Beet Salad with Crushed Walnuts

Beet-Salad-with-Crushed-Walnuts

The Romans used to drink beet juice because it was an aphrodisiac. That’s why they distributed this red vegetable all over their empire. I had no idea that beets were regarded as such in the olden days. When I bought a bunch from an organic market, all I had in mind was to make a salad out of it because the red pigment would look interesting on salad greens.

Beets also contain 20% natural sugar which would make it work on a salad. One cup of this would give me about 75 calories. That information alone was enough to have me create a recipe that would fit my “salad weekends”. Husband and I devoted two days of our week for salads because we’ve been told to cut down on the meat for a while to stay healthy.

Since doing so, I’ve noticed that we’ve been losing weight gradually which is a good thing by itself. However, I wanted the kids to join in. This is still a work in progress though; but I reckon this recipe would make them want to try it at least. I know the little one would be curious enough to taste it because her favorite color is red. I’ll have to wait and see.

The walnuts adds a good crunch to the recipe as opposed to the texture of the beets. Biting into this would be like having a texture party in your mouth. This would make my youngest more curious so it’s a win-win for me and that counts a lot.

Ingredients

Dressing
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Salad
  • 16 baby beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10 cup mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted $
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Description

  1. Start by preparing the salad dressing by combining the first 5 ingredients on a small bowl. Stir constantly with a whisk. Then set aside.
  2. Next, preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. Then, it’s time to prepare the salad. Leave the root and an inch of the stem on the beets; Scrub them with a brush.
  4. Place them inside an 11 x 17 inch baking dish. Add half a cup of water.
  5. Cover this and bake for 35 minutes or until they are tender. Remove from oven to cool off and drain. Trim off the roots from the beet and slowly rub the skins to make them come off.
  6. Next, cut each beet into quarters and place on a small bowl. Drizzle over with a tablespoon of dressing and mix together.
  7. Arrange salad green on a large platter and sprinkle with salt.
  8. Drizzle the remaining dressing all over the greens. Top with beets, walnuts, cheese and chives. Best served immediately.

 

Weight Watches Roasted Vegtables


This is a really great low fat way to enjoy healthy vegetables. Anything goes with this recipe you can swap or add any vegetables you like. Last time I roasted some vegetables like this I added some beautiful fresh garlic cloves which created a wonderful aroma in my kitchen. I suggest you add them more towards the end though as they did get a little over cooked. An easy way to make this meal look really nice is to use different colored bell peppers. This adds lots of color and really makes the vegetables look great. When serving add some dried basil or mixed dry herbs and crushed red pepper to finish it off nicely. As it stands this recipe will give you eight servings and takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 25 to cook. Oh yeah one last thing, ZERO POINTS!! Hope you like it :)

Healthy Indian Tandoori Chicken

This is an easy yet authentic recipe for Indian tandoori chicken that is a wonderful tasty meal everyone will enjoy. If you have kids you may want to leave out the cayenne pepper and use boneless chicken thighs with the skin removed but other than that it this is a very kid friendly chicken recipe. The kids will love the beautiful red color too!  In pursuit of living as healthy as possible I suggest non fat plain yoghurt and to serve this dish with some beautiful green vegetables. broccoli with a little squeezed lemon juice goes especially well with this chicken. If you have limited time you can actually skip the marinating process but you really want to marinate your chicken for as long as you possible can for the most flavor. Ideally you want to marinate it overnight.  If you want the full Indian experience google ‘Kulfi’ which is a traditional Indian ice cream and a great way to end your dinner. Serve this tandoori chicken with some basmati or jasmine rice and hey presto one very healthy meal.

Baked Tomato Pasta


It is incredible how one little ingredient can make such a difference to a dish. For today’s recipe that ingredient is tomatoes. Roast tomatoes to be precise. A really easy dish that will allow you to create a low fat restaurant quality meal with out a lot of fuss and bother. I served this to a couple of Italian friends and they were full of praise. To me when I make a recipe and I can see my friends genuinely enjoy it that is all the recommendation I need. This recipe serves enough to feed four adults so modify the portions accordingly if you are feeding more or less. If you haven’t cooked with roasted tomatoes before I just know you are going to be pleasantly surprised. Add some fresh parmesan and garlic into the mix and this recipe is to die for. Buon Appetito!

Minestrone Soup Recipe


This is one of my favourite soups of all time from Ellie Krieger This minestrone soup is a healthy vegetarian dish, excellent for weight watchers and for people wanting to improve their well being. Minestrone soup is one of the most hearty soups there is, packed with protein and fibre you cannot go wrong with this energy giving soup. Perfect for a cold winter’s evening served with some warm toasted crusty bread rolls. I make several variations of these meal including adding spinach when I need some extra iron in my diet. I have often substituted cannellini or pinto beans if I didn’t have any red kidney beans all are rich in protein and essential for vegetarians. If you want more vegetables add zucchini, broccoli, green peppers, spinach or, my favorite, kale. Some people have emailed me asking about bacon. Many minestrone soup recipes certainly do have bacon but for health and personal reasons I chose to live without it. If you must though just add about 1/2 pound when you are browning the onions. If you chose this route leave the salt out as bacon is loaded with it. However you chose to make this soup please let me know how it worked out for you in the comments below.

Watermelon & Feta Salad with Lemon Dressing

Even though it sounds somewhat different this salad is very refreshing. The taste could be described as both sweet and savoury and I really think you are going to like it. You can even break it down to the three basic ingredients of watermelon, feta and mint and just eat it like that. Serve with some nice sliced toasted rye bread to soak up the delicious juices.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 piece watermelon, peeled, deseeded
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 7 oz greek style feta cheese
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh continental parsley leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked, large leaves torn
  • 2 spring onion bulbs, roots trimmed, thinly sliced crossways
lemon dressing
  • 1/4 cuplight olive oil
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Use a sharp knife to cut the watermelon crossways into 1 inch square thick slices about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Cut each slice into inch wide wedges. Place in a large bowl and set aside until required.
  3. Spread walnuts evenly over a baking tray and cook in preheated oven for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the lemon dressing, use a fork to whisk together the oil, lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl until well combined.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cut the feta in half horizontally. Cut crossways into  1/4 inch thick slices. Add to the watermelon.
  7. To serve, add the toasted walnuts, parsley, mint and spring onions to the bowl of watermelon and feta.
  8. Drizzle with the lemon dressing and gently toss until well coated. Divide the salad evenly among serving plates and serve immediately.

Maple Roasted Pumpkin & Chicken Salad

This sexy salad is something I only tried for the first time recently and was very pleasantly surprised. I love pumpkin so it was no surprise that I loved this salad too. It does take a little longer than the other more basic salads but is perfect for when you want something more substantial or you just want to impress guests with a salad that looks beautiful. For a bit of a twist the second time I remade it I used green beans instead of the mixed salad and the whole thing was nice and warm so keep that in mind if it is getting colder where you live. In the future I am going to try sweet potato instead of pumpkin and i think i might throw in some pine nuts too.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 lbs chicken breast fillets
  • 3 1/2 oz spinach and rocket salad mix
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
Mustard Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place pumpkin, syrup and oil in a bowl. Toss to combine. Place pumpkin, in a single layer, on prepared tray.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, adding walnuts to tray for the last 8 minutes of cooking, or until pumpkin is tender.
  5. Spray a frying pan with oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 6 to 7 minutes each side or until cooked through.
  6. Transfer to a plate. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Thinly slice.
  7. Meanwhile, make Mustard dressing: Place oil, vinegar, syrup and mustard in a screw-top jar. Secure lid. Shake to combine.
  8. Place pumpkin, walnuts, chicken, salad mix, onion and dressing in a bowl. Toss to combine. Serve.

Hearty Chicken & Vegetable Soup


When you wake up with a cold the first thing you should do in your day is start making this soup. It works wonders and I wholeheartedly recommend that you try it next time you are not feeling well.  This is a pretty basic soup and one that you can put together without a lot of effort. If you are feeling lethargic you can use frozen vegetables instead of fresh but obviously you should always use fresh vegetables wherever possible. This is soup is also perfect for dinner when you are trying to slim down. It will fill you up nicely while being low in calories. This soup will take you about 90 minutes from start to serve and will serve 6 people easily. Cooking for less ? Just freeze and use when you need a hearty soup on the go.

Cranberry Avocado Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette


Today’s recipe is a salad that can only be described as very versatile indeed. Enjoy this salad as a mid morning snack , as an accompaniment to your dinner or even as a main meal in itself. Although it has already has plenty of wonderful tastes and textures here are some suggestions for substitutions. If you do not have any baby spinach just use arugula or regular field greens. You can safely swap almonds for pecans or walnuts. If you do not have the recipe for candied nuts here it is. Fruit additions work well too. Try some finely sliced mangos, blood orange or crisp apple or pear. No salad is complete without a nice dressing and this vinaigrette is something you should make plenty of so you always have some handy. I hope you see why I describe this salad as versatile because it really cannot be described any other way.

Carrot & Almond Cake


A refreshing carrot cake that has almonds in both the cake itself and the icing which really adds to the appeal of this cake as far as I am concerned. One thing I have noticed after making many carrot cakes over the years is how much better carrot cakes taste when you grate the carrot rather than use a food processor something my family as commented on too. When I first found this recipe it called for 4 cups of icing sugar. Now in my opinion that is too much and I have cut it back to three without any discernible difference in taste. In fact if you are interested in staying healthy then sugar reduction should be a major part of that plan and anywhere you can cut sugar out of your diet you should. No sugar means a slimmer you and me both next summer. I think this carrot cake recipe really reflects good old fashion taste and quality and I just know you are going to love it.