Recipe Contest: Pickled Beet & Goat Cheese Balsamic Salad #PlateProud

I love Green Bean Delivery - if you haven't heard of it - it's a vegetable delivery service. You pick a bin size ($35 is smallest) and how often you want it delivered - then they prompt you with a chosen bin of fruits & veggies. The best part is - you can go in and tweak the bin to your delight - I like keeping some of their picks but then add some of my own based on our tastes. 

Right now they have a recipe contest going on that I had to enter (you can enter too - until May 22)! There are five categories for you to choose from: 

* Chillin & Grillin
* Locavore
* Pack & Go Healthy Lunch
* Veggie Side
* Quick, Easy & Kid-Friendly

The prizes are pretty fantastic! I entered the Veggie Side category and the grand prize is a French-made mandolin, cookbook & $50 Green Bean Card! ($229 value). Runner-up gets a $50 Green Bean Card. 

I created a Pickled Beet & Goat Cheese Salad Recipe - isn't it droolworthy?! How did I get there?

I was super-excited to have beets in my bin. As a kid - I was slightly obsessed with beets. I think I ate too many because I totally burned out on them. But now - 20 years later - beets are hip and I tried them again - and I like them again!

They're so beautiful - the most rich colors - and rich colored foods = healthy!

To pickle the beets - first I cut them into quarters (only 2 beets) and the boiled them.

Once you boil them - the skin peels right off - much like if you're blanching tomatoes. This took me back to the summers of canning vegetables with my Dad. Yes - that's how a young Food Hussy was born - canning tomatoes.

I absolutely love these liquid measuring cups I got from OXO at the Food Blog Forum conference I was at - they are super handy! They come in multiple sizes and go from 1 teaspoon to 1 cup and there is a lot of overlap so they have multiple sizes. I used these to measure out the pickling ingredients.

After the beets are cooked and peeled - I diced them into bite-sized pieces and put them in the pickling liquid for 30 minutes (or longer if you can).

While the pickling magic was happening - I grilled a portabella mushroom (also from my bin). I was just making this salad for 2 - so actually 1 beet & 1 mushroom is good - but I didn't mind having extra beets to nosh on. To grill the mushroom - I just used cooking spray on my grill pan and then rubbed olive oil & balsamic vinegar on the mushroom.

Then it was time to put the salad together - spring greens (from my bin) topped with pickled beets, grilled portabella mushroom, diced honey roasted almonds and topped with crumbled goat cheese. Then my favorite creamy balsamic dressing to finish it off!

This is such a refreshing salad and yet hearty enough to fit the bill for lunch in a pinch. I will definitely be beeting it up again! 

Pickled Beet & Goat Cheese Balsamic Salad (could this name be any longer?!)

2 cups spring greens
1 grilled portabella
1 cup pickled beets (1 beet for 2 salads)
2 Tablespoons honey roasted almonds
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 Tablespoons creamy balsamic vinaigrette

Layer the salad ingredients as listed. Makes two salads or one really big one!

For pickled beets:

2 regular sized fresh red beets
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder

Cut off beet tops and quarter beets.  Add to pot of water and boil for 30 minutes until fork tender.

Rinse and cool down by running cold water over the beets. Rub off the peel with your hands - it should pop off really easily. 

Whisk together vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil & mustard. Dice beets and marinate in pickling liquid for at least 30 minutes. 

So what recipe are YOU going to enter? You've got until May 22 to enter - so don't wait! Get your recipe together and go for it! 

Thanks to Green Bean Delivery for the free bin and nudge to join the contest!

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