The spiced pickled beets in this beautiful salad are made by fermentation, not vinegar. This way they are filled with natural probiotics that aid digestion.
It’s very easy. You just put all the ingredients in the jar and let it sit for three days and that’s it.
I’m going to give you a recipe for Spiced Pickled Beets. Then serve them in a bowl with sliced-in-half red grapes and pomegranate seeds on top. So good in so many ways.
I’m eating these almost every day for a mid-afternoon snack. I think a jar of these Spiced Pickled Beets would make a great holiday gift
Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I thought I would share with you my favorite Thanksgiving recipe.
This is my #1 favorite childhood family recipe. It’s mashed potatoes with ingredients you would add to potato salad: hard-boiled eggs, raw onions, fresh parsley, and vinegar. So it eats like mashed potatoes, but tastes like potato salad. I just looked this up online for the first time and I see there are other recipes for mashed potato salad that use mayonnaise and mustard and pickles, but my recipe is simpler. And it’s authentic to my family.
We only ate mashed potato salad twice a year: at Thanksgiving and Christmas. So as I share this with you, it is with fond memories and with love from my holiday table to yours.
I have made this so many times. This actually is my personal version. The version that was handed down to me was made with white onions and white vinegar, served at my great-aunt Ollie’s house in Saratoga, California. She lived in a beautiful house in a forest that she and her husband had built. It was all glass around the exterior so you could see the trees and deer, and had a big round fireplace in the middle with a big copper hood. And these potatoes were always on the table.
After my great-aunt died, holiday dinners were at my father’s house, but we still had mashed potato salad. His new wife wanted to use green onions and she and I would argue about how much vinegar to use. I, of course, thought it should be MY way because the potatoes were from MY family.
And even though i only make mashed potato salad twice a year, it connects me to my roots.
The idea for this recipe I think must have started one day—maybe ten years ago—when I was in a natural food store and saw a chocolate bar that contained greens. I thought this was odd because I didn’t want people to eat a chocolate bar with sugar in order to get the benefits of greens, and to me, adding greens to chocolate was just unthinkable.
But for some time I’ve been considering how to get the health benefits of chocolate without adding sweetener. And today I suddenly figured it out.
For several months I’ve been drinking an organic wholefood nutrition product from Touchstone Essentials called Super Green Juice. It contains 44 organic superfoods to alkalize, detox, energize and strengthen immunity, with no added sugar. Organic raspberry and apple flavors make it take sweet instead of like greens, which makes it a lot easier to drink.
I was wanting some chocolate and it was time to make my Super Greens Juice for the day. So I decided to just add the cocoa powder to the drink and see how it would taste.
Delicious! Tasted like a chocolate shake! I could drink this every day and probably will now.
I’m giving you two versions. One you can just mix in a glass with water and the other to make in a blender like a smoothie.
I’m so excited about this.
I prepare so much of my food at home that I now am wanting to make preparation as simple as possible.
So I decided to get some glass food storage that I can take from refrigerator or freezer to oven to table. I managed to find some that are both oven-safe and freezer-safe and I’m thrilled.
I eat a salad for lunch or dinner every day.
Now I buy my greens, bring them home, wash them, and store them in the refrigerator all proportioned in these glass containers. So on a weeknight, like tonight, it takes only minutes to make a salad by adding more vegetables and protein and dressing.
But here’s the best part. Washing the green in advance then chilling them in the refrigerator gives you very crisp greens in a very cold bowl. Wow.
It’s like when you go to a fancy restaurant and they serve very crisp lettuce on a very cold plate.
I’m going to go buy more of these containers on Saturday, so next week I can post a picture of all of them stacked up in my refrigerator.
Beets are one of my favorite vegetables to eat during autumn and winter. My local natural food store sells red beets and golden beets. I actually prefer the golden beets.
Beets are very easy to cook yourself. No need to buy them canned. And they taste much better than canned too.
Just preheat your oven to 350.
Place the beets in a glass baking dish and put a little water in the bottom (about 1/4 inch).
Scrub the beets and place them in the baking dish with skins on.
Cover with a piece of parchment paper and tuck it in around the edges.
Then bake until you can easily insert a knife. You want them to be cooked all the way through.
It might take 1-2 or more hours, depending on how large your beets are.
When they are well roasted, allow them to cool to the point where you can touch them without burning your fingers, but they are still warm.
As you cans ee in the photo, they just look black when you take them out of the oven, but when you peel them, there is a beautiful beet inside!
I have to admit that the green bean casserole is one of my favorite dishes on the Thanksgiving table. I love the creamy sauce and the crunchy fried onions on top.
But I don’t like making it with canned cream of mushroom soup and canned French fried onions and all their food additives and poor quality ingredients.
So I’ve been making my own for a number of years and loving it. I’ve been very much enjoying eating the sample I baked to take the photo for dinner for the last few days.
The ingredients for this version are simple: butter, mushrooms, onions, green beans, cream, and homemade french friend onion rings.
I use organic grass-fed cream for the cream, but you can try whole coconut milk or almond milk. I think these would work.
Also I bought a big 5 lb bag of organic green beans at Costco so I would have plenty.
The homemade French fried onions are so good it’s difficult to not eat them before you sprinkle them on top of the beans.
I love all the foods of autumn, but there is one that just so speaks to me of autumn, and that’s Caramelized Onions.
I want to tell you how to make them and then you can have them on hand to use in many different dishes.
It’s so simple to make them, I’m not even going to write a recipe.
What you need are some onions. You can use any kind. Just regular yellow onions are fine, but you could also use red onions. Shallots would just get lost if you caramelized them with other onions, but you could caramelize a pan of shallots and that would be wonderful. But just everyday yellow onions are spectacular all by themselves. And if you want, you can caramelized some garlic cloves with the onions too.
Now you need to choose the right size onions. You want a medium onion to be your unit of measure. One medium onion weighs 8 ounces and yields 1 cup chopped onions.
For each medium onion you need 1 tablespoon fat. Traditionally it’s butter or olive oil or a mix of the two, but coconut oil is just fine (and it tastes like butter when heated).
Chop the onions first. I just peel the onions, cut off the top and bottom, then cut them in half from top to bottom and again in half around the middle. And then I just slice those four pieces. No need to chop the onions into tiny bits.
Melt the fat over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook them slowly over medium heat, stirring every minute or so. Don’t let them stick. They will get browner and browner and browner. It takes about 20-30 minutes, but it’s worth it. The onions are caramelizewhen they turn a deep brown.
Let them cool, then put them in a glass jar and store in the refridgerator.
Now here’s something you can do with your caramelized onions. This soup will taste like you’ve been cooking it all day.
There’s really no recipe for this—it’s just organic carrots, celery, onions, parsnips, green beans and whole cloves of garlic—sautéed and simmered together in organic grass-fed butter.
But I was making this for myself for dinner tonight, and it looked so beautiful in the pan—especially with the purple carrots with orange centers—that I had to take a photo and share it with you.
They are selling organic rainbow carrots at my locally-owned natural food store here in Clearwater, Florida now, so they probably have them at your local natural food store too.
Food doesn’t have to be complex to be gorgeous and delicious and full of nutrients.
I’ve been watching a cooking show on the Food Network called “Giada in Italy,” in which Giada De Laurentis is visitis the Amfali Coast to learn about her family and local foods. I’ve been learning charming things about Italy. One day she told us about how one village grew tomatoes because it was more inland and warmer while the next village made pasta because they had seaside breezes to dry the pasta hanging on rooftops. The two villages would trade and everyone had pasta with tomato sauce.
A few weeks ago, Giada made a big sandwich that contained giardiniera in a jar. She told us that traditionally giardiniera is served at the beginning of Italian dinners.
Well that made sense to me because I knew that even though giardiniera is now made with vinegar—like pickles—originally it was a fermented food.
The word giardiniera is Italian for “from the garden.” Originally, it was made from whatever vegetables were left in the garden at the end of the harvest. So it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I can see that over time, homemakers didn’t wait for the end of the season, but made it with whatever leftover or seasonally abundant vegetables they had on hand.
Having made Garlic Dill Brine Pickles. I am becoming accustomed to simple fermentation, and eating home fermented vegetables instead of commercial probiotics. And that’s probably why it’s traditional to serve giardiniera at the beginning of Italian dinners—to populate the gut with microgranisms needed for good digestion. We can do the same.
Pickles are great for summertime, when cucumbers are available and affordable, but now that it’s autumn, I wanted to shift to seasonal vegetables, Thus giardiniera. I used colorful rainbow carrots, celery, onions, red bell pepper, and garlic.
The vegetables smelled so fresh and delicious as I chopped them. And I used the whole vegetable. The chopped vegetables went into the giardiniera bowl and the trimmings went into a soup pot to make a vegetable broth, which now is lentil soup. No waste here. I got every bit of nutrition from these vegetables.
After fermenting the giardiniera for four days it is…oh so delicious! I just took the vegetables out of the ferment and I’m just sitting here eating them as I’m typing. The vegetables themselves are a bit mellower but with a pickle-like crunch and an aliveness from the fermentation. I’m even drinking the brine, which is full of nutrition. Oh yum!
I LOVE these little bites of summer sweetness. And they are so easy to make.
I use these in a lot of ways. I put them in salads along with fresh tomatoes for a wonderful intense tomato flavor. You can use them as a substitute for canned tomato paste in any sauce and as a replacement for expensive sun-dried tomatoes in any recipe. I just put them in whatever I am eating and even just eat them all by themselves. I often eat them right out of the pan when I take them out of the oven.
You can roast any tomatoes, but I like to roast cherry or grape tomatoes because they are sweetener and already bite-sozed. The photo shows red and yellow and purple tomatoes. This is because I buy boxes of tomatoes with all these colors together at my local natural food store.
While tomatoes are in season now during the summer, it’s a good time to make a lot of roasted tomatoes. You can store them in the freezer to use the, throughout the year (if you can keep from eating them right away!).