Hello! I’m Frances and I'm delighted you’ve found The Blushing Beetroot. This is my first ever attempt at blog writing and I’m so excited to be able to share some of my healthy food creations with you.
I’m a full time mum of two little ones. I find I’m cooking so much now and experimenting a lot with different foods and dishes that I’d like to record and share them with you. Also it gives me something to keep my brain from going totally rusty!!
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Tag Archives: lunch
Here’s another great speedy lunch. Most of us don’t have much time to prepare delicious & nutritious lunches due to hectic schedules. Whether in the office, at home with children or on the go most people would ideally like something satisfying which also gives us a boost of energy and carries us through the afternoon. This lunch bowl is ideal as a packed lunch for work. It’s easily stored in a tubberware container and convenient to pop into your bag . Once the rice is cooked you simply add the other ingredients and mix together.
- 80-100 g brown rice
- 1 small avocado, flesh scooped out and chopped into cubes
- Small handful of rocket
- 4-6 sundried tomatoes chopped
- 4-6 fresh cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1/8 red onion diced
- 1/4 cucumber cut into bite sized pieces
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 carton or tin of kidney beans, rinsed well.
Cook the brown rice as instructed. This usually takes 20 minutes.
When cooked add all the other ingredients and mix well. DONE!!!
Here’s the juicy bit. . . .
BPA is an industrial chemical that is found in many products including the lining of tins of canned foods. It is linked to many ailments from heart problems, cancer and ADHD.
It is important to rinse tinned foods like beans prior to cooking to help reduce the amount of this chemical that we ingest . BPA from tins can leach into the food so rinsing the beans helps reduce the amount of this chemical.
It’s best to rinse the beans until all the foam is gone. Then soak the beans in water and rinse again before adding to your dish. It might seem like a lot of extra work but it easily becomes a habit.
I buy tesco organic chickpeas and kidney beans from cartons and try to avoid tins. At 99c they are not too expensive.
Stuffed peppers are a delicious way to increase your vegetable intake for the day. If you don’t have peppers to hand you can easily substitute with courgettes, beef tomatoes or portobello mushrooms. Whatever takes your fancy. I’ve used mozzarella cheese to layer on top of this rice dish but if you’re not taking dairy my guacamole or chopped avocado works really well.
Prep 10 minutes
Cooking 35 minutes
- 2 peppers
- 100g brown rice, cooked as per instructions
- 5 sundried tomatoes, cut Into quarters
- 3 fresh tomatoes, cubed
- 1/8 small red onion, diced into small pieces.
- 1/2 Mozerella ball, sliced
- Small handful of pine nuts
- Plenty of seasoning, salt and pepper galore!
Cook the rice according to the instructions. Then place in a bowl. Add the sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and red onion. Mix to combine. Add generous amounts of salt and pepper to taste.
Switch on the fan oven to 180.
Slice the peppers just enough to keep whole. Remove interior seeds and pit. Wash. Place in the oven for 10 minutes approx until slightly soft.
Fill each pepper with the rice mixture and top with mozerella slices.
Sprinkle with pine nuts and grill for 8-10 minutes mins until the cheese is melted and the pine nuts are toasted.
Here’s the juicy bit . . .
Salt is essential for life. Sodium chloride, (salt), regulates the water content of our body. Too much salt and our cells dehydrate but too little and our cells become over flooded with water and can’t function. Generally speaking, most people nowadays are concerned about their salt or sodium intake in their diet. Excess salt has become a health concern and a lot is due to our tendency to reach for processed foods. From bread to baked beans, cereals to cookies, pre prepared meals to party food, so much of the food we eat is processed and laced with salt. 80% of our salt intake comes from processed foods while only 20% from the salt we add to our meals. Our tendency to eat a lot of processed food is reflective our our busy lifestyles and a move away from the kitchen and home cooking. Since i began cooking the majority of our family meals from scratch, ( I’m no angel though, I still purchase processed foods, some with 2017 expiry dates!!! ) I find I need to add salt to meals as I’m not getting enough through a plant based fresh diet! Using good quality, unprocessed salt like pink himalayan salt, retains all the valuable nourishing minerals that our body utilises for various functions.
I used to think guacamole was solely a dip. A luscious, green, creamy dip to scoop a salty nacho into or to be added to a hungry looking enchilada. How wrong I was! By chance I discovered that guacamole is very versatile and can be spread on toast for a satisfying breakfast, can be used as a creamy addition to a rice dish, used as a sandwich filling with crunchy cos leaves or used in the traditional manner as a dip. Most people have their own way to produce the perfect guacamole, add red onion or not, maybe some chopped tomatoes, chillies, or coriander, there are numerous possibilities. Here I’m keeping it simple but deliciously moreish. . . .
Prep – 5 minutes
Portions – 2
2 avocados mashed
1-2 garlic cloves
Juice 1 lime
Salt & pepper
1 plum tomato chopped optional
Chilli flakes optional
Mix the avocado, garlic, lime juice and salt & pepper together in a bowl and your done!
Here’s the juicy bit . . .
Fats can be categorised as 1) trans fats or hydrogenated fats 2) saturated fats and 3) unsaturated
Trans fats are man made unnatural fats and should be avoided. Hydrogen atoms are added to a fat through a process which alters its natural chemical makeup in order to give it a longer shelf life. You’ll find trans fats in foods like pre packaged cookies, pastries and margarine.
Saturated fats are mainly found in meat and dairy products. These fats can increase ‘bad cholesterol’ AKA low density lipoprotein or LDL. Cholesterol can raise blood pressure and lead to hardening of arteries among other conditions. Saturated fats are best limited in your diet.
Unsaturated fats are found mainly in plant sources. They have a range of health benefits as they help increase good cholesterol AKA high density lipoprotein HDL and decrease LDL thereby reducing cholesterol. These fats are further divided in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated depending on their chemical makeup. Omega fats, 3 and 6 are examples of polyunsaturated fats and are essential in our diet as we can’t make these fatty acids.
Avocados are rich in oleic acid which is an omega 9 fat. These are monounsaturated fats. Oleic acid is also found in olives and olive oil. Since oleic acid comes under the unsaturated fats category its health benefits include reducing LDL and increasing HDL. It’s also has anti inflammatory properties which helps reduce inflammatory conditions in the body like arthritis. Avocados also contain vitamin E which benefits the skin, fibre and antioxidants.
This little gem of a dish was my go to lunch in the first 6 months after my daughter was born.
In my experience the first 3 – 6 months after baby arrives home, virtually no routine, day or night exists. There have been countless times on returning home (always famished) from a morning trip to the GP, shops or a walk and I would have two hungry children who needed feeding pronto.
Quick processed food only gives a delivery of calories with little substance. This type of food didn’t give me the proper energy to look after a baby and an energetic toddler on sometimes only 2-3 hrs sleep!
So I needed healthy food I could quickly prepare for myself and let the oven do most of the work! I felt it was essential to keep eating well especially during these challenging days. I realised quickly that if I kept the foods in this meal as cupboard staples I would always have a healthy, nourishing meal available.
Simply peel and chop the vegetables and bung in the oven. You can then devote your time to toddler and baby’s needs, content knowing a delicious meal is under way. This is a meal I continue to cook most weeks. It’s easy, tasty, healthy and inexpensive.
I hope this dish comes to your rescue too!! Enjoy.
Prep – 5 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
200g butternut squash
2 raw beetroots
6 cherry tomatoes
50g basmati rice
50g feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Simply peel and dice your butternut squash into cubes. Peel and cut your beetroots into wedges. Wash the tomatoes and place all into a baking dish with the coconut oil. As always after about 5 minutes once the oil has melted give the tray a good toss ensuring all vegetables get coated in the oil and place back in the oven. After 30 mins I switch off the oven but leave the vegetables in the heat of the oven until I’m ready to cook the quinoa & rice.
When you’re ready rinse the quinoa and rice and place in a pot with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes or as the package instructs.
Once cooked place the quinoa and rice on a plate, take the vegetables out of the oven and tumble them on top of the quinoa & rice. Crumble the feta over the dish and add a grind of salt and pepper to taste.
If you don’t eat dairy you can easily replace the feta with avocado or umeboshi vinegar.
Here’s the juicy bit . . .
Quinoa is considered a superfood due to its many health giving properties. It is actually a seed but we cook it like a grain. There are three types of quinoa, white, black and red. It is a great source of protein and is known as a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids the body needs for growth and repair. A valuable food for vegetarians, vegans or people who have difficulty digesting animal protein.
A high fibre food which aids in preventing constipation.
Quinoa is gluten free which is important for coeliacs and people who are gluten sensitive.
Finally this seed has a varied list of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants which all contribute to good health and wellbeing.