Welcome!It is a lot of fun to share a few health benefits of the featured foods in the recipes. Psychologically, it makes you feel good about what you are eating, at least it does me anyway and the jury is still out on how weird I am Please bear with me while I tease you with some nutritional mumbo jumbo.
Beets contain betalains which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to the body, as well as assist in detoxification. It is thought that betanin pigments might decrease tumor cell growth, with the possible anti-cancer benefits we may see them used in the future for potential cancer prevention and treatment.
The beet greens contain lutein which is great for eye health, as well as some vitamins, so when you cut them off be sure to save them for another time. My husband loves to add them to green smoothies.
Sunflower seeds are a source of protein, and contain phytochemicals, which are thought to help protect against heart disease, cancer, and high cholesterol. Our favorite way to eat them is raw. Watch out for added oils and salt on the package labels. Although they are nutritious, be careful how many you consume because they are high in calories.
Ingredients (yields 1 – 2 servings, depending on size of beets)
- 4 beets, washed and greens removed
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1/16 tsp. white pepper (or a pinch)
Dijon Vinaigrette Ingredients
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 – 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice, or juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1/16 tsp. white pepper
- 4 Basil leaves, chiffonade (cut in strips)
- 2 tsp. parsley, fresh lightly chopped
- 1 tsp. raw sunflower seeds, shelled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In an oven safe baking dish with a lid, toss beats in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 1 hour. (*Tip – If you don’t have a lid simply cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.)
When the beets are done cooking, set them aside to cool slightly until they are able to handle. When cooled remove the peel, and cut into bite size chunks, about 1 inch.
Meanwhile make the vinaigrette. In a very small sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until garlic is slightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium size bowl, combine lemon juice, Dijon, salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and sunflower seeds. Add the sautéed garlic along with all of the olive oil from the pan. Whisk until well combined.
If you have not already done so, peel and cut beets. Toss beets into the vinaigrette until everything is well coated.
Serve and enjoy!
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With love, gratitude, & yummy bites,
p.s. We really loved this recipe, so if you’re deciding between a few vegetable sides I would pick this one!