Mango and Beet Salad

  • Posted on: September 5, 2013

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Drawers emptied, furniture stored away, cars packed full on their way west… bags unpacked, drawers filled, google maps sucking the battery life from my iphone as we try to find the park where soccer practice starts in 3 minutes,  the kids brave through their first couple days of school and I am standing in front of the produce section of one of the biggest Wholefoods I have ever been in, mouth agape, as my eyes go from left to right, right to left and back again and again as I look in awe at the variety of produce before me.

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I think I’m gonna like it here.   Did I mention the fruit trees in the driveway of our rental house?  Yup.  I haven’t had the chance to go to a locals farmers market but it’s on my list.

We have been in the area for a week, staying with family, in a hotel and then finally in our rental house.   Everything seemed to be going just according to plan, almost errily so and then I got a phone call.   The woman on the other end of the line was from my college and she told me that my class in Penngrove had been cancelled but that they were saving me a space at their Berkeley campus.

I sat in the car with my mouth agape, again, just staring out the window thinking of all the time and effort my family and I just went through to uproot our lives and move to California so that I could go to this school.   I found a house and a school for the kids close enough to the Penngrove campus, 20 minutes away so that I could still drop the kids off at school in the morning and pick the kids up after school.    The woman on the phone was very apologietic.    I was in shock.   Deep Breath.

I am looking on the bright side- what else can you do?   Thank goodness the Berkeley class wasn’t full.  The kitchen at the Berkeley location has a brand new professional kitchen, the building is a lot nicer, and classes will be a little bigger but not too big.  And I will be missing both the morning and the afternoon traffic.   Here I go…off to school in Berkeley.

Now lets get back to the fruit tree in my driveway.   At first I thought it was a lime tree and was pretty excited.   But after a closer look, I realized it looked like an unripened orange and after cutting into one, it appeared to me so.   We’ll have to wait and see be so.

I am a fruit in my salad kinda girl.   You can keep your cucumbers and tomatoes.   Pass the sweet fruits and vegetables over here.     Especially in the summer.   School may have started, but it sure feels like the heat of summer here in Northern California.

My children are slightly disgruntled by the heat and a little over dramatic at times- like when they fall to the grass, lay down and say they can’t moooooove because they are sooooooooo hhhhhhhhhhhot.    I feel for them.   These mountain kids can ski in 5 below weather, but running around a soccer field when it is 90 degrees feels like torture.    We are planning a trip to the coast this weekend to cool down by the ocean breeze.

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If it still feels like the heat of summer where you live, try this cooling salad.  The toasted pumpkin seeds add a great balance of earthiness to the sweet fruits.

A simple method to roast beets is to place a sheet of tin foil on the counter with a piece of parchment paper on top.    Add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and wrap the foil/parchment around the beet.   Place beet on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  Cool, peel and dice.  The skin of the beet will come right off the beet using with your hands.

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I was telling Max last night as I was tucking him in that I was so proud of him for being so brave this first week of school and he said I am really proud of you too mom.   You are starting a new school too.  I wonder what friends you will meet.   Maybe a Jenny and a Sarah and a….

I mean really, talk about melting my heart.


Mango and Beet Salad

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6


  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 2 small beets, roasted* and diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • Citrus Dressing
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


In a small pan under medium heat, toast raw pumpkin seeds with couple drops of olive oil. Toast for 3-4 minutes, carefully watching that they don't burn.

Place cleaned lettuce into a large salad bowl. Break into small pieces. Add mango and beets.

Mix salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over salad. Mix well.

Add pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. Serve.


*A simple method to roast beets is to preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a sheet of tin foil on the counter with a piece of parchment paper on top. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and wrap the foil/parchment around the beet. Place beet on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Cool, peel and dice. The skin of the beet will come right off the beet using with your hands.












  1. Jenny · September 6, 2013 Reply

    Looks really yummy- I love beets!! Crazy story about school, I can’t believe they just up and moved the campus on you! I hope it all ends up working out with kiddos schedules and all.

    • Luisa Naughton · September 6, 2013 Reply

      Thanks, Jenny. It’ll be a commute but it’ll work thanks to the help of Eric and my mom!

  2. Nancy Yuskaitis · September 6, 2013 Reply

    Wow! What an exciting adventure you are on, and so wonderful to have your family’s support.
    During the years I was running an organic market & catering business in Florida, I always wanted to study & cook
    in California. Cooking natural foods is an art! Enjoy! Can’t wait to follow along & try your recipes.

    • Luisa Naughton · September 6, 2013 Reply

      Hi Nancy, It’s good to hear from you. Yes, I am very excited to be able to study natural foods and cooking in California. Everything tastes so fresh here!
      Best, Luisa

  3. Dina Ferrante · September 6, 2013 Reply

    Hi Luisa! This looks delicious. I will definitely be making this! How far is Berkley? I love your attitude. Miss you already!

    • Luisa Naughton · September 6, 2013 Reply

      Hi Dina, I miss you too! It’s going to be in the high 90’s this weekend and we are trying to stay cool! Berkeley is about 1 1/2 from Healdsburg, where we are living for the next 6 weeks and about an hour + from Santa Rosa, where we will be the rest of the year. So it’s about 5-6 extra hours in the car each week. I guess some people do this everyday for years and I only have to do it 3 days a week for 5 months.

  4. Shannon · September 8, 2013 Reply

    Wow….crazy! Glad your making it work. I know your handling it better than I would. Miss you guys! Love this recipe!

    • Luisa Naughton · September 9, 2013 Reply

      Hi Shannon! Yeah, a bit of a shocker but I have to make the best of it. The neighborhood in Berkeley in pretty cool and hopefully I can avoid high traffic hours. Hope you guys are going well! We camped at the beach this weekend and missed having your Westy next to us!

  5. Sarah · September 9, 2013 Reply

    I’m very proud of you!! I’m glad things are getting figured out, but sorry about the commute.
    Don’t meet too many Sarah’s and Jenny’s, the originals miss you back here in the Butte.
    I’m trying to figure out when I’m coming your way.

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