Seasonal raw vegetable summer salad with baked beetroot chips and honey mustard dressing

Hello hello my lovely readers. You may not recognise me any more, but I’m still here! I’ve been ridiculously busy lately, and thus haven’t been trying many new recipes, and haven’t had a minute to blog! However, am finished on my attachment at the minute so I plan to get this back on track. I do think, however, given my new priorities, the blog will also include my new getting fit schedule!

At the end of exams, I decided to finally bite the bullet and do something about my long awaited want to start running. Now I have tried and tried, but I always always end up with shin splints a few weeks in and having to stop. It’s gotten to the stage where it even hurts to walk. Now I’ve read in many places that there are a few contributors to this pattern. One is tight calves and hamstrings, and another is not running correctly. So I decided to do this properly and go to the lovely Tina – who runs classes all around Dublin. I went for a private consultation as I didn’t have time to go to classes, with exams taking up all of my spare time. Tina went through all of the basics with me, and we decided on a schedule to start me off. I’ve been in touch with her via twitter and email and she’s just been fantastic. I’m now on week 6 and have signed up for a 5k run in Sept to have something to aim towards. Moral of the story – Go to Tina! I’m really happy with how it’s been going. I never thought I’d run for 7 and 8 minutes straight, but not only am I running it, I’m not even out of breath because I’ve learned how to run properly and control my breathing. And at the minute, let’s just say all these cakes and treats I’ve been showing you are quite evident on my figure, so if I can do it, you most certainly can too! I’ve also been running some of the earlier weeks with my lovely friend Louise, who’s also doing fantastically- Louise, should you read this, see you Weds!

My other favourite thing ever is my shiny new bicycle. Look at it!

Don’t you just adore it? It has a basket that fits my camera perfectly. So far I’ve been doing from 3.5 to 7.5k cycles depending on who tags along, half mostly uphill, and it’s getting easier. Have found another safe road to add some extra k to it now! I have a variety of cycling buddies, including Louise (as mentioned above)- who accompanies me post run (applause please), Sinead – who has been dying to go cycling forever, and my mum, who is now thinking about getting her own bike and not stealing my sister’s to go out! I love it. I’ve gotten so much fitter and my family has been mentioning the effects are visible! Hurrah.

Now, for some reason, I cannot for the life of me think of what recipe to give you, so I’m going to give you a nice simple one that was part of our #20milecookalong in June. The veg I could get that was all local included the most glorious mushrooms, courgettes, and lettuce that was grown about 7 miles from me, and stocked in the lovely Kate’s Kitchen. There were also some mangetout and lovely looking beetroot. I decided to do a very simple super fresh local salad with beetroot chips and an local honey (&mustard) dressing!

Seasonal raw vegetable summer salad with baked beetroot chips and honey mustard dressing

What you need:
Any fresh produce from your locality, I used

    Red onion
    2 beetroot
    Olive oil
    Dijon or wholegrain mustard, depending on your own favourite
    Lemon juice
    Rapeseed oil has become widely available in Ireland. I use the Donegal rapeseed oil and love it in dressings.
  • Firstly, preheat your oven to 170C. Wash and thinly slice your beetroot (I used a mandolin). Brush some non stick baking paper with olive oil, brush the beetroot slices with olive oil, and grind some good sea salt on them. Bake for about 20 minutes until they’re crisp and have slightly shrivelled up. Depending on the thickness of your beetroot, you may need to bake until up to 45 minutes! Mine were very thin and were just lovely after 20. Set them aside for your salad, or eat as they are!
    Wash and slice your vegetables as thinly as possible. I love paper thin raw mushrooms in a salad. The courgette from my local veg grower was the best I’ve ever tasted! Here’s my ingredients getting ready before I chopped them up. The beetroot chips were ready at this stage. Mix everything in a bowl and set aside.

    Dressing: Add 3tbsp rapeseed oil, 4 tbsp honey, 1.5 tbsp mustard, and about 1 and a half tbsp lemon juice in a jar, screw on the lid, and shake well to mix. Add a little more lemon juice to taste if it needs it!
  • Here’s my salad, sorry about the bad light!

    I had it with a fabulous pulled pork sandwich on ciabatta- recipe upcoming! I also made nettle soup (can’t get more local than that!), some ice cream from local cream (I collected myself from up the road, a lovely farmer let me have some of his fantastic cream), some local beef with a homegrown onion and mushroom stuffing, and a gooseberry crumble made with our own gooseberries. All were amazing. Recipes all upcoming (I regret just throwing things together for the crumble because it was amazing and I’m not sure of the exact quantity now!)

    Phew, that was a long and complex post! Anybody else out there on a workout and fitness schedule, do find me on twitter, there are a few of us keeping each other motivated there and on the forums at, so come along and say hi there or here!

    10 thoughts on “Seasonal raw vegetable summer salad with baked beetroot chips and honey mustard dressing

    1. Well done Sarah! I’m on hold with my running at the moment as my problem is incredibly tight calves, went to a couple of Tina’s classes (which are brilliant) but my calves just got worse and worse. Now seeing Jett, who is massaging, acupunturing and everythingelseuring the tightness out of my legs. Once that’s done I’ll be back to the running.

      Though in the short time I did do it, I couldn’t believe the difference in my fitness levels. I could run for 5 mins without getting winded and a sprint to catch a departing luas was no trouble. I’m dying to get back into it! Only wish I could cycle too but I am deathly afraid of the drivers around Dublin.

      Good luck in the 5k if I don’t see you before then!

      • Hey Joanna,

        I think I’m going to start seeing Jett too, my hamstrings and calves extremely tight but just stretching really really well every day and seems to be loosening!

        Dublin has me wary as well, leaving the bike here until I see how it is with dublin bikes!

    2. I LOVE cycling, I did a 18km cycle ride up and down a mountain when I went to Spain recently. Was so difficult. Want to buy a road bike, but can’t really afford it :(. I like your bike btw, awesome. I’ve fairly recently started running, and it gets so much easier fairly quickly. I’m currently going 3 miles every other day, with a game of tennis or squash on the off day. I think I could go further, but it;s fairly time consuming. Good luck on the 5k, you’ll be fine.

      • Heya, thanks a million for the good wishes. The bike to work scheme is def worth a look if it’s available to you, mine ended up nearly half price. 18k up a mountain sounds pretty difficult, just under half my 7.5 route is uphill, and the first few times that was so difficult! But it’s getting easier 🙂

    3. Sarah you are doing brilliantly. I love your bike.. would really love one like that but I am not sure the streets of Dublin are safe for a scatterbrain like me!
      Keep up the good work .. Tina is a miracle worker in my mind as I couldn’t run the length of myself before I did her class. We are all little Tina-ettes 😉

      • Thanks Sarah-Jane,

        I love my bike too, I totally fell for it when I saw it in a shop, just glad I was able to order it at home, tho was a 4 week wait! Made it all the sweeter.

        Tina-ettes, love it – we should get pink silk jackets made up or something!

    4. Good on you Sarah, I started to run after my twin girls were born – 12 years ago and try to get out there 2 or 3 times a week. With a strong interest in food one has to exercise 🙂 Sorry to have missed out on the last two cookalongs – summer a bit crazy with the kids off – so will be more organised come September.

      • Hey Sheila,

        Tell me about it, every time I run I’m thinking – that’s the brownie from the other day, or ‘this is for the pasta’ (My two vices). Don’t worry about missing the cookalongs, I’ve barely been online so they’ve become so disorganised. Next up is Best of Irish in sept so should be a fun one!


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