Friday, February 28, 2014

How to Cook Beet Greens

                         
                       beet greens


Beet Greens??? Yes , you can eat the greens of beets and they are tender, mild, and delicious. Where do you buy beet greens?????
The only way I've ever seen beet greens has been attached to organic beets. 
I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know you could eat the greens , and I used to cut them off and throw them away!! 

Who knew the green tops were not only edible, but are really delicious and nutritious. They contain a good amount of Vitamin A , Beta Carotene and Lutein ( all excellent nutrients for healthy eyes) . And these mild tasting greens are low in calories.

So, Now when I buy beets, I look forward to also eating the greens.

 To prepare the greens,  I simply wash them, chop them, and saute them in a little olive oil spray. They wilt quickly and are ready in minutes. I don't even season them; they don't seem to need any seasoning. They are tender and mild tasting, and like spinach, they cook down to 1/4 their original size.


With just one purchase, you will have 2 vegetables for the price of one: The beets and the Beet Greens! I only buy organic beets for 2 reasons.
  •  Regular beets ( as opposed to organic)  are usually Genetically Modified (very very  scary) see article.
  •  Secondly-  organic beets are free of most pesticides.


So next time you buy beets, buy organic and save and saute the beet greens. It makes sense and they are a real treat!



Additional Beet Recipes:


   This is one of my favorites. I give an easy and mess free cooking method and
   a simple recipe for the oranges and beets in this post. 
       Beet and Orange Salad

 

Once you turn on the oven to roast vegetables, you can dream up all kinds of mixtures. One of my favorites is this sweet combination of roasted acorn squash, cranberries, apple, and beets. Perfect anytime of the year, but especially in the winter or fall when acorn squash is plentiful.
                      Winter Squash and  Roasted Beets 


roasted beets and acorn squash
.
Finally, beets make a delicious cold or hot soup. Mixed with sour cream or Greek yogurt, this rich red soup turns a delicate hue of pink.,, borscht is the soup of longevity according to my Russian ancestors who lived into their 90's and my grandmother lived to 107!! all Eating borscht- a traditional Russian soup.


beet borscht
Homemade borscht



  may be shared on a few of the following weekly  blog carnivals

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Creamy Broccoli Soup

                           


I have always wanted to make a good cream of broccoli soup, but I wanted a recipe that doesn't use cream ( I just don't like dairy based creamed soups) . I finally found a recipe that I like and that is healthy too.  The creaminess comes from the blended vegetables.

It's a perfect gluten free soup because it doesn't call for any flour. Its relatively fast and easy to make and can be made from ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

I enjoy broccoli soup because it's light, and I can eat it in the winter or in warmer weather.



I was inspired by the broccoli soup recipe on a blog called soup spice everything nice
This is my adaptation for a vegetarian version with vegan adaptations. Of course all of my soups meet gluten free standards.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter ( or butter substitute for vegans)
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 rib of celery, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large head of broccoli cut into florets or (16 oz. bag of frozen broccoli florets)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
salt, black pepper and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions

Melt butter or substitute in a soup pot or dutch oven add onion, carrot and celery. Saute until onions begins to get translucent. Add garlic and cook until vegetables are tender. Add broccoli, water and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender to  puree the soup. Season to taste with salt, black pepper ( I didn't- it was good as is)  . Serve hot. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese if desired.



Yum , I just had a big bowl with grated sharp cheddar cheese and loved it!

 ***can be made for Passover because this recipe is grain free

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  may be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals

Every Sunday Deb in Hawaii sponsors Souper Sunday.
Whenever I make soup or a salad, I always share it on  Souper Sundays.   
Deb has a great real food blog called Kahakai Kitchen
and on Sundays features soup and salad recipes that other bloggers submit..

                                       SouperSundays

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cauliflower Cheese Fritters

 

I love these cheesy cauliflower fritters because they are grain free and ( gluten free) and low in carbs. I try to cut my carbs way back at least two days a week. That means on those days I don't eat any grains, potatoes, or starchy vegetables of any kind. It helps me keep my weight down and my blood sugar more balanced.


 I read an article in First Magazine that referred to a 2011 study regarding carb reduction and insulin sensitivity, It turns out that eliminating carbs for just two days a week helps reduce insulin sensitivity. They called it Carb Cycling. 


These gluten free, grain free cauliflower fritters are perfect for my low carb days. And they taste amazing!! Even kids love them. And since they are made with cheese, eggs, and cauliflower , they provide protein and vegetable for a nutritious meal.

I sometimes combine them with some cooked spinach for some variation. 

This is my adapted recipe.  

AUTHOR: Judee Algazi- Gluten Free A-Z Blog

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME:  5 minutes for fritters

Adapted from:  A blog called Keeping Life Simple  


Ingredients:

1 med head of raw cauliflower , cleaned and broken into flowerettes. Steam flowerettes until soft and then drain well. 

3/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese or grated cheese of your choice ( I used Gouda) Add more if the mixture is loose.

1 egg beaten

( optional) 2 tsp of ground flax seeds 

olive oil for sautéing

salt and pepper to taste

optional: 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric for yellow color and boosting antioxidants.

Directions:

  • First steam your cut up cauliflower in a steamer basket and drain well ( reserve liquid to add to soups) 

  •   Add the remainder of the ingredients ( egg, cheese, seasonings)  and mash.

    • Make patties and saute in some olive oil until brown on one side. Flip and brown on the other side. 

      • Serve topped with Greek Yogurt or sour cream

     


***Since they have no grain, these can be made for Passover

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cut up the cauliflower and then steam in a little steaming basket till soft.


Steamed cauliflower is soft and ready to be mashed with a fork
mashed steaned cauliflower, egg , cheese, and seasoning


Make patties and saute in a tsp of olive oil in a skillet. Flip when one side is browned


Top with Greek Yogurt Or sour cream for a special treat..



  I'm sharing this recipe on many of these  blog carnivals


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Worst GMO Foods



Genetically engineered foods are everywhere AND they are dangerous to your health and the health of your family, especially the little ones. Yes, healthy foods like corn products can be and usually are  genetically engineered now.

 Although I am no expert on GMOs , I do read a lot of articles . I came across a short direct bulleted article that helps you to be more aware of which foods contain the most GMO..

Here is an article I found on Pinterest :


 The 10 Worst GMO offenders .  
IT;S WORTH YOUR time to read it.

I also found an excellent article about GMO's with lots of explanations on a blog called
 " It's Your Life What are you eating"

GMOs are dangerous ! You need to read more about them ...

An organization that works to inform about GMO Harm Non-GMO Project

May be shared on the following blog carnivals


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beet Salad with Mint, Lemon, and Celery





What could be more appropriate for the health conscious eater than making a recipe using red beautiful beets.

 If you adore beets,  but hate the mess, then you are in for a treat. This is the easiest beet making recipe in the world and the tastiest way to eat them. It's so simple that you won't even have to peel them before cooking: Stay with me and trust me on this one!

As much as I love beets, I didn't make them for years because of the mess.. Now I make these heath giving, iron rich, sweet delicacies whenever I find a great looking bunch in the stores. I buy organic  because they are very easy to find in most markets, and the price is not much different than the regular beet prices. ( but the organic are so much better) and most organic brands say, " GMO Free"
  
After roasting the whole beet ( unpeeled) in the oven, I quickly rubbed off the peel,  cut them up, and made a beet salad with some fresh mint leaves,fresh lemon juice, and some crunchy chopped organic celery. It was easy and delicious. Of course the roasted beets were so sweet and tender, I could have just eaten them plain. 

Fresh nutrient dense vegetables like beets are a perfect food on the gluten free diet. They provide great taste and great nutrition. This salad is light and delicious and makes an interesting side dish with just about any meal. For a real treat, put a tablespoon of Greek Yogurt over the beets.

Ingredients needed:
2 large organic beets, roasted whole in their skin
1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint
Juice of a 1/2 fresh lemon
1/4 cup chopped organic celery ( celery is on the dirty dozen list, so I buy organic)

Instructions:
After roasting the beets whole in the oven, remove them and allow them to cool - then remove skin ( it will come off easily) .
Cut beets into large chunks. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over beets. Add chopped mint and chopped celery and mix well.

How to roast the beets:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Cut the beet from the greens ( very easy)
  • Wash the unpeeled and uncut beets well 
  • Place them whole on a parchment paper  covered cookie sheet, and roast at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until they are soft in the center ( amount of cooking time will depend on the size of your beets). 
  • Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
  • Take a knife and cut in half lengthwise to make the heart effect - looks great doesn't it!
  • To eat them, just use the back of a spoon or knife to easily remove the skin ( wear rubber gloves or not) and cut the beets up.
  • slice beets and add the lemon juice, chopped mint, and chopped celery.. 

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Power Up Your Diet !  Beets are an excellent source of immune building antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including iron.  In addition, they are very

  • low in calories ( about 45 calories a cup) 
  • high in fiber 
  • have zero cholesterol
  • almost no fat 
  • provide cardiovascular benefits 
  • rich in potassium 
 Potassium is known to help lower heart rate and balance the metabolism within the cells by opposing the negative effects of sodium.

 
slice to make it look like a heart
           
  

Some of my additional vegan fresh beet recipes :

Beet and Orange Salad in White Balsamic Vinegar

Quinoa Lover's Salad with Roasted Beets

Medley of Roasted Winter acorn Squash and roasted beets 

 Hearty Beet Borscht Soup; Cold or hot

This post Will be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals

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May be shared on the following blog carnivals

cut beets from the greens and then trim off stems

Fresh Mint


Roast whole in oven at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes - 1 hour

Remove from oven, cool, and slice lengthwise to make hearts

I will be sharing this beet salad on 

SouperSundays












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