Beet and Tomato Salad

Beet and Tomato Salad

Hello again! Summer is coming to an end, but there is still plenty of time to make this yummy salad. It is light, fresh, and super easy to make!

This was my first time ever cooking with, or eating beets. Ever. I felt like Dwight Schrute from The Office the entire time I was making this salad, and it was great. Since it was my first time trying beets, I wanted to include ingredients that I loved (like what I did with the brussels sprouts), to try and ensure I’d like them. I have to say, the beets tasted better than I thought they would! Definitely making this salad more often.

Fun fact: the beets and tomato used were grown by Austin’s parents!

The beets do need to be roasted and chilled, so make sure you give yourself a few hours head-start! Any questions? Just ask!


  • 2 beets
  • 1 extra large tomato, or 2 medium tomatoes
  • spinach
  • goat cheese
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Scrub the beets clean, and then wrap in foil, individually.
  3. Roast in the oven on a baking sheet for 45 minutes.
  4. Once the foil is cool to the touch, peel the beets. It should slide off by hand, but a peeler may be needed.
  5. Chill beets in fridge until ready to make salad.
  6. When ready to make the salad, dice the beets and tomatoes into similar sized pieces.
  7. Take a handful of spinach (or more if you’d like), and cut into long thin strips.
  8. Combine the beets, tomatoes and spinach in a bowl. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, followed by a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
  9. Mix ingredients together, and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Finish with goat cheese and enjoy!
Beet and Tomato Salad

I hope that you all enjoy this recipe if you try it! I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Balsamic Marinaded Pork Loin

Balsamic Marinaded Pork Loin Served with Pesto Rice and Garlic Cheese Bread

Who is ready for another meat recipe? I know you all need some proteins to go along with the side dishes I have been sharing lately.

This balsamic marinaded pork loin is one of my favorite recipes. It calls for 4 ingredients, and takes hardly and work at all.

This is a marinade, so make sure you do this at least 1 hour in advance from you would like to cook. I will say, the longer it marinades, the better it tastes!


  • 1 pork loin
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Place pork loin in an oven safe baking dish.
  • Cover pork with balsamic vinegar.
  • Make sure pork is well coated in the balsamic and season all sides with salt and pepper.
Pork Loin Marinading
  • Cover and set in fridge for 1-3 hours. (Remember, longer marinading time is better!)
  • When marinade is done or almost done, preheat oven to 400°
  • Cook for about 40 minutes, or until pork temperature is 165°
  • Take out of oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

I served mine with pesto rice (seriously, so good) and garlic cheese bread. Yum! Leftovers that we had were used for sandwiches the next day, and did not go to waste!

If you have any questions, leave a comment or send a message!

If you like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Goat Cheese

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Goat Cheese

I can’t lie, I absolutely HATED brussels sprouts growing up, and haven’t eaten them in years. My boyfriend talked me into giving them another try, and let me tell ya…


These were so tasty, and I will definitely be making them again. Which I still can’t believe I’m saying…or typing.

Since I never eat these, and was dreading trying them again, I wanted to cook them with ingredients I like and that I know work with other vegetables I eat. So input my go-to ingredients: balsamic vinegar and goat cheese!

I did know that brussels sprouts are best steamed, so I did a version of that. If you have any questions about the recipe, or any other suggestions for ways to eat brussels sprouts, feel free to reach out!


  • brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. goat cheese
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. In a large pan, add the butter, water and brussels sprouts. Cover with a lid and steam on medium heat for about 6 minutes. stirring occasionally.
  2. When most of the water is evaporated and brussels sprouts are tender, take cover off of pan.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar all over the brussels sprouts and add goat cheese. Stir together and cook on low for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Hey guys! This next recipe is one of my FAVORITES! Literally, I put this vinaigrette on almost every salad I make at home now. It’s that good. The best part? It only has a few ingredients and is super quick to make!

To make this vinaigrette, it will make your lives a million times easier if you have an immersion blender. If you don’t know what that is, it’s that tall, skinny hand blender. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular blender, or if you feel like a work out, do it all by hand with a whisk! Don’t really recommend the last way though…

Shall we get started?


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • few dashes of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil and blend until it is a smooth consistency.
  2. Once smooth, keep the blender running and very slowly drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream.
  3. Keep blending until the olive oil is fully combined and the consistency is thicker.
  4. Drizzle or pour over salad and enjoy!
Balsamic Vinaigrette

As always, feel free to reach out if you need any help!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!