Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel

Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel

Share this heart healthy salad with your loved one on Valentine’s Day!

Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel Share this heart healthy salad with your loved one on Valentine's Day! ~vegan & gluten free~

 Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel Share this heart healthy salad with your loved one on Valentine's Day! ~vegan & gluten free~

Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel Share this heart healthy salad with your loved one on Valentine's Day! ~vegan & gluten free~
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 large beet or 2 small beets, roasted and cut into hearts
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • ½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ avocado, diced
For the dressing:
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap beets in tin foil and bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. (cooking time depends on size of beets) When tender, remove from oven and let cool. Remove skin and slice into ¼ inch pieces. Use a heart cookie cutter or paring knife to make heart shapes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk dressing ingredients together adding sea salt and pepper as desired.
Assemble salad and top with dressing, enjoy!

Not only is February Valentine’s Day, but it’s also Heart Health Month.  I guess the two go hand in hand!

This salad is beaming with heart health benefits:

~Fiber filled arugula

~Vitamin E rich walnuts

~High antioxidant beets

~Monounsaturated healthy fats from the avocados

~Potassium packed fennel

 Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel Share this heart healthy salad with your loved one on Valentine's Day! ~vegan & gluten free~

Not familiar with fennel?

I admit, it’s an odd looking vegetable.  One that’s easily passed by in the grocery store.  It kind of hides out down by the beets, rutabagas and parsnips.  It is a root vegetable that has a long history of medicinal uses including improved digestion, treatment for anemia, boosting the immune system and increased heart health.  One of the reasons it is so beneficial for your ticker is its high level of potassium.  Potassium acts as a vasodilator, which means it relaxes the blood vessels allowing blood to easily pump through the body and in turn normalizing blood pressure.

Fennel has a sweet aromatic flavor, similar to licorice.  The bulb is the main part of the vegetable; however, fennel fronds can be clipped and tossed into salads or used as a garnish.  Raw fennel is crispy and crunchy, which makes it great in a salad!

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times

Beet and Arugula Salad with Fennel Share this heart healthy salad with your loved one on Valentine's Day! ~vegan & gluten free~

mixed berry breakfast quinoa porridge

Mixed Berry Breakfast Quinoa Porridge is a heart healthy way to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day!

Mixed Berry Breakfast Quinoa Porridge ~vegan, gluten free~

Berries are bursting with antioxidants and flavonoids.  The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study that demonstrated women who eat three or more servings of berries per week may have a lower risk of heart attack.  They found that the flavonoid anthocyanin in strawberries and blackberries improves blood flow, which reduces the amount of plaque build up and ultimately lowers heart attack risk.

The other proven factor to decrease risk of heart disease is fiber, which quinoa has plenty of!  1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of fiber!  Similar to berries, quinoa also contains flavonoids that lower inflammation in the body.  Quinoa is also a gluten free alternative to other wheat based breakfast cereals.

Mixed Berry Breakfast Quinoa Porridge ~vegan, gluten free~

mixed berry breakfast quinoa porridge
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves 2, nutritional facts calculated with 1 tablespoon slivered almonds on each serving
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the Berry Compote:
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries or berries of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond or vanilla extract
  • For Quinoa Porridge:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup soy or almond milk
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • pinch sea salt
  • Toppings:
  • soy or almond milk
  • sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. For the Berry Compote:
  2. Put all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes or until berries are thawed and sauce starts to slightly thicken.
  3. For the Quinoa Porridge:
  4. Bring water, milk and pinch of sea salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through.
  5. Once cooked, divide quinoa into two bowls and top with berry compote. Add sliced almonds and a splash of soy or almond milk. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 314 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 55 Sugar: 17 Sodium: 90 Fiber: 7 Protein: 10 Cholesterol: 0
Mixed Berry Breakfast Quinoa Porridge ~vegan, gluten free~

Belly wants to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

fudge walnut brownies ~vegan, gluten free~

Since my post on Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies was such a hit with both my family and blog readers, I decided to make another batch!

This time, instead of cookies I used the dough to create fudgy brownies!  

Fudge Walnut Brownies ~vegan, gluten free~  Totally healthy and made with chickpeas...Shhh, no one needs to know :)

These brownies use the same healthy base of chickpeas, but has added antioxidants from cacao powder and omega 3 fatty acids from walnuts!

Let’s take a closer look at what chickpeas have to offer:

Fiber:  Chickpeas are chock full with fiber.  The soluble kind, which is key to lowering cholesterol.  In a recent study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal eating 1 serving (3/4 cup) per day of beans or legumes lowers LDL levels by 5%.  Chickpeas also contain plant sterols, which are also proven to lower cholesterol levels.

Glucose Stability:  The combination of complex carbs, fiber and protein present in chickpeas keeps blood sugar levels from spiking.  So long hunger headaches!

Iron & Folic Acid:  Chickpeas are a great vegetarian source of iron as well as folic acid.  Both of these nutrients are essential for everyone, but especially important for pregnant women!

fudge walnut brownies ~vegan, gluten free~
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15.5 ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup all natural peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • a heaping ¼ cup cacao powder or high-quality cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts + ¼ cup for topping
  • ¼ cup mini-chocolate chips (vegan if necessary)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 8x8 baking dish with oil of your choice or cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Add chickpeas, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cacao powder to a food processor. Blend until creamy. (this may take a few minutes!)
  3. Transfer mixture to a bowl and fold in ⅓ cup chopped walnuts.
  4. Evenly spread mixture into a greased 8x8 baking dish, top with ¼ cup chopped walnuts and ¼ cup mini-chocolate chips and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Brownies are done when a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool, cut and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 128 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 14 Protein: 4

Fudge Walnut Brownies ~vegan, gluten free~  Totally healthy and made with chickpeas...Shhh, no one needs to know :)

Top with a little whipped coconut cream and you have a decadent dessert!

Like I said before, no one needs to know they were made with chickpeas!

Fudge Walnut Brownies ~vegan, gluten free~  Totally healthy and made with chickpeas...Shhh, no one needs to know :)