Gingered Beet and Berry Salad

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gingered beet and berry salad photo by vsimon

This is intense.

Intense flavor- sweet and spicy. A cool salad with a hit of hot ginger.

Intense color- red beets and red raspberries.

Intense texture- crunchy grated raw roots.

Intense nutrition- click on each ingredient in the recipe below for in depth information from The World’s Healthiest Foods website.

Garden fresh.

Beets, beets, beets. I ask myself, “What new can we do with the beets, just pulled from the garden?” 

Blue cheese, goat cheese, roasted. Been there, done that. And I have to say, I loved all of it, but I don’t have any cheese today and it is much too hot to turn the oven on for an hour.

And we have so many raspberries. There is a chunk of ginger root in the fridge. OK, let’s see what we can do with these.

Don’t have fresh ginger root?

I respectfully say, “Get some.”

Just a few fragrant gratings perk up anything it is added to, sweet or savory. It isn’t expensive and lasts a long time. A chunk of fresh ginger root in the veggie drawer of the fridge is as useful as jars of pickles in the pantry.  And it is amazingly healthful.

Ginger root grows with finger like projections. At the store, you can break off as much as you need. If you are a ginger virgin, start with a knob just an inch or two long.

Gingered Beet and Berry Salad

serves 4

4 small beets, 1-1/2 to 2” in diameter

1 cup raspberries

2 tablespoons honey

4 crossways slices of ginger root,  each 1/4” thick

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Hold onto the stems of the beets and using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the beets.

Grate beets using a box or plane grater, into a small bowl.

Or use a mini food processor. Transfer beets to a small mixing bowl.

I have shaved them using a ribbon microplane. This works too, and you get a softer texture. I prefer more crunch.

In a mini food processor, puree 1/2 cup of berries, honey and ginger root together. Note: this is a lot of ginger. You can start with half as much as the recipe calls for if you are a bit timid.

Add raspberry ginger mixture to grated beets. Mix thoroughly. Chill until ready to serve.

Right before serving, garnish with the remaining whole berries and walnuts.

What is your favorite beet recipe?

What do you do with fresh ginger root?

8-3-2010 This recipe is included in the July Grow Your Own #43 recipe round up at Kitchen Gadget Girl Cooks. Check out what yummy things people around the world are growing and cooking.

The Intolerant Family Cookbook, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Family Friendly Food. Review and Give-Away.

ITFamily cookbook cover

I get fun things in the mail, often unexpected. One day I received this cookbook, and a lovely letter from one of the authors, Ellen Fitzsimmons. Could I review the book and offer a give-away on the blog?

Sure I could. Ellen and her daughter Molly Lepeska have written an excellent, tasty, healthy cookbook. Ellen is dairy and gluten intolerant, Molly is a type 1 diabetic.

Ellen is also a home economist, with over 30 years of experience in adult education with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Molly works in health communication and is a mom, to twin toddlers and a new baby. Her family currently lives in the Netherlands. The whole extended family loves good food and good cooking.

My 7 Favorite Things about The Intolerant Family Cookbook

1. Flavor, flavor, flavor. These are tasty recipes.

2. Whole, unprocessed ingredients. 

3. Variety of cuisines.

4. Simple to follow recipes from soup to nuts. Also snacks, salads, veggies, entrees, starches, and desserts. You can cook and eat all day.

5. ITF Tips (Intolerant Family Tips), these are handy sidebars, a total of nineteen. Examples include, “Know your Milk Substitutes” and my personal favorite “Meet the Tomatillo”. 

6. Whole-grain gluten-free flour blend for baked goods.

7. Nutritional analysis for each recipe.

Some Recipes to Tempt You

“Faster than Take-Out” recipes

Chicken and Broccoli, flavored with fresh ginger, garlic, jalapeno, onion, and a bit of brown sugar.

Sweet-Spicy Glazed Salmon seasoned with brown sugar, mustard, rice vinegar, and fish sauce.

Beef Wrapped in Lettuce, a great appetizer, loaded with veggies and spices. An alternative recipe using ground turkey is included.

Super Fast Mediterranean Fish, topped with tomato, green beans, fresh lemon, and black olives.

Ethnic Variety

German-Easy Kraut and Pork Chops.

Mexican-Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde, and Green Tomatillo Chili. Both recipes use tomatillos, everyone should try tomatillos. I love tomatillos. Fresh and light green, they taste a bit like lime. Once you try them you will use them frequently. Mexican will never be the same.

Indian-Carrot Curry Soup. With coconut milk, peanut butter, curry powder, ginger, garlic, onions. And garnished with chopped peanuts.

Italian-Antipasto. A beautiful serving tray of steamed asparagus, fresh or roasted tomatoes, artichoke bottoms, hearts of palm, yellow pepper strips, black and green olives. Drizzled with home-made herb and olive oil dressing. Add GF/DF pepperoni, hard cooked egg slices, or oil packed white tuna if you want a heartier tray.

Midwestern-When It Has to Be Fried Fish. This makes me smile, we are in Wisconsin after all. Friday night fish fries are a tradition here. This recipe uses white fish, cornmeal seasoned with black pepper, paprika, and cayenne. The fish is dipped in rice milk, then the cornmeal mix, then fried with a golden crust. It is a lovely tradition.

Or Chunky Red Chili, made with beef, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and lots of chili powder. A cold weather Midwestern mainstay.

copa 058

fresh tomatillos in the Cuernavaca, Mexico Mercado photo by lsimon

New to You Ingredients

Perhaps you thought, tomatillos, fish sauce, fresh ginger, rice vinegar-“I don’t know about those”. I encourage to to become acquainted, you will soon be fast friends.

These ingredients add zest to life and cooking. They are easy to obtain and stock in your kitchen. The Intolerant Family Cookbook is happy to make the introduction.

Do you wonder if your family will like these? They will. I think it is a crime to limit kids choices to nuggets and fries. There is so much wonderful food to be enjoyed. The secret is to start early. The Intolerant Family Cookbook shows you how.

Nutritional Analysis

Each recipe includes calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.

Knowing carbs and fiber is crucial to tightly manage glucose and insulin for folks with type 1 diabetes. Ellen and Molly use limited amounts of sugar, no sugar-free products. Better to use the real thing, than a substitute. Some sugar-free products cause GI distress, and who needs that?


Intolerant Family Cookbook is there, with useful info and updates. You can become a fan.

Gluten-Free Cooking Expo

You can meet Ellen Fitzsimmons at the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo Vendors Fair April 17-18 in Lisle, Il. You will find her kind and thoughtful, she doesn’t seem intolerant at all.

Enter to Win an Intolerant Family Cookbook

Simply leave a comment below by April 21, 2010 and a working email. You do not need to publish the email in the comment. It will be recorded in the comment form and I will be able to access it. But please enter it carefully. Too many times, I need to choose another winner because of emails that are undeliverable.

Updated 4-22-2010

Congratulations to our winner Alissa, chosen by random number generator. She was the first to comment, sometimes it pays to be first.

Cranberry Cole Slaw

cranberry cole slaw

cranberry cole slaw photo by vsimon

Are you craving crunchy freshness right about now? When meltingly tender slow-cooked stews and soups predominate. They are welcome, but sometimes you want some bite-y food. 

And make that simple, quick, healthy, and low cal too, please.

I like this lightly dressed and fat free. But you can easily add oil if you want to increase the calories.

Mix it in a minute, then stash it in the fridge. Some say it is better made ahead, and it does change over time. The dressing magically multiplies, the cranberries swell and soften. Everything turns a pretty pale pink.

We like it all ways, in any stage of the lifecycle. Right away, the next day, and a few days later.  It’s all fresh, all crunchy.

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the fresh close up photo by vsimon

Cranberry Cole Slaw

Yield 6-7 cups  
1 tablespoon honey 15 ml
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 30 ml
14 oz shredded cabbage and carrot blend 700 gm
1 cup dried cranberries 160 gm
1 teaspoon celery seeds 1 gm

Put honey and cider in the bottom of a large bowl, stir until well mixed.

Add everything else and stir to combine.

Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

*Please don’t skip the celery seeds. They add fragrance, flavor, and a bit more crunch. Personally, I don’t think it is possible to make cole slaw without celery seeds.

How do you like cole slaw?