Wednesday, October 19, 2011


One of my favorite things in the entire world is having lunch with my daughter. Call me old fashion, but I love it when we are able to both sit at the table and have a meal together. She's at the age now where her and I can eat similar foods [hooray!] and today is no exception.

Actually, today's lunch was birthed out of my intense desire to like beets. To be perfectly honest, I really don't like them. Pickled, steamed, raw, or roasted, I just can't seem to wrap my taste buds around them and get on board. But I also love a challenge and have consistently bought them at my local farmer's market with the desperate belief that one day I'll fall in love [with beets I mean, I am already in love with the most wonderful man and beautiful daughter].

Well, today it happened. Maybe it's not love but the like is finally there. In my opinion love only comes when you can completely embrace all aspects of that being. Sorry beets, but I'm not into your raw version yet. Or steamed. But sauteed and baked? Now that I can enjoy. Pair it with some crunchy kale and a sweet potato and ooh la la - a relationship is born.

And my daughter? I think she loves anything I do and will eat anything I eat [remember this if your child is being picky about a particular food]. Just like her mama beets haven't been an immediate fixation but today the plate was cleaned and a tummy full. Perfection. Each time she puts something in her mouth I am reminded of my intense responsibility of caring for her whole person - mind, body, soul. I breathe life into her every time I kneel down and play or notice the seemingly insignificant thing that she must show me right now. To her, it is the most important thing in the world and that makes it the most important thing in my world. I provide her security each time I kiss, hug, and snuggle her. I give her a little piece of eternity each time she takes our hands and watches us pray. And I nourish her little body with every beet, potato, and piece of kale, teaching her the value of family when we sit down and eat together.

So, today may you chase fervently after something you know is good. And may you be rewarded. May you look at your children, or the children of others, and see in those trusting eyes the deep responsibility we have to care for them well. May you rise to the occasion. And may you leave a legacy that is far greater and more lasting than anything that could ever be written on paper. May it be written in the beings of those you love.


2 medium sweet potatoes
1 medium - large beet, greens removed
1 bunch of kale [I love lacinato kale] and beet greens
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of Real Salt sea salt
fresh ground pepper
pinch of granulated garlic
ghee, non-dairy butter [like Earth Balance Soy-Free spread], or extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Wash and scrub potatoes. Using a fork, poke with a few holes on each side. Place in oven and bake until soft, approximately 40 minutes [depending on size of potato].

Wash and scrub beet. Remove peels and greens. Set greens aside for later use. Shred beets using cheese shredder or processor. In cast iron skillet, heat 1 tsp. of oil. Once oil is hot, add beet and cook for 5 minutes or until cooler had deepened. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet [separate a little if cooking for a young one as well]. Set aside.

Wash kale and beet greens. As thinly as you can cut, slice the greens. In the same cast iron skillet, add the remaining teaspoon of oil and heat. Add greens and saute until a deep green is achieved, approximately 5 minutes. Place on same parchment lined baking sheet [again, separate a little if cooking for a younger child].

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sprinkle the "adult" portion of beet and greens with sea salt and granulated garlic. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until kale is very crispy [Little tip: you can also make great kale chips this way. Simply cut the piece a little larger, saute, and bake!].

Once the potatoes are soft completely through, remove from oven and cut in half, length-wise. For baby, scoop out potato and discard [compost] peel. Mash well. For adult, mash in peel and add ghee, non-dairy butter or drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper.

Once kale is crispy, remove kale and beets from oven. Place kale on plate. Add prepared sweet potatoes and top with beets. Sprinkle with a little larger grain kosher salt.

For baby, add kale and beets to mashed sweet potato and serve plain.

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