We are!!! And oh my goodness, after a dreamy month away traveling with this guy and his Kiwi family, I must say — it feels really good to be home. Which I love.
Don’t get me wrong, I will forever and always love traveling. But the older I get, the more I appreciate how special it is to also look forward to coming home. And to have a life, and friends, and family, and a home, and a sweet snuggly pup back here waiting for me that I absolutely love. And to still have this dream job back home waiting for me that I still completely love. And to be able to return to this cool (and now pleasantly warmer!) city that I still love calling home.
Call it cliche being from Kansas, but Dorothy really did say it best — there really is no place like home. :)
That said, of course, we did have an absolutely fabulous time traveling around New Zealand, and I have “heaps” of stories to share with you from the trip. (<– Fun fact, that’s a favorite word of Kiwis that they always use instead of saying “lots”.) But while I’m busy unpacking and trying to sleep off jet lag this week, I thought I would begin by sharing my first recipe that was inspired by the trip. It’s lean, it’s green, and it’s everything I loved about how we ate in New Zealand.
It’s this gorgeous salad!
I’m calling it a Green Salad with Oranges, Beets & Avocado. But it’s actually inspired by the “Lean & Green Salad” from this wonderful New Zealand fast-food chain called Tank. We actually ended up eating at this place twice on our trip, but only wished we’d had the chance to go there more. It was incredible! And even better, it was incredibly healthy!!
Yep, no chicken nuggets there. Just tons of fresh and delicious salads and juices made-to-order, and we loved every single one that we tried. And believe it or not, I even loved the salads with beets! Or as they call it in New Zealand, beetroot.
Oh my goodness, Kiwis are obsessed with their beetroot.
I’m pretty sure it was served raw (shredded or julienned, mind you) on just about every salad we had during our month in New Zealand. And when it wasn’t in the salad, it was roasted up and served on the side of whatever main course we were having. And everyone — from the adults down to the littlest kiddos — all seemed to love it.
It’s no secret that beets and I have never had a naturally good relationship. But I did decide that shredded beets may just be my gateway into eating raw beets more often. I thought they were totally delicious (and not overpowering!) on salads! And when paired with some fresh oranges, creamy avocado, crunchy carrots, tangy feta, toasted pepitas, and a light vinaigrette on this salad, they were absolutely delightful.
Well, I added in the avocado to this salad. And Tank also added in whole almonds. And I chose to go with a white vinaigrette instead of the traditional dark version, in order to preserve the colors in this beautiful salad.
But other than that, this one is almost identical to the “Lean & Green Salad” we adored. So I had to share it with you!!
The good news is that in addition to being wonderfully fresh and delicious, it’s also quick and easy to make. Just add everything together in a bowl, and give it a good toss until it’s all combined.
And then serve it up! I will say that those beets will turn your salad pink in a hurry. So I’d recommend tossing it just before serving, or layering the ingredients in each serving bowl separately. But however you serve it, I guarantee it’s going to be just as delicious as it was in New Zealand. And I think you’re going to love it heaps!
Yum! This looks incredibly tasty, I will definitely have to try this recipe out. Thanks for the post!
Thanks Maxine — we hope you enjoy it! :)
I can’t wait to read all about your trip and this salad has my name all over it!
Ermahgerd, this looks amazing. I’m definitely working this into next week’s meal plan.
Thanks Caitlin! :D We hope you enjoy it!
I wondered where you were. Needing some new recipes–a steady diet of Pasta with Dark Chocolate Marinara Sauce is not especially well balanced–but it is yummy! Love beet salads!
The colors of this salad are gorgeous!! Thank your for sharing! <3
Thanks Marina — we hope you enjoy! :)
Any salad with beets is a must try for me and this one looks amazing! I love your recipe for the vinaigrette. I’ve made it a couple of times and my kids love it!
Thanks Amy! And we’re glad you and your kiddos love the vinaigrette! :)
Right there with you! I love traveling, but I also love, love, love coming home.
Tank is my jam! And yes we all love beetroot haha! Did you try the chicken, quinoa, cranberry & feta? That one is my fav! This looks delicious!
OMG!! love this salad!! Had exactly the same experience as you. I ate this all the time in New Zealand but did not have the recipe to try it myself. Thanks so much for this.
What a small world Carlijn! We hope you enjoy this recipe! :)
Was looking for salad ideas for a family reunion dinner I’m in charge of. Tried this today (inJuly!) Colors are gorgeous (would be beautiful at Christmas, too!). Anyway, my husband and I can not stop eating this (right from the bowl), there will hardly be enough for our own dinner tonight. Needless to say, this has made it on to the reunion dinner menu and I’ll be tripling it.
P.S.- tried your flank steak with cheese sauce last week- again, loved it! I’ve followed your blog for a couple of years, and save all your travel blogs. Congratulations to you on your wedding and many best wishes to you both.
Thanks for sharing, Carrie, and for your sweet words! We’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed both the recipes! :)
Yummy! So quick and easy… I added some mixed salad grains to add extra bite. Thank you
Do you recommend cooking the beets? or raw?
This is a refreshing salad, full of flavour and crunch. I love the orange in it and I added chia seeds. It goes really well with seafood.
Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. Loved It.
This salad was both easy and delicious. I wanted it to serve 10 as a side salad at a BBQ lunch, so I increased the quantity. I made it with 3 bags of pre-washed salad greens with julienned carrots and beetroot, 5 small oranges, 2 large avocadoes, 1 cup crumbled fetta and 1/2 cup pepitas. There was plenty plus some left over for dinner for 2 the following night, so I think that would have been plenty for 12 people. Made the White Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe too which was also delicious.
I pinned this recipe because it looks delicious and then I was reading the story that goes along with it and it made me so happy! We’re both from New York State, but husband has family in New Zealand and we spend all of March 2018 in NZ with them and it was INCREDIBLE. We use beetroot heaps more ;) since we had it in NZ (on a burger? amazing!) Loved reading your story and I will be making this for my lunches this week! Kia Ora!