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January 2015

Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad w/ Orange Vinaigrette

Beet Fennel salad w orange2

    This salad was inspired by one we had on New Years eve. It was a beet salad my husband loved. Now I have known David 29 years and have never seen him eat a beet, let alone like it. I adore beets, so I am thrilled. I came home, played around and came up with this salad. I have to say even though I love raw fennel, roasting it has become my new go to. Roasting fennel, like roasting most veggies, brings it sweetness out and softness the strong flavors. If you like fennel I would suggest you try roasting it and see what you think. I keep some on hand to throw in dishes. It is so much easier to just roast a big pan of something and then have it to use!

Tips on changing your beet hater!

  • 1. Golden beets have a much sweeter and softer flavor. Even thought I used red beets for this photo, I try to use golden when I make it for David.
  • 2. Buy the best, fresh beets you can. Also roast/bake them!
  • 3. Do NOT used canned beets. Really I have found most pre-cooked beets to be mushy. You want them cooked tender but not mush.
  • 4. I marinate them for a couple of days before serving them to hubby.
  • 5. Also I cut them up and put them in the dressing while they are still warm (thanks for the tip Angie).
  • 6. Use a dressing with a lot of flavor. Basically you want the beets to taste like the vinaigrette. I have found if you can get someone to eat something (even if you have to drown it in other flavors) over time they get use to the veggie and then you can go lighter on the flavors.

  Fennel  Collage

Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad w/ Orange Vinaigrette

Roasted fennel

to roast fennel pre-heat over 400˚F

Take whole fennel and cut in thin slices from top to bottom. Set slices on parchment paper. Lightly oil both sides and sprinkle salt on-top. Roast 45-60 minutes. I like them tender but still a bit al dente, firm. But cook to your liking. When fennel is cool, cut into small pieces. I store fennel in a covered bowl in the fridge, to use as wanted.

Roasted Beets

Orange Vinaigrette

Juice 1/2 small orange

1 TBL Dijon mustard

1 TBL raw apple cider vinegar

1 tsp minced fresh garlic

1 tsp honey

oil to taste, 1/4-1/3 cup or so. I like avocado oil for this.

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all together, taste and adjust to your liking. Amounts of beets and fennel is up to what you like, what you have on-hand and how many people you are serving.

Like I mentioned in my tips above. I like to marinate the beets in the vinaigrette a few days before serving them, so I do the fennel separately. Then add the roasted fennel to the beets and vinaigrette just before serving!

Beet Fennel salad w orange3


Bloom, I Love Food Too Much To Eat That

  Nastur sald

     I have been thinking about some chats I have had with friends recently. All were congratulating me on sticking with my diet changes and asked how I avoid food temptations. Like how have I not eaten pasta in 8 months or how do I avoid popcorn at the movies theater and so forth? Well there are a lot of reasons but it mostly came down to two things. First, I do not want to be sick anymore. Second, I like food too much. See, in case you do not already know this about me ;-) I am a food snob. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE food but I love good food, real food, well made food. Some old popcorn with oil and powdered butter does not tempt me. Well honestly, it temps me when I walk in the movie theater but I know when I get it in my mouth I will not be happy.

   That is it! When I have a treat, I want it to be worth it. I want to savor it. When I am running around and am tempted to just pick up anything to eat, I stop and think. "Do I really want this to be my treat?" Because I only get a few a week. If it was more than that, it would not be a treat but a lifestyle. And if I am going to have a food lifestyle it is not going to be on cheetos, grocery store doughnuts and coke! No it will be salads freshly picked from the garden, perfect pastured bacon and artisan cheeses. Well those foods take time and thought.

    When you have time and thought, you can really think about what you want to eat and what you should eat. It gives you time to decide how much you want those doughnuts. For me the question is also, how good are those doughnuts? I will love them? Are they worth ruining the 3 miles I walked? How much will they set me back? Nine times out of ten the answer time ends up being no and that keeps me on track. It also frees me up to really enjoy my splurges. Which by the way you will never hear me say cheat. This is another post I will write soon but I do not talk bad about food anymore. Well real food, I do not talk bad about real food. So I do not cheat, I spurge and when I do, I do it with a full heart. I stop, enjoy every morsel and feel no guilt.

    Do you struggle with saying no to food that makes you sick? Are you feeling pulled all over the place like a small child by foods that is unhealthy for you? Do you not know how to say no? Well first you need to unhook yourself from those foods. Which I will not lie, it is not easy. I suggest not eating them for 4 week. Yes a month! You need to curb your cravings. You need time to heal your gut. (By the way did you know that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system? Keep getting sick? It might have to do with what you eat and how it affects your gut.) I also found when I stopped eating certain foods I did not want them anymore. Take pasta for example, I did not eat it for 8 months and when I did it tasted weird to me. I do not miss it.

    Mostly what I wanted to say in this long post is to pull out your food snob. When you are tempted, when you body is screaming for something you should not eat, when you feel lazy, stop and think. Ask yourself if it is really worth it? Do I want to sabotage my goals, my health for that? Now the answer to that ding-dong might be yes but then SAVOR it. Plan for it, make it your treat, not a last-minute-give-in. Love what you eat. Love it unabashedly. I have a saying (ask all my friends) “What if I die and this is my last meal?” Do I want to have died after eating a micky d’s burger? Heck no! I love food too much to eat that. More importantly I love myself too much!




Encouraging Thoughts


Ohhh this was a hard message for me to learn in my youth. I wanted to be a friend to everyone and ended up being a doormat to a lot. It was hard to learn to say no. I ended up looking like a ... well you know what. But I realized I did not have to sacrifice myself for others. Also if someone wanted me to sacrifice who I was, then they really were not a friend in the first place!

PS there is times on ones life where you are called to give above and beyond yourself but that is a specific situation. Not a full time thing.


1.Owl   2.heart   3.candle

Encouraging Thoughts


Happy New Year!

I have several goals this year. 1.My hubby. We have been very busy the last few years and have not had much time for eachother. That will change this year (we are hiking together). 2.To finish the next Wren novel. 3.Of course my health. To continue to make slow but deliberate steps towards health, including accepting my faults. They make me who I am! What is your goal?


1.bird   2.needlepoint rug  3.knit capelet