Easy Pickled Beets

Beets is a great roots vegetables, not only it is a good source of folate, iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and fiber, it is also packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.  If you haven’t tried beets before, maybe now is the time to venture out your comfort zone.

I liked beets but usually after a few bites I can’t help but noticed the earthy taste (other people describe it as dirt taste) becoming more intense in my mouth.  One of my colleague had brought in her pickled beets for us to try and I enjoyed it much better cold and when pairing it with salad, it’s a delightful dish!

She said that most of the recipes online that she found has too much sugar or too much spices so she altered some and added different spice to it and it has since becoming her signature dish. She is kind enough to share her recipes with me and has allowed me to post it here as well. Thank you Susan W.

My daughter doesn’t like this at first but after about the fourth introduction, she started enjoying it and has been asking for it as a snack, *weird* I know, but nonetheless I’m grateful that she’s an adventurous eater after all.

Ingredients:

1 large beet or 2 medium beets = yield about 2 cups when sliced
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (can use regular vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground clove (or 1 clove)

Instructions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, put in the whole beets in and cook till tender. About 45 minutes.
  2. Let the beets cool down, peel the skin off, cut the beets in half and slice it.
  3. In a separate pot, add in 1/4 cup water, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, salt and clove. Mix well and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the sliced beets into the spiced vinegar mixture, stir to evenly coat beets with the spices, cover for 6-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool down and serve.
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Monthly CSA Updates

It’s been more than a month since I joined the CSA and has been very pleased with my weekly produce that I picked out.  Most of the time is the same type of veggies that I eat all the time but I tried to be a little bit adventurous from time to time to pick a vegetables that I’m don’t usually cook at home such as patty pan squash, lemon cucumbers and swiss chard.

I enjoyed all the seasonal produce that are available weekly at the farm stand where I picked up my small share.  They are fresh, delicious and worth the extra money that I paid for instead of sifting through the produce isle in the store.

One surprised thing was that my daughter even know that each week I will bring home the “goodies bag”. As soon she sees the red bag I brought home, she immediately says “Mama…strawberries !” and start digging through the bag.  I enjoyed letting her discover all the produce and using it as a tool to teach her the fruits and vegetables that are healthy for her.

2016-06-30-17-00-53
Week 3: Strawberries, cucumber, patty pan squash, carrots, plums, italian kale, & garlic.      New Menu Item: Roasted patty pan squash & Asian Cucumber Salad
2016-07-07-17-30-21
Week 4: Swiss Chard, Cauliflower, Lemon Cucumber, Strawberries, Plums, Carrots, Zucchini.           New Menu Item: Swiss Chard with spaghetti & meat sauce,  Lemon Cucumber Salad
2016-07-14-17-16-30
Week 5: Italian Kale, Eggplant, Cauliflower, Plums, Strawberries, Zucchini, Basil                 New Menu Item: Basil Eggplant Stir Fry

 

Kale (羽衣甘蓝)- Vegetable Powerhouse

Most American’s diet is lack in fruits and vegetables.  The most common vegetables that they eat is carrots, lettuce, potatoes, corn, tomatoes. How sad is that ? Healthy eating habits starts from a young age and if you weren’t exposed to all the other wonderful cruciferous out there, maybe it’s not your fault and maybe it is. So, while you are trying out new foods yourself, let your kids join in the fun food experiment together.

Let me introduce you to Kale, a cabbage family vegetables that provides the most nutrient dense in one single cup of leafy greens.  The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in kale are beneficial for heart disease, cancer, bone, digestive, eye and skin health.

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My few favorites Kale recipes are Kale Chips, Kale Stew and Kale Salad.  Older babies and young toddler probably will do well with the kale stew where it’s soft and easy to chew. Older toddler over 2 years old would love the crunchy textures of the kale chip (much better compared to potato chips if you ask me). As for yourself, try the kale salad, keep an open mind and you’ll be surprise how delicious they can be if you paired the salad with grilled salmon or steak.

According to USDA nutrition database, one cup of raw kale (67 g) contains :

Energy 28 calories
Protein 2 g
Fat 0.40 g
Carbohydrates 5.57 g
Fiber 1.1 g
 
Minerals/Vitamins
Calcium 137 mg     (14% RDA)
Iron 2 mg          (10% RDA)
Phosphorus 42 mg        (6% RDA)
Magnesium 59 mg        (16% RDA)
Potassium 302 mg      (6% RDA)
Manganese 0.5             (25% RDA)
Copper 0.2              (10% RDA)
Vitamin A 2077 IU     (69% RDA)
Vitamin C 87 g           (147 % RDA)
Vitamin K 547 mcg    (684%RDA)

There is also some fear circulating in the internet regarding Kale and other cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, collard greens, brussels sprouts, rapeseed, turnips, watercress) that lead to hypothyroidism. So far, there’s no research to back this up, at least in human studies. Only one case reported where an 88-year old women developed a severe hypothyroidism when she consume about 1.5 kg/day of raw bok choy for several months.  That’s a lot of raw vegetables !!!  In theory, yes it could happen if you consume a lot of of them raw (for example: vegans and people that juice everyday) and also living in an area where iodine is lacking.  So, cook it before you eat it and also throw in some high iodine food such as seafood and seaweed in the mix of your diet.  Variety and moderation is always your best friend.

Caution:
If you have kidney problems or is on blood thinning medication,  Kale is not the vegetables for you because it is high in potassium and Vitamin K which could provides adverse effects in combinations of the medication that you are currently taking.