Valentine’s Day Beet Salad

Valentine's Day Beet Salad

You cannot ‘beet’ giving your loved one the gift of health this Valentine’s day, so here is a fun little idea to help you out :). Beets contain fiber and potassium and are an excellent source of folate, which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. Researchers believe the red pigment (called betacyanin) in beets could protect against the development of cancerous cells and may play a role in reducing the inflammation associated with heart disease. And on top of all of that, one of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac… soooooo, Happy Valentines Day to you and yours <3!

Valentine’s Day Beet Salad
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 lb beets (red, golden or a combination of both), roasted and sliced – check out a great tutorial here
  • 3 cups arugula or mixed salad greens
  • ¼ cup fennel, sliced
  • Prepared Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, cubed or crumbled – goat cheese is great too!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off ends and green of beets and roast (wrapped in foil) for 45 minutes. Roast longer if needed. You should be able to easily pierce a knife through the center of the beet.
  2. Remove beets to let them cool. Lay walnuts on a baking sheet (you can line it with foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up). Roast walnuts until they start to brown and smell toasted, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, once beets are cooled enough to handle, rinse under cool water to peel off skin and then thinly slice. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter create heart shaped beets and set aside.
  4. Combine arugula (or mixed greens), fennel and walnuts. Mix with dressing.
  5. Place the mixed ingredients onto the serving dish & set the heart shaped beets around the dish. Top with cheese of choice.
  6. Serve with lots of LOVE!

Notes:

Dressing recipe can be found here.
More detailed instructions on how to roast beets can be found here.

Here is another fun little idea of how to serve your beets, courtesy of NoBiggie.

Cupid Beets

Apple, Walnut, and Endive Salad

Apple, Endive and Walnut Salad

I hosted my Supper Club last week and decided to do an Autumn Apple theme. With the shorter days, changing leaves and cool weather, it definitely feels like a transition away from summer. This salad was super simple, tasty and the presentation makes it look very impressive. Here’s looking forward to what this upcoming season has to offer!

Apple, Walnut, and Endive Salad
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 red apples, quartered, cored, and each quarter cut into 8 wedges
  • 6 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 2 Belgian endives, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts, stirring frequently until crisp and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, shallot, and vinegar until well combined. Whisk in the oil until thick; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add apple and arugula; toss to coat. Arrange endive leaves on four serving plates, top with apple mixture and scatter mint, cheese, and walnuts over the top.

Photo Credit: Whole Living

Five 20 Minute Meals

Most people’s biggest excuse is that they don’t have time to cook… Well, you can throw that belief right into your compost bin. This is your go-to list for those late nights at the office or weekends where you are running around until it is time for a meal. These are some of my favorite recipes that will take you no more than 20 minutes to prepare! They all involve simple ingredients that you can grab on your way home so you will have a healthy meal in no time! Happy (quick) cooking 🙂

Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta

Lentils with Sweet Potato, Mushrooms and Kale

Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms and Kale

White Beans and Cabbage

White Beans and Cabbage

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts and Manchego Cheese

Brussels Sprout Salad

My dear friend made this for our Supper Club and I couldn’t believe how good and how simple it it was. Combining the lemon juice with the raw brussels takes all of the bitterness away. I have made it several times since and it is a hit. The manchego is a compliment to this yummy salad but you can always omit if you are looking for a vegan version!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts and Manchego Cheese
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 10 -12 oz (approx 3 cups) Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher Salt
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup (3 oz) coarsely grated Manchego cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 min. or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a place to cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
  2. In a food processor, shred the brussels sprouts (I pulsed them). Transfer to a medium serving bowl. Toss the brussels sprouts with the lemon juice and 1 tsp kosher salt and let stand for 5 min.
  3. Add the toasted walnuts, olive oil and Manchego and toss. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Photo Credit: Juxtapost

Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta

I was a little skeptical of this dish. I saw a picture of it and it looked amazing but as I started making it, I wasn’t quite sure 1. how it would taste and 2. if it would actually fill me up… I do not like being hungry :). Let’s just say, I was incredibly surprised how simple, delicious and filling this dish was.

Zucchini Pasta
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of cherry tomatoes (16 oz total) – set aside a few raw for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 zucchini (or any summer squash), thinly sliced lengthwise (I use my vegetable peeler) and cut into ¼ in strips
  • ⅓ cup torn fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
  • Chili flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil and salt and pepper. In a pan, sautee until tomatoes cook down and garlic is fragrant – 10 or so minutes.
  2. Toss with raw zucchini and garnish with basil, chili flakes and left over cherry tomatoes.

Tip: If sauce is not thickening, you can always add a little tomato paste – or just give it more time 🙂

The Cookie-less Cookie

Anything that is dairy free, sugar free and gluten free cannot be good right? Wrong! These healthy little cookie/oat bites are delicious. I brought them to my wine club as a taste test and they disappeared before I was even able to snag one for myself! You can have them for breakfast, a midday snack or a healthy dessert. Recipe and photo courtesy of Whole Foods.

Average Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 cup raw unsalted walnuts

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup gluten free baking flour (can sub for whole wheat pastry flour as well)

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 carrots, grated

1 apple, grated

1 very ripe banana, peeled and mashed

1/4 cup apple juice (easy to juice your own if you have a juicer!)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine walnuts, oats and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Add carrots, apples, banana and apple juice and stir until combined.

3. Drop by rounded tablespoons an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets, making about 24 cookies. Press down on each cookie with the back of a fork to flatten them slightly.

4. Bake until tops and bottoms are lightly browned, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.