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

Easy Simple 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies- Gluten Free

cookies (2 of 2)I promised some quality time to my daughter early in the day and things just got busy.  She was pleading for attention in the simplest of ways.  I knew I needed to set aside that time with her.  So after dinner, she and I went into the kitchen to do a little baking together.  Being that we  try to eat healthy, chocolate is oftentimes not allowed in our house.  Even if we do have it, it would be gone within a day or two. Thus, we didn’t have much by way of ingredients to make anything.  But most people have these ingredients in their homes.

  • 1 cup sugar (we use organic raw sugar)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (check your pb. It’s often a common place they place additives and sugars. Make sure you buy all-natural peanut butter. And organic if possible. There’s some theories regarding the rise in peanut allergies being related to pesticides and what not in the soils and fields)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbl of cacao powder (we put it into ours and it was delish)

Mix and form into cookies! I bake at 350 for about 7-10 minutes or  so. Not sure if that’s correct but it seemed to work for us. cookies (1 of 2)

Sweet Potato, Rosemary, & Kale Pizza! Delish!

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Can you imagine such a combination of pizza? My sister posted this recipe on her blog awhile ago.  Now, when we make this recipe most of the time we make pizza. It’s absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • Sweet Potato
  • Red Onion
  • Kale
  • Rosemary
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pizza dough (I make my own. I’ll share the recipe some day!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Mozzarella Cheese

We used fresh rosemary from our garden and fresh kale from our friend’s garden. It’s amazing! Even though it doesn’t look like it.  Usually our pizza has a little more kale but we only had what our friend gave us from the garden.

Here’s the actual recipe on my sister’s blog.

Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

tacos (1 of 1)My sister (www.amyroose.com) makes some sweet potato tacos that are delish.  While at the grocery store the other night, I was scrambling to think of something to make.  I grabbed a few items with her tacos in mind and made these. I thought I’d share the inspiration.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato
  • Black beans
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Spinach
  • Tortillas
  • Seasonings as you please (i.e. onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper)
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Chop sweet potato into small cubes and toss with olive oil.
  2. Season as you please (we used a little of all those listed above)
  3. Roast sweet potatoes at 350* until soft.
  4. Layer all ingredients onto tortilla and indulge.

Raw Chocolate Truffles

When I was looking at cutting back our sugar intake, I had a friend try to help me figure out what my biggest struggle was.  It was quite obvious….CHOCOLATE! I’m not a milk chocolate eater either.  I like real, dark, luscious chocolate, with it’s bittery sweetness that melts in your mouth! Mmmmm…

She suggested some raw chocolate pecan turtles she posted on her blog.  I gave it a try and fell in love with them.  My husband doesn’t like pecans, so I ventured out trying to utilize other nuts and ingredients.  We used honey instead of agave because I’ve heard some mixed information regarding agave.  Here are a few we tried.  I used the same cacao base and topped it with pecans, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and macadamia nuts.  I also rolled a macadamia nut in one and then rolled it in coconut.

MAY 2014 (1 of 7)

Ingredients

Why choose Cacao?

It has health benefits that are missing in typical chocolate.  Raw cacao is known as a superfood.   Here are just a few of it’s possible benefits.

  • Flavanoids (a type of antioxidants)
  • High amounts of Fiber
  • High levels of Sulfur and magnesium
  • May increase cardiovascular health and stroke risk
  • May increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol
  • May decrease blood pressure and glucose levels
  • May decrease depression
  • May increase immune system functioning

 

Toddler Approved Green Smoothie

smoothie (1 of 5)My daughter goes through phases where she doesn’t eat much at all.  It’s not a pickiness thing so much as just a no food thing.  In those times, I try to make what she does consume as densely rich with nutrients. Smoothies are one of those ways. We try to do a green smoothie regularly (I’d love to make one every day but it doesn’t seem to be that often). This recipe has been my most recent green smoothie with LOTS of various veggies.

Here ya go….

I typically do two steps. The first, I juice some of the harder veggies (beets, carrots, etc) then I blend it with some of the softer veggies or fruits (kale, spinach, banana, etc). You could do the juicing part ahead of time and freeze the juice in ice cube trays, which would save some time and clean up each night.

Ingredients for the Juicer:

  1. 1 Beet
  2. 3 Carrots
  3. 1-2 apples
  4. 1/4 inch slice of ginger
  5. 1/2 cucumber

smoothie (3 of 5)

Ingredients for the Blender:

  1. Juice from the Juicer
  2. Handful of Kale (shredded it off the stem)
  3. Handful of spinach (between the spinach and the kale, I fill the blender)
  4. 1 banana
  5. 1/2 an avocado
  6. 1-2 tablespoons of chia seed or flax seed
  7. 1/2 cup of almond
  8. 1/2-1 cup of frozen berries (helps cool the smoothie as well)

Directions:

Add the greens to the smoothie first and blend with the juice.  This will allow the greens to be as small as possible, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend in increments as needed.

smoothie (2 of 5)

smoothie (5 of 5)

It’s not the sweetest of smoothies so if your toddler won’t tolerate, add a bit more of the fruits but try to keep the veggies in the majority. If you don’t have all these ingredients (I don’t always), you can play with your ingredients a little.  (For example, in this picture, I didn’t have almond milk to add. Hence the rich purple color.)  Typically the banana adds a lot to a smoothie and is hard to leave out with this much greens and make your toddler still eat it