Thursday, April 17, 2014

Breakfast Recipe: Shredded Beets with Eggs and Avocado

I've been happily documenting my cooking and meals lately but have failed to start pouring the recipes on this blog. Honestly, besides being busy as heck, the lack of food posts is mostly because I don't track measurements, cooking times, etc, when I'm just cooking on my own without a set recipe (which is 95% of the time, if not more). I think it's more fun to go with the flow when in the kitchen and it allows for a little wiggle room and creativity (unless you're baking, of course, then it becomes science and you need specific measurements).

But I'm ready to get in the groove of sharing some meals fit for healthy endurance athletes. Starting with something I just ate. This morning I made one of my staple go-to breakfasts, good for pre or post workout IMO. I have a handful of breakfasts that I rotate through regularly, and almost all include eggs, avocado and some variety of veggies (from greens to starchy root veggies). Just depends how I'm feeling, workout status, and so on.

Today's is something a bit sweet and savory and covers all the bases for quality fats, protein and carbs. All fresh energizing foods, nothing processed. The star ingredient is the BEET. I love beet juice and love roasted beets, but I'll be honest -- I get sick of the taste of the juice, and roasting is just time consuming, especially if I want a fast breakfast (which is always). So I got creative one day and created what's now one of my favorite breakfast dishes, it's sorta comfort foodish as well.  I grabbed the cheese grater and just shredded a full beet to make into a hash, like you would hash browns. I add to the mix other veggies -- things like leafy greens, green onion, fennel, mushrooms, or whatever you like or have on hand, really. Of course, mixing creamy avocado and eggs and is a must. After the recipe, I've added some health facts on why this breakfast is super nutritious on all fronts...


Shredded Beets with Eggs and Avocado
who needs shredded wheat when you can have shredded beets
Nearly finished dish of wholesome goodness...
Just add those golden eggs! (I also added hemp seeds but forgot photo of that.)

Ingredients:
1 red beet
2 pasture-raised eggs, with yolk
1/2 large avocado
3-5 leaves of dino kale
~1/2 cup fennel, chopped
1 green onion
1 tbsp raw hemp seeds
virgin coconut oil and/or grassfed butter
sea salt, to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1 packet stevia or sweetener of choice
 pepper

Optional Ingredients:
-coconut shreds or flakes
-chopped nuts
-chia or flaxseed
-additional veggies (I've tried it with summer squash, mushrooms, or spinach)

Directions:
-Chop up fennel, green onion and kale. Shred entire beet with cheese grater or food processor. (I have both, but often too lazy/busy to clean food processor lol.)

-Heat medium pan and melt ~1 tbsp butter or coconut oil (I use butter vs. coconut oil purely based on what my mood dictates, both are delicious, and the amount is always eyeballed). Add fennel, cook that for a bit, then add green onion and kale. Saute all veggies until they're nearly done then add a bit more oil/butter and throw in shredded beet. Stir and cook all together on medium to high heat for just a few minutes. The beet is already so thinly shredded it doesn't need to be cooked for long, and you don't want to burn it. (It doesn't turn out quite as crispy/dense as hash browns, but doing it my way will better preserve the nutrients by not overcooking and frying to death.) At the very end add cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, stevia/sweetener. That cinnamon and nutmeg set this dish apart and really bring out an amazing flavor profile. I'm addicted to cinnamon.... thank goodness it's so full of health benefits like controlling blood sugar.

Note: The beet has a natural sweetness and with the salt it's a beautiful combination of sweet/savory. You don't really need more sweetener than what the beet naturally gives, but if you're like me, you'll like to enhance it just a tad with more stevia. If you don't like stevia, then honey is my next suggestion (although, I've only done it with stevia).

-In a separate small pan melt more coconut oil or butter and crack in 2 full eggs. Immediately whip them up with a fork for a scramble (I add a dash of water when whipping to help fluffiness of the scramble). Cook those until fluffly and done.

-Lastly slice up and/or mash 1/2 avocado.

-Add beet/veggie mix to a bowl, then mix in any additional ingredients (hemp, chia, coconut, nuts, etc). Top with the avocado and eggs, mix it all together (let the creamy avocado coast the veggies and eggs mmm), and ENJOY!
First cook veggies, then add  leafy greens....
...and add the beets at the very end.






Mix it all up and get those beets coated in oil/butter!


Separate pan, scramble eggs!



Add everything to a bowl starting with beet/veggie mix. Then avocado.





Then eggs, and other add-ons like hemp seeds (oops forgot to catch the hemp on camera).



Why this dish rocks:

-Beets are a great source of carbs with tons of nutrients and health benefits and not tons of calories. Even the non-juice form of beets can have performance-enhancing effects like the juice does. For the athlete this entails increased oxygenation of the muscles and blood flow due to nitrate content in beets (this can also help reduce blood pressure in clinical situations). Additionally, beets aid in liver detoxification and fight inflammation. (See why you don't want to overcook them to a crisp?! Preserve those nutrients!!)

-The cinnamon helps prevent a spike in blood sugar and maintains steady insulin levels. You can always add more cinnamon, as much as you personally can tolerate is fine!

-Dino kale is superior to other kale species. Kale and many greens contain natural toxins called oxalic acid. Oxalic acid (oxalates) originally served as a protection mechanism for the vegetable so it'd survive "the elements" and predators. Unfortunately, oxalic acid has the potential to have ill effects in our bodies, such as muscle weakness, joint pain, blocking calcium absorption, or if you're vulnerable to gout or kidney stones that could be very problematic.Thankfully dino kale is low in oxalic acid, and even lower once it gets lightly cooked in a quality fat source. In fact, all greens/veggies are enhanced in terms of nutrient-quality when cooked in fat!

I love me some fennel.
-Fennel is a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in antioxidants, folate, fiber, potassium, iron, to name just a few. It can even promote regulation of hormones for females specifically, and prevent gas! Most of all, the flavor profile of fennel complements the beets very well in this dish.

-Pasture-raised eggs with yolk. The ultimate food and ultimate source of protein. Pasture-raised chickens are essentially grassfed, not grain-fed and eggs from this source won't contain GMOs. (Aside: "Vegetarian eggs mean nothing of worth.... that just means they were fed crappy grains likely.)

-Avocado. The ultimate fat source to keep you satiated and a lean machine full of energy. You know what they say, "An avocado a day...." Ok, that's what I say ;)

-The optional ingredients listed all offer healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and sustaining energy that won't lead to spikes and crashes.



... next up will be my ultimate post-workout refueling breakfast.






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