Steamed Beet and Avocado Salad + Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots

As January comes to a close, and perhaps New Year’s resolutions are still chugging along, I just want to send some nutritional inspiration. The biggest step towards health and making lasting healing changes is about what you ADD IN CONSISTENTLY vs. what you TAKE OUT. Although for some completing an elimination trial can be very beneficial, while others may have very specific requirements based on a health condition or specific goals. But in general, simply adding in MORE VEGETABLES and SOME FRUIT alone will have a huge impact on your overall health. Check out this wonderful resource from the Institute of Functional Medicine on the health benefits of eating more vegetables and fruit!

Now take a minute and assess your current intake of whole vegetables and whole fruit. Are you eating 2-4 per day, 5-7 per day, or are you upwards of 8+ per day? And then, how many of those servings are vegetables and how many are fruit? In general, for an anti-inflammatory based eating pattern, I recommend 9+ servings of veggies and fruit per day. Specifically 6-7+ servings of vegetables, and 2-3 servings of fruit. Now what does one serving look like??

One Serving is Equal To: 
1 cup leafy greens
½ cup raw or cooked hardy veggies
1 medium fruit
2 small fruit (kiwi, cuties)
1 cup diced melon/berries

The best way to make sure you are getting in enough veggies (since that is what most people struggle with) is to make sure you are getting at least 2 servings PER MEAL (including breakfast). If breakfast is void of veggies, then you should make sure to get a veggie rich snack (for example: bell pepper slices and hummus) in between meals. The second most important point, is getting a variety of different veggies throughout the day…not just the same three that you feel comfortable with. Each veggie and fruit provides its own unique health benefit. The more variety, the more health benefits you will acquire! Once again, see this resource for more information on why VARIETY is key.

Sample One Day Whole Foods Based Meal Plan
The following meal plan has 7 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit. Each meal is also balanced to include complex carbohydrates, quality protein, and quality fat. No single macronutrient is missing. I encourage you to think of how your meals look at home. Is there a dominating presence of one type of macronutrient vs the others, or is there a balance?

Note: v = 1 serving veggie, f = 1 serving fruit

Egg scramble with large handful baby spinach (v), 1 diced Roma tomato (v), ½ medium bell pepper (v) sautéed in extra virgin olive oil. 
Whole grapefruit

Quinoa and Chickpea Bowl with large handful mixed greens (v), ¼ cup grated carrots (1/2 v), ¼ cup diced cucumber (1/2 v), drizzled with homemade olive oil vinaigrette.

1 cup grapes or berries (f)
½ cup grass-fed organic yogurt/kefir

3oz oven roasted sockeye salmon with grass-fed garlic butter
Side of steamed beet and avocado salad (v)
Side of roasted honey glazed carrots (v)
2/3 cup steamed turmeric brown rice


Delicious Root Veggies
Easy does it, right? Simple, tasty food that doesn’t take too much attention span to prepare. Well, I’ve got two wonderful recipes just for you. They both keep well, taste great, and are a great way to get extra veggies on your plate during the winter months. Plus, they are gluten-free and vegan so all can enjoy! The roasted carrots are also perfect on a Low FODMAP diet.

Steamed Beet and Avocado Salad
Serves 4-6

6 medium beets, greens removed
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (white or brown)
½ avocado, diced
Finely minced parsley
Salt and pepper

Place a steamer basket into a large stock pot. Fill with water until the water level is right below the steamer basket. Put the beets into the pot and cover with a lid. Bring water to a boil and reduce heat to medium. After 30 minutes check to make sure there is water left in pot, and add more if needed. You really want to make sure there is enough water so that your pot doesn’t burn! Cover and continue to steam for another 30 minutes, or more if needed until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and allow the beets to cool 5-10 minutes. Then under running cool water, rub the beets to remove the outside skin. The skin should come off really easy if the beets are steamed until tender.

Once the skin is removed, dice the beets into small bite sized pieces and toss into a bowl. In a small glass or bowl whisk the olive oil and vinegar together with a fork. Add 2 generous pinches sea salt, and whisk until combined. I used a 1:1 ratio, but you can increase the olive oil or the vinegar based on your taste preference and total amount of beets. Pour the vinaigrette over the diced beets and mix until all are nicely coated in dressing.

To serve transfer the beets into a nice bowl or onto a serving plater. Top with diced avocado, handful chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of ground pepper.

Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots (low fodmap)
Serves 2-4

1 bunch carrots (with green tops)
1 tablespoon clover honey (or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Finely minced parsley or cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile cut off the green tops leaving an inch at the top of the carrot. Save the greens to make carrot top pesto or to toss into salads if desired. Wash and scrub the carrots and towel dry to ensure they are completely dry.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. If the carrots are thin and long, leave whole and place on the parchment paper. If the carrots are a little thicker, cut in half lengthwise. Place onto baking sheet in a single layer.

Mix together the honey, olive oil, and vinegar in a small bowl. Drizzle over the carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender, yet still firm with browning spots.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with freshly minced parsley or cilantro if desired. Serve immediately.

Popular Posts