Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese & Sugared Pecans

The one upside to eating less and letting your body burn some of its on-board fuel? Everything tastes fanfreakingtastic.

One of the downsides? Arriving home from a long day that ended at the gym ravenous and trying not to nibble my way through enough calories to cancel out those 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer while getting dinner on the table. These are the times my brain becomes a ninety pound weakling easily shoved over by my bully of a stomach.

Did I just date myself?

I’ll tell you something though – I did not settle for just a salad. Greens with roasted beets (golden, this time), sugared toasted pecans and soft goat cheese that melts into maple-balsamic dressing is one of my favourite things. (Who needs whiskers on kittens?)

And even when you’re hungry, it’s worth the extra minutes for toasted, sugared pecans. I want to show you something someone showed me years ago, and now I can’t remember who, but it was one of those little tips that stuck.

To toast pecans (or walnuts) quickly with a bit of a sugary coating, run pieces or halves under water in a colander, then dust them with icing (powdered) sugar, still in the colander.

Shake them about a bit to sort of coat them, then proceed with toasting them in the oven, toaster oven or stovetop. I imagine you could add a shake of spice along with the sugar, too – cinnamon or cumin or paprika. I kind of like the straight-up sweetness. Better than leftover chocolate eggs, even.


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17 comments on “Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese & Sugared Pecans

  1. Kathie
    April 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    That post is great timing for the container of goat cheese calling out to me from the back of my fridge.
    I’ve never left a comment here before, but I’ve been following your blog for the past two years since reading about it in Swerve. I really enjoy reading your kitchen/life adventures, and how you love to try neat things with lovely fresh ingredients. As a fellow working-mom, my kitchen hasn’t been the same since you’ve introduced me to things like quinoa, or how easy and delicious soups can be. Keep up the great work and give yourself a pat on the back!

  2. Jennifer Jo
    April 27, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Excellent tip.

  3. sweetsugarbean
    April 27, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Gorgeous salad full of my favourite things too!

  4. Jan @ Family Bites
    April 27, 2011 at 8:20 am

    What a fabulous trick. So smart!

  5. Rachael
    April 27, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Hi Julie!

    Great minds must think alike – we had the same salad last night, minus the sugared pecans! Thanks for the tip.

    Also – I recently went to Tofino over the long weekend, and you and Mike need to head over to Tofino Brewing Co. ( They have a great product (Tuff Session Ale) – Delish!

    Thanks for sharing your tips and travels.

  6. Katharine
    April 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Ugghhhhhh!!!!! SO DELICIOUS! I love this salad! And I want it now!!

  7. gwendolyn
    April 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Golden beets and goat cheese in a salad is my favourite combination. Hands down. I usually make a vinaigrette with a blood-orange vinegar, which is lovely (oranges and beets are an excellent combo). I also often throw in pecans (why do I buy the giant Costco package of nuts? I have no idea), but have never sugared them. Will keep this in mind. Yay!

  8. Theresa
    April 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I have goat cheese in the fridge!!! This is what I’m having tonight. Yay!!!

  9. Jennifer
    April 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    The salad looks amazing! I’ve also toasted nuts in a dry skillet by sprinkling the sugar on the nuts and letting it caramelize. This way I don’t have to heat up the oven

  10. CathyH
    April 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I have also done the nuts in a skillet with brown sugar and a bit of butter. So very delicious. I love your idea of the oven, though.

  11. Erica B.
    April 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Oooh good looking salad!

    Where are you finding yellow beets?? I can’t seem to get my hands on any… even tried Planet Organic last time I was in the city.

  12. Shauna
    April 27, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Wow, that’s what I should have had for dinner! Instead, I sipped on some soup and followed it up with one of your deadly crème bruléggs. Sugar coma.

  13. Angela
    April 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Julie, this looks delish! What is the recipe for this salad? What dressing recipe did you use?

  14. JulieVR
    April 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

    You don’t need a recipe for a salad! It’s greens topped with chopped roasted beets, crumbled goat cheese and sugared pecans. The dressing I make with 2 parts canola oil to 1 part balsamic, with a squirt of grainy mustard and drizzle of maple syrup.

  15. Celsa
    September 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that
    service? Appreciate it!

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