Archive for September, 2012 | Monthly archive page

Warm Beet and Spinach Salald

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

warm-beet-and-spinach-saladAt this time of warm days and cool nights it’s a little difficult to figure out what to eat. My compromise is a warm salad. Since the beets are ready in gardens, here’s my recipe for a beet salad that will satisfy the need for warming up and cooling down.  We certainly shouldn’t forget how nutritious all the ingredients are either.

Beets are high in Folate a naturally occurring type of B vitamin ( also known as Folic Acid or Folacin) that helps maintain cellular health and supports the nervous system.  It has also recently been discovered that  Betalains from beets provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.  Among it’s many other nutrients beets are also high in Manganese which helps the body synthesize fatty acids and cholesterol and helps normalize blood sugar.

Who knew that Pecans were so nutrient packed?  Not me until I started doing this research.  I just added them because they were a complimentary protein.  I then found out that Pecans are a good source of oleic acid, vitamin B1, thiamin, and magnesium.  Compared with other nuts they are also low in fat and high in fibre. All of that with no Cholesterol.  Awesome!

Peel, chop and roast 4 medium sized beets (any colour will look gorgeous) after tossing them in a light coating of honey with a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper. The pieces should be approximately 2.5 cm chunks which will cook at 400º for 45 minutes. Take out of the oven when done and let coo for a little bit, just until they won’t burn your mouth if you eat them.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 3tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 5tbsp Olive Oil
  • 0.5tsp Honey
  • 0.5tsp Minced Thyme (preferably fresh)
  • salt and pepper

Put everything in a small jar and shake the bejebus out of it until everything is melded together.

On a plate, lay out a bed of fresh spinach and beet greens then top with the warm beets. Finish with thinly sliced red onion, blue cheese and lightly toasted pecans. The balsamic vinaigrette goes over the whole thing and there you go. A lovely nutrient rich transitional meal. It looks really pretty too.

Stuffed Summer Squash

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

summer-squashWhat to do with all that delicious squash? Well here’s a quick complete and healthy meal all on its own or accompanied by grilled meat. You can use any variety of soft summer squash such as zucchini, patty-pan, scallopini, gourmet globe or any other kind of thin-skinned varieties. If you didn’t grow any in your own garden it ususally isn’t difficult to find someone trying to get rid of theirs. Don’t forget about the Farmer’s markets in your town.

Not only are summer squashes high in fiber, but they also contain manganese, magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and A.   Magnesium is needed in the body to help maintain healthy, strong bones, aid in energy metabolism, muscle relaxation, to bolster  mental and cardiovascular health and, along with potassium to regulate blood pressure.  Manganese is used in the healthy integration of both cholesterol and fat.

Split the squash in half horizontally and use a spoon to scoop out the insides leaving about half the original volume on the shell. A tip with zucchini varieties is to peel a couple of thin layers on the bottom with a vegetable peeler so that it will sit flat on the baking sheet.

You will need enough of the vegetable mixture to make about ¾ of a cup raw per serving.

By hand or by pulsing in a food processor (add the ingredients in this order), combine:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Squash Insides

 

The following ingredients are best chopped by hand and then added to the mixture:

  • Tomato
  • Fresh Thyme (½ tsp/cup of mixture)
  • Fresh Basil (1 tsp/cup of mixture)

 

Finish the mix with salt and pepper and pan fry on med-high heat until it looks dry-ish. (Chef Tip: Always make sure your pan is hot before you start cooking.) Scoop about half a cup of the mix per serving into the squash shell and bake at 375º for 20 minutes or until squash is soft.