Anti-cancer salad

Anti-cancer salad

October is international breast cancer awareness month. One in nine Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. A dear friend of mine had a very rough time of it, and a colleague recently went through the trauma of breast cancer in her family. On her suggestion, we held a breast cancer lunch at work today, where we bought a plate and a donation for the cause. Another friend of mine once expressed a disdain for cupcakes on white ribbon day. I understand her sentiment, in some ways it seems so counter-feminist. So I did not prepare a saccharine pink treat, but a salad whose beetroot may well turn goat cheese pink, but is also incredibly good for you. Beetroot is incredibly high in antioxidants and promotes optimal health. It supports detoxification, but most importantly, may have cancer fighting properties. Watercress enhances sexual energy and fertility, but has been scientifically proven to prevent cancer, breast cancer in particular. A particular compond that is found in incredibly high quantities in watercress prevents tumors from sending the signal to the body that requests a blood supply. Without a blood supply, a tumor cannot continue to grow. Walnuts are also good for you, with potential benefits for overcoming insomnia. But as far as I’m aware, goat cheese is just tasty, and pairs perfectly with beetroot. Anyway, this is a very tasty salad. Try it for yourself sometime; take it to a pink ribbon day event of your own; but remember, check your breasts!

Serves 2 for lunch, or 6 as a side

1 1/2 kg beetroot
1 cup watercress leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
90 grams fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon good olive oil

Chop the tops of the beetroot and place them on a foil lined tray in the oven at 180oC. The beetroot will take at least 40 minutes to cook, longer if they are large. Test them by trying to pull at a stalk stubs at the top of the beetroot. If the stalk comes off easily it should be cooked through. A skewer inserted into the middle of the beetroot needs to go all the way through with no resistance. Allow to cool completely on the tray. Using a butter knife, peel the beetroot. Your hands will go purple. If you have a problem with this, wear gloves. The skin should come away from the tuber relatively easily. Dice the beetroot into approximately 1cm cubes and drizzle with olive oil.

Chop the walnuts so they are the same approximate size as the beetroot pieces. Toss the beetroot, walnut and watercress to combine. Arrange in a serving bowl, making sure you get some beetroot and walnuts on top. Break or cut the goat cheese into pieces about the same size as the beetroot and arrange on top. Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and serve.

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