Beets: These fat purple (and many other hued) roots are delicious and extremely good for you. They have a combination of chemicals that work to stimulate the blood vessels, helping your heart and brain to stay in top form. Beets can turn your urine surprisingly red, but that's completely normal, even if disconcerting.

Carrots: We all know that carrots are good for your eyes, but did you know they have anti-cancer properties as well? They have the nicely named carotenoids that are antioxidents -- chemicals that mop up the damage that results from ordinary metabolism. That, in turn, helps to keep your cells from turning rogue and hanging with the cancer gangs. If that's not enough to make you grab a carrot, they turn out to be immune-system stimulators as well, meaning you'll have fewer occasions to ask "What's up, doc?" Yes there's a little sugar in them, but also a lot of fiber to buffer it, so only the most sugar-restricted people should worry. By the way, the vitamin K in carrots is easier to absorb if you eat them with a bit of oil or fat, like a dip.

Parsley: This refreshing herb is good for your breath and is apparently refreshing to the rest of your body. Like all green herbs, it is loaded with chlorophyll, which is just good for people. It helps you build tissue and fight inflammation. It has even been shown to help manage blood sugars and helps to keep your weight in check. More studies are needed, but it may even help to fight cancer. All that, and a breath freshener too? Who could ask for more?

Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Salad

prep time: 10
cook time: 23


  • 6 small beets (about 1 pound), trimmed
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 small red potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 summer squash (about 1 pound)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken such as rotisserie chicken
  • 1 small head frisee or other curly endive or escarole, quartered


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel beets and cut into 0.75 inch wedges. In a bowl toss beets with 1 teaspoon oil to coat and in 1 end of a shallow baking pan spread in 1 layer.

Cut potatoes into 0.75 inch-thick slices. In another bowl toss potatoes with 1 teaspoon oil to coat and at other end of baking pan spread in 1 layer, making sure that potatoes do not touch beets (beets will bleed).

Cut summer squash diagonally into 0.5 inch-thick slices and cut slices lengthwise into 0.5 inch-wide sticks. In a bowl toss summer squash with 1 teaspoon oil to coat and in 1 end of another shallow baking pan spread in 1 layer.

Cut carrots diagonally into 0.333 inch-thick slices. In a bowl toss carrots with 1 teaspoon oil to coat and at the other end of second baking pan spread in 1 layer.

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, parsley, remaining 1/3 cup oil, and salt to taste.

Bake vegetables in oven 5 minutes, or until summer squash is just tender, and transfer summer squash to a shallow bowl. Bake remaining vegetables, testing them every 5 minutes, 13 minutes more, or until tender, and transfer as cooked to separate shallow bowls.

Stir dressing and spoon about 1 tablespoon over each vegetable, tossing to coat. In a bowl toss chicken with remaining dressing.

Arrange vegetables and salad greens on a platter and mound chicken in middle. Alternatively, vegetables, chicken, and dressing may be tossed together, but beets will bleed. Serve salad at room temperature.