Zinger!

Fresh Ginger Root

I loved Zingers.  The ones with raspberry.  I could eat almost a whole box in one sitting.  That sugar just drove me to eat “just one more.”  Same thing with Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.  Chaz used to tease me about having a stash.  Well, if I left them in the pantry they’d be gone before I could get one or two.  Residual habit from living with my parents, brother, and sisters.  Junk food would be gone in minutes before I had a chance to get any of it so I didn’t eat much junk food unless I was out with friends.

I’m sure I could concoct some kind of gluten-free Zinger taste-a-like.  Honestly though, I’m not interested in even trying.  The zinger that I’m most interested in these days is ginger.

I love ginger.  The more the better.  I love that it has natural healing properties.  It’s great for nausea, gastrointestinal problems, and sore throats.  Ginger is one of my go-to foods when I’m sick.  I’ll boil it in water to use to make tea.  I’ll boil it with a little meat to make Voo Doo Soup, an ex-roommate’s concoction which does help you feel better.  I have some ginger candy that I use when my throat hurts.  It’s good for the heart and has some anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

Zinger Juice

I love to add it when I’m juicing.  It gives me that zing in the morning that perks me right up.  It also adds a little spice to the veggie and fruit mix, especially if I wind up a little too heavy on the veggies.  I tend to us a lot of ginger if I use it in juicing so it is potent.  If you aren’t that big of a ginger fan, use less if you try this out.

Zinger Juice

1 beet with stems and leaves

2 carrots

1 thumb length piece of ginger

1 apple

1 orange, peeled

2-3 cups black grapes

Wash the beet, carrots, ginger and grapes well.  Do not peel the beets or carrots.  If your beet, apple, and peeled orange are too big for your juicer’s tube, quarter them before juicing.  Place ingredients into the tube and juice.  It took 3 fillings of the tube to get everything juiced.  This yielded slightly more than 16 ounces.  You can vary the fruits and veggies.  I will sometimes add berries when I have fresh berries.

It Starts With A Thought

 

Citrus Mint Quinoa with Golden Beets

 

It always starts with a thought, doesn’t it?  That little idea that sparks the desire to experiment.  “I like this and this.  I wonder how it would taste together.”  That’s how it starts with me at least.  This particular thought came to me while driving home from the grocery store a couple of weeks ago.  Of course it was after I left the store.  It would make too much sense for me to have it in the store where I could actually purchase the items needed for the experiment.  I could have turned around and gone back for it, but having the thought after the fact gave me time to plan.

So the thought started with beets.  I saw some lovely beets in the grocery and realized I hadn’t fixed beets in a while.  Then I thought of a bulgar wheat recipe from one of The South Beach Diet cookbooks.  It’s a delicious side with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint.  Bulgar wheat is out of the question in recipes so I thought, what about quinoa?  Then, what if I used some citrus and beets in the recipe?  Hmmmmm…

So, I mulled this over for a bit and finally put it on the menu this week to go along with some Slow Cooker Citrus Fish.  I chose golden beets simply because this was an experiment and I didn’t want the purplishness of beets to bleed onto everything.  Yet.

The result was tasty and clean.  The only thing I would do to improve upon it is letting the quinoa cool completely.  If you look closely at the picture, the heat from the quinoa wilted the mint, which in turn killed a little of the mint flavor.  I did cook it ahead of time, but did not put it in the fridge or keep turning it and fanning it to cool it down.  Lesson learned.

Citrus Mint Quinoa with Golden Beets

3 golden beets, oven roasted, cooled, peeled, and diced

1 cup quinoa, cooked in 2 cups water and cooled completely

1/2 lime (or lemon), juiced

1 tablespoon mint, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.