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

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.


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

Fudgy No-Bake Brownies

*Two of the Daily Dozen ✔︎ (Other Fruits and Nuts and Seeds)

Having women over in the mid-afternoon, what snack or treat to serve. Of course, it depends on why we are getting together. For current events, wine might be a good choice. This week, I was having a small knitting group over to share and work out pattern issues, so forget the wine.

The thought of serving something full of sugar or fat did not appeal to me. With hours to spare, my solution was a five ingredient recipe that was 100% whole food and healthy. No fat, sugar, or salt. Fat in nuts and sugar content in dates don’t count. They come along with other ingredients that together make them healthy. Dates are touted as the “richest source of dietary minerals.” Like other dried fruit, they are calorie dense.

How did the Fudgy No-Bake Brownies taste to my knitting sisters? Susan D. said it tasted great and then reached for a second piece. Beth declared, “It’s like heaven. I could eat every piece left on the plate.” Finally, Barbara A., a self-declared sweet toother, said it was so sweet that eating one piece more than satisfied her urge for a sweet treat. Then two  took home a piece for hubby.


1 cup walnuts

1 1/3cups pitted dates

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup crushed pecans


Grind walnuts and dates in a food processor until finely ground. Add almond butter and process until well mixed. Add cocoa powder and pulse to mix well.

Transfer the brownie mixture to an 8 inch square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper to make it easier to remove brownies from pan. Use your fingers to press the mixture evenly into the pan. With brownies firmly pressed into the pan, sprinkle the top evenly with crushed pecans. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares or triangles, or small clouds. ⛅️


Super Green Smoothie

*Six of the Daily Dozen ✔︎ (Greens, Other Vegetables, Other Fruits, Nuts and Seeds, Herbs and Spices, Beverages)


2 cups packed fresh baby spinach

1 large apple

1/2 avocado (peeled and pitted)

1 cup diced pineapple

3 soft pitted dates

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2/3 mint leaves (I skipped it thinking it would be too minty)

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

**2 teaspoons blended and peeled lemon or lime

2/3 cup water

Ice cubes optional.


Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender.

Personal experience suggest to sip it leisurely. Slow intake sates better and longer.

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*Michael Greger (author of How Not to Die), nutrition researcher and medical doctor, spends his working hours learning about foods’ special nutrients and studies that show the benefit or lack of. Putting what he learned to practice, he’d keep a daily list of what the research said to eat. Long story shrunk, he created a list of “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” turned into an app of what to eat daily.

Why am I telling you this: When I list a recipe, it will include how many of the daily dozen foods you ate.

**Cooking with lemon or lime juice, you miss out on the fiber and all the nutrition attached to it. Time Saver: Peel and blend a whole lemon(s) and then freeze in 1-teaspoon portions using a small silicone ice cube tray. Then just pop it out of the tray, each square equals a teaspoon.

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The measuring spoon container’s cameo appearance–hm.

Green Smoothie1

Clearly, I have some work to do with my photos. Anyhow, each square holds a teaspoon of lemon. My squares, as if it needs pointing out😄, are not full. So, my estimate is that those two lemons delivered 12 teaspoons of lemon. Michael Greger’s recipes often include teaspoons of lemon.

Small silicone ice cube tray