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The Beet Debate

Beets tend to be a controversial subject.  You either love them, or you hate them.  I happen to absolutely love them…yes, I admit, they have a very “earthy” flavor…but that is what I love about them!  When I eat a beet, I feel like I am doing something good for my body…fueling it with something more than just a simple carb or even a normal vegetable.  In my book, beets are a superfood…and here is the evidence to prove it!

(Info from One cup of raw beets contains phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium, as well as fiber, vitamins A and C, niacin, and biotin. Beets contain folic acid, which is recommended for pregnant women because it may lower the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects in newborn infants.  Beets are know to detoxify blood and renewing it with minerals and natural sugars.

Beets are good for your heart, they help prevent birth defects, they help prevent certain cancers, they are good for detoxifying your liver, they help to strengthen your capillaries, prevent fatigue, cataract and respiratory problems…they are pretty stinkin’ super if you ask me!

I try to eat beets a few times a week…I add them in all sort of foods…but one of my favorite ways to eat them, in all of their earthy glory, is the delicious, naturally sweet, super fresh, roasted beet salad.

Roasted Beet Salad:

15 small beets

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Wash beets thoroughly and cut off each end.  Cut each beet into quarters and place on a large piece of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Wrap the beets in the foil, leaving a few little holes for air.

Bake for an hour and a half, or until the beets are dark purple and soft to the touch.

After the beets cool, you can easily peel the skin off of each beet…I personally don’t mind the skin, so I leave it on…but if I was serving it to others, I would peel off the skin!

To make the salad, place your beets in a serving bowl and top with chopped celery, walnuts, feta cheese and green onions.  Drizzle withe balsamic vinaigrette and toss gently.  This delicious salad will keep in your fridge to munch on all week!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 large clove of garlic

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 Tablespoon dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender, food processor, or magic bullet and blend until smooth!

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Gavin and I work from home so I am always trying to think of yummy, but quick and easy lunches for us during the week.  Yesterday I found a lovely piece of Salmon a Kroger and made a super quick lunch with it today (literally takes 10 minutes!)  I like to try to eat salmon a few times a month because of the heart healthy omega 3′s and this salad is a great, easy way to add it to your diet!

Seared Salmon Salad

2  4oz portions of fresh salmon
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 Tablespoons of chopped almonds
2 green onions
Cilantro for garnish (optional)
Carrot Ginger Dressing:
1 medium carrot
A 3 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
1/2 Cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon veg oil
Spoon soy sauce on salmon and then season with salt and pepper.  Spray a medium skillet over high heat with cooking spray.  When the pan is hot, place salmon, skin side up in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes….flip salmon and cook on skin side for 2-3 minutes.Plate spinach leaves then place cooked salmon on top.  Garnish with almonds, green onions and cilantro, then top with ginger dressing!
For the dressing:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well!

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