Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beets and Orange Salad in White Balsamic Vinegar



Do you know how to cook fresh beets?  It's easy, and you don't have to peel them. You simply scrub them, boil them with skin till tender, slide off the skin, and eat them. Cooking beets looks intimidating, but it's really really easy. If you do decide to cook some,  you can try  this simple, tasty, cold recipe that makes a great side for a BBQ or a tasty accompaniment for any dinner on a hot summer night. I love the color combination of the ruby red beets and vibrant oranges. It makes a beautiful presentation.


I haven't cooked fresh beets in a long time. Despite loving beets, I always think cooking them is going to be too messy. But it's summer, and fresh  beets are in the farmer's markets and all the CSA's. I've really been craving them, so I decided to go for it. 

                       fresh beets

Someone once told me not to cut any part of the beet before boiling it. They said by not cutting you will reduce the bleeding ( and mess) . The method seemed to work. I just scrubbed the beets well and threw them into a pot of boiling water and boiled them until they were soft. I used a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water, rubber gloves so my hands didn't turn red, and just slid off the cooked skin with my fingers.. ( it was a little messy but fast and easy, and worth it.)

Once the skin ( which is very thin) just slid off, I then sliced my beets in 1/2 moons and displayed them on a plate. I also had some oranges which I sliced and laid them around the beets and squeezed a little of the juice on the beets as well . I then sprinkled the beets with white balsamic vinegar (  I bought at Trader Joe's - love that place- and dove in.. Absolutely delicious.

Boiled and skinned beet ; Takes 10 seconds -  skin slips right off 
While I'm on the beet kick, I might even make some beet borscht,  which is a great cold soup on a hot summer day

Power Up Your Diet !  Beets are an excellent source of immune building antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including iron.  In addition, they are very

  • low in calories ( about 45 calories a cup) 
  • high in fiber 
  • have zero cholesterol
  • almost no fat 
  • provide cardiovascular benefits 
  • rich in potassium 
 Potassium is known to help lower heart rate and balance the metabolism within the cells by opposing the negative effects of sodium.

It's such a healthy vegetable for your family and because beets are sweet , even little one's may eat them
 ( probably not the older ones if they are not used to them) I always use organic beets because they are always available at my supermarket,  and they taste so darned good .. and actually they are about the same price as regular fresh beets!

I found the white Balsamic Vinegar at Trader Joe's. I had never heard of it before, but it looked intriguing. I tried it out on this recipe. I think it tastes more like regular vinegar, but it was non the less delicious.

Like watermelon, beets feel cooling to me in this hot weather. Maybe because I serve them cold.

Do you like beets? How do you cook them? Do you have any good beet recipes to share? Looking forward to your comments! Please leave one.
I will be sharing this every day on the daily blog parties on  

My blog carnival list

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Are You Ready to Lose Weight?

Last June I featured a guest blogger who is a weight loss coach. Everyone really loved her health conscious  approach to eating and ideas for weight loss ( including her knowledge about Paleo diet and gluten free diets)  Jedha's guest post turned out to be the second most popular post in the history of my three year blog!  Now, a year later, her post continues to circulate on Pinterest and continues to be very popular on a daily basis.

The idea of a weight loss coach really resonates with me. How many times have we heard people say,
"Oh sure that celebrity can lose weight because she has a personal coach who guides her, coaches her, supports her"! How many times have I heard people say, " I could lose weight too if I had that kind of personal support"..

Although we would all love the luxury of a personal weight loss coach,  we also know  that personal coaching can be expensive and perhaps out of our reach or more than we want to spend. It's for celebrities like Oprah and Jaylo !

Well , recently I received an Email from  Jedha ( my guest blogger).  She wrote to let me know that she is using her years of experience working with weight loss and coaching health to offer  a weight loss bookcamp which will focus on health conscious eating of real food, fitness, and fun! ( focuses on Paleo and Gluten Free) at a really affordable low low price.

I wanted to find out more, so she sent me all of the information.I usually don't share or endorse anything that I don't know that much about. However, this 8 week on line/webinar program looks so well planned out and offers so much at an early bird very low  price , I agreed to be an affiliate for it. I read through everything and this is my

opinion /evaluation of what she is offering in the program.

Personally, I have always struggled with weight issues. I eat healthy food, exercise, and live a clean lifestyle. Sometimes, that just isn't enough. In her note to me. The information explains that sometimes weight loss is also about our hormones and imbalances which are  the things that can keep weight on us and contribute to belly fat ! That makes sense to me. I would love to learn how to restore balance.

I can't even begin to tell you what I've paid in the past for programs that wanted me to starve myself or eat in a way that was not healthy. She says her program is not about shakes, or starving, or unhealthy eating;  it's about good solid healthy food, fitness, fun, community, learning, and support.

What I like the best is that Jedha says she treats each person as an individual . Her pamplet says,   "YOU are an individual and I’ll help guide you from where YOU are now to where you want to go!"
I joined a program once that I was really excited about, but the exercise program that I had to do each day was so difficult I couldn't keep up- so I just gave up. Since Jedha individualizes the program ,that is really a bonus to me.

I also think that  you can't beat this value for what you are getting.
This is  her introductory 1st time doing program and offer.
Jedha says, "  This program will NEVER be offered at such a great price again!"  .

Here some additional things I like about Jedha's program :  

  1. It offers a community forum to share stories, experiences and get support! Love it !!
  2. There are live Webinars every week - this is really helpful
  3. she actually gives you four weeks of breakfast, lunch, and dinners ideas and shopping lists! Yay!!
  4. She gives you access to a  Complete Data Base of her healthy recipes. Jedha has some great recipes
  5. She gives you access to a Complete Data Base of home workout plans- Love that you can do them at home
  6. She is a fitness trainer, nutritionist, and health coach
  7. The program is individualized to suit me and my needs

Honestly, I really feel that I can't lose weight alone. I need support to help keep me on track. Otherwise I lose and gain and never quite get to the weight I want. This type of support and  healthy eating, hormonal balance, fitness, program could be very helpful to me. What a difference 10-20-30 pounds makes in the way we look. 
I know that for me , summer is a great time to work on my weight. I'm outdoors more, more active, and more visible. I can't cover up with sweaters and coats. If you think you would like to know more. 
Here is her link so you can evaluate the 8 week program for yourself:

                     click here for : Bootcamp Information

What kind of programs have you been most successful with? Please leave a comment and let me know if you are thinking about joining Jedha's Best You Bookcamp for the 8 weeks of education, support, and fitness!

Disclaimer: Jedha offered me an opportunity to be an affiliate for her bootcamp. I am compensated for my affiliation and it helps defray the cost of maintaining this blog. I am not recommending the program. Please evaluate Jedha's boot camp program for yourself at your own risk and always check with your doctor before starting any kind of weight loss program.

May be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals
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Monday, June 24, 2013

What is Bloglovin???

If you are one of the 309 followers/bloggers who follow my blog through Google Friend Connect, you won't be following me after another week because Google Friend Connect will no longer exist!!.
Join this site
Members (309More »

So, we all need to find a new way to follow each other. I am now using  Bloglovin .It is a new way to follow each other and many bloggers are now switching to it.. It's kind of the new Google Friends Connect.

 So,  Unless , you re- sign up to re- follow me on Google +, personal email subscription, or Bloglovin  we will lose touch.

However, I am still following you. Because this is what I did..
1. I signed up for Bloglovin
2. If you click to go there, there is a prompt to transfer all the blogs you follow from GFC to a new Bloglovin reader, so you don't lose the blogs you follow. Takes 10 seconds
3. I transferred all of you and now your blog posts all appear on myFollow Me on Bloglovin   reader. 
4. I receive a daily email with all the new posts from the blogs that I follow! I don't miss your posts.
5. So, click over to Bloglovin  and get started. Then transfer all of the blogs you follow( took 10 seconds) just one click and you will be set! 

**(If you are now receiving my posts in your email, you are fine; There is nothing to do ; you will continue to receive them in your email)- do nothing

Now, if you prefer you can receive my recipes each time I post in your email( Just look at the upper right side of my blog and fill in your email address in the box that says subscribe or Follow me on Google+ or Follow me on Bloglovin

1. Import feeds from your Google Reader account
To import all the blogs you follow on Google Reader to Bloglovin, just click
2. Download the iPhone app
With the bloglovin’ iPhone app, you can now read all your favorite blogs 24/7. Get ithere.

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Sweet Potato Smash

Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

I thought of  this idea for rosemary smashed sweet potatoes because last week I made crispy crunchy hot smashed rosemary hot white potatoes. The white potatoes were really fabulous, but I tend to want to limit my potato consumption because of the high starch and sugar content.  Did you know that sweet potatoes are not really a potato ( is a tuber) ?  Sweet potatoes are roots and are loaded with dietary fiber that helps regulate blood sugar levels even in diabetics.


Sweet Potatoes are actually low in Sugar and High in Nutrients
Unlike most starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes are actually low in sugar. In addition, sweet potatoes are one of the best sources for beta carotene which raises our levels of Vitamin A, a great source of potassium which helps prevent muscle cramps and is needed for a healthy heart. The benefits of sweet potatoes are impressive including that they are very high in health protecting antioxidants, they are anti-inflammatory, and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Most athletic trainers will include sweet potatoes in their daily diet. The darker the variety of sweet potato, the greater the benefit.

Looking for a fast side dish that kids will eat? 
This is a vegetable that kids will eat because sweet potatoes taste sweet. Adding this real food to your kids diet could be extremely beneficial to adding some healthy nutrients. Isn't that what we want? Want kids with better moods, kids who can concentrate in school, and kids that have great immune systems? They need real food to see real results ( real food are foods from farms that have not been previously cooked for you) like fruit and vegetables that you bring home and eat and cook. Try Sweet potato chili or  Sweet Potato Fries
Healthy Sweet potato fries
 Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

The best and fastest way to cook and eat sweet potatoes:

Already steamed sweet potatoes laid out on a cookie sheet

Research has shown that simply steaming this vegetable brings out its greatest nutritional benefits.

place in any large pot
I use a little steamer basket which I  place in a large pot and add enough water to slightly cover the steamer. I them scrub the potatoes well, place them in the steamer basket, cover the pot and allow to boil for about 10 - 20 minutes.( They may not lay straight, but that's ok - important thing is to cover the pot so steam is created)  The sweet potatoes will be soft, tender, and delicious. As with most vegetables, a little fat is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins, so mash with a little oil, butter, or avocado or sprinkle with nuts!

How to choose and store sweet potatoes
Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and not wrinkled and keep away from any potatoes that have some green discoloration ( which is toxins) Do not store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, open space and not in plastic bags. They can keep for about 10 days.

smashed sweet potatoes 

Sweet Potato Smash Recipe ( Yum) 
Now I'm getting back to the Smashed Rosemary Potatoes I made last week. So I started to think how much we loved them and I wondered how they would taste if I substituted sweet potatoes. Well, I tried it and it was awesome. In my excitement to serve them, I forgot to take pictures but you can follow the same steps and pics that I showed for the smashed potatoes from last week. or just follow the easy directions.

These taste every bit as good and sweet as candied yams that we eat on Thanksgiving but without any sweetener.


8-10 medium deep orange sweet potatoes, steamed in their skin ( or any amount you want 1 per person)
1/ 4 cup Rosemary ( fresh or dried)
Olive oil
Covered cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet  with parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray. Lay steamed sweet potatoes out on the baking tray. Smash each one with a slotted spoon ( the top layer of skin will come off , so remove it. Drizzle with olive oil ( or olive oil spray) rosemary. Bake for 25-35 minutes.
The sweet potatoes skin will get crunchy and the sweet potato will get drier and sweeter. The taste is amazing. My company raved about them.

 will be share on Some of the following carnivals: Blog Carnivals

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rosemary Smashed Potatoes

One potato, two potato, three potato, four; with these Smashed potatoes, you will want more!

So simple and easy to make, yet they taste really exceptional. In addition, they are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, and Vegan;  Perfect for everybody.

We absolutely loved these spicy smashed potatoes!. I found this recipe on an interesting blog called Sew What's Cooking with Joan  which is my Surprise Recipe Swap partner for the month of June.

 These potatoes are crispy, crunchy, and very easy to make. You'll love them as a side dish for any meal,  perfect for a BBQ or enjoy loaded with Greek yogurt for a yummy lunch.

They are supposed to be baked with fresh rosemary, but I couldn't find any.  I wish I had had some, I'm sure it looks prettier and tastes better with it.  ( Next Time) ..


8 medium red potatoes, boiled ( not peeled) and set aside
Olive oil spray
Fresh Rosemary ( I didn't have any, so I substituted other herbs)
Kosher Salt
Cracked Pepper
Any herbs and spices of choice

Drain the boiled potatoes and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Using a large slotted spoon, smash each potato on the cookie sheet. Rotate 90 degrees and smash again. Spray potatoes with olive oil spray ( or drizzle with olive oil )  and sprinkle with the rosemary, kosher salt, cracked pepper and any other herbs you desire. Bake for 20-25 minutes at a preheated 450 degree oven.


smash the potatoes with a slotted spoon

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