Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Spring Salad

First of all I need to mention that this recipe is very much inspired by one from the blog "Coconut and Quinoa", which I really love.  I made a few adjustments based on my taste preferences, but I definitely give credit to Amy Chaplin of Coconut and Quinoa.  I stumbled upon her blog recently (after starting my blog) and realized that not only are our blog names very similar, but that we have a similar cooking style as well!

This salad epitomizes what it means to "eat the rainbow."  I have an obsession with golden beets and made a special trip to the Farmer's Market to get them for this salad.  They are just so vibrant and don't have as strong of a flavor of beets as the red ones (I love beets, but some people aren't huge fans of theirs.  I know, I don't get it either.  Don't get me started on avocado-haters.)
Golden beets, Red beets, and Sweet Potatoes--so gorgeous!

Even the compost is beautiful!
Serves 6?  Depends on your appetite!  Nothing to feel guilty about in this salad.
  • 3 large golden beets 
  • 4 medium red beets
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • Organic arugula (and other mixed greens)
  • Fresh sweet peas (shelled)
  • Small bunch of Basil leaves
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
1.  Wash vegetables well!  You don't have to peel them, but if they have especially tough skin, peel that part off.
2.  Slice beets and sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.  Cut in half.  They should be small enough to fit in a bite.
3.  Grease baking pan with coconut oil.
4.  Spread veggies on pan and lightly season with salt and pepper.
5.  Roast at 400 degrees (or if you have a conventional baking setting, for 375 degrees) for about 20 minutes.
6.  While vegetables are roasting, you can shell fresh peas (I recommend this!), chiffonade basil into thin ribbons, and make dressing.
7.  With about 5 minutes left in the oven, sprinkle walnuts over veggies for a quick toasting.
8.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
9.  Add roasted vegetables, peas, basil, and walnuts on top of a bed of greens.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.
All done!  I added walnuts at the end for some toasting.
Sliced vegetables ready for roasting.
Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette

Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg's)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. Agave Nectar
  • Salt and Pepper
Place all ingredients in jar and shake!

Finished salad.  So colorful!

Don't forget to compost your scraps!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Savory Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Red Quinoa with Spring Onions, Asparagus, Avocado, Basil, and Egg

Quinoa with Asparagus, Cilantro, Basil, Avocado, and Egg

Quinoa with Black Beans, Avocado, Cilantro, Egg, and Salsa Verde

In light of this week's newsletter, "A Better Breakfast," I decided to make some savory quinoa and egg-based breakfasts and avoid gluten and dairy.  If you don't know about, you should check it out and sign up for a weekly newsletter sent to your email.  It is Gwyneth Paltrow's website and she includes a lot of health and lifestyle tips with expert advice.  

I generally eat a pretty allergen-free breakfast--anything from a veggie omelet to a green smoothie, but sometimes I will have some toast with almond butter or a bowl of oatmeal.  I definitely find that I am full for much longer when I avoid gluten and eat a high-protein breakfast.  Also, avoiding cereals and high-sugar breakfasts will allow you to stay focused on work or school and not trick your brain into thinking you are still hungry.

For these quinoa bowls, you can make a large batch of quinoa that will last you a couple of days and reheat it for your breakfasts all week.  (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water for 15-20 minutes)  I added veggies that I got from our CSA and Farmer's Market--whatever is in season or whatever you prefer in taste.  Seriously, go nuts with these bowls.  If you prepare veggies or beans on a Sunday night for example, you can have a delicious breakfast every day of the week.  And no excuses about not having enough time for breakfast--you are the one setting your alarm.  Seven minutes will suffice!  (an over-easy egg doesn't take more than 1.5 minutes to cook!)

-Sauté vegetables with a small amount of coconut oil (unless you prefer fresh/raw veggies)
-Mix in quinoa (in hot sauté pan).  Transfer to bowl.
-In same sauté pan (less dishes to wash!), cook one egg over-easy (I just read about how egg yolks have lecithin which is essential for our brain but can only be utilized when it is uncooked/runny).  I also cook eggs in coconut oil.  (More about that in upcoming posts!)
-Add egg on top of veggie-quinoa mixture.  Top with fresh herbs (basil and cilantro have been great) and season with salt and pepper and if you're like me, lots of Sriracha or salsa.

For more information about Lecithin in Egg Yolks, check out this entry from My New Roots and try her Veggie Egg Tower of Power recipe!  YUM! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower

my version.  not too bad!

Buffalo Cauliflower at Mohawk Bend

A few weeks ago, I was at Mohawk Bend with friends and our amazing server (Lauren!) brought us some Buffalo Cauliflower, which was a new item on the menu ever since they had a new chef.  I was so amazed by this dish and was determined to recreate it.  I don't know about you, but Buffalo wings tend to give me the creeps.  I love spicy food and the idea of them, but sometimes the mystery chicken pieces are just off.  That's what makes this recipe so great.  It is completely Vegan, (although, if you aren't vegan, I would use regular blue cheese) and it is a much healthier alternative, while still having that spicy, savory, bar snack appeal.
  • one head of cauliflower
  • Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce (add to your liking)
  • celery (optional)
-Cut cauliflower into florets and arrange on a slightly oiled large baking tray
-Roast cauliflower for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees (or until edges are brown)
-Toss in Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce 

Vegan "Blue Cheese" (

  • 1/4 block of firm or extra firm tofu
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1 cup or more (depends on how much you want to make) of veganaise (I found an Organic one... check the ingredients because some can be a little "dodgey".)
  • 1/4 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste) Can be made without this, but it's better with!
  • dash lemon juice
  • dash apple cider vinegar
Crumble tofu to give you a real blue cheese consistency.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Let me know what you think!