching salad contains red beets, arugula, oranges, jicama, and plaintains. In Mexico, it is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.

Nutritional profile: According to GDA guidelines, one serving of this recipe covers more than 50% of the recommended daily requirement for vitamin C and folic acid.

Christmas Eve Salad: According to the author, this recipe is a traditional Mexican Christmas Eve salad. He writes, There are so many variations on it that I could recite a hundred different versions, but at its heart, it’s a colorful fruit salad using in-season ingredients and almost always features citrus.

Plantains: Plantains (Musa paradisiaca), which are found in some countries in the Americas, Africa, and Asia, are a staple food, much in the same way potatoes are in Europe. Plantains can only be eaten raw when they are fully ripe, and when they are immature they are first boiled, grilled, or baked. In comparison to dessert bananas, plantains contain significantly more starch and less sugar. Plantain flour is a good substitute for conventional wheat flour for people on a gluten-free diet, especially for those who suffer from celiac disease.

Red beets: Red beets, also known as beetroot, are particularly well known for their deep red color that comes from the high concentration of the glycoside betanin, a compound in the betalain class of pigments. They can be used raw, cooked, or roasted. Red beets contain high levels of vitamin B, potassium, iron, and folic acid, and thanks to the nitrates they contain, they can help to reduce blood pressure. If larger quantities are consumed, it can cause urine and bowel movements to have a red color, but this is harmless and will pass. Red beets contain high levels of oxalic acid, which is why individuals who are at risk for developing kidney stones, such as Crohn’s disease patients, should avoid eating large amounts this vegetable.

Arugula: Arugula is a popular variety of greens that encompasses a number of plant species. The plants all contain mustard oil glycosides that give them a spicy, bitter flavor. It is best to use young arugula for salad as older, more mature leaves can have a very strong, almost spicy flavor. These are therefore best used as herbs for seasoning. The leaves will generally taste bitter if they are harvested after the plant blooms.

Tips

Ripe plantains: Raw plantains are used in this recipe. Unlike dessert bananas (common bananas), they can only be eaten raw when fully ripe. The peel of plantains that are fully ripe will be almost completely black.

Preventing stains: When peeling the beets, you may want to wear rubber gloves in order to prevent your hands from being stained a reddish, violet color.

Alternate preparation

Dressing ingredients: For a recipe that makes 5–6 servings, the author Jason Wyrick includes the following optional ingredients for the dressing: 1 (2-inch) piece piloncillo or 2 tablespoons brown sugar melted into simmering liquid, as well as crushed chiles de árbol to taste. Piloncillo, also known as panela, is a dark brown, unrefined sugar that is used in Latin America.

Peanuts or pepitas: You can use either toasted peanuts or pepitas for the salad. Pepitas are hulled, green pumpkin seeds that are particularly popular in South and Central American cuisine. Pepitas have a deep, nutty taste and will give the recipe a different flavor.

Walnuts: For a better ratio of the two essential fatty acids, you can use walnuts instead of the peanuts. Use without toasting. Although the two ingredients taste quite a bit different, using walnuts will optimize the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.

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