Friday, January 27, 2012

Foodie Friday: Baked Beet Chips

Baked Beet Chips - Copyright 2012 Michelle Loy - Go Wellness
Over the last year I've developed a special fondness for beets.  Although my all-time favorite way to enjoy them so far is roasted, I have enjoyed them in other ways as well.  One of the latest ways I've had fun with beets is by making baked beet chips.  These are great because they're really easy and they can satisfy that craving for something crunchy.  This recipe actually works with other veggies, too, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots.  Cooking times may vary depending on the veggie used.  I let my kids help me make these, and they really enjoy it.  They also like the chips.  If you try them out, let me know what you think.

Baked Beet Chips

{Print this recipe}
2 medium beets
Spray olive oil (or about 1 tsp olive oil)
Sea salt

Sliced beet rounds - Copyright 2012 Michelle Loy - Go Wellness
1.  Preheat oven to 325F.
2.  Using a mandoline slicer, slice the beets into thin rounds (about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick - I use the narrowest setting on my mandoline slicer.)      
3.  Place the beet rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  (I also use a wire rack, which really helps distribute the heat evenly around the beet slices.)  Lightly spray with olive oil.  (If you do not have an olive oil mister, toss the beet rounds into a bowl before placing on the baking sheet, and drizzle with about 1 tsp of olive oil.)  Season with salt.  (I'm pretty light-handed with this since I personally don't like the chips too salty.)
4.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the edges begin to crisp up.  (Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of the beet rounds and your oven. Just check on them starting at about 25 minutes.) Once finished, remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet.  Enjoy!

Serves: 2
Nutritional Information:
Calories:  56   Carbohydrate:  8 g   Protein:  1.4 g   Fat:   2.4 g   Cholesterol:  0 mg   Fiber:  2.4 g   Sodium:  137 mg
Excellent source of: folate

Friday, January 20, 2012

Foodie Friday: Roasted Cabbage

Roasted Cabbage

If there's one family of veggies that I believe everyone should consume nearly everyday, it is the cruciferous vegetables.  This family of veggies includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, chard, kohlrabi, and kale.  Everyone's favorites, right?  To be honest, I know a few people for whom some of these veggies can be a tough sell, but it can be done.  Sometimes it just depends on the method of preparation.  More on that later.  Why are these veggies so valuable to our health?  This group of veggies contains a variety of potent cancer-protective compounds, such as glucosinolates, indoles, and isothiocyanates, along with numerous essential cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals.  Research suggests that cruciferous vegetables may be especially helpful at guarding against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach.  These veggies may also be protective against lung and colorectal cancer, too.  So eat your veggies, especially the cruciferous ones!

I mentioned earlier that some of these veggies can be a tough sell.  That sometimes depends on how they're served or prepared.  I've found that it's best to experiment with preparation methods to discover what ways work best for you or your family.  One tried and true method of preparation that makes some of the harder-to-like veggies more likable is roasting.  Roasting can help bring out a nice natural, earthy sweetness and flavor of the vegetable.  Plus it helps soften the vegetable, which can sometimes be the veggie challenge for kids.  Getting my kids to eat raw cabbage is pretty tough.  I think the texture is just a bit difficult for them to handle with their little chompers.  While my husband and I enjoy raw sauerkraut, the kids find it too tart.  Because I'm always trying to find new ways to get my kiddos and my family to enjoy veggies, I thought that roasting the cabbage would be perfect.  This did the trick.  This is one way that my kids will enjoy cabbage. Yay, a win for this Mommy RD!

Roasted Cabbage

1 Tbsp plus 2 more Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium-head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch thick rounds
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp caraway or fennel seeds

1.  Preheat oven to 400F.  
2.  Brush 1 Tbsp of olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet.  Place the cabbage head rounds on the sheet in a single layer, and brush with 2 Tbsp of remaining olive oil.  Season with the salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the caraway or fennel seeds.  
3.  Roast until the cabbage is tender and the edges are golden, about 40-45 minutes.  
*Note: Another favorite option of mine that adds a nice pop of flavor is to top with a high-quality chopped bacon (about 4 slices works just fine) rather than the caraway or fennel seeds.  

Serves:  6
Nutritional Information:
Calories:  54   Carbohydrate:  1 g   Protein:  0 g   Fat:  6 g   Cholesterol: 0mg   Fiber:  0.5 g   Sugar:  0 g   Sodium:  50 mg

Friday, January 13, 2012

Foodie Friday: Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce

Asian Meatballs
About a month ago, I had the pleasure of tasting a sample of grass-fed ground beef prepared by the very ranchers that helped raised the cattle that produced that ground beef.  That one bite was one of the most delicious bites of ground beef I've ever had. I had to ask how it was prepared, and the rancher-chef answered,  "Just a little bit of salt and pepper. That's it!"  I was sold instantly.  While I've made a variety of dishes with that ground beef purchase, one of my favorites so far has been these Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce.  I thought that these would be a nice dinner option because my kids tend to like meatballs, and my husband and I love food with an Asian flair.  My family has definitely enjoyed these scrumptious meatballs, and I envision them becoming a regular option on our dinner menu.  If you give them a try, let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce
Adapted from:, January 12, 2010

{Print this recipe}
Ingredients for the Asian Meatballs:
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (If you're going for gluten-free, then there are gluten-free bread crumbs available.)
1 pound grass-fed ground beef or 90% lean ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari (I use San-J Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce.)
2 tsp sesame oil

Ingredients for the Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce:
4 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp water
4 sprigs of fresh cilantro, for topping

1.  Preheat oven to 500F.
2.  Combine the bread crumbs, ground beef, egg, ginger, garlic, salt, chopped cilantro, 1 Tbsp tamari, and 2 tsp sesame oil in a bowl.  Mix together with your hands until well combined.  Form the meatballs using about 3 Tbsp of the meat mixture.  Transfer each meatball to a 13" x 9" baking dish, making sure they are about 1/2-inch apart.  Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
3.  While the meatballs are baking, prepare the dipping sauce by combining the remaining 4 Tbsp of tamari, 2 tsp of sesame oil, lime juice, and water. Stir together until well combined.
4.  When the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to a serving dish.  Stir the sauce and drizzle about 1 Tbsp of the dipping sauce over the meatballs.  Sprinkle with the cilantro sprigs.  Then serve the meatballs with the remaining sauce.
*This dish pairs well with steamed brown rice and steamed, roasted, grilled, or sauteed Asian vegetables, like bok choy or cabbage.

Serves:  4
Nutritional Information for about 3 meatballs:
Calories:  284   Carbohydrate:  4 g   Protein:  27 g   Fat:  17 g   Cholesterol:  127 mg   Fiber: 0.5 g   Sugar: 0 g   Sodium:  1287 mg
Excellent source of: riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, and zinc
Good source of:  potassium
*This dish is high in sodium due to the tamari.  If you'd like to minimize the sodium level, you can use less of the tamari and a little more water in the sauce and/or use less of the sauce.  My kids actually enjoyed these without any extra sauce.
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