This fresh and vibrant salad is super healthy, quick to make, and absolutely delicious. Made with fresh fall veggies, a crisp apple, and crunchy walnuts, it’s full of antioxidants, energizing carbs, and healthy fats. It’s not only delish, but also beautiful enough to earn a spot on your Thanksgiving table. Let’s make it!
I’m lucky enough to have received a lot of recipes from my mother. Gerry was a fantastic cook, and waaaay ahead of her time in terms of healthy cooking and eating before we had access to the Internet. Imagine that! She seemed to have a knack for putting certain ingredients together that not only tasted heavenly, but were also full of nutritional benefits.
But I have to sidetrack for a minute and fill you in on how I acquired most of my recipes from her. Ma didn’t actually use recipes too much when she cooked (baking, yes… cooking, no.) She just did it by instinct and experience. When it looked right, it was right. When it seemed like enough, it was enough. So it was a bit difficult to actually get a written recipe from her.
As you can see, this recipe is in my handwriting. I clearly remember when she gave it to me- we were on the phone (not cell phones, just the kind with the curly cord that stretches out), and here’s how it went:
Me: Ma, can I get your recipe for that beet & carrot & apple salad that you make?
Ma: Of course, dear! It’s so easy, just grate up a couple of apples, and a…
Me: Wait wait wait… a-pp-le… wait, I’m writing it down… ok, how many did you say?
And so on…
That’s why you don’t see any amounts on the dressing ingredients, because I think by the time we reached that point I had worn out her patience. And if you knew my mother, you know that she had endless patience with her children & grandchildren (not so much with policemen, but that’s another story!) But you know the funniest part? I do the EXACT SAME THING NOW. I don’t usually measure when I cook, (definitely not when making salad dressing), and I tend to just cook from my own imagination without writing anything down. Sorry, kids, you’re going to have the same trouble with me that I did with my own mother. What comes around goes around I guess!
But I DID measure and write down all of these salad ingredients for you! I also changed some things, especially the dressing, because even if we could get flax oil here in Manila, I would probably pay $20 a bottle for it and it would already be rancid. I can’t find marjoram or savory here either so I actually just made up a whole new dressing with orange juice, olive oil, and fresh ginger. It really compliments the flavours of all the veggies and apple, adds a zingy pop of brightness, and brings the whole thing together. I also added jicama (local singkamas for my Philippines readers) because I love the crunchiness and nutty flavor. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, and high in inulin, a prebiotic fiber that has been shown to improve gut health. I think my Ma would love it.
And actually, what’s not to love about this salad? Beets are also super healthy for you: they’re a good source of folate, fiber, iron, manganese, and potassium. Eating beets and beetroot juice has also been associated with improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and better exercise performance. Apples are a great source of soluble fiber and provide natural sweetness, and you get plenty of beta-carotene from the carrots. Walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids, and the orange juice in the dressing contains Vitamin C which will help you absorb the iron from the beets. Nice!
Plus, isn’t it just so pretty? Here in Philippines, it’s hard to get cranberries for the Thanksgiving table. But this salad can easily stand in for any cranberry sauce with its bright, sweet flavor and gorgeous deep red colour. It’s going to be on our table for sure, with many thanks to my Ma for giving me the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving, folks!