Turkey Beet Chili

I am back! Wow, this has been a crazy busy fall for me! After the wedding excitement of the summer, I hit the ground running as I rejoined the real world. I coach in addition to teaching, so the fall season tends to be a blur for me. We started our volleyball season in mid August, and it has been non-stop since then. My husband has been incredible at picking up my cooking slack, but now I am ready to get back in the kitchen! After an undefeated volleyball season, a county championship title, 39 mile walk for breast cancer, plus bonding with my wonderful new students, I am back with more ideas than ever!

Unfortunately, our beautiful garden is turned down for winter. We picked the last of our beets, so I wanted to mix the fresh garden flavor with the comfort food of fall. Beet Chili it is!

1 medium onion – chopped
3 cloves garlic – minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large beets – peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
1 can chick peas – drained and rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and brown the onions and garlic. Lower heat and stir in beets.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the turkey. Drain and add to the beet pot.
3. Stir in chick peas, cumin, chili powder, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Reduce to low heat, and allow to simmer for at least one hour.

Beet Red Quinoa

We did it! Our very own beets from our garden! I love beets, but get stuck making the same dishes over and over. I decided to try something new, and I sure am glad that I did! If you aren’t here for the paleo version, stir in some crumbled goat cheese for a treat!
3 medium beets – peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 small red onion – cut into thin strips
1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Stirring frequently, sauté onion for 5 minutes or until it begins to caramelize.
2. Add apple cider vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan for about one minute.
3. Add beets, chicken stock, and quinoa. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer while stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked.

Sweet Grilled Beet and Chicken Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

I started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge again today in preparation for our wedding that is very rapidly approaching. I started this blog because recipes were so hard to find while on the challenge, so expect a lot of postings in the near future.

As I have said before, I am a beet freak. Well, our garden beets are ready! This will be our first time tasting our garden creation! My fiancé and his kids went strawberry picking last weekend, which has led to a surplus of strawberries around here, so why not turn the, into a delicious dressing?

2 chicken breasts
3 medium beets – peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 head of lettuce – washed and cut into salad sized pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegrette
3 strawberries
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
Salt & pepper

1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir together beets, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
3. While the beets are cooking, drizzle 1Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper over the chicken breasts. Grill for about 5 minutes per side until done.
4. While chicken is cooking, blend together the strawberries, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth and set vinaigrette
5. Top a large pile of lettuce with chicken, beets, and walnuts, and drizzle vinaigrette on top.

Simple Grilled Beet Salad

My beet-freak-ness has struck again! I had a meeting with an Arbonne consultant yesterday. She had a fresh produce box on her counter, and I brought up that I missed getting my fresh boxes. Before I knew it, I was walking out the door with makeup primer and a fresh bunch of beets!

Tonight, I am on my own for dinner, so I don’t feel bad making just a big salad (not that my fiancé would ever complain about it, he loves them too). Even better is that it gave me a chance to thin out some more of our garden’s lettuce, which is growing like a weed!

3 medium beets
1 head of lettuce of your choice- washed and chopped
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup goat cheese (optional)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1Tbsp. Orange juice
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/4 small onion cut into slivers

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients except onions. When thoroughly mixed, add onions and set to the side.
2. Peel the beets and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Beets will stain your hands and countertops. Gloves and bleach clean up spray are good ideas.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the beets, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
4. Preheat the girl to medium high heat. Grill beets for 10 minutes per side or until they reach desired doneness.
5. While the beets are cooking, plate the lettuce and drizzle with dressing. Once beets are done, top your mound of lettuce with them and add walnuts and optional goat cheese.

Beets & Balls

Sometimes you wind up with an unexpected menu item that you have to create a meal using. I was sitting in my classroom when a student that isn’t even my student showed up. I had a conversation in passing with him yesterday about the incredible store in town that he works at. It is a little shop that sells all locally grown produce and products. As a part of this conversation, my love of beets came up. Today, he arrived to my classroom with a giant smile and presented me with some beautiful golden beets. Yes, I jumped up and gave him a bear hug!

I made this recipe with my grandmother in mind. Occasionally she would put raisins and pine nuts in her meatballs. It adds just the right amount of sweet to the meal. With Nanny as my inspiration, I decided to make my turkey meatballs over a bed of roasted beet slivers with goat cheese and toasted walnuts. It is not paleo, but it is a Friday night, so it is time to cheat a bit! Yummy!

1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 medium bunch of golden beets
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, pepper, and basil to taste

1. Make the meatball mixture by mixing the turkey, bread crumbs, egg, and basil in a large bowl. Make golf ball sized meatballs.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3. Preheat a large skillet over high heat. Drizzle a bit of olive oil to coat the pan. Add the meatballs an brown them by frequently turning. Cook until brown on all sides.
4. Transfer the meatballs to a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
5. While the meatballs are baking, wash, peel, and very thinly slice the beets.
6. In a large bowl, mix the beets with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the slices on a baking sheet and put in the oven when there are 15 minutes remaining for the meatballs.
7. Serve by placing the beets on the plate and sprinkling with as much goat cheese and toasted walnuts as you wish. Top with a mound of meatballs and enjoy!

Campfire Buffalo and Beets

There’s nothing like a camping trip! This trip is to the Taylor Family Campground on the Delaware Water Gap. We are heading out on a two night trip, which will involve hiking the Appalachian Trail and checking out the Lakota Wolf Reserve. This will be my first time camping on my modified Paleo Diet, and it has made planning ahead even harder than the typical camping trip. How am I going to do this without s’mores??

As I type this, my fridge is full of yummy goodies for the weekend. I will prepare this meal before we hit the road so that it is ready to throw on the fire as soon as we get set up. When we return, I will update this entry with pictures of my campfire creation….for now, fingers crossed that everything will turn out delicious.

Ingredients (and supplies needed for the campfire):
2 buffalo medallions
1 clove garlic – minced
1/4 cup Worcester sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I use the Splenda blend)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Cast iron skillet
Silicon pot holder
Firewood, newspaper, kindling, and a lighter

Before the trip:
1. To create the marinade, whisk together garlic, Worcester sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
2. Place the buffalo medallions in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over them. Remove all air from the bag before sealing and then pack in the cooler.
3. Peel the beets and cut into 1 inch chunks. Remember, they will stain your hands and countertops. You may choose to use gloves, and make sure to clean up with bleach.
4. In a medium bowl, stir the beets with the olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat them.
5. Using heavy duty aluminum foil, wrap the beets in a packet that will be thrown right into the fire to cook. Place the packet in the cooler for the trip to the campsite.

Upon getting into camp:
1. Get the fire roaring! Hint: use way more kindling than you anticipate needing.
2. Once the flames have died down you will have nice embers. Place the beet foil packet right into the Embers. They will need 40 minutes to cook.
3. With about 15 minutes left for the beets to cook, place the cast iron skillet on the embers to heat up for 5 minutes.
4. Cook the steaks to your preferred doneness on the skillet. 3-4 minutes per side will give you a juicy medium rare!
5. Using the potholder, remove the beet packet from the fire and carefully unwrap.
6. Serve a mound of beets with a juicy buffalo steak, and make sure to pour yourself a glass (or plastic cup….we are camping after all) of red wine.20130602-105307.jpg