Halloween Blood Red Vegan Salad - Beets, Oranges, Walnuts!

Halloween Blood Red Vegan Salad - Beets, Oranges, Walnuts!
Halloween Blood Red Vegan Salad - Beets, Oranges, Walnuts!

This salad is great for a Halloween Party. It's a very healthy addition to any Halloween lineup. The star ingredient is beets, which are a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifier. Beets have also been shown to decrease tumor growth in some studies. Between the beets, oranges and walnuts, you know you are getting folate, manganese, fiber, vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, iron, etc. The list goes on and on. It's truly scary how healthy this salad is.

6 Cups Roasted Beets, diced (about 12 small beets or 4 giant ones)
3 Cups Oranges, each slice cut into thirds
2 Cups Walnut Halves
Seeds from 1 pomegranate, optional
Sliced red onions, optional (directions below)

(This dressing will need to be adjusted according to the quality and flavor of your salad ingredients)
1/2 Cup Pear Infused Balsamic Vinegar (or any balsamic vinegar should work)
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp pepper

1. Optional Onions: If you are adding the onions, spread sliced onions in a shallow dish and almost cover with balsamic (or any) vinegar and liberally apply salt over them. If you are using a vinegar that is very sour and not sweet, you may want to add a little maple syrup. Allow to marinade on their own until you are ready to eat the salad.
I like this part, but my husband prefers the salad without so we keep our onions on the side and I add them to my portion only.

2. Roast beets whole in the oven for about 50 minutes at 400 F (205 C). Check them a few times around the end because smaller beets will cook a little faster than larger beets. You could also steam the beets, but roasting will give a richer flavor.

3. Now is a good time to chop your oranges and seed your pomegranate, if using.

4. Whisk together dressing ingredients. The proportions may need to change based on the freshness, quality and flavor of your salad ingredients. I made this salad two days in a row and had VERY different tasting ingredients. If your ingredients are very flavorful, you will probably need less dressing.

5. Once the beets are done and have cooled a bit, remove their skin and dice them.

6. Mix all of the salad ingredients together, except onions.

7. Add dressing little by little and mix. You may need more or less than the recommended amount of dressing. I can not stress this enough. The flavor of the dressing will get stronger the more time you allow everything to marinade together. This salad tastes even better the next day.

8. Add onions just before serving or allow individuals to add onions to their own servings if not everyone is a fan of onions. Keeping them aside as long as possible allows them to develop the maximum amount of flavor.