RECIPE: Beet and Arugula Salad


Whilst on my Wellness Retreat in Varenna, Italy, I confess, panne, pizza and gelato were regulars in my diet. However, I did have several insalata mistas, which typically consisted of raddichio, grated carrots and green lettuce.  Simple and nutritious, but over time, my palate longed for something with a little more zip!

Thankfully, across the street from our apartment was a small grocery store which carried fresh produce*.  I noticed there were several jarred and vacuum sealed vegetables in marinade.  I would’ve skipped over these in the states but figured I’m in another country and exploring their cuisine is part of the experience right? So, I purchased a “bag” of beets and a jar of marinated funghi (mushrooms, which’ll make an appearance in another blog post)

Beets can be found packaged this way at Trader Joe’s and I’m sure many other grocery stores in the USofA or in jars and cans, as well.  Probably some farmers markets providing them, our your grandma may have some she canned 19 years ago in her basement somewhere.  Doesn’t matter to me how you get you beets, just know that they are oh so good for you! (lower blood pressure, have antioxidants, lots of fiber and vitamins, are anti-cancer to name a few)


2 Tbsp Olive oil

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

3 large Beets from, can, jar or vacuum sealed bag, chopped with ~ 1/4 cup of their juice

1 Tbsp sunflower seeds

3 cups arugula

1 orange sliced

5 dashes of salt and pepper



(* this store also carried a variety of cheeses from a local creamery.  I spent a significant portion of our food budget on the ridiculously good cheeses)



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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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