Hello! I’m Frances and I'm delighted you’ve found The Blushing Beetroot. This is my first ever attempt at blog writing and I’m so excited to be able to share some of my healthy food creations with you.
I’m a full time mum of two little ones. I find I’m cooking so much now and experimenting a lot with different foods and dishes that I’d like to record and share them with you. Also it gives me something to keep my brain from going totally rusty!!
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I can’t believe the Summer is over and Autumn is here! I have to say that Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. Autumnal weather means cosy knits, oversized scarfs and knee boots. My wardrobe is definitely suited to this time of year. Fashion aside, warming stews, pies, curries and one- pot wonders spring to mind too. Traditional cottage and shepherd’s pies are off the menu for me so I was lucky enough to indulge in some recipie creating one Saturday afternoon. I’m thrilled with the result. The beef or lamb is replaced with puy lentils. As lentils are bland when cooked alone, and have marginal amounts of fat which give meat and dairy a lot of their flavour, I’ve added sauces, wine and vegetables to make this as comforting as its meat cousin. I hope you enjoy x
Portion – 4
Prep -45 mins
Cooking – 1 hour
• 700g rooster potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
• 300g puy lentils -rinsed
• 15 sun dried tomatoes -diced.
• 3 carrots peeled and finely -diced
• 2 sticks of celery washed and finely diced
• 1 medium onion peeled and diced
• 2 bay leaves
• Dash of Worcester sauce
• 1 tomato chopped
• Splash of red wine
• Salt & pepper
•2 tbsp tomato purée
. Vegetable stock or bouillon.
. Knob of non dairy butter and a splash of dairy free milk
• Place the prepared potatoes into a pot of boiling water. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until cooked. Drain and mash to a smooth consistency with the butter and milk.
• Pop the lentils into a pot with the required amount of water, ( approx 1.2L), the bay leaves and chopped tomato. Add ground pepper and 1 tsp of vegetable stock or bouillon and cook according to the instructions, usually boil for 10 minutes and simmer for 30.
• Put the onion, carrots and celery into a heavy bottomed pot with some oil or/and a splash of water. Season. Allow the vegetables to sweat for 10-15 minutes until soft. Once cooked keep the lid on but take off the heat.
• Once the lentils are cooked add the wine and worchester sauce. Allow to cook for a further 5 minutes so the alcohol is cooked off. If the consistency is slightly dry, add a little more stock. Remove the bay leaves.
• Next add the chopped sundried tomatoes and tomato purée to the lentil mixture.
• combine the lentils with the onion, carrot and celery pot and mix well. Taste and add seasoning.
• Spread the mash on top of the lentil mixture and pop in the oven for 10- 15 mins.
• If your making a crusty cheese topping sprinkle on top and place into an oven on ‘oven and grill setting’ until bubbling. Serve.
Here’s the juicy bit . . .
I love cooking with lentils. Red split and puy are the variety I tend to cook with most often. Add lentils to soups, use them to make dahls or they are very useful as a substitute for meat, as in this dish. Lentils are versatile and easy to cook with.
Lentils are a great source of fibre which helps keep our digestive systems working efficiently. I can’t stress enough, how the health of ones’ digestive system, is paramount for overall health and wellbeing. If your digestive system is sluggish, inflamed or unwell it will impact on its ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. Not absorbing the nutrients can lead to a deficiency in some areas and you not feeling your best.
Adequate amounts of fibre are necessary for digestive health. To loosely categorise, fibre is divided into soluble and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre helps you feel full longer thereby reducing hunger pangs. It slows down gastric emptying and therefore helps to stabilise blood sugar. Research also shows that soluble fibre helps reduce cholesterol.
Insoluble fibre is like a sweeping brush for your digestive tract! It remains virtually intact until it reaches your large intestine and thereby helps move food through your system and prevent constipation. Excreting waste products regularly helps prevents toxic build in your gut which could otherwise be passed into your blood system and potentially lead to numerous conditions.
Lentils and all plant based foods contain fibre, whereas dairy and meat contain none. So remember, to keep your gut gleaming, stomach singing and your intestines insanely happy, aim for a plant based whole food diet!
Being a young (ish) Mum of two, I’m all too familiar with a constant, fluctuating, crazy schedule. Particularly the first 14 weeks when you wonder will life ever be normal again.
Unsettled nights followed by topsy turvy days leaves you asking why is my life nothing like the Mums portrayed on magazines covers and TV advertisements, always energetic and organised?
I found that I needed to fuel my body regularly in order to keep my energy levels up to deal with the physical demands of breast feeding and feeling constantly tired from interrupted sleep.
Quick food on the go was needed daily. When both children are hungry the priority is always to feed the little ones and you just gotta wait!!
This is why I came up with this healthy flapjack. I wanted something quick to eat, highly nutritious, packed with energy and tasty of course! So I created this energy bar.
The oats give slow release energy and the fibre gives you a feeling of fullness. The banana and dates gives you an instant natural sugar boost and the chocolate makes these bars delicious! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Makes 9 flapjacks.
Prep: 15 minutes.
Cooking: 15 minutes.
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 medjool dates
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 banana
- 50g 70% dark chocolate
- 150g of porridge oats.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 20cm X 20cm baking tin with coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil, almond butter and maple syrup in a pot over a gentle heat. Meanwhile peel and slice the banana. De-stone the dates and cut into small pieces using a scissors.
Stir in the dates and banana to the melted oil mixture. Add the oats and stir well. Break up the chocolate and melt it into the oat mixture. You can add more oats, chocolate and syrup if desired.
The mixture is quite dry which is normal. Transfer to your greased baking dish and pop into the over for 15 mins. Remove and leave to cool for 10-15 mins. I usually pop the tray into the fridge at this stage for 10 mins to allow the oil to harden further and this helps hold the flapjacks together. Cut in squares and enjoy.
I store my flapjacks in an airtight tupperware in the fridge and they keep for days although you’ll be lucky if little fingers haven’t eaten them all sooner!!
Here’s the juicy bit. . .
Oats are high in soluble fibre. Once soluble fibre is ingested it forms a gel by attracting water which slows down digestion and keeps you full longer. This prevents spikes in blood sugar and rates low on the GI scale. Great for diabetics. Soluble fibers can also help lower LDL ( low density lipoprotein -AKA bad cholesterol )!! by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
Oats are a good source of protein and iron with one 40g serving providing approximately 10% of your daily iron needs.
The dates and bananas give a natural sweetness which won’t peek your blood sugar like refined sugars. Dates are a great source of plant based iron and calcium which vegetarians and vegans need to ensure they are getting enough of.
The chocolate is indulgent naughtiness!!