Easy Recipes for Cyclists: Spinach and Beet Salad

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or bland

Spinach and Beet Salad.     Photo: Sonya Looney

Beets come jam-packed with flavor and nutrients. They are touted as a cancer fighting root, packed with the phyto nutrient betalains, which provice antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, beets are high in folate, which helps cells regenerate (think recovery).

INGREDIENTS
1 package organic spinach
1 can sliced beets (or cooked fresh)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
Olive oil with balsamic reduction (for dressing)

INSTRUCTIONS
Balsamic reduction, used for dressing the salad, is sweeter than the plain vinegar that is traditionally paired with olive oil. To make, bring 1/2 cup of balsamic to a boil. Take it off the heat and let it thicken. Place on salad and a sprinkle with olive oil to desired taste.

To create the salad, place spinach in a large bowl. Cut beets into cubes or medallion slices and place on salad. Toss the spinach and beets with chopped walnuts and dried cranberries, and garnish with cheese. Add the dressing and mix. Serve and enjoy.

Sonya Looney is a professional mountain biker focusing on ultra endurance and stage racing events. She was selected to the USA Marathon World Championships team in both 2010 and 2011.

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