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.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Cranberry Apple Sauce w/ Ginger and Cinnamon

cranberry sauce, sugar free cranberry sauce, cranberry apple sauce

If this recipe had another name it would be "All the warm and fuzzy holiday feelings sauce!"  It's our warming, spiced, boost your immune system winter sauce that's the perfect combo of sweet and tart.  Cranberries, orange, and apples simmered with fresh ginger root, cinnamon and maple syrup will make your home smell so comforting and welcoming.  We love eating this sauce with breakfast, as a snack, as a healthy dessert or you can use it in any meal where you would use standard cranberry sauce.

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Cranberry Apple Sauce w/ Ginger and Cinnamon

1 bag of cranberries
1 apple, diced
1 orange, peeled and chopped roughly
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated or minced
1 cup water
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

1. Rinse off the cranberries and apple, and peel the orange.

2. Dice the apple and cut the orange roughly in small pieces.

3. Grate or mince the ginger root.

4. Combine the cranberries, apple, orange, ginger root and cinnamon in a pot.  Pour in the water.

5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the fruit is soft and cooked well.

6. Stir in the maple syrup.  You can mash the fruit if you prefer that it is smooth.

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Carrot Ginger Soup

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When you only have 5 to 10 minutes to prep a recipe, this one really does the trick!  But you would never know, because it tastes so full and rich, creamy and thick, with the perfect balance of sweet and earthy flavours.  This time of year we love warming, cozy soups.  This Carrot Ginger soup is especially good if you are sick because the ginger, onions and garlic will support your immune system.  You'll find that this soup is easy to swallow but has lots of body to it, the complete opposite of a thin, watery soup.  In fact, if you find that it's too thick, you can add some extra broth to thin it out. 

 

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Carrot Ginger Soup

1 lb. carrots, chopped (peel if they are dirty and/or not organic)
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger root, chopped roughly
4 cup veggie broth
sea salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Directions:

1. Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a pot and saute the onions, garlic and ginger root for around 5 minutes, until translucent. 

2. Add the carrots, celery, veggie broth and sea salt and pepper to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the carrots are soft.

3. Carefully pour the soup into a high speed blender and blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.

4. Taste and add more sea salt or pepper if needed.