Crimson Matchstick Salad!

Happy Wednesday friends!

First off – Thank you so much for all your kind words about the half marathon! How lucky am I to have such great friends, celebrating with me, from across the blogosphere! (hehe I love that word!)

Secondly – I have EXCITING NEWS for you guys! I have officially partnered with SeatGeek! They offer great deals on all your favorite event tickets! Concerts, sporting events, Broadway, comedy shows. And when you use the code BEAUTYBEYONDBONES at checkout, you get $20 OFF!! How great is that!? So there you go, friends 🙂

Monday Night in NYC!

Any who – believe it or not, spring is right around the corner! It’s been in the 50’s all week in NYC, and 60 DEGREES on Sunday! What a day!

And whenever I think of spring, I always think of: PESTO. The color, the freshness – I dunno, but it just is the food equivalent of this gorgeous time of year!

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

SOO, I decided to create a dish the makes pesto the star of the show. Along with my other favorite food: BEETS! And this dish highlights them beautifully. What is it?

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

My Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad!

Roasted red pepper and beet matchsticks topped with a luxurious broccoli/avocado/pesto cream! Simply delicious!

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

And it’s gluten free, vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here’s what you need: (Serves 2)

2 large beets, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 bell peppers (red or yellow), cut into thirds
1 avocado, diced

Pesto cream:
1 cup frozen broccoli
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup pine nuts (or you can sub pistachios, but pine nuts are REALLY worth the splurge!!)
3/4 cup fresh basil
1 avocado
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste

Baby spinach

Pine nuts

Food processor
Good chef’s knife (There is absolutely nothing more dangerous in the kitchen than a DULL knife. Investing in a high quality chef’s knife is absolutely the number one thing any home cook needs!! This is the one I use and recommend!)
Baking sheet
Tin foil (I use nonstick and it is a gamechanger)
Steamer basket (Or pyrex measuring cup)

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a tin foil-lined, olive oil-sprayed baking sheet, place the beet rounds and pepper thirds in a single layer. Spritz or toss with olive oil and bake for about 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Hit with salt and pepper when they come out of the oven.

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli and peas, by either steaming in in a steamer basket, or nuking them in the microwave in 1/2 inch of water for about 3 minutes. Let cool, and then combine the steamed broccoli and peas with the rest of the pesto ingredients in your food processor. Process until smooth, scraping the sides several times.

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

When the beets and peppers come out of the oven, let them cool slightly, and then cut into matchsticks – about 1/4 inch thick. Finally, dice your other avocado.

To assemble, lay a bed of spinach on your plate. Top with the beet and pepper match sticks, and the diced avocado. Top that with your pesto cream. Garnish with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

My goodness, how delicious was this dish?!

There’s something truly magical about roasted beets. The sugars caramelize and become intensely sweet with a wonderfully earthy tone. And same with the peppers! There’s a smokey sweetness to them too. So that sweetness paired with the fresh basil and bright lemon was just delightful!

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

And then the pesto cream! Good golly was this wonderful! The texture was creamy and rich from the avocado, yet surprisingly light and ethereal! It was the perfect texture compliment to the crunchy/chewy beets and crisp baby spinach. But oh boy – the avocado just took it over the top — so buttery and luxurious!

Finally, it was a stunning dish. The bright green pesto against the deep purple beets made this dish just jump off the plate!

Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad #beautybeyondbones #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian #paleo #food #edrecovery

A winner for sure!

What is YOUR FAVORITE springtime dish?

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28 responses to “Crimson Matchstick Salad!”

  1. Yum, can I say I just love beets in the oven. Avocado is something I still can not put in my mouth, lol. Might give this a try in the next week. so what would be a good sub for the green goddess veggie?

    • Thanks so much! Aren’t they so delicious!? Hahaha gotcha — hmm – you could simply omit it, and add an extra 1/4 cup of peas to the pesto cream! 🙂

    • Oh yes – roasted beets are honestly phenomenal. Something magical happens in the oven when they’re cooked slowly like that – give them a try. They’re great! Thanks for stopping by, Alice! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Tonya for the link up! Hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

  2. Beets in the oven are the best. Thanks for sharing this pesto recipe. My df girl isn’t strictly on the scd plan anymore, but she’s still careful–and dairy free. Pesto is something she misses when the rest of us have it. I’ll have to surprise her with this one!

  3. Hi Caralyn,
    Just wanted to thank you for how you handle yourself on your blog, especially when confronted. There are times when some want to pick a fight, and you consistently respond with grace. What a great example you have been. I learned a thing or two from you when I was recently confronted by another Christian (not on my blog). Responding with love and grace was easy since I’ve seen you do it. So, thanks!

    • Thank you Meghan, that’s really so kind of you to say. Yeah it can definitely be tough at times, but it’s what Jesus instructs! I’m so sorry to hear that you went through that unfortunate encounter. So glad you powered through it!! 🙂 sending big big hugs xox

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