Read the first chapter of real food for pregnancy for FREE.

Asian Beet Slaw

As you know, I’m on a special diet for food sensitivities. So you’re already aware I don’t have a ton of ingredients to choose from at the moment, but the list is steadily growing day by day. I’m up to 32 foods now! Hooray for variety!

Now, because the foods I’m eating are based on the results of my MRT lab test, the foods I’m eating aren’t necessarily the perfect foods for you (they are however, the perfect foods for me!). Regardless, I’m sharing some of the simple recipes I’m come up with using real food ingredients that taste amazing.

I’ve always been a fan of slaw, but I usually make a classic cabbage slaw with a creamy dressing. Since cabbage is not on my menu (yet!), I thought I’d use some other vegetables. Really, you can make slaw with any vegetable that you can shred or thinly slice – carrots, fennel, zucchini, kohlrabi, etc.

When I saw beets were on my list, I figured it’d be a perfect time to test out a new slaw recipe. And decided that’d be more fun than my usual roasted beets (which I also love, by the way).

However, a quick google search left me with a bunch of slaw recipes with complicated ingredients that I knew I couldn’t eat.

After briefly shedding a tear, I went back to the drawing board and looked over my ingredient list. I knew sesame was on my list and for some reason, I had completely forgotten about toasted sesame oil, perhaps the most distinctly flavorful of all seed oils. So with that, I got to work and whipped this up in a few minutes.

This recipe is incredibly simple and surprisingly flavorful, even with a short list of ingredients. If you’ve got ‘em, garnish this with sesame seeds as well. If you can get your hands on multi-colored or golden beets, by all means, use those!

The prettier your food is, the better it tastes. <– tweet that

Or, that’s how I see it anyways.


Asian Beet Slaw


  • 2 medium beets (tennis ball size), peeled
  • 1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons (or limes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced (save some for garnish)


  1. Shred beets in a food processor with the grating attachment OR use a coarse grater (like you’d use for cheese). Just beware this is a messy job when done by hand.
  2. In a large bowl mix shredded beets with remaining ingredients and let marinate for 30 minutes. Garnish with some additional sliced scallions. Serve and enjoy.

Asian beet slaw is a colorful addition to salads, tacos, or lettuce wraps. It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week.

If you liked this recipe and want more, sign up for email updates below. My weekly newsletter goes out each Tuesday and features practical nutrition tips and healthy recipes that you can use right away.

And again, a huge thank you to everyone for supporting me on my MRT/LEAP program to manage food sensitivities. So far, it’s been 100% worth the effort and has me exploring in the kitchen more than I ever imagined. Stay along for the ride and get some culinary inspiration of your own. If you’ve got questions about what I’m doing, you might have missed my recap of the first week eating with food sensitivities, read it here. Or my farewell to almonds.

If you suspect you are struggling with food sensitivities of your own and want to find out more about working with me, go here.

Oh and before I sign off… If you’ve got another delicious way to prepare beets, tell me about it in the comments below.

Until next week,


How could I pass these beauties up at the farmer's market? Save the greens and cook them like spinach or kale.
How could I pass these beauties up at the farmer’s market? Save the greens and cook them like spinach or kale.
Beet-stained skin is thankfully a temporary phenomenon. Just watch out for your clothes.
Beet-stained skin is thankfully a temporary phenomenon. Just watch out for your clothes.
Asian beet slaw makes a wonderful addition to your lunch salad
Asian beet slaw makes a wonderful addition to salads.

Veggies: Eat them because you want to, not because you have to

Your guide to making vegetables taste seriously good

You'll also receive Lily Nichols' weekly newsletter.
Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

Can you eat too much fish during pregnancy?
Vitamin B12 & Pregnancy: A nutrient crucial for your baby’s health
How much iron do you actually absorb from food?
Am I too late to benefit from nutrition changes during pregnancy?

Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
    • Eleanore, I’ve heard of that, but never given it a try myself. So glad to hear it was tasty! Time to hunt down a recipe. 🙂

  1. Lily, Love your attitude as you move forward. I’m so excited for you/with you when your list of ingredients gets bigger…but in the meantime you’re doing great with limited ingredients…as this recipe demonstrates.

    I think by now you know that some of the most creative results (and not just with food) happen not despite limitations…but because of them! I’m happy to be part of your cheering squad.

    • You are so right, Silvia! When given a limited list of foods and spices/herbs, you have to think outside the box a little. I realize now that I used to rely heavily on herbs for flavor and now play around more with the salt-sour-sweet balance. Each day I add a new ingredient and my options expand exponentially. My body feels great and my taste buds are plenty happy. Thanks for the continued cheers!

  2. Great posts Lily! By the way, for the beet salad, it’s also very good to do aprox 1/2 and 1/2 beet and shredded pear, apple or other fruit for a sweeter “slaw.”

    • Thanks Jan! Yes, those would be great additions. I found this plenty sweet on its own, but my palate is pretty sensitive to sweet tastes already. 🙂

  3. Lily~ this looks simple, nutritious and yummy! Trying it this weekend! Thanks so much for sharing it. 🙂

    • Let me know how it turns out, Sarah!

  4. Ohh love this idea Lily! I wish I had that ability to take limited ingredients and make them work together. I always get stuck in the usual recipes and have a hard time thinking out the box. Looking forward to learning more from you!

    • Leah, I honestly thought everything I made would taste bland and I’m so happy that has not been the case. 🙂 See you around the blog!

  5. Mmmmm I love beetroot! I think I’ll beed some rubber gloves to try this one out

    • I hear you, Sarah. Beets are messy, but luckily it doesn’t stain skin or cutting boards permanently. Just be careful with dish towels and your clothes!

  6. Lily,

    I am loving your website. I made the chicken broth by leaving the yellow leaves of the onions on. What a treat. I enjoy hearing about your journey with food.


    • Thanks Helenmay!

  7. I’ve never tried beets before. I’m bookmarking this yummy recipe. Looks delish!

    • This is a great beet recipe to start with, Melissa. You can also try making Roasted Beets.

  8. Mmmmm…this looks deelish, and I love sesame seed oil!! Thanks for sharing, Lily!!

    • I’m a big toasted sesame oil fan as well, Desiree.

  9. Totally Love your food

    • Thanks Retha!

Comment Policy