Friday, May 26, 2017

My 7 Best Memorial Day Salads for BBQ's

What a beautiful presentation for a party. Love this salad!

Memorial Day and BBQ's seem to go hand in hand.

I've rounded up eight of my best salad suggestions for the occasion that will work for your vegetarian, vegan , and gluten free friends!

Whether you are the host or the guest, you may be making a salad to serve or to bring.

I love all of these whole food salads. They are easy to make, beautiful to serve, tasty and nutritious. 

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Asian coleslaw

Asian Slaw Salad- This is one of our favorites, and it is perfect for a crowd.
Easy to make and very tasty, everyone will love this holiday slaw classic. ( vegan 

Kale and Blueberry Salad- Kale is all the rage and it should be. After all, it's highly nutritious, hardy, looks appealing and holds up well in salads. I love it combined with sweet blueberries and this creamy orange dressing ( vegan) . 

Quinoa Lovers Salad- If you are looking for a salad to provide a little protein, then quinoa has you covered. This delightful salad is tossed with fresh spinach, oranges and roasted beets. - delish and Vegan

Skinny Potato Salad ( made with Cauliflower)- Everyone loves potato salad, but not the carbs! This tasty look alike can fool even the most discerning. Substitutes cooked cauliflower for potatoes

Waldorf Broccoli Slaw- Easy and delicious. Open a bag of broccoli slaw and mix with fresh apple chunks, cashews, and a few other ingredients for a lovely low calorie side. ( vegan) 

Green Bean with Balsamic Reduction- Balsamic reduction is easy to make and provides a thicker sweeter balsamic sauce for your green beans. Top with feta if you like. Vegan

Avocado Caprese Salad ( vegan)- This is the vegan version of Caprese Salad made by substituting avocado for mozzarella. Makes a beautiful presentation and there will not be a morsel left over.

Need a vegetarian burger? 
 Quinoa Patties ( vegetarian) 

Shared on Souper Sundays

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Beets are Easy To Make With This Method

When was the last time you made fresh red beets?

They are really easy to make and there is no need to struggle with peeling them.

I simply wash and steam with the skin on. After the beets are steamed, the skin easily rubs right off.

Once they are cooked, you can cut them up and eat them plain, you can add celery, and spices, or garlic and lemon juice. 

Sometimes I make the golden yellow beets into a beet and apple salad or a red beet and orange salad

They are worth making because they are rich in nutrients and very cleansing. 
my mother in law, me, and my sister in law

I invited my mother in law for dinner. She loves fresh home cooked beets, but doesn't take the time to make them for one person anymore- herself. So, I decided to make them as a side with our dinner. 

Fresh Beets before Cooking 

I bought a bunch of 4 large organic red beets with their greens at our local supermarket. 
I separated the beets from the greens, washed them well, and without peeling them I steamed them using my little steamer basket.

I forgot to take a photo of the beets in the steamer basket, but here is a photo of some artichokes I steamed.

When they were done steaming, I simply rinsed them under cold water, and rubbed off the peel in seconds. I then cut the beets into chunks and served.

 They were sweet, tender, and absolutely delicious. It was very easy- but wear gloves or your fingers and hands will be totally red!!

Cook the beet greens too- healthy & delicious

Don't discard the beet greens,. I also cooked the beet greens that I cut off the bunch of beets.
The greens are tender and delicious.

Made from 6 beets: toss the beet greens in garlic, fresh juice from a lime

Made from 3 beets: Or just toss in some lemon juice

How to cook the beet greens: 

Simply wash them, trim the end of the stems a little if they are very tough, and slice the greens and stems. Then heat  a large skillet that is sprayed with olive oil, toss the beets into the hot pan and stir consistently until well wilted and the stems are a little soft. It should just take minutes!
Just before removing from the skillet, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and give a final stir. 
It is so delicious, you will wish you had more.

Of course that is the problem. The beet greens will cook down and there will only be one serving. 


Beets are healthy full of fiber, iron content, antioxidants, etc. 

So, when you are looking for a vegetable to make for dinner- don't forget about beets!!

Simple Steamed Beets
3 large organic red beets, washed but not peeled
Boiling water 

Place a small steamer basket in a large pot. Place beets in the basket. Add boiling water to meet the steamer basket and steam covered until the beets are tender and you under you can stick a knife through the beets with no resistance. ( Be careful that the water doesn't evaporate and then your beets will burn. Check frequently as you may need to replace the boiling water at least once) 
Using a large spoon , remove beets , put under cold water so you can handle them, gently rub off the skin ( it will come right off) and cut into chunks. 

Simple Sauteed Beet Greens

Beet greens
3 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed 
1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
Himalayan salt to taste

Spray a large skillet with olive oil spray. Use a high heat. Add garlic stir a little and then add your greens and salt. Stir around untils greens and stems are soft. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top of the greens and cook for 20 seconds more. Remove and serve.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Eggplant with Mushrooms, Peppers, and Tomatoes

Looking for an healthy low calorie/low carb vegetable side dish?
Everyone really enjoyed this simple eggplant medley at a family dinner the other night. 

We eat a cooked vegetable every night with dinner, but I usually make an isolated vegetable like just string beans, beets, or zucchini. Tonight, I decided to make a quick and easy vegetable stew using eggplant, mushrooms, red peppers and cherry tomatoes.

It took only about 20 minutes to cook,  but it tasted really special. 

I've been on an eggplant kick lately. Last week I made my chunky eggplant sauce for zucchini pasta. This week I felt like having eggplant, but I did not want it to be a strong tomato base.  So, I just cooked up the four vegetables in a saucepan until the eggplant was tender. The mushrooms gave off just enough liquid to make it a little bit saucy like what I'm calling a stew.

We ate it as a side dish; If you add cooked chickpeas to it, it could be a vegan entree. 
Regardless, of course "my stew" meets gluten free, vegan, and Paleo standards.

I only used one of the eggplants for this recipe

There is not much to say except that this overly simple recipe was tasty, nutritious, and easy! 
End of story.

This recipe serves four as a side.

Author: Judee Algazi from Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep: 10-15 minutes ( depends how fast you peel and cut) 
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into chunks
6 mini red or yellow peppers ( or 1 regular red or yellow pepper) , chopped or sliced 
4 cloves garlic , pressed or chopped 
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
8 whole white mushrooms, sliced
olive oil spray
optional: add a little kick with some ground red pepper


Spray a 6 quart saucepan with olive oil spray. Add the garlic, chopped peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Sautee for 1 minute and add the chunks of eggplant. Spray the eggplant with olive oil spray and toss with the other vegetables in the pot. Cook covered on low, stirring frequently. After about 10 minutes add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook and stir until the eggplant is tender. Remove and serve. 

My Notes: 
1. You could eat this over Basmati rice
2. Add cooked chickpeas to make it an entree
3. It was delicious just the way it is