Vanilla Scented Beet Citrus Salad: February Favorite Veg on the Web!

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It’s the last Saturday of the month, which means only one thing—time to feature my Favorite Veg on the Web! As most of you know, this year I decided to create a monthly feature where I highlight one of my favorite veg-centric blogger. This month I am featuring Amy from one of the first blogs that I ever followed–Fragrant Vanilla Cake. Amy is seriously one of the most creative veg-bloggers out there and is able to pair really complex flavors (especially in her ice creams!!!) in a sophisticated, coherent way. In short, she has a gift and I’m happy to introduce her to all of you!

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Hello, nice to meet you all!  My name is Amy, and I have a blog called “Fragrant Vanilla Cake”, mostly baking and dessert recipes, but the occasional special vegetarian savory recipe pops up as well.  I am a competitive long distance runner who also works in a deli at a health food store as a cook.  I also have a degree in studio Art from Bethel University, but fell in love with the art of cooking and baking after college so I have decided to use my creativity in that respect more than just simply painting and drawing.  After all, to me creating recipes is art.  I have been a vegetarian for 8 years, but just began to lean more towards the vegan way of eating in the last few years.  I am not a strict vegan, but I eat that way whenever possible. I was flattered when Tiffany asked me to do a guest post on her blog.  I am always admiring the beautiful and delicious things she is posting on here!  I wanted to make something special for her, that I felt reflected the spirit of her blog and decided to go with a savory but also a little sweet salad recipe, one using one of my all-time favorite ingredients, beets!  I have loved them in salads lately, and I thought this time I would pair them with citrus in the form of kumquats and oranges in vanilla hibiscus vinaigrette!  It is lovely, light and delicious!  The sweet beets are wonderful with the slightly tart kumquats and oranges and the dressing is fragrant with vanilla and a lovely shade of pink from the hibiscus.  The toasted almonds are a nice textural contrast as well.  It makes me forget all about the fact that it is winter, and think I am somewhere sunny.  If you wish to recreate it, I have included the recipe.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Vanilla Scented Beet Citrus Salad

Serves 4


2 large cooked beets*, sliced

1 cup kumquats, thinly sliced

2 large oranges cut into supremes

1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds


1 Tbsp. avocado oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. orange juice

1 Tbsp. agave nectar

1 tsp. dried hibiscus flowers

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

seeds of one vanilla bean


*In a large bowl, combine beets, kumquats and oranges and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad tossing well.  Place on a serving plate and scatter toasted almonds over the top before serving!

*To cook beets, preheat oven to 475 degrees and wrap beets in foil.  Place in the oven and roast until tender, about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how large they are.  Remove from oven and let cool, then peel.

Well, there you have it folks! A lovely salad to close out these last few days of winter! I’ll be back on Tuesday with the Como Water low down on the month of March. Oh, and thanks to all of you who wished me luck with this whole identity theft thing. I should be able to get it sorted out when I get back to DC. Happy Saturday everyone!!! 😀

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. How pretty is this dish! Amy it’s great to see you here at Como Water. Your recipes are always unique and mouthwatering, this is a gorgeous dish. Thanks Tiff for inviting Amy and I hope both of you ladies have a terrific weekend.

  2. Thanks so much for letting me guest post Tiffany! I really enjoyed it :)! I have always loved your blog!

  3. my husband loves beets but I never make them because I just don’t feel that I have a good recipe. I love this one though! Kumquats are easy to find here and I think this is something my kids would even eat. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautiful salad! This is the second post I’ve seen using kumquats this week – I’m going to have to get some to try. I love beets and imagine they’d be a great pairng.

  5. What a great guest post, Tiffany! I am a fan of both of your blogs…as I am a fan of beets! Beautiful salad…I love the citrus/beet combo…so yummy.

  6. So happy to see Amy over here! Beautiful salad filled with fantastic flavors and colors! Great job on this one girls!

  7. missed your site. i love this. it is too cute!! my husband loves beets and this would be perfect.

  8. Dried hibiscus flowers into this salad dressing??? Lovely ingredient for this wonderful recipe. These flowers are our national pride and they simply bloom everywhere.

  9. So happy to see Amy on here! This looks absolutely delicious and so creative! Hibiscus flowers and vanilla bean!? Simply amazing.

  10. The salad looks beautiful, but you lost me with the avocado oil and the hibiscus — two things I can’t abide.

  11. What a beautiful dish with beats. Love that you made them hearts. 🙂 Well done.

  12. The flavor combination in this salad is absolutely gorgeous!!! I never thought to put beets with oranges, YUM! Hugs, Terra

  13. Glad to see Amy guest posting here! She does have a great knack for bringing together the most amazing complimentary flavors and this recipe is no different. Not only great flavors but the extra touch on the presentation is awesome too. Nice to see two great bloggers here together. Hope you both had a great weekend!

  14. Wow, what gorgeous bright colors! 🙂 And vanilla sounds like a truly intriguing flavor idea. Lovely!

  15. Lovely! Such gorgeous colors! Going over to tell Amy how nice this is! … unless she’s reading this already. 😀

  16. Lovely to meet Amy, Tiffany. I love this salad. I’m a recent convert to beetroot and now can’t get enough of this great veg!

  17. Congrats on Top 9!

  18. Amy,
    Such great colors and flavors in this beautiful salad. I never thought of pairing beets and citrus. My husband loves beets, so I’ll have to make this for him. Great guest post.

    Amy is a great guest blogger. Glad to see her here.
    Congrats on the Top 9 today!

  19. Your Vanilla-Scented Beet Citrus Salad is beautiful. I love the combination of flavors – beets, kumquats. The dressing sounds divine – avocado oil, citrus, and hibiscus flowers mmm:) Congratulations on Foodbuzz Top 9:)

  20. What a gorgeous salad! I love the hint of vanilla…must give it wonderful flavor.

  21. Well, Hello Amy! Those are the most adorable beets ever 🙂
    And Tiffany, I hope you are getting some rest with all the hectic-ness in your life these days!

  22. Hi Amy and Tiffany! Congrats on a beautiful Top 9 photo today. I bet it tastes as great as it looks. Since you are fans of the BEET, you might want to check out 5 Star Foodie Beet Round-up. It has tons of creative beet recipes and ideas.
    YAY for beets and kumquats!
    Lori Lynn

  23. Well, that’s pretty enough to make us crave beets!

  24. This salad is indeed a beauty – of flavors and colors. Nice to see Amy featured – I agree that she brings together an unusual but flavorful grouping of ingredients. It was fun to learn more about you, Amy!

  25. Salad looks so colorful and pretty! What a great guest post!

  26. Wonderful salad! Tiff & Amy…you’re both awesome!

  27. Love this!
    So pretty and im sure it is delicious! 🙂

  28. I absolutely love this post and I am a fan of both of you. Lately, I have been leaning towards eating clean whole foods whenever possible and vegan recipes keep popping up. You both help inspire me to keep at it and I always looking forward to your recipes. Have a great weekend!

  29. That looks amazing, I love beets. I’m actually doing a Roasted Beet Terrine this weekend that I’ll be posting on my blog. Definitely will have to try this recipe!

  30. What a gorgeous salad! Love the addition of vanilla–never would have thought of that.

  31. Thank you everyone for your comments! 😀

  32. Hello!

    I stumbled across this post on Google – this recipe is absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to read more.

    All the best, Alex.

  33. This salad looks amazing!