Gluten-Free Agave Parsnip Beet Cake and The Big Green Cookbook Giveaway

Well, I did it again…another incredibly tasty recipe using avocados, beets, parsnips and my favorite nuts … a lil macadamia and a lil hazelnut … This is a fabulous dish for anytime of the year but I thought these ingredients were perfect for this fall harvest season…  Perhaps this dessert will appear on your Thanksgiving table… Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and tastes on this newly delicious n’ always gluten’ and dairy free creation.

Gluten-Free Agave Parsnip Beet Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, very finely ground
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/3 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 very ripe avocados, peeled, cored and very finely mashed
  • Egg substitute for 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 10 parsnips, peeled and grated
  • 4 golden beets, peeled and grated
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking dish with baking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground macadamia nuts with flour, baking soda, all spice, sea salt and pepper; mix to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine agave, avocados and egg substitute; beat on high speed until combined.  Add dry ingredients; continue to mix on medium speed until well blended.  Slowly add in parsnips, beets and coconut.
  5. Transfer batter into prepared baking pan; sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts.  Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
  7. Enjoy!

And, I am exciting to announce my Giveaway for The Green Big Cookbook. I will be randomly selecting one winner on Monday, November the 8th at 5:00 PM EST.

To Enter, Simply:

Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite way to prepare a  ‘Green’ meal.

Good Luck and have a wonderful weekend, fellow foodies!

 

Advertisements

Watercress Soup with Cilantro n’ Beets

This weekend I created the most delicious summer-time chilling soup.  I tossed together fresh cucumbers and watercress for a cooling feeling, but then decided to add a touch of the Fall by including sweet potatoes and onions…and to polish it off, there’s nothing like the natural sweetness of fresh beets.  This soup is delicious as a main dish with gluten-free bread or used as an appetizer or side dish with any meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 beets, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 6 lbs. watercress, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the broth and water; bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato and beets, cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Add the watercress and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Transfer the soup to a food processor; puree.  Then, transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Add milk and Greek yogurt, cucumbers and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Also,

Be sure to check out my Kid Friendly Recipe that was posted on the Easy Kids Recipes website today.

and…

My ‘Fruit Not Fat’ Galaxy Granola video that launched today, as well.

Sweet Beet Hummus

Here’s a tasty spin on the classic hummus platter…I opted to toss in fresh beets for a sweet flavor without the added sugar.  Beets are a wonderful source of folate, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese…This beautiful Beet Hummus is incredibly tasty and pairs well as a dip for crudites, fruits or crackers as well as an amazing spread on sandwiches and bagels.

Ingredients

  • 5 large beets, scrubbed, cooked and cubed
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
  • Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor; pulse until smooth.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with gluten free crackers, pretzels and crudites.
  • Enjoy!

In The News This Week…

Low Calorie Diets May Lead To Weight Gain

Raisins Get a Nutritious Makeover

Four Key Processes of Aging

Your Diet in 2020

Apples Deserve Superfruit Status

Balance Your Caloric Equation To Loose Weight

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Pistachio Coconut Muffins

Last night while walking home from work, I passed not one but two Crumbs Bakery’s, which are famous for their cupcakes…one glance into the adorable bakery is all it took for me to scurry home and bake these tasty gluten-free red velvet muffins…I opted for a pinch of coconut and a handful of pistachios to add a sweet n’ crunchy kick.  These babies are made with roasted beets for an all-natural rich, red velvet hue.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup roasted beets, shredded
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free baking flour (rice, bean, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Toppings

  • Greek plain yogurt (I use Fage for its thickness) or dairy-free alternative
  • Additional coconut flakes
  • Additional pistachios, ground

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Shred beets in a food processor.
  • In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture; mix well.
  • Transfer batter into muffin tins; fill to the top.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Cool on baking racks.
  • When muffins are at room temperature and ready to serve, top each muffin with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of coconut and pistachios.
  • Enjoy!

Sweet Roots

This recipe is one of my favorites to make on a Sunday afternoon…it’s quick, simple to prepare, and leaves you with a soothing tonic of sweet sauce once cooked to perfection.

soup

Ingredients

Use as many of the following sweet veggies as you wish:

  • Corn
  • Rutabaga
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Yams
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Red Radishes
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Green Cabbage
  • Burdock
  • For added protein- add Beans and/or Tofu

Directions

  • Chop the hardest veggies (carrots and beets) into smaller pieces
  • Chop the softer veggies (onions and cabbage) into larger chunks
  • Use a medium sized pot and add enough water to barely cover the veggies. Check the water level while cooking and add more water if needed. The veggies on the bottom will cook faster than those on the top, therefore stir every few minutes.  Cook until desired tenderness. The softer the veggies get- the Sweeter they become!
  • You may wish to add tofu or beans for extra protein
  • Season your veggies with seaweed or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, black pepper, white pepper, chili powder, and cayenne
  • When veggies are cooked to your satisfaction, empty the ingredients into a large bowl, flavor as desired.
  • The leftover cooking water makes a delicious, sweet sauce, and is a healing, soothing tonic to drink by itself.
  • Enjoy!

Bitty Beet Side Salad

Here is a great recipe for an ‘Itty Bitty’ side salad.  This dish pairs well with any fish- I enjoy this salad with my parchment baked halibut fillets.

green_bean_salad_with_toast

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 cups green beans, cooked whole
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 fresh beets, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 scallion, greens and whites sliced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Topping: Greek yogurt

Directions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, spicy mustard and agave nectar.  Mix well; set aside.
  • Simply combine all above vegetables into a large bowl.  Toss gently; slowly add the peanuts and the above yogurt mixture.  Toss to ensure all vegetables and peanuts are coated.
  • Serve chilled with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt.
  • Enjoy!

Super Foods on a Budget

eb71da0d96d86566

In this day n’ age…the economy isn’t looking too shabby.  We all have to learn to cut back on certain things, however, we should not be cutting back on our nutritious foods as we must continue to feed our bodies with healthy super foods everyday.  Here are a few of my favorite super foods that will keep you on (or hopefully under) your budget!

Swiss Chard

  • An excellent source of beta carotene (an antioxidant and pre-cursor for vitamin A), vitamin C, and a good source of potassium and magnesium.  Research has shown that vitamin C and beta carotene may prevent the oxidation of LDL “Bad” cholesterol and therefore may decrease risk of heart disease.  Moreover, research has also shown that magnesium and potassium may lower blood pressure levels.  Swiss Chard is reasonably priced- a bit more expensive then some of your other greens, but still about $2/bunch.

0a59afcfbe18d43e

Kale

  • This dark, leafy green is loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, and calcium.  Not to mention a good source of potassium and magnesium.   Like most greens it is usually fairly cheep at $1.50/ bunch.

13c34b56f8c32ebc

Spinach

  • One of the best green leafies out there- it’s an excellent source of folate, antioxidant vitamins A (formed from beta-carotene) and C, and a good source of potassium and magnesium.  Studies show that folate can help prevent heart disease by lowering levels of the amino acid homocysteine.  Plus, you can usually find it year round for less than a $1/bunch.

250px-broccoli_and_cross_section_edit

Broccoli

  • An excellent source of folate and vitamin C, a good source of fiber, calcium, Vitamin A, potassium and vitamin B6.   If that isn’t enough broccoli is also packed with phytonutrients, compounds that may help prevent heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.  Plus, it’s low in cost and calories.

Tomatoes

  • An excellent source of vitamins  A and C, a good source of potassium and contain the antioxidant lycopene.  Depending on the type of tomato, they can be pricey, however, review your choices in the food store and purchase the cheapest, best quality tomatoes.

daf5cea0cae82762

Parsnips

  • A good source of vitamin C, fiber and folate.  Fiber helps promote heart health by reducing levels of LDL “Bad” cholesterol and that vitamin C decreases risk for heart disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL “Bad” cholesterol.  These fun veggies are close in price to carrots, perhaps a few cents more, but still fairly cheep.

68c1b174189d6794

Avocados

  • Rich in monounsaturated “GOOD” fats and contain potassium and folate.  Research shows that monounsaturated fats can lower LDL “Bad” cholesterol.   Avocados add the perfect touch to any meal and for the inexpensive price, you can’t beat it!

e058c6874645fa901

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

  • Omega 3’s are known to lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may help with depression, memory loss and Alzheimer’s.  Most prevalent in fatty, cold water fish such as WILD (not farmed) salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring.  Also found in fortified eggs, flax seeds and walnuts.  All of these super foods are high in monounsaturated fats, which is a huge benefit since this can lower cholesterol.  Fresh fish can be quite pricey, however, for the nutritional punch these Omega 3’s provide–it’s worth the extra cash–treat yourself!

Bananas

  • Loaded with Potassium and fiber, these yellow treats are not just a monkey’s favorite.  Not to mention they are about 20 cents a piece–a dollar can get you a banana for every day of the workweek!

be790eeb8381b9bc

Steel Cut Oats

  • High in fiber and complex carbohydrates, oats have been known to lower cholesterol-and boy are they cheap! A dollar can buy you more than a week’s worth of warm, satisfying steel cut oats!

Sardines

  • These relatively cheap little fish come with big benefits such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.  And, because they are low on the food chain, they do not accumulate mercury.

68adf4e6e5e273b0

Whole Grain Pasta

  • A delicious complex carbohydrate that is high in protein and B vitamins-not to mention it’s one of the cheapest staples you can buy!

6aa7e947a1053bd6

Tofu

  • This inexpensive protein source is not just for vegetarians and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.  It’s high in B vitamins and Iron, but low in fat and sodium, making it a healthful addition to many dishes.

bb08c5ed1a866264

Beets

  • These purple guys are sweet to the palate while their rich flavor and color make them nutritious for our bodies; they are powerhouses of folate, iron, and antioxidants.  Look for fresh beets in your food store, most beets are reasonably priced and found near the root veggies.

Nuts

  • Packed with good-for-you fats, both unsaturated and monounsaturated, these are a good source of essential fatty acids, protein, and vitamin E.  Because they are so nutrient-dense, you only need a handful or two to reap the nutritional benefits.  Although macadamias and pecans can be costly, nuts such as walnuts, peanuts and almonds are low in cost.

8dc74b6d5bfb50b21

Wild Rice

  • This gluten-free complex carbohydrate is a whole lot better for you than “white” rice and it’s low in fat, and high in protein and fiber.  This rice is loaded with B vitamins and potassium, not to mention the delicious, nutty, robust flavor.

Garbanzo Beans

  • No only are they a great source of protein and fiber, but they are high in iron, folate, manganese and fiber, and may help reduce cholesterol levels.  If you don’t like Garbanzo beans–try another-lentils, lima, black-the varieties are endless.  Additionally, with beans, you’re getting your money’s worth because they are much cheaper to purchase than animal proteins.

f624463242a3620c1

Blueberries

  • Packed with phytoflavinoids and antioxidants, these berries are also high in vitamin C and potassium, which are anti-inflammatory and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.  The darker the berry, the more antioxidants they have.  And remember, frozen fruits are just as good as fresh.  Fresh berries get a bad rep for being pricey, however, their frozen friends are just as delish and good for you, not to mention cheaper! Head to the freezer isle if the fresh berries are too pricey.

What do you consider your Super Foods? How do their prices fair against the ones I have listed above?  Have you had to cut back at the food store due to our current economic times?