Baby Beets & Greens w/ Lemon Dill Cream

by Julie on July 3, 2015

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It’s that wonderful time again, time for young baby beets to be plucked fresh from the garden. If you are lucky enough to have grown your own beet patch, I commend you.  Me? I’ll be scouring the farmers markets for these since I just can’t get enough of these tasty morsels.  My wee garden patch didn’t quite have room for beets.  The nice thing about preparing beets is they need not be fancy as they are packed with their own sweet flavour. I often just grate them raw and pile them high on my salad and sometimes I make a juice cocktail or a even a pudding with them-yum!  Some days I choose to roast or steam and top my salad to make a delicious meal or side dish. Beets provide a good source of these minerals: folate, maganese, potassium & copper. They are also a source of phytonutrients, one in particular called betalains that are found in deep coloured foods but especially beets.  Betalains are anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and provide antioxidants to combat free radicals.  However, it’s important to consider your cooking time as the less time you steam or roast the more nutrients you retain.  Ideally, steam quartered beets for 15 mins to yield a nice tender beet and roast for less than one hour.  And don’t forget the beet tops–these are rich in minerals and chlorophyll either raw or cooked.  I use them for juicing or I steam or saute them and and serve with the beets as in this recipe.

If you’ve eaten a serving of beets before you may have experienced a noticeable reddening of your urine called beeturia. This is not harmful but can be an indicator for improper iron metabolism that might be good to mention to your nutritionist or Naturopath so that you can follow up and monitor your iron levels.

Consuming these yummy burgundy beets is also great for colon cleansing. And….bonus… while you are at it you can do a transit test–multi-task with your meal–by noting your bodies processing time.  Your stool should show signs within 24-48 hrs.  If not your transit time may be on the sluggish side. Examine your activity level and your ratio of concentrated foods to high water content foods as well as your water intake, adjust for a week or two. Then try some beets again and it should improve.  If not maybe you need a veggie feast or some colon hydrotherapy which can be life changing!

Okay enough of that potty talk! I couldn’t resist pairing these baby beets with some gorgeous fresh dill and whipping up a creamy dressing to drizzle on top.  This dressing doubles as a great dip for raw veggies so you might even want to double the recipe while you’re at it.  It will keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.

Baby Beets and Greens with Lemon Dill Cream
*** highly alkaline

yield: Salad for two

1/4 cup fresh dill, packed
1/4 cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1/4 cup diced zucchini
1/4 cup hemp seeds or
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked 20 mins
1/4 cup of filtered water
juice of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 tbsp)
generous pinch of Himalayan salt
1 dozen baby beets with greens
1-2 tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
pinch of Himalayan salt
4 cups baby lettuces


Start with the dressing so the flavours can mingle.  Place dill, olive oil, zucchini, hemp seeds, cashews, water, lemon juice and salt into blender and combine until smooth and creamy, scraping sides of vessel as needed. Pour into small  pitcher ready for serving.

Trim and wash beet greens and stems and scrub beets well. I like to scrape a little near the top of the beet with a pairing knife if needed.  Cut into quarters if small or into sixths if larger. Chop all the greens into one inch pieces.  Place beets into steamer basket and steam over boiling water for 10 minutes. Add beet greens and stems and steam for 4 to 5 minutes. Place all the beet goodies into a medium serving dish and toss with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

To serve divide the baby lettuces between two large plates, spoon beets and greens over top. Garnish with snipped dill and serve with creamy dill dressing.

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I hope you can find yourself some gorgeous looking beets to cook up.  Keep your eyes peeled for some of the unique beets like striped candy cane ones or golden beets.  You might even get lucky and come across white beets! Who knew?

I’ve love to hear about your favourite beet recipe or if you’ve grown your own gorgeous beets. Leave me a message below or say hi over on Instagram

Have a great week.


Your Alkaline Sister




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Rhubarb & Lemon Verbena Vegetable Medley 1

I’m not sure about you but I find that because I really enjoy dining on veggies at every meal to help maintain the alkaline design of my body I have a pretty high standard for how I prefer them to taste.  My top priority is quality produce. I choose the freshest,  local and of course organic when ever possible which improves the overall flavour to start with.  Sometimes the veggies are so yummy I am eating them in the car on the way home!  But if I can pick them from my own garden then I’m in seventh heaven!  The rest of the year I make every effort to visit farmers markets and my local organic grocer to obtain my twice weekly haul of fresh veg.  Sometimes it involves more than one stop to find the variety I crave or need for my juicing regime so it is a commitment.  I highly recommend CSA deliveries if you have access to a local farmer who offers this service. This means you may have delivery service or you can pick up the wonderful weekly array of what’s growing seasonally and play with preparing some veggies you may have never tried before.  Even with the best ingredients I am always experimenting how to serve them in a delicious way with ever changing flavours and cooking techniques to provide variety in my diet.  I can tell you that when I meet a restaurant menu that is full of creative, healthfully prepared and delicious vegetable items, I totally want to kiss the cook!

You might have guessed that I am also an avid reader of all cook books vegetable related.  In fact I’d have to admit that I’m a little obsessed.  In one of my next posts here on the blog it’s my intention to share a hand full of some lovely books that I’ve been reading that inspire all kinds of tasty ideas that I know you’d enjoy too!

Now that rhubarb season is here I get excited about stewing rhubarb for a snack or dessert which is one of my favourite ways to enjoy it. But I also love to use it to season vegetables for it is a vegetable after all.  It’s unique flavour enhances a variety of vegetables especially when paired with verbena and/or lemon thyme.  I know not everyone has verbena on hand nor lemon thyme so you might like to play with fresh lemon grass or lime leaf for a bright flavour combination that suits your taste buds. No matter how you make rhubarb as long as you sweeten it with stevia or coconut nectar and don’t dump mountains of white sugar in your recipe, it’s a nutritious vegetable that is a great addition to an alkaline lifestyle as it is contains 10% of the overall daily calcium requirement.  It’s also a source of lutein which is excellent for skin and eye health as well as neutralizing free radicals that can lead to cancer.  Rhubarb’s red colour is an indicator of antioxidant content that are health promoting and disease fighting.  And remember that you don’t have to consume rhubarb cooked.  I remember chewing on stalks as kids right out of the garden, dipping it in sugar- yikes!  Now a days instead of ruining a perfectly healthy vegetable with sugar I juice it raw with a green apple, some spinach and sweeten if need be with a little stevia or a sometimes beet juice. See this post for a few other rhubarb recipes.

A simple way to infuse flavour through a dish is to make a brothy sauce from the rhubarb as I did here in this recipe and poach your veggies in it. Because the rhubarb is quite tart depending on it’s ripeness I add a few drops of stevia to balance the the flavours without making it very sweet.  I also make broths with onion, celery and herbs for another flavour option that can be used for this dish in place of the rhubarb in a pinch.  The addition of the soaked lentils, which cook thru quite quickly, make this more of a main dish but feel free to skip them and just poach veggies to make this more of a side dish.  You can’t go wrong!

As for your veggie selections, if you are anything like me you’ll have quite a variety tossed in the mix.  I find it hard to refrain from adding everything I can get my hands on that is in season to see how it suits the rhubarb flavour.  I even had a few fiddle heads that I couldn’t resist popping in and to my surprise were pretty tasty.  Use as many or as few different veggies as you may to customize your own dish.  Some of my favourites are spring onions, beets, carrots, fava beans and don’t forget to pop in some sliced rhubarb too.

Spring Vegetable Medley Poached with Rhubarb & Lemon Verbena
**alkaline balanced recipe

Yield: Serves 4-6
Do ahead: Soak lentils in 2 cups water, covered, at room temperature for 24 hrs, rinsing after 12 hrs
1/2 cup Puy lentils, soaked & rinsed
2 cups diced rhubarb + 1 more stalk sliced into 1/4 pieces
2 cups water + 1-2  tbsp if needed to blend into liquid
8 small sprigs of lemon thyme  + more for garnish (regular thyme is fine too)
16 verbena leaves + a few more snipped for garnishing
6 to 8 drops liquid stevia
pinch of Himalayan salt
1 bunch baby carrots, halved lengthwise & cut in 2-inch pieces
1 bunch red or white radishes (or a mix), halved if small, quartered if lg
10 small white onions, quartered or 2 leeks, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut in 2-inch pieces on the diagonal
12 fresh fiddle heads, optional
1 cup fresh fava beans, shelled, blanched and skins peeled
drizzle of olive oil
finishing sea salt

Place the rhubarb, water, 4 sprigs of lemon thyme, 4 verbena leaves, 6 drops of stevia, and salt in a blender and process. If needed, add 1 -2 more tbsp  water to form slushy  liquid. Balance the tartness further if needed with the stevia for just a faintly sweet yet slightly tart profile, then pour the juice into a glass measuring cup.

Pour two thirds of the rhubarb broth into a sauté pan that has a tight fitting lid. Over medium heat bring the broth to a simmer and immediately begin the poaching by adding the lentils and all the veggies except the fava beans & rhubarb slices. Toss gently and cover with the lid for 3 minutes. Now lift the lid and quickly add rhubarb slices, fava beans, remaining verbena & thyme sprigs and the last of the broth. Replace the lid and poach for 1-2 more minutes without peeking.  Test veggies for doneness, they should be tender but still slightly firm in the middle.  Spoon into serving dishes, add a drizzle of olive oil, a few pinches of finishing sea salt and a sprinkle of snipped verbena leaves and a sprig of lemon thyme. Enjoy.

duncan market veggies flowers-2775

I hope you are able to get your hands on some rhubarb before the season moves on. Plan B is to look for it in the freezer aisle, you just never know what you might find there.

I’d love to hear what some of your favourite healthy rhubarb recipes are so if you have one up your sleeve leave a comment below.

Have a great week my friend and happy rhubarb hunting:)

Your alkaline sister


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