Living the WELL Life


Ditch the Manwich - by Christina Pirello

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A few days ago I saw a new commercial that really got me going.  The makers of meat-in-a-can Manwich are selling consumers the idea that they now offer a full serving of vegetables!  I don't know about you but high fructose corn syrup and tomato paste don't count as vegetables in my book!  So I've created a menu that includes a tasty burger and lots of vegetable goodness to go with it.  Take a pass at the canned "convenience" food that will surely inconvenience your health and well-being and get your real veggie-eating on!

P.S. Save room for the uber easy fruit dessert.

Menu

Beet and Avocado Salad
Vegetable Burgers
Sweet Potato French Fries
Sweet Strawberry Pie

Beet and Avocado Salad

3-4 medium beets
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 firm, but ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, cubed
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 very thinly sliced red onion
1 cup baby arugula

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wet a sheet of parchment and wring out excess water. Lay a double thick sheet of foil on a work surface with parchment on top. Lay beets on paper and wrap foil and parchment tightly around beets. Bake until tender, 1-1/2 hours. Cool slightly before opening foil. When the beets have cooled enough to handle, peel and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer 2 tablespoons dressing to a small bowl and stir in avocado cubes. Toss beets, fennel, red onion and arugula with the remaining dressing and arrange on a platter. Mound avocado on top of the salad and serve.

Makes 3-4 servings.

Vegetable Burgers

Extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
sea salt
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 ½ cups ground blanched almonds
2 tablespoons almond butter
generous pinch dried basil
generous pinch dried sage
2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, finely minced
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
spring or filtered water

Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a skillet and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in celery and carrot, season lightly with salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Mix in almonds, almond butter, dried herbs, parsley, oats and bread crumbs. Mix to combine. Slowly add water to create a consistency that holds its shape when formed into patties. To cook, place enough oil in a skillet to cover the entire bottom and turn heat to medium. Pan fry the patties until golden on each side, turning once to insure even cooking.  Makes 6-8 patties.

Note: Serve on whole grain buns, with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, mustard and relish.

Sweet Potato French Fries

2 sweet potatoes, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  After peeling the potatoes, slice them lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Slice the slices into 1/2-inch thick spears (like French fries). Toss them with a generous amount of olive oil to coat the potato pieces. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet, avoiding overlap and bake, uncovered, until browned and crisp, about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.  Remove from oven and toss with a light seasoning of salt and serve immediately.  Makes 3-4 servings.

Sweet Strawberry Pie
2 pounds fresh strawberries, tops removed, quartered
Juice of one half lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
One half cup Suzanne's Specialties Strawberry Rice Nectar
Sea salt
2 cups raw almonds
1 3/4 cups pitted dates

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla, rice syrup and a pinch of salt in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside while you make the crust. Place almonds in a blender and pulse on high until they resemble bread crumbs. Empty into a 9-inch pie plate. Place dates in blender with about a teaspoon of water and pulse on high until well-chopped it will be a little clumpy. Combine almonds and dates until they hold together and then press evenly onto the bottom and sides of pie plate to form a crust. Spoon berries generously into the crust, discarding any remaining liquid. Refrigerate for 2 hours before slicing into wedges and serve. Makes 6-8 servings.

 



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