{Mid week comfort food that’s semi-homemade: Vegan Ground Beef Fajitas}

{Peppery Vegan Ground Beef Fajitas} Summary: I find Mexican food comforting and fun. For me it makes the perfect date night or family night meal. More precisely I love fajitas…The idea of having lots of fixings and creating a wrap/burrito tailored … Continue reading

The truth about Fat: good fats vs bad fats…do you know the difference?

For those who aren’t clear about the difference between good fats vs. bad fats. . . Most people know butter is terrible and that olive oil is a better cooking alternative. But why? Here’s the skinny on what separates the … Continue reading

{Mexican Lunch for 2 – Gone Healthy}

Mexican food lunches and dinners are my weekday life-savers. I usually keep a can of Rosaritas Vegetarian Refried Beans in my pantry along with some tacos or whole wheat tortillas. These can become the base to many of my weekday … Continue reading

{Guacamole & Red Veggie Salsa}

{Guacamole & Red Veggie Salsa}

Summary: I love Mexican food. When done right, it can actually be very healthy. And for vegetarians it’s a great way of cooking with flavors. These sides also make great appetizers. My friends love my guacamole recipe. Serve it while … Continue reading

{Arugula, Beet & Avocado Salad}

*This recipe is adapted from Giada di Laurentis “Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad”

Summary: 

This makes a great side salad. The flavors are subtle but work nicely with each other.  Beets offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke; lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects. Additionally they are considered a great detox food. Cooking & adding flavor to beets can be tricky. TIP for best results: after cooking the beet and letting it cool slightly, soak the pieces in the salad dressing for about 5 min. This will help enhance the flavor. Avocados are packed with vitamins and omega-3 FAs which are good oils. In conclusion all the savory ingredients in this salad help protect you against cardiovascular disease. Be healthy, be happy & enjoy! 

Servings: makes 3 to 4 side salads

Ingredients:
3 cups arugula leaves
2 cups spinach leaves
1/2 large beet
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, cubed
2 tbsp sliced almonds
3 tbsp herbed goat cheese

Directions:
1. COOKING THE BEET:
Do not peel or remove the skin of the beet this will help preserve its nutrition and color. Slice the beet into 1 in slices. Cut in half. Add to a pot with water. Add 1/4 tsp of brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of salt and a bit of olive oil. Cook on high for 30-50 min. I suggest inserting a fork into the beet slices after 30 min. to asses if they are cooked. You’ll know if they are cooked because the fork will easily go through.

2. After the beet is cooked: Drain. Remove the skin with a knife. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Let cool for about 8-10 min. IMPT – do not skip this step! If you add the beet while it’s hot, the avocado and goat cheese will “melt” away…the result will be an ugly looking salad. TIP – if this seems too complicated for you, try using canned beet. I’ve never tried it but it should work nicely with this salad.

3. SALAD ASSEMBLY:
First throw in the spinach and arugula. Add the onion, avocado pieces & the dried cranberries. Add the beet pieces (make sure they are mostly cooled) and the crumbled goat cheese. Finally garnish with almonds or walnut pieces.

4. SALAD DRESSING (Recipe from Giada):

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper.