Today’s Health Morsel: Beet Greens

As amazing as beets are, they got nothin’ on beet greens! Health-wise, that is. In terms of taste, it’s another story for me, though I know people who love them. If you’re more like me in that they aren’t your favorite thing, don’t worry because I came up with a recipe that has me excited to eat more, and reap the benefits of the “unusually comprehensive nourishment” (according to World’s Healthiest Foods) of beet greens! More about the amazing beet green after breakfast & lunch…


  • 1/2 charentais melon (a huge one)

Checklist items: 2 other fruits (2 out of 18 servings)


I made a huge batch of mixed beans a little while ago, which makes it super easy to mix together a nice big bean-veggie-green lunch salad with whatever came out of my garden. If I remember correctly, I included black, pinto, red kidney, coco, & white kidney beans.

  • 1 c mixed beans
  • 1/4 c hummus, homemade, of course
  • 1 c red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 c zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 c corn kernels
  • dressing made with lime juice, tamari, & sriracha

Checklist items: 3 beans, 2 other vegetables, 1 whole grains (6 out of 18 servings)



Beet greens! Just listen to me – I never thought I could be excited about beet greens. Their health benefits sound great, but I can’t get excited about eating something unless I know I’m also going to enjoy it. That’s why I can’t wait to share this recipe. It’s awesome, and so nutritious! Good thing I planted so many beets this year…

Beets are an excellent source of both calcium & magnesium. Magnesium is important for bone health, blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism & energy production, mental health (deficiency in magnesium is associated with increased risk of depression), and control over inflammatory processes. Beet greens are also:

  • an excellent source of Vitamins K, A, C, B2, & E, copper, potassium, manganese, & fiber;
  • a very good source of Vitamins B1 & B6, iron, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, & protein;
  • a good source of zinc, folate & Vitamin B3.

Beets, along with chard, quinoa, epazote, & spinach, are chenopods. This sub-family of plants has unique characteristics, not found in other commonly-eaten plants. The red and yellow pigments – betalain pigments – are antioxidants comparable in potency to the anthocyanins in blueberries. They are heat-sensitive, though, so to get the most out of the betalain pigment, add some raw beet greens to salads, or keep cooking times to a minimum. The specific epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids found in this sub-family are effective anti-inflammatories, especially in the stomach, as well as being supportive of the health of our eyes, and, indeed, our entire nervous systems. Oh, and they’re associated with decreased cancer risk, too! People who need to avoid oxalates, though, shouldn’t eat a lot of beet greens.

All that for less than 40 calories per (boiled) cup. Okay, great, so how do you make them taste good? Make them into patties, of course! I got the idea from the patties I remember my dad making out of swiss chard. This recipe makes 2 servings, but I calculated the checklist items below for 1 serving/half of this recipe.

  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs (made from whole grain bread)
  • 1/2 c pumpkin seeds
  • 4 packed cups beet greens, chopped
  • 4 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 – 1/3 c dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp ground coriander, plus 1/2 tsp grains if you have them
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 T flour
  • 2 flax eggs (2 T ground flaxseed + 6 T water)
  • 4 large potatoes (~ 2 1/2 lbs or 1.15 kg)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  1. Cube and bake the potatoes for 1/2 hour at 230° C (450° F), turning them after 15 minutes. Pro-tip: agata potatoes taste amazing if you can get them; it’s a cultivar originating in the Netherlands, and I don’t know if they’re widely available outside of Europe.
  2. In the meantime,  mix the beet greens with the lemon juice and half the mustard, and let them sit until the potatoes are finished.
  3. Mash the potatoes, then mix everything together except for the broccoli.
  4. Form the mixture into small patties and bake in the oven, same temperature and time as the potatoes, flipping them over half-way through.
  5. While those are going, steam the broccoli, and serve with whatever flavoring you like. I used a mix of homemade bouillon, lemon juice, tamari, & black pepper.

Checklist items: cruciferous, 2 greens, flaxseed, nuts, spices, 2 whole grains (8 out of 18 servings)


Well, we have to round out our Daily Dozen with some fruit & berries. Today, that’s some fresh raspberries from the garden and a bowl of fruit salad that I put together yesterday, with mangoes, pineapple, peaches, kiwis, plums, & passion fruit. It’s to die for!

  • 1/2 c raspberries
  • 1 c fruit salad

Checklist items: berries, 1 other fruits (2 out of 18 servings)

Taking account of the day:

18 servings in total.

We got the recommended servings of everything today.


Today’s Health Morsel: Sweet Potatoes

Friday is burger day in my house, so today’s daily dozen is planned around sweet potato black bean burgers. Plus, I’ll explain why you should remove the skin of regular potatoes, but keep the skin of sweet potatoes.


What do you do when all the fruit you bought doesn’t fit into your fruit salad container? Eat it for breakfast!

  • 1/2 charentais melon (a/b 2 c.)
  • 1/4 c. dates
  • 1/2 c. blueberries

Checklist items: berries, 3 other fruits (4 out of 18 servings)



Beans & greens is such a great lunch, b/c it can be something hot or cold, for any time of year. Today, I’ve got a 3-bean salad with a twist.

  • 1/2 c. borlotti beans
  • 1/2 c. kidney beans
  • 2 c. chopped batavia lettuce
  • 1/4 c. cannellini beans
  • 1 sm. garlic clove, minced
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T mustard
  • 2 T chopped fresh dill
  • s & p
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1/8 c. sunflower seeds
  1. Add the borlotti & kidney beans to a salad bowl along with the arugula & lettuce.
  2. Put the cannellini into a blender, along with the garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, dill, and s & p, and blend until creamy. Add aquafaba if necessary to thin the dressing to your desired texture.
  3. Mix the dressing into the beans and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. If you can prepare it the day before you plan to eat it, the flavors will marry even better.
  4. Sprinkle ground flaxseed and sunflower seeds on before serving.

Checklist items: 2 1/2 beans, 2 greens, flaxseed, 1/2 nuts, spices (7 out of 18 servings)




The healthiest potato is the one with the most color. Purple sweet potatoes appear to have more cancer-fighting ability than any other potato, but a regular old sweet potato has been named one of the top 10 healthiest foods on the planet, especially considering bang-for-your-buck!

So, what’s the best way to cook them? They’re so good for that you can cook them however you’d like, except, of course, for deep frying. But if you really want to squeeze as much benefit as you can from every ounce of sweet potato, then you’ll want to boil them – this cooking method best retains the vitamins & antioxidant capacity. You’ll want to leave the skin of your sweet potatoes on, because the skin contains 10x the antioxidant capacity compared to the flesh (as long as you don’t bake it).

Unlike other potato varieties, sweet potatoes don’t contain glycoalkaloids. Glycoalkaloids are natural pesticides & fungicides that plants in the nightshade family produce themselves. Unfortunately, they’re toxic for humans, too. Glycoalkaloids are mostly in the skin and eyes of potatoes, which is why it’s important to remove them. How you store your potatoes can also make a difference – both light and heat increase the production of glycoalkaloids, so you’ll want to keep your potatoes in a cool, dark place. Learn more here. Sweet potatoes don’t produce glycoalkaloids because they aren’t members of the nightshade family.

What happens when you overdose on sweet potatoes? Like with carrots, you could go a bit yellow around the nose. But it’s completely harmless, and goes away on its own after some time, so no need to worry. (See sources)

The recipe I’m making today comes from Minimalist Baker. See my review, along with the changes that I made, and the original recipe is here. I’ve included the checklist below for easy reference. It’s for the recipe as I made it, and includes the bun and toppings.wp-1475230963677.jpg

Checklist items: 2/3 serving beans, cruciferous, 2 other vegetables , 1/2 nuts, spices, 3 whole grains (a little more than 8 out of 18 servings)

Taking account of the day:

19 1/6 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything today, plus a little bit extra beans, and an extra servings of spices.