Let Me Introduce the Improv-ers: Teaspoon of Spice

I love healthy blogs.  I love seeing the beautiful colors of fruits and vegetables.  I love seeing how good tasting healthy food can be.  I think after the Great Migration of 2012 is over in a few weeks, I may have to start visiting the Jacksonville Farmer’s Market…but enough about me.  Today is all about Serena, one half of  the Teaspoon of Spice blog.  She and her writing partner are both dieticians.  They also host the Recipe Redoux, a monthly challenge where a bunch of healthy foodies follow a  theme to come up with healthy, gorgeous recipes.

Hello! My name is Serena and I blog with fellow dietitian Deanna at Teaspoon of Spice. We’ve had great fun creating in the kitchen with Kristen’s Improv Challenges! (How could one NOT have fun trying to come up with a new twist on corn and butter?)

Beet and Apple Millet Salad

The beets in my tiny garden did not come up this year. However, my father is a gardener extraordinaire. The beets in his Montana garden grew beautifully. A couple days ago, when we flew home from our Montana summer vacation, I just had to carry along some of his beet bounty. So besides schlepping several backpacks for my kids, I had my own backpack on my back and about 25 pounds of vegetables in a backpack worn on my front. (Of course I was trying save a few bucks and avoid checking most of our luggage.) Looking back, it wasn’t the wisest choice – as I barely made it to the gate of our connecting flight with all my bags. Plus, we have bountiful farmer’s markets here in Chicagoland. But you see, they were vegetables my own father grew! And there’s something nostalgic about bringing a little bit of the farm to the city.

But despite my silly sacrifice of carrying beets thousands of miles to my kitchen, the only way my kids will eat beets is in this sweet and savory Beet & Apple Salad. I’ve made all sorts of variations on it: With pears instead of apples, with a variety of nuts, with or without shredded carrots, with feta or goat cheese, with grapes instead of raisins, with or without couscous or millet. But the basics remained the same: Shredded beets and apples plus a sweet citrus dressing.

  • 1 large beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1 large apple, cored and shredded (not peeled)
  • 1½ cups cooked millet
  • 3-4 tablespoons raisins
  • ⅓ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon raw agave sweetener (or honey)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a serving bowl, mix together beet, apple, millet and raisins.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together juice, oil, orange peel, mustard, agave, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour over beet mixture and toss to mix.
  4. Sprinkle with peanuts.


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