Roasted Beets Balsamic-Braised Beet Greens

Three of the Daily Dozen: Greens, other vegetables, herbs & spices

When you take on a challenge—cook a new recipe each week—and announce it to hundreds of people via your newsletter and you’re not so keen on cooking, challenges will visit. Tim never agreed to be the taster in this challenge, but he is.  Then when you decide to cook something you love—Edith & beets—and it happens to be the same thing Mr. Tim the taster refers to as his worst childhood eating memories, you spend time strategizing.

Beets are super good for us. The have a compound (nitrate) that relaxes and dialed blood vessels turning them into an uncrowded highway to deliver nutrients and improve blood flow. Will that win Tim over? Dr. Greger’s book says, “If yo’ve never been a fan of beets, it may be because you have never had them roasted.”  I was going to trick Tim into eating them so he can have his own highway.

1 bunch medium beets with greens
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (I forgot to buy one so it’s not included)
1 t dried oregano
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 t date sugar
1 t grate orange zest
Ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the greens from the beets, rinse them well, remove and discard any large systems, and set aside. The chunks should be about the same size.

Line a large baking dish with parchment paper and place the beets and onions in a single layer. Season with oregano and cover tightly. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, then uncover, stir, return them to the oven, uncovered to roast for 10 minutes longer or until they are tender.

Finally chop the beat greens and transfer to a skillet with quarter of a cup of water. Cook over medium heat stirring the greens are just tender. Takes about three minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and date sugar. Increase the heat to medium high and cook until the vinegar has reduced to a syrup consistency. Done.

Remove from the oven. Cut beats into wedges and pull away and discard the outer skin. Transfer beets and onions to a serving dish. Top with a balsamic greens, and add the orange zest, tossing lightly to coat. Black pepper sprinkle if you wish.


The Meal:
“What are the vegetables?” Tim is moving a beet away from his piece of animal protein.

“Beets and red onion,” I had no choice but to tell him. His expression is not one of delight.

“My mother…” he starts.

“I know and you hated them. But these are roasted.” I speak with great confidence for a woman who is eating this recipe for the first time.

“Yes, they are different,” he says putting on his most cooperative hat.

Tim didn’t offer up an opinion unless sliding 90% of his serving of beet onto my plate between the broccoli and bean burger is an answer.


Mango-Avocado-Kale Salad with Orange Dressing

Four of the Daily Dozen: Other fruits, greens, nuts & seeds, and herbs & spice

Lunch and leftovers go together. But only if you have leftovers. And no matter what day, lunchtime always comes around. Tuesday of this week, I made lunch my recipe of the week.

The “easy” Mango-Avocado-Kale salad has three ingredients, mango, avocado, and kale.  Kale is high in fiber, avocado with fatty acids and LDL fighter, and mango that tastes so darn good.

Off to the grocery store and no pre-washed kale or ripe avocado to be found.  When you don’t plan ahead, you pay the price. So, instead I bought a mix of greens, spinach, chard, and the third green has left the memory bank. But, all healthy stuff.

The salad was easy peasy, but the dressing had too many ingredients to qualify as “easy.” I doubled the dressing so my efforts could be enjoyed longer or tossed out sooner.

Orange Dressing Recipe:

1/2 orange, peeled
1 T rice vinegar
2 T tahini
1 1/2 t grated fresh ginger (calms
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T minced green onion
2 t missed fresh parley or cilantro
1 t white miso paste
1 t date syrup
1/4 t ground turmeric


Put dressing ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.

Salad: 5 cups of greens, 1 ripe mango and 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Toss. Add dressing.

Tim was golfing so he missed out on this little eating treasure. So no comments from hubby. I ate all 4 servings for lunch and talked Tim into going to Tijuana Flats with me that night instead of making a Big A Salad he’d planned to fix.

Recipe comes from: The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease

Beans & Greens Quesadillas

Five of the Daily Dozen (beans, greens, other vegetables, herbs and spices, whole grains).

This was of medium difficulty to cook and if not for the truth that I’m an exceptionally messy cook I might say it was easy.  Before sitting down for lunch, Tim looked around the kitchen and put on an apron preparing for after-lunch-clean-up like a soldier getting ready for battle. Before he could ask I answered, “No, I only cooked one meal.”

True to himself, Tim grabbed a leftover burger to eat with my new creation. Over the years his skepticism of cooking without oil and butter has waned. Waned but not departed. I suspect observing his kitchen, chard pieces on the floor, red onion skin next to the garbage can, and cloves of garlic diving into the garbage disposal to get away looked like a cyclone had dropped by. Nope. Just Edith.

“This is so good,” the man in the apron announces, “it’s hard to believe it’s healthy.”

The Savory Spice Blend is optional. I used it. I used 1T nutritional yeast (B12 and cheese taste), next time I’ll use 2T like the recipe calls for. I’d wondered if my mac&cheese failure was too much nutritional yeast, but at present moment don’t think that was to blame.


1 small red onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch chard
2 tomatoes, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped
15.5 oz. salt free can of cannellini, drained and rinsed
2 T nutritional yeast
1 t chili powder
Savory Spice Blend
4 (10-inch) whole-grain tortillas


Heat 1/4 cup of water in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and softened, about 5 minutes. Add chard and tomatoes, and cook until greens are tender, five or so minutes.

While greens are cooking, mash beans and stir in the nutritional yeast, chili powder, and Savory Spice Blend if you are using it. If you like your quesadillas hot, add a healthy hot sauce to taste. Mix well.

Drain off remaining liquid from greens mixture and stir into bean mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Divide the filling among the tortillas, spread evenly over half of each. Fold the top half of the tortilla over the filling. Press down lightly to hold it together. Place them in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Cook each side until browned.

Add salsa and enjoy.

Again, No salt, sugar, or fat.




Skillet Sweet Potato Hash

Six of the Daily Dozen (beans, cruciferous vegetables, other vegetables, herbs and spices).

The Skillet Sweet Potato Hash was medium easy to make, but not quick and easy. Tim baked himself chicken in case 1. it was uneatable, or 2. it wasn’t enough food to sate.

Half-way through the meal he announced that this meal was a “keeper.” Seriously, he doesn’t get that after this cooking marathon I’m going back to “not” cooking? He also said it would taste really good with fried eggs. No salt, sugar, or fat.



1 med. sweet potato peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 small red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped
15.5 oz. salt free black or red beans, drained and rinsed
2 to 3 t Savory Spice Blend
1/4 t cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
3 to 4 T Umami Sauce

Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the sweet potato on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes; then add the cauliflower to the pan. Continue to roast until the sweet potatoes and cauliflower are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of water in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, Savory Spice Blend, Cheyenne, and roasted vegetables and cook until heated through.

Determined not to give my personal like or dislike, I will still say this, it sated nicely and for many hours. Again, No salt, sugar, or fat.


The Healthiest Drink


Recipe for Hibiscus Tea:

Recipe recipe for Hibiscus Tea:
8 cups water.
4 bags of tea where “hibiscus” is the first ingredient
juice of one lemon
sweeten with date sugar

Put in fridge overnight. For additional health boost — green foam, place a cup of tea and mint leaves in your high power blender (Vitamix) and Vola! you will be sending a steady stream of the good guys (antioxidants) into your body throughout the day.


Black Bean Burger

*Six of the Daily Dozen (beans, other vegetables, flaxseeds, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, whole grains).

While my high hopes for the Mac & Cheese didn’t pan out, this recipe is a keeper. Using a Vitamix to grind and blend the ingredients was quick, and just as the recipe said, they freeze fine.  A good way to get protein in your diet. AND no salt, sugar, or fat.

From the The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease

Makes 4 servings.
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
=== finely grind the above together

1/2 cup copped red onion
1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
1 15-ounce can salt-free black beans, well rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
=== pulse into the rolled oats mixture, but don’t overdo it😄

1 tablespoon Bragg Organic Yeast Seasoning-4.5 oz
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons white miso paste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika (recipe called for smoked paprika which I didn’t have)
**1 teaspoon Savory Spice Blend (seasoning blend often used in this cookbook)
=== pulse into mixture but not too much. The mushrooms, parsley, etc. should be recognizable.

Preheat over to 375 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange burgers on it. Bake until hot and lightly browned, turning once, about 25 minutes.


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**Savory Blend (adds flavor without using salt)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Mac & Cheese

*Five of the Daily Dozen✔︎ (cruciferous vegetables, other vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, whole grains)

I had high hopes for this recipe.  According to the book, the difficulty level is “easy.” Not so. Making sauce with eight ingredients while cooking the pasta and steaming the broccoli is medium difficulty at least.

It tasted okay, sated nicely, and my stomach was happy.  However, my grandkids may never taste it and Kraft is back on the table for them next time they ask for Mac & Cheese. 😏

Then Tim announced that he would not be eating the leftovers so this recipe ends here.

Mac & Cheese