Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Salad with an Orange Ginger Dressing

**First off, I’m honored to share that Dr. Frank Lipman has featured my recipe for Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza in his Gluten-Free Recipe Round-Up: Best Pinterest Recipes of 2012!! I noticed a couple of months ago that I had been getting a lot of views on my site from Pinterest thanks to a repost by Dr. Lipman. This prompted me to do some research and I instantly fell in love with Dr. Lipman’s philosophy! He takes a holistic approach to health; he stresses that health is not just the absence of disease, it’s a combination of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. I couldn’t agree more!! Click here to check out all of the amazing recipes included in his roundup or to browse Dr. Lipman’s site and learn more about his fascinating approach to health.

Now, on to the recipe…

20130129-215154.jpg With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’ve become even more cheesy and sappy than usual–I didn’t think it was possible!

As I was cleaning out the kitchen drawers over the weekend, I stumbled upon heart and star-shaped cookie-cutters. The odd thing is, I don’t even remember buying them. But, the fact that I found them so close to Valentine’s Day seemed like a sign from the food gods that I needed to put them to good use. I had already planned to make my new favorite salad with roasted beets and sweet potatoes, so I opted to cut the veggies into adorable hearts!

20130129-215208.jpg I know it sounds silly, but they tasted even better this way!!

Heart-shaped veggies or not, this salad is amazingly tasty! I’ve been intentionally making extra roasted beets and sweet potatoes as well as dressing to keep in my fridge so that I can toss everything together in a flash when I want an easy and delicious salad. You can use any kind of beet (although red beets may be pretty messy and will turn the other salad ingredients hot pink, too–but there’s nothing wrong with a hot-pink salad!) I used beautiful chiogga beets in the picture above and I love the various colors that pop in this beautiful salad!


Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Salad with an Orange Ginger Dressing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large or 2 small beets (I used chiogga beets in the salad pictured above), peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 cups (or more) of mixed salad greens
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced in half, pit removed, and sliced into thin slivers
  • a handful of pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • ¼ tsp. orange zest (plus more for decoration)
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. EVOO or sesame oil
  • a few drops liquid stevia (or 1 tsp. honey)
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the sweet potatoes and beets in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the veggies out on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for approx. 30 minutes, turning the veggies halfway through. The veggies are ready when they’re cooked through (you may need to watch them closely to make sure that they’re not over-cooked). Allow the roasted veggies to cool before tossing with the other salad ingredients.
  3. Plate the salad greens and top with roasted veggies, leek, avocado, and pecans.
  4. To make the dressing, mix the orange juice, zest, ginger, oil, stevia, and sea salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour over the salad and top with remaining orange zest.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*I’ve submitted this recipe to Gluten Free Fridays and Healthy Vegan Fridays

Simple Quinoa Porridge

On cold mornings like this, I want nothing more than a nice warm bowl of Quinoa Porridge.


I just love when it snows in Dallas!! It’s a rare occasion, but when it does happen, I turn into an excited little kid who can hardly wait to throw on my boots and heavy winter coat so that I can run outside to build snowmen and make snow angels. Ok, so we usually don’t get enough snow for that, but I try my hardest to make it work!

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Cranberry Persimmon Sauce and My Holiday-Filled WIAW

20121219-101545.jpg The past few days have been packed with holiday flavor! It finally occurred to me–and just in time, thank goodness–that Christmas is almost here! I’ve been celebrating by eating (a lot), bundling up and watching Christmas movies, and spending hours working on gigantic Christmas puzzles. Yes, I’m 29 going on 80.

My favorite part of all has got to be the food. Hands down, holiday food it the best. Yesterday, I tried to cram as much holiday flavor into my day as possible. In addition to everything else I ate, I kept sneaking spoonfuls of my Cranberry Persimmon Sauce (recipe below) throughout the day.
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Bite-size Chocolate Turtle Candy Bars


I can already tell these little devils will be the death of me.

It’s no secret that I have a major issue with restraint, particularly in the realm of chocolate. But when you combine chocolate, caramel, and pecans, I lose all control.

Many years ago–long before I gave up dairy and when I still had a killer metabolism–I worked at an ice cream shop. My favorite item on the menu was the turtle sundae, which consisted of vanilla ice cream and a mixture of chocolate sauce, caramel, and chopped pecans drizzled on top. I always loved when customers would order that sundae because I could accidentally (wink, wink) make an abundance of the topping and eat inhale the leftovers.

I’m not sure what it was that recently reminded me of that topping, but once the craving for a turtle-sundae-like dessert struck, I had to come up with something immediately.
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Personal Pumpkin Pie (Vegan, GF, Almost Raw)


Honestly, what would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin pie?!

Pumpkin pie has become the quintessential fall dessert and a necessary–yes, necessary–component of Thanksgiving dinner. Simple, slightly sweet, and bursting with fall flavor–it’s the perfect ending to a decadent feast and it seems to wrap everything up in a nice, neat bow.

For some time now I’ve been wanting to make a Personal Pumpkin Pie. You see, I’m the type of person who eats an entire pie when there’s one sitting right in front of me. Basically, I have no self-control, especially when it comes to dessert. So, if I make smaller, personal-sized desserts, I’m (sometimes) able to avoid grossly overeating. My favorite mini dessert comes in the form of pie. I’ve shared quite a few mini pies on Almonds & Avocados in the past: Mini Raw Cacao-liscious Pies, Mini Raw Key Lime Pies, Banana Coconut Cream Pies, and Raw Coconut Cream Pies. Though these pies are “mini” versions, they’re actually quite large and filling. And what do all of these pies have in common? They’re all raw, and each one is dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free. They’re also full of flavor! YAY for healthy, delicious desserts!

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