Salads don’t have to be boring. It feels good to be healthy – both inside and out. And if you’re a foodie, you have to do it with taste!
Beetroot and pumpkin are delicious roasted – especially if you can get a little caramelisation on the pumpkin. Tossed through with a sweet balsamic and olive oil dressing, some fresh greens and salty goat’s cheese, it’s a delicious, warming autumn salad.
For anyone with an intolerance to salicylates or amines, extra virgin olive oil isn’t a great option.
To keep your dressings and roast veggies lower in these food chemicals, try a partially refined olive oil that’s had some of the food chemicals removed. Refined olive oil is still better for you than other refined oils (such as sunflower/corn/soybean/peanut/cottonseed oils) because it’s high in omega-9, a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps to lower inflammation rather than raise it. These other oils, such as sunflower and corn, are very high in omega-6, which causes chronic inflammation when eaten in large quantities (common if you’re eating processed food), and may also contain pesticides.
Another benefit of refined olive oil (eg. 85% refined, 15% extra virgin) is that it can be heated to high temperatures and still remain stable up to 180°C. If amines and salicylates aren’t a problem for you – always use extra virgin on dressings and just keep refined for high heat cooking.
Safflower also has high omega-9 content, and flaxseed oil has high omega-3, so both are anti-inflammatory, but neither should be used for cooking as they easily turn rancid. Coconut oil is a type of healthy saturated fat which is also low in omega-6, so healthy for most, and fine to cook with.
So in summary, use extra virgin or flaxseed for dressings (or try safflower for low salicylates/amines) and use refined olive oil or coconut oil for cooking. (If you’re really sensitive, try rice bran oil for a heat-stable option that’s low in salicylates/amines).
Now please enjoy this delicious salad and choose the dressing that’s right for you…
Gluten free, cow’s milk dairy free (use substitutes for moderate salicylates/amines, otherwise high)
Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, cubed
3 large – 8 small beetroots, scrubbed or peeled, cubed
1 onion, cut into chunks (or 1/2 leek if salicylates not tolerated)
1 bunch Tuscan kale (or 1 cos lettuce if salicylates not tolerated)
1/2 cup goat’s or sheep’s fetta cheese, crumbled (use milder cheese if amines not tolerated, or leave out for dairy free)
1/2 cup walnuts (or cashews if amines not tolerated)
2+ tbsp refined olive oil (for lower salicylates)
extra virgin / refined olive oil
caramelised balsamic vinegar / malt vinegar
Coat pumpkin, beetroot and onion/leek in a little coconut oil and sea salt (use rice bran oil for low salicylates). Roast for an hour at 190°C, or until golden brown.
Blanch the kale in boiling water or steam lightly, rinse under cold water, drain/dry with paper towel and arrange on plates. Top with warm roast veggies, crumbled goat’s cheese and walnuts.
Drizzle with dressing of choice – if you’re ok with salicylates/amines, use a good slug of extra virgin olive oil and a little drizzle of caramelised balsamic over each plate. For a lower salicylate option, use a mix of 1 part malt vinegar to 2 parts olive oil (refined, not extra virgin).