Lu’s a big fruit person. Whenever we go to the grocery store, he heads straight for the fruit. If he had it his way, he’d have blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, mangoes, cherries, pineapple and bananas stocked always.
I guess I’m pretty lucky, because the alternative would be a boyfriend who headed straight for the chips or frozen aisle. He used to live with a nutritionist and I think whether he likes to admit it or not, that nutritionist taught him some basic principles.
I love when he’ll be throwing down a pint of Talenti and say, “but it’s gluten free!” That’s when I just smile and say, “You’re lucky you’re so handsome.”
Enough of the sappiness. Truthfully, Lu and I love to snack on fruit for dessert. Of course, I have some other favorite desserts – dates and nuts, dried mango slices, Brookside‘s dark chocolate covered goji berries and almond butter with banana. If you’re a sweets person and on a weight loss or maintenance journey, it’s so important to be prepared with good-for-you treats that will satisfy that sweet tooth and not cause your blood sugar to skyrocket and then later, plummet.
This beet rice salad is especially amazing, because it incorporates dessert in dinner: strawberries! By adding strawberries to this big bowl of beet rice, you get that sweetness. After I finish a bowl of this salad, I don’t crave dessert – it satisfies both my hunger and my sweet tooth.
The bacon is nice and salty, the almonds offer a heart-healthy crunch and the beets offer plentiful nutrients, as a superfood. The poppy seed vinaigrette was a last minute add, after being inspired by this month’s Inspiralized Community June Recipe Challenge winner.
The winning recipe was for a “Strawberry Zucchini Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.” While I didn’t recreate that exact dish (I have a slight allergy to blackberries, they cause my throat to itch uncontrollably for about 15 minutes), I still wanted to include the recipe in this post and then do my own version, inspired by Abby’s creativity:
Strawberry Zucchini Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Total Time: 15 minutes
- ½ cup EVOO
- 3 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Poppy Seeds
- 1 tbsp. Honey
- 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 cups Fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 cup Sliced Strawberries
- 1 cup Blackberries
- 1 Avocado, Diced
- ¼ cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Zucchini, Spiralized on Blade C
Directions:Spiralize Zucchini using Ali’s method to get half moons (slice the zucchini halfway, and spiralize.) Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Add to salad and enjoy!
Now that’s talk about poppy seeds. Poppy seeds offer substantial amounts of iron, zinc and calcium. They come from the poppy plant and have been known to quench thirst and reduce fever, inflammation and irritation of the abdomen. Apparently, you can use them in narcotics to treat pain and they can even be used as facial scrubs and moisturizers. Who would’ve known!
However you use this poppy seed vinaigrette, you’ll love both recipes. Make sure you enter the July Recipe Challenge, which calls members to create anything with corn! To join (for free) and enter this month’s challenge (for your chance to win a $75 gift basket to Udi’s Gluten Free), click here.
What’s your favorite ways to incorporate strawberries into your summer meals?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Beet Rice and Strawberry Bacon Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
- 4 pieces of bacon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large beet peeled, Blade C
- 7 hulled and quartered strawberries
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 4 small radishes Blade C
- For the vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1.5 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 2.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place a large skillet over medium heat, coat with cooking spray and add in the bacon. Cook for 3 minutes and then flip over, cook another 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, crumble and set aside.
- While bacon is cooking, place the eggs in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat and let stand for 10-12 minutes. Once done, drain into a colander and place the eggs in a bowl of cold water. Let cool for 2 minutes or until easier to handle and peel the eggs. Remove yolks and chop (or include yolks - your preference!). Separate and set aside.
- Place the beet noodles into a food processor and pulse until rice-like. Set aside.
- Place all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Divide the beet rice evenly into bowls and top each equally with egg, bacon, radishes, strawberries, and almonds. Drizzle with poppy seed vinaigrette.