Warm Golden Beet Salad with Beet Green Pesto

I love beets, like really LOVE them.

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I also have an unexplainable fear of cooking them. (I also have a strange fear of artichokes, but that is another post entirely…) Maybe it is the chance that they will bleed their red dye all over my counter tops, hands, outfit… you get the picture. Maybe, I’m just scared of the unknown. Either way, I took another step toward conquering my “beet fear” once and for all with the creation of this dish.

Organic beets were on sale at my local grocery store this week. What better time to experiment?! I slung two bunches into my basket and strutted determinedly to the register. Once I got home, however, I wasn’t feeling quite so stoic. What in heavens name was I going to make? I settled on an easy, steamed beet. Wanting to incorporate the beet greens into my recipe (waste not, want not), I used them to make a garlic-y pesto & a warm salad.

For the sauce, I soft boiled an egg, which, once broken, lent a rich, creamy texture & flavor to the dish that beautifully tied in all of the sweet and savory notes of the other components.

Warm Golden Beet Salad with Beet Green Pesto

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 small Golden Beets
  • 2-3 Tblsp Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 3 Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 Yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Beet Greens, chopped
  • 2 Tblsp dry White Wine
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 large, Organic Egg

Pesto Ingredients:

  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Beet Greens
  • 3 Tblsp fresh Basil
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tblsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scrub beets and place in a foil lined square baking dish. Top with 2-3 Tblsp Vegetable broth and tightly cover with another piece of foil. Place in preheated oven and cook until fork tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until they begin to sweat. Add onions, and saute until translucent.
  4. Toss in the chopped beet greens, and cook until wilted., deglazing the pan with the white wine, if needed.
  5. Meanwhile, make a soft boiled egg. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the egg and boil for five minutes. Remove promptly and allow to cool slightly before gently removing the shell.
  6. Pesto: Place garlic, greens, basil, oil, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in vegetable stock until desired smoothness and consistency is reached. Taste, and adjust seasoning.
  7. To serve, place sauteed beet greens and mushrooms in a bowl. Top with sliced golden beets, soft boiled egg, and a drizzle of beet green pesto.
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One Pan Baked Chicken & Vegetables

No muss. No fuss. That’s the kind of girl I have become lately.

…..at least in the kitchen…..

Yes, these are purple polka dot pants. My fashion sense is clearly slightly less “no frills”.

I used to spend hours in the kitchen preparing one meal. Homemade hamburger buns to complete our slow cooked pulled pork feast…. Homemade almond milk…. Homemade hummus….. What has become of me?! I’ll tell you what has become of me… LIFE!

I swear! When not traveling, I leave the house at 6:20AM to head to the office, work through lunch, and don’t arrive home until just after 6PM. I work long hours, and I love my job, but I am starting to neglect myself a little…. I just realized that, literally…. Hmm…. Maybe I will take a lunch break today. 😉

Well, now that we have had our daily revelation, let’s get on to the recipe!

A one dish wonder, this baked chicken recipe is quick, delicious, and can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to feed an entire family! Enjoy!

One Pan Baked Chicken & Vegetables

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Zucchini, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Baby Carrots
  • 1/4 cup Crimini Mushrooms, halved
  • 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Thyme, dried
  • Rosemary, dried
  • drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • about 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Low Sodium Chicken Stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (375 for high altitude)
  2. Place chopped vegetables in an 8×8 square baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  3. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and herbs, and place in the baking dish atop the vegetables.
  4. Pour 1-2 Tbsp of chicken stock over the vegetables, and drizzle everything with a little extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Cover, tightly with foil and bake 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Maple Dijon Chicken

This recipe was inspired by Karina, the Gluten-Free Goddess, and her Maple Vinaigrette recipe.

I was clicking through my Google Reader when I came across her recipe featuring a mouth watering Maple Vinaigrette. Instantly, a marinade idea popped into my head, and this recipe was born.

Marinating chicken infuses it with flavor and moisture. It makes me wonder why I don’t marinate chicken more often. Probably because I rarely think that far in advance…..

But seriously, plan a little bit ahead and make this recipe for your loved ones, or just as a special treat for yourself. Enjoy!

Maple Dijon Chicken

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 3 Tblsp pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tblsp Dijon Mustard (check ingredients to make sure yours is gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp dried Rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tbsp pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a shallow dish, combine the chicken broth, syrup, mustard, thyme, rosemary, salt, & pepper. Place the chicken in the shallow dish, cover, and marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (375 degrees F if cooking at a high altitude)
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Sear the marinated chicken in the preheated skillet, 3 minutes per side.
  5. Place the skillet in a casserole dish and place in the preheated oven. Cook 12-15 minutes until no longer pink.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients.
  7. Pour the sauce into the skillet used to sear the chicken and bring to a bubble. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced.
  8. Pour the reduced sauce over the chicken to serve.

Chicken Fajita Salad

What do you do when you have an avocado that desperately needs to be eaten, one lonely chicken breast, and two hungry people?
You make salads!
For those of you looking to make a little food go a long way, salads are an excellent meal choice. Inexpensive vegetables, like green leaf lettuce, onions, and bell peppers, add bulk to an otherwise humble meal. The best part? The options are endless! As I have said before, you can eat a different salad every day and never get bored. Add fruit and nuts, experiment with vinegars…. You get the picture.
GF Guy loves this salad as much as I do. We both ended the evening with full bellies and happy hearts.
Chicken Fajita Salad
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 large boneless, skinless Chicken Breast, cut into strips
  • 3 Tbsp Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2 Tbsp Dry Sherry
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, jullienned
  • 1/2 large Sweet Onion, jullienned
  • 1/2 a head of Green Leaf Lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 a Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 an Avocado, chopped
  • Hot Sauce
  • Fresh Salsa
  • Daiya Vegan Cheddar Cheese
  • Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken strips and coat completely.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook chicken until cooked through. Put chicken on a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the dry sherry to the same skillet and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the charred bits.
  5. Once sherry has cooked down, reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and pepper and saute’ until soft and golden.
  6. Build your salad: lettuce, onions and peppers, chicken, hot sauce, tomato, avocado, cheese, salsa, sour cream. 

A Salad… Again….

What a day…

I don’t know about you, but driving is not my favorite. I take that back. It’s not the driving I mind. I actually quite enjoy the quality “me” time I have with the radio. What gets my goat are the other drivers. I swear, a Wal-Mart parking lot has to be the most dangerous place on the planet! I come close to a near death experience at least twice a day due to distracted and near-sighted, elderly drivers.
Oh well… It just makes me that much more excited to go home to GF Guy and Dickens.
Lately, I have been getting back into salads. I used to eat a minumum of one salad a day, but over the last few months I have slowly gotten away from that habit. I didn’t mean to. I really enjoy salads and the variations you can create with a few simple ingredients. It just sort of happened. Last week, I decided to jump back on the salad train by eating a salad at least 4 days a week. So far, I’ve been deliciously successful! Tonights salad variation is topped by one of my favorite side dishes, Kimchi!
Kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish popular in Korea. It is said to aid in healthy digestion, and my tummy sure does love it! Be warned, it kind of smells like garbage and is an aquired taste…. But it’s yummy! I swear! 😉
Kimchi Tuna Salad
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Baby Spinach
  • Baby Carrots
  • Bell Peppers, sliced
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • White Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 packet Low-Sodium Albacore Tuna packed in Water
  • 1/4 cup Kimchi

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy!

Super Salad & BBQ Sauce Love….

Happy Wednesday!!!! Today is a very special day…. GF GUY’S BIRTHDAY!!!!
I wouldn’t be who I am today without his constant love and support. He is the most patient, caring, honest person I know. He makes me giggle at his silly antics, and sobers me in an instant with his love of the news and politics. He inspires me to do better and to be better. I thank God that after 6 months of stalking him he finally noticed me and asked for my phone number!
I love you, Baby. Happy Birthday!
After all that…. I am away on business on GF Guy’s birthday. I know… I’m a butthead. It couldn’t be helped though. We will celebrate when I get home. For now, here is last night’s dinner. I crashed at my little sisters place instead of a hotel. A home is always much more comfortable than a hotel. We had plans to go to a roller hockey game, but I ended up working until 8PM. So much for that plan!
In between typing, I managed to make myself a delicious, speedy supper. Granted, it was a microwave meal, but it was till delicious!
I bought a Garden Lites Spinach Souffle, and served it atop more vegetables, doused it with BBQ Sauce and called it a night. Perfection in a bowl! I really do like Garden Lites’ frozen souffles in a pinch. They are nice and light and perfect with a few accompaniments.
To be honest, I almost broke down and bought sushi. It had a high risk of cross contamination, but I soooo wanted some. I somehow managed to refrain, and was happy with my safe dinner.
Do you ever have to give yourself a safety first pep talk?

Spinach Souffle Salad
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Garden Lites Spinach Souffle, cooked according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • 1/3 cup California Blend Frozen Vegetables, heated
  • 1 handful Spring Salad Mix
  • 1/4 Avocado, diced
  • 1/2 Roma Tomato, diced
  • GF BBQ Sauce

Directions:

  1. Place in a bowl and devour!

The Clean Plate Club….

Your mom always said to “clean your plate”…

…And I completely agree!

With all of the reports of cancer-causing additives and life-threatening pathogens contaminating our food, eating has become a risky venture!

Eating used to be so simple. You grew it, harvested it, and ate it. Simple.

Now, food is grown with genetically modified organisms, sprayed with chemicals, wrapped in plastic, and shipped from heaven only knows where!

This begs the question: Is it possible to eat clean in a dirty world?


The answer is Yes!

By following a few simple steps, you will be on your way toward eating a mostly squeaky clean diet!

Pristine Plate Tip #1:

  • Be a (Mostly) Vegetarian- Most of today’s generic meats are loaded with saturated fats, added antibiotics, genetically engineered hormones, and are a breeding ground for pathogens. If you don’t want to completely cut out meat, limit you intake to two 3 or 4 ounce servings of organic, grass-fed meat a week. By avoiding or limiting your meat intake, you immediately take leaps and bounds toward cleaning your diet.
I made dinner for my mom tonight. She eats meat most evenings. In fact, I was brought up thinking it wasn’t dinner if there wasn’t meat involved. My how times have changes! When planning our meal, I asked mom what she was in the mood for. The response was, “something light”. Light and clean…. That I can do! 

Portobello Mushroom Salad
(Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms, stems and gills removed
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 1 Roasted Yellow Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Tblsp fresh Dill, chopped
  • Salad Spring Mix

Directions:

  1. Quarter mushrooms and slice into 1/4″ thick pieces.
  2. Place mushrooms, vinegar, and Bragg’s in a large skillet and cook until liquid is reduced.
  3. Meanwhile, prep vegetables and divide between 2 bowls.
  4. Once mushroom liquid has reduced by about half, divide the mushrooms between the two bowls.
That’s it! It is that simple, clean, and delicious! 

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Friday Foodie Fix!

Broccoli Woccoli….

Happy Monday! It’s time to strap on those big girl panties and get back to work. This week will be decidedly less busy now that the Bob’s Red Mill Cooking Classes are over. Even Dickens was exhausted after last weeks business!
I have big plans to dig out from under the giant mountain of paperwork, emails, and boxes that have been steadily accumulating on, under, and around my desk. In the mean time, enjoy this recipe for a traditional BBQ get together. It is a BIG hit with the boys!
Backyard Broccoli Salad
Ingredients:
– 1 large bunch Broccoli
– 1 small Red Onion, diced
– 1/2 cup Raisins
– 1/2 cup Vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
– 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
– 1 Tblsp Agave Nectar
– 3/4lb. Turkey Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cut broccoli into bite size florets.
In a large bowl, combine broccoli, onion, and raisins.
In a small bowl, whisk together Vegenaise, vinegar, and agave.
Pour over broccoli and stir until thoroughly coated.
Cover and refrigerate 30min to 1 hour.
Add bacon crumbles just before serving.

Red and White….

What a loooong week this is shaping up to be! I taught a cooking class Monday (13 hour work day), did a recipe demo Tuesday (8.5  hour work day), caught up on computer work (8.5 hour work day), and taught another cooking class tonight (13 hour work day). Tomorrow, I will be doing another recipe demo and Saturday I will be working a Health Fair. I am pooped! 
Here is a Picnic recipe I made a few weeks ago for a recipe demo. I’m not a huge potato salad fan. However, I had numerous people tell me this was the BEST potato salad they had ever eaten. (shrug) Cool!
Red and White Potato Salad
Ingredients:
– 2 c Organic Red Skinned Potatoes, cubed
– 1 can Great Northern White Beans, drained and rinsed
– 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
– 1/4 c Red Onion, minced
– 1 tsp dried Dill
– 2/3 c Vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
– 1 tsp Yellow Mustard
– Sea Salt, to taste
– 1/2 tsp Paprika, for garnish

  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot of water until tender, about 7-10 minutes, drain, and place in a large bowl with beans, pepper, and onion and toss to combine.
  2. In a small bowl combine Dill, Vegenaise, and Mustard.
  3. Pour over potatoes and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Sprinkle with Paprika.
  6. Serve at room temperature or chilled. 
Dickens and I have gotten very close lately. I think it’s because he knows I’m going to need lots of lovin’ when GF Guy leaves. Animals are amazingly intuitive. Don’t you think? Dickens has slowly started inserting himself in my arms while I sleep. GF Guy captured the moment earlier this week….
I’m going to miss GF Guy, but I’m lucky to have a little man like Dickens to snuggle with!

    Perfect….

    I am supremely blessed. Do you ever have that realization? I am sitting in my new home, with an amazing loving husband who spoils me to distraction, an adorable puppy who adores me back… I have an amazing family, both my side and my husband’s. I love my job and am passionate about what I do. I have started singing again. I have started taking ballet again. Life is a beautiful thing. It’s about time I started embracing it again!
    That being said, since I haven’t been cooking anything new and exciting at home lately, I am going to share the recipes I have been creating at work for Tasty Tuesday/Foodie Friday! This recipe will change your perception of pasta salad forever! It is absolutely delicious. Make sure you use good quality Greek Kalamata Olives. They make all the difference.
    Perfect Pasta Salad
    Ingredients:
    – 3/4 lb Gluten Free Pasta Spirals (I like Deboles Rice Spirals with Golden Flax)
    – 3/4 lb Sunergia Soyfoods Mediterranean Herb Soy Feta Cheese
    – 1/4 c Red Onion, mined
    – 1/2 c Sundried Tomatoes packed in Oil, drained and chopped
    – 1 c pitted Kalamata Olives, drained
    – 3 c fresh Sorrel (or Baby Spinach)
    Dressing Ingredients:
    – 1 clove Garlic, minced
    – 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
    – 3/4 tsp Black Pepper
    – 3 Tblsp Red Wine Vinegar
    – 1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and place in a large bowl.
    2. Add soy feta cheese, onion, sundried tomatoes, olives, and sorrel.
    3. In a small container with a lid, combine all dressing ingredients and shake until well blended.
    4. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
    5. Serve at room temperature.