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Golden Beet and Orange Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Pickled Red Onion

A lot of people can’t stand Beets. I used to be one of them.

I’m not sure what my motivation was to start tuning my taste buds to like beets, but one thing that made me love them was a mandarin Orange and beet salad. I made my own version of the salad here.

I recently requested golden beets in my CSA box and wanted to do another spin on the beet and orange combination. 

If you want to give beets a chance, golden beets are really good to start with because I think they have less of a root veggie flavor. Or you could try baby beets, which have a much more subtle flavor, in my opinion, to larger beets.

There’s something about the slightly earthy but sweet contrasting against the brightness of citrus that just works for me. Plus I love the heat of the red onion, and in this case, the mustard, to balance out all the sweet. Sunflower Seeds are a nice option for those who can’t have nuts.

Another great thing about this salad is that you can make it ahead of time by arranging the beets and oranges and just top with the seeds and dressing before serving.

It looks so colorful on the dinner table! This is the type of food that makes people think you put a lot of effort into it, but it’s actually quite easy. All it takes is some chopping skills. 

Also, I wanted to tell you how I cooked the beets. On Amazon Prime Day, I got an Instant Pot. All I did was scrub the beets and trim the greens away. Then, I put the steamer rack at the bottom of the Instant Pot and added about a cup of water. I placed the beets on the rack in a single layer. After that, I placed the lid on, making sure the valve on top was set to “sealing”, and let them cook for 30 minutes on “manual” which made them fork tender. For medium beets you could go 20 minutes. I cooked three beets that weighed 1 lb total. I let the system de-pressurize naturally, then removed the lid and set the beets aside. After they were cool enough to handle, the skin slipped off without even using a peeler! It’s the easiest way to cook them.

You could also wrap the beets tightly in aluminum foil and roast them like I did here, it just takes a long time.

Comment below! Are you a beet lover or beet hater (or a beet convert, like me!)?

Golden Beet and Orange Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Pickled Red Onion
Serves 4
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182 calories
17 g
0 g
12 g
3 g
2 g
175 g
43 g
11 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 182
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 43mg
Total Carbohydrates 17g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 11g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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  1. 2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
  2. 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  3. 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, divided
  4. 2 large golden beets (about 12 oz), steamed and peeled
  5. 2 large navel oranges
  6. 1 tbsp fresh orange juice (I squeezed the juice from the end pieces of the oranges)
  7. 1 tsp orange zest
  8. 1/4 tsp whole grain mustard
  9. 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  10. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  11. 2 tbsp minced parsley
  1. 1. Add sunflower seeds to a dry skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often and watching carefully to keep them from burning. Set aside.
  2. 2. Combine onions and one tablespoon of the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Toss and set aside.
  3. 3. Slice the beets into half inch this slices. To remove the peel from the orange, cut off the stem ends and stand the orange on one of them. Cut off the peel just below the pith. Cut into half inch slices. Arrange the beet and orange slices on your serving plate, alternating beet slices with orange slices.
  4. 4. To make the dressing: blend remaining vinegar, orange juice, mustards, and zest. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. 5. Drain the vinegar from the onions. Top the beet and orange slices with the onions. Drizzle the dressing over, then sprinkle with the sunflower seeds and parsley.
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Golden Beet and Orange Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Pickled Red Onion


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