Balsamic Drizzled Beets

Beets are definitely a loved vegetable in our household.  They can certainly be messy, oozing their pink colored juice all over my fingers, the cutting board and more.  But there’s something beautiful in pink stained hands.

While beets are high in natural sugars and people can actually use beet sugar to make desserts, the sweetness makes it an easy vegetable for kids to enjoy.  But they don’t even know that loaded within the vegetable is many health benefits.

  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium

Many tout it’s benefits against cancer, heart disease, improving immune system functioning, respiratory benefits, decreasing macular degeneration, and supporting liver function.

There are many ways to prepare beets. They can be served as an addition to a salad, as a salad themselves, juiced, roasted, grilled, and so many other ways.

This recipe is one of our favorites because of it’s simplicity (and I’m all about simple!).

Sometimes I’ll add some spinach at the very end too. The spinach will wilt from the heat of the beets and doesn’t need to be added till the beets are done cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 beets depending on size
  • 2-3 tbs of balsamic
  • 1-2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of feta or goat cheese
  • Salt and Pepper as desired
  • 1 cup of spinach (optional)

Toss chopped and peeled beets with balsamic and olive oil.  Roast at 350* for approximately 30 minutes or until desired softness.  Once removed from the oven, stir in feta and spinach.

Share with me a favorite way you make beets in the comments! I’d love to try new recipes and feature yours on the blog.august (2 of 2).jpg

Mediterranean Steak Salad


MAY 2014 (5 of 7)

I got this recipe from the Pampered Chef’s Casual Cooking cookbook.  It has easy recipes for indoors and outdoors.  It’s got a variety of different things for grilling primarily.  There are some other recipes as well.  It does have a great strawberry spinach salad recipe that is delicious.  Although that one does have sugar and is obviously  not one that I’m eating right now on the sugar elimination diet.  Toss it with a different dressing without the sugar in it and it would probably be just as great. The cookbook also has some different recipes for barbecue sauces.   Although they all have brown sugar in them except for the berry citrus one which apparently uses blackberry jam instead.  So the cookbook has a variety of different things for grilling  outdoors in backyard that look fabulous.  It’s a great cookbook if you’re looking for some new fresh  foods to eat on the grill primarily.

Just thought I’d showcase this egg slicer from Pampered Chef.  Love it! I’ve had it for years but needed new wires.  I recently got the new wires and am soooo thankful for this kitchen gadget.MAY 2014 (2 of 7)MAY 2014 (3 of 7)

Ingredients for the salad

  • about 6 to 8 artichoke hearts or one can of 14 ounces, cut into quarters
  • 2 to 3 tomatoes cut into wedges (or diced as I did because I didn’t read the instructions!)
  • one cucumber, cut in half and sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 of a red onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/2-3/4 cup ripe olives, sliced
  • Approximately 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce or ~3 hearts, chopped
  • 3/4  cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing (see balsamic dressing recipe)


Ingredients for Steak Marinade

  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 8 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1.5- 2 pounds of beef flank steak (of course it is always best to use grass fed organic meat.  Thus, the steak cuts options I had were limited.)

Instructions

  1. Marinate steak in Marinade for 6 to 8 hours or more. Honestly I’ve never been prepared this far in advance and usually my marinade only last a couple of hours maybe two tops and it always still tastes good but I imagine if you left it for the 6 to 8 hours or more it would be fabulous.
  2. Add salad ingredients with lettuce.
  3. Grill steak.  Allow to cool a few minutes prior to cutting and then place on salad.
  4. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!


MAY 2014 (6 of 7)

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

MAY 2014 (4 of 7)

What do you do when you’re in the middle of making a recipe and it calls for balsamic vinaigrette and you realize you don’t have enough for the recipe?  Google to the rescue!  I searched Google looking for some different balsamic vinaigrette recipes.  I combined a few of them together to make this one. It turned out quite well and we’ve made it a couple of times since.

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (the last time we made it, we had a little too much mustard taste. So you can adjust as you like!)

Mix altogether and shake or stir vigorously or combine in this Measure, Mix and Pour.

This dressing goes great on almost any salad.  It goes great on this Mediterranean Steak Salad.  Check back tomorrow for the recipe!

MAY 2014 (5 of 7)

Vegetarian Thai Quinoa Salad–Prep on the weekend for Easy Week day Meal

My husband and I both work during the week, with my hours being later in the afternoon so my husband is usually home trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Even when I’ve had recipes prepared it has been tiring after a long day of work to come home and make dinner and also try to spend time with our daughter who misses him greatly when he’s working. I’ve tried freezer meals and they are great but there is something different about fresh ingredients that haven’t been frozen.

Thus my idea…..

Prep all ingredients to the best I can on my day off and then it makes it easier to cook during the week. Cutting and prepping is oftentimes the longest part of making a meal.

I found this recipe on the Ambitious Kitchen blog. I modified it a little and listed how I made it. For the original recipe, check out her blog.

1 cup uncooked red quinoa
1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup shredded or finely chopped carrots
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup diced green onions
½ cup cashews or peanuts, chopped 
Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

For the dressing:
¼ cup all natural peanut butter
2-3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey 
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil

1. Chop the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro and mix together. Place these in refrigerator container.


 

2. Chop green onions and place in separate container. Do the same with the cashews/peanuts.

3. Microwave for about 20 seconds (or heat in toaster oven as I did because we don’t have a microwave) the peanut butter and honey.

4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and sesame and olive oils. Stir until well mixed and creamy. Store this in separate container.

5. You know have 2 options. You can cook the quinoa and place it in a storage bowl or you can just prepare on the night of the meal, as I did. Otherwise the meal prepped and ready. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

6.

On the night you choose to indulge in this meal, mix quinoa and dressing and then slowly mix in cabbage mixture. 


7. Top with cashews, green onions, and lime wedges (I feel the lime was essential and squeezed about 2-3 limes on my dish). Serve at room temperature or chilled! 

8. Enjoy your feast and easy dinner!