Marinated Beet Salad w/ Almond and Sesame Seed Crumble

marinated beets, marinated beet salad

While we often associate beets with warming, hearty winter recipes, this root veggie is also delicious in the spring and summer.  In fact, beets prepared in a flavourful marinade served over salad greens is one of the tastiest ways to eat them.  This recipe is uplifting and refreshing with zesty lemon juice and a subtle bite from fresh garlic.

Beets are rich in the phytonutrients called betalains (gives them their beautiful color), which have been studied for their antioxidant properties as well as for their role in supporting the liver's ability to detox toxins from the body. 

If you eat dairy, you could add some goat or sheep cheese crumbled over top of this salad.  You could also add in some other vegetables, such as cucumber and radishes, if you want more variety.  But, the crunch of the toasted sesame seeds and almonds pairs perfectly with the tender beets.

marinated beets, marinated beet salad

Marinated Beet Salad w/ Almond and Sesame Seed Crumble

2 large beets, peeled
1 bunch of red leaf lettuce (or other type of lettuce that you like)

Marinade:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 of a small garlic clove, minced
sea salt and pepper

Almond and Sesame Seed Crumble:
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp sliced almonds

marinated beets, marinated beet salad

Directions:
1. Peel the beets and cut into small wedges.
2. Place the beets in a small pot with around 1/4 cup of water (enough water to cover the bottom of the pot and some of the beets, but they don't need to be completely covered).
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the beets are tender.
4. Run the beets under cold water to cool them down.
5. Then toss the beets together with the marinade in a bowl.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste>
6. While the beets are cooking- rinse off the lettuce well and  make sure to dry.  Pull the leaves apart carefully, leaving them whole (remove any wilted or dirty parts).
7. Place the leaves out on a serving platter and serve some beets into the center of each leaf.
8. Place the sliced almonds and sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast lightly at 350 in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until just light golden (be careful not to burn).
9. Once toasted, pulse the almonds and sesame seeds in the food processor into a crumble.
10. Sprinkle the crumble over top of the beets right before serving.

 

 

Creamy Cauliflower and Celeriac Soup

cauliflower soup, cauliflower celeriac soup, vegan cauliflower soup

This creamy cauliflower and celeriac soup was our farewell to winter for another year. As it warms up outside, we feel less inclined to eat soups and gradually transition to plenty of cool, hearty spring salads. Anything to avoid turning on the stove when it’s warm out!

In lieu of using a traditional mirepoix that consists of onion, celery, and carrots, we added celery’s sibling celeriac to the mix (also known as celery root). While celeriac is not so pleasant on the eyes, once you peel away the twisted, dirty outer layers it reveals a smooth white flesh that packs an earthy, subtle celery flavour.

Celeriac is great to eat raw in salads, as a puree that’s a wonderful alternative to mashed potatoes, or in soup recipes as we’ve done here. This soup is great for a chilly evening, or you can turn it into a delicious cold soup by adding in a few pears or apples to the mix.

 

Creamy Cauliflower and Celeriac Soup

Ingredients:
2 to 3 tsp Lee’s Za'atar Star ghee (or use any type of ghee or regular olive oil)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
sea salt, to taste
1 head celeriac, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
½ cup coconut milk

Directions:

  1. In a pot over medium-low heat, melt the ghee. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, sauteeing until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic and thyme, cooking until fragrant.

  2. Add in the celeriac and cauliflower, sauteeing for 7-8 minutes until softened.

  3. Add in vegetable broth and coconut milk, adjusting if needed.

  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until vegetables are completely soft.

  5. Puree the soup using either an immersion blender or carefully transfer to a stand blender.

  6. Top with a sprinkle of fresh thyme.

Cacao Cherry Granola Clusters

Written by Bronwyn Cawker

granola, gluten free granola, healthy granola, chocolate granola.jpg

Granola doesn't last very long around Living Kitchen HQ. We love it so much that we could eat it for every meal (alright, maybe we're exaggerating a little bit). While oats are packed with heart-healthy soluble fibre that makes for a satiating breakfast, store-bought versions are often high in sugar - around 12.5 grams per cup according to The Guardian. Eating this first thing in the morning can absolutely be a recipe for a massive energy spike and crash later in the day. 

Homemade granola is definitely the best option if you're looking to control your sugar intake. It is easy to prepare a large batch on Sundays to use for grab-and-go breakfasts or snacks. Prioritize loading it up with healthy fats from nut butter and seeds, adding sweetness with honey or unsweetened dried fruit. 

We created these crunchy granola clusters that are packed with cacao, peanut butter, and dried cherries. It is light on sweetness with only a touch of raw wildflower honey from Beekeeper's Naturals. The best part? It's completely adaptable and you can modify our recipe to include the things you love.

Plus we have an awesome cooking technique that you can use to get nice crunchy clusters! 

healthy granola, granola, honey, raw honey, gluten free

Cacao Cherry Granola Clusters

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup raw pepitas
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
1/4 cup peanut butter (or preferred alternative)
3 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp coconut oil

Additional Toppings:
3 tbsp dried cherries
2 tbsp dried mulberries
2 tbsp cacao nibs

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
2. Combine all dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a small pot over medium-low heat combine peanut butter, raw honey, and coconut oil until completely glossy and smooth.
3. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until completely coated and spread evenly on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
4.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. Do not stir it (trust us).
5. Place on a cooling rack, allowing to cool completely to the touch. Once cool, break into large cluster sized pieces and mix with additional toppings.
6. Store in an airtight glass container or mason jar.
7. Serve on top of yogurt, or with a splash of coconut milk and a drizzle of raw honey. 

Let us know what your favourite granola toppings are over on our Instagram page. While you're there, don't forget to enter our Spring Snack Giveaway where you can enter to win a jar of raw wildflower honey from Beekeeper's Naturals.

Happy snacking!

Cauliflower Power Sushi Rolls

Written by Bronwyn Cawker

sushi, paleo sushi, cauliflower sushi, vegetarian, vegan, vegetarian sushi

Have you ever had a plate full of sushi and feel ravenously hungry a few hours later? We love sushi, but are always looking for a way to make it more nutritious. Most rolls contain deep fried tempura and starchy white rice – not the best choices to make for blood sugar balance or disease prevention.

We were inspired to create these vibrant sushi rolls packed with cauliflower rice, raw veggies, and a drizzle of tangy tahini lime sauce. Cauliflower is a fibre-packed cruciferous vegetable that is a powerhouse for disease prevention. It’s not only delicious, but is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, which can protect your cells from free radicals and inflammation.  It also contains the phytochemical glucosinolate, which has been studied for its role in cancer prevention. A study completed by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed significantly lower lung cancer risk in women who consumed cruciferous vegetables (Feskanich, D., 2000). 

These are easy to customize with your favourite fillings and are a great option for those following a grain-free diet. Make this a full meal by serving with a heap of leafy greens dressed with our Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing.

sushi, cauliflower sushi, paleo, paleo sushi, vegan sushi, cauliflower rice, grain free

 

Cauliflower Power Sushi Rolls:

Sushi Rolls:
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets and riced in a food processor
2 tsp coconut oil
¼ cup water
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
Salt, to taste
1 medium beet, peeled and grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 English cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
3 green onions, sliced
6 sheets nori
Toasted black sesame seeds (optional)

Tahini Lime Ginger Sauce:
3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp tamari
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp fresh ginger
½ tsp maple syrup
¼ tsp sesame oil
Water, as needed to thin

Directions:

  1. Add chopped cauliflower florets to a food processor (see tip). Pulse until it resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Melt 2 tsp of coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add riced cauliflower and sauté for 1 minute. Add water and cover pot with a lid, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes until completely cooked. This will allow the cauliflower to steam and become tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool enough to handle (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare remaining vegetables for sushi roll.
  4. Combine all ingredients for dipping sauce in a small bowl, adding water 1 tsp at a time to create a thinner texture if desired.
  5. Using a clean tea towel or a cheese cloth, drain out excess liquid from the cauliflower rice. Mix in rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and salt into the cooled rice.
  6. Lay a bamboo sushi mat flat on your counter or cutting board. Place the nori with the shiny side down on top of the mat. Spoon about 1/3 cup of rice onto the nori, spreading out evenly and leaving the bottom third of the sheet (farthest from you) bare.
  7. Place rows of your veggies in the middle of the rice. Carefully roll the top of the nori over the veggies with firm pressure. Continue to roll away from you, dabbing the farthest edge of nori with water to seal it up.
  8.  Using a sharp knife, slice each roll into 6-8 pieces. Serve with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and a drizzle of tahini lime ginger sauce if desired.
sushi, sushi roll, cauliflower sushi, paleo, paleo sushi, vegetarian, vegetarian sushi, cauliflower rice

Tips:

  1. If you do not have a food processor, feel free to use a grater to grate the cauliflower into small pieces. You can also finely chop using a knife. Prepare as usual.
  2. You can roll on top of a clean tea towel, or just use your hands if you don’t have a sushi mat on hand.

References:

Feskanich, D., Ziegler, R. G., Michaud, D. S., Giovannucci, E. L., Speizer, F. E., Willett, W. C., & Colditz, G. A. (2000). Prospective Study of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Lung Cancer Among Men and Women. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, (22).

Higdon, J. V., Delage, B., Williams, D. E., & Dashwood, R. H. (2007). Cruciferous Vegetables and Human Cancer Risk: Epidemiologic Evidence and Mechanistic Basis. Pharmacological Research : The Official Journal of the Italian Pharmacological Society, 55(3), 224–236. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2007.01.009

Gluten or Grain-Free “Think Pink” Donuts

Written by Bronwyn Cawker

paleo donuts, vegan donuts, grain free donuts, healthy donuts, sugar free donuts

We’ve created a baked donut recipe with gluten-free and grain-free variations that we hope you will go nuts for. Forgive the pun; we are really excited to share these! We think these are the perfect sweet treat to bring along with you to Easter dinner. Our grain-free recipe is also Passover friendly.

These donuts are packed with fibre rich oat flour – almond flour in our grain-free version – sweetened with maple syrup and topped with a decadent coconut butter glaze coloured with beet juice. Beetroot's beautiful pink hue comes from a plant pigment called betalains, which is also present in prickly pears and red pitaya. In addition to betalains being studied for their antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effects, they are a fantastic option for natural food colouring in lieu of artificial dyes (Gengatharan, A, 2015).

If you don’t have a donut pan, no problem! Feel free to bake these in a well-greased muffin tin and proceed as usual.

paleo donuts, vegan donuts, grain free donuts, healthy donuts, sugar free donuts

 

Gluten or Grain-Free “Think Pink” Donuts

Gluten-Free Donut base:
1 1/4 cups oat flour
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (plus extra for greasing pan)
½ cup organic apple sauce (or 2 eggs if you are non-vegan)
½ tsp vanilla extract

Grain-Free Donut base:
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (plus extra for greasing pan)
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

Unbeetable Pink Icing:
1/4 cup coconut butter
1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
Water or non-dairy milk (as needed)
1 peeled beet, chopped into medium pieces (or 1 tsp beetroot powder)
1/4 tsp vanilla

Optional Toppings:
Cacao nibs
Toasted coconut flakes

paleo donuts, vegan donuts, grain free donuts, healthy donuts, sugar free donuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F / 176 C. Generously grease a 6 mold donut pan with coconut oil.

  2. Combine the dry ingredients – flour, chia, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, whisking to combine. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all of the remaining wet ingredients. Stir together until it is a smooth, uniform texture.

  3. Equally distribute the batter between the 6 donut molds using a spoon, making sure the top of each doughnut is smooth. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Allow to cool completely and gently remove from the pan using a knife.

  4. Place peeled, chopped beet into a small sauce pan over low heat with ¼ cup of water. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Strain beets from the liquid, and set aside.

  5. Combine all ingredients for the glaze except for the vanilla extract and beet liquid in a small pot over medium-low heat until melted. Turn off heat and slowly incorporate beet liquid until desired colour is reached. Stir in vanilla extract. Adjust texture with water or non-dairy milk (if required).

  6. To assemble dip the donut in a generous amount of glaze. Top with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes or cacao nibs if desired. Enjoy!

Tips:

  1. You can use 1 tsp of beetroot powder to colour your icing if you have it on hand. Repurpose the cooked beet in a salad or smoothie recipe.

  2. You can make your own coconut butter by blending 2-3 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes in a high-powered blender or food processor until it resembles a smooth paste.

paleo donuts, vegan donuts, grain free donuts, healthy donuts, sugar free donuts

We hope this recipe has you thinking pink. Drop us a line at @livingkitchenco if you try it out!

References:

Gengatharan, A., Dykes, G. A., & Choo, W. S. (2015). Betalains: Natural plant pigments with potential application in functional foods. LWT - Food Science And Technology, 64645-649. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2015.06.052

Chopped Mediterranean Salad

Chopped Mediterranean Salad recipe

Spring is on the way (we hope)!  This chopped salad is bright, light and full of fresh flavours that are invigorating for this time of year.  We came up with this recipe to serve with our Eggplant Meatball recipe, served together makes a delicious Mediterranean style meal.   This recipe is free of nightshade vegetables, since many of our clients limit or avoid these in their diet to reduce inflammation.  But, if that's not an issue for you, feel free to switch up the recipe and add in roasted red peppers, tomatoes or even roasted eggplant.  If you're keeping your sugar intake low, then this vinaigrette is perfect!  It's so tasty just the way it is.

Chopped Mediterranean Salad

1 bunch of romaine, rinsed off and dried well, chopped (or you can use 1 box of romaine hearts)
1 English cucumber, chopped in cubes

3 carrots, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp garlic powder
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

3 beets, peeled
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt and pepper

1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olive, sliced (pits removed)

Vinaigrette:
1 lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ a small garlic, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and pepper

Chopped Mediterranean Salad recipe

Directions:

1. Peel the beets and slice into small cubes.
2. Rinse off the carrots well.  If they are organic, we like to leave the skins on (but you can peel them if you prefer).  Slice the carrots into approximately 1/2 inch pieces.
3. Place the beets in a small pot and add about 1/4 cup of water.  Steam for around 10 minutes, until the beets are tender.  Then submerge in cold water to cool down.
4. Spread the carrots out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toss with sumac, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper and olive oil.  Roast at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until cooked.
5. Meanwhile, rinse and dry the romaine well.  Chop the romaine and the cucumber.
6. Chop the cilantro and parsley.
7. Make the vinaigrette.
8. Once the beets are cool, season with apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper.
9. Let the carrots cool down a bit once taking them out of the oven.
10. Toss together all of the veggies with the vinaigrette.