Beet and Lentil Dip

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Inspired by Hummus. On the right is Beet and Lentil dip.
Ingredients:
  1. 1 large roasted or boiled beet
  2. 1/2 cup of cooked green or black lentils
  3. lemon zest
  4. garlic clove
  5. 2 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
  6. 2 tbsp of tahini
  7. sea salt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pair with cut veggies and/or pita bread.

Note: This dip is sweeter than hummus. Feel free to add any other ingredients to enhance flavors. Get creative and make it your own.

Enjoy!

© 2013 sweatdaily

Food… doesn’t have to be fatty.

I hate to admit it, but I was getting into a rut, ordering the same take out food, from the same Thai restaurant everyday. The only reason I didn’t get fat was because I was only having time to eat one meal a day. But just because I wasn’t fat doesn’t mean I was healthy. A person can still be skinny, by eating processed meats, fatty dairy, and simple carbs, if the calories consumed don’t exceed far from their BMR. ¬†However, being skinny does not equal to healthy, with a diet that consists of daily Thai take out. With a diet like that, one will have a high body fat percentage, high LDL cholesterol- clogged arteries, an unhealthy heart.

But thankfully I am an athlete. Being a runner saved me from the health risks. But I still needed to find a way to get out of these bad eating habits, because they were making me feel bad about myself.  Yes, I was so busy at work, that finding time to plan meals began to seem nonexistent, so I decided to make meal planning a priority.

In the beginning of January 2012, I, along with everyone else in America made a New Years Resolution. But this time, I was not going to be typical. I wanted to choose a challenge that I could be creative with. So I decided my New Years Resolution would be to try a new exotic food once a week. This was actually a really fun and easy resolution to stick to. It forced me to explore Whole Foods, MOM’s Organic Market, the local Farmer’s Markets, and Trader Joe’s, in search for a new and different flavor.

Most of the time, I bought a unique piece of produce, beets being on the top of the list. However, I also tried Almond Milk, different types of tea, grains such as quinoa, beans such as lentils, and many more. I cooked with organic pumpkin for the first time. Sometimes I picked up a piece of produce and pondered what it was, but most of the time I was familiar with the food, but never stepped out of my comfort zone, to purchase it and try to cook with it. Trust, me I have read all of the books, watched all of the documentaries, and although I learned a lot from them, what I really needed were recipes. So I started following tons of vegan and food blogs to get ideas.

Boy, what a difference a year can make. Now I can’t remember the last time I had Thai take out. And when I do have any sort of heavy unhealthy food like that, I regret it and feel sick. My stomach just can’t tolerate it. By having that New Years Resolution, I am now planning more meals, cooking more, eating clean healthy whole foods.

So now to the point of this blog post…

Although, everyone now is probably just finishing up with their Thanksgiving leftovers and starting to shift into the Christmas/Hanukkah spirit. I wanted to share with you the dishes I cooked this Thanksgiving.

I cooked a side dish of Roasted Root Vegetables.

I didn’t use a recipe. I just kind of made it up along the way.

Ingredients

  1. purple beets
  2. golden beets
  3. shallots
  4. garlic
  5. carrots
  6. turnip
  7. olive oil
  8. sea salt
  9. pepper
  10. rosemary
  11. sage

Directions

  1. Preheat oven for 350-400
  2. Wash the beats and cut the ends off.
  3. Peal the skin off. Some people cook the beets with the skin on. It is okay to eat the skins.
  4. Wrap each beet in foil with olive oil and salt.
  5. Place each foiled beet on a baking sheet or cupcake pan.
  6. Place beets in oven – cook until beets are soft and sweet, about 1 hour 45 minutes.

turnip and foil.

  1. Cook Turnips the same way as beets.

  1. Wash and peel carrots.
  2. Cut off ends
  3. Place carrots in a glass baking pan with olive oil, garlic, shallots, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper.
  4. Cover with foil.
  5. Place in oven.
  6. Cook for 1 hour.
  7. Unfold beets and turnip from foil.

  1. Cut beets and turnip into small chunks
  2. Combine with carrots and other vegetables.

Greens

  1. Wash the greens from the beet tops
  2. Place greens in a stove top skillet with olive oil.
  3. Let greens wilt.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar.
  5. Combine with other root vegetables.

Final Result

This was a pretty healthy and delicious, side dish! Not to hard to prepare. I highly recommend you try it!

© 2012  sweatdaily

 

My whole house smells like pumpkin…

I have always had a love/ hate relationship with food. 

Let me explain…

Here is the love part: I love food. I have always considered myself some what of a foodie. When I was a child, I hated Mac & Cheese. I hated grilled cheese. I just wasn’t down with the kid’s menu. Instead, I always indulged with maybe a plate of hot wings, mussels, or a half dozen Maryland Bay Crabs. The point is I have always enjoyed unique food with big flavor. I am not scared to explore, and I am always open to try new foods from all nationalities.

Now here is the hate part:¬†The problem with enjoying a variety of different foods, is that sometimes I feel that I have a hard time disciplining myself to eat a certain way. I would love to be vegan, and although I know eating a plant based diet is by far one of the healthiest ways to eat, I just can’t label myself. I’m not going to lie, some mornings I just want an iced Chai Lattes with skim milk. So for now, I am eating mainly plant based, and meat/dairy is consumed in moderation – some days are meatless, some days are dairy free. Plus I try to purchase all of my meat/dairy as organic, and on the rare occasions when organic isn’t available I go for kosher.

Some nevers and always: I rarely eat red meat. I rarely eat pork products. I never eat ground meats of any kind. I never eat processed meats or eggs. I never buy milk. I always buy wild caught fish.

More of the hate part:¬†I don’t think I am a bad cook, but I am still learning, and sometimes my 30 minute meals takes two hours. So as you can see, cooking is time consuming. It also takes a lot of planning. You need to plan the meal, buy the ingredients. All of this is a struggle for me. Sometimes it is just easier to eat out.

My favorite types of Blogs

So my new obsession is actually health food blogs, especially vegan ones. I love reading them, and learning new ways to prepare veggies. One blog that I just recently came across is called Super Foodie Adventure. Last night, I actually made one of the recipes found on her blog and it came out awesome. The recipe is called  Beetroot and Pumpkin Dahl with smashed Avocado and Coriander.

Here are some pictures of my attempt of cooking this recipe.

chopped up onions, good in most meals.

3 garlic cloves, smashed up, way better than finely chopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By cooking this soup, I got to use pumpkin for the first time. I never took a whole pumpkin and pealed it and cut it into cubes, until now. My whole house smelled lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

Also in my recipe I used golden beets instead of the purple ones used in the original recipe. This was my first time cooking and eating golden beets. They have less messy juice, and they taste a little less strong.

Everything in the pot cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really also love the Indian flavors used in the dish.  I also found it really shocking of how satisfied and full I felt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used this rice and lentil medley in the soup as well. Everything is very healthy, filling, full of flavor. When all ingredients are cooked you put the soup in a blender or food processor to blend and pulse the soup, then you top it off with smashed up avocado and cilantro.

Anyway, those are the pictures I have so far of the healthy ingredients I used for this recipe. I am really enjoying reading food blogs. It is making me try new food combos I would have never thought of trying. It is also educating me on healthy foods especially produce I would have never bought or cooked.

Always open minded, and pushing my limits physically and mentally. 

Questions for you…

  1. Who is your favorite food blogger?
  2. What is the most interesting veggie dish you have prepared?

© 2012