Tag Archives: Healthy Cooking

The Amazing Artichoke!

I recently held a cooking and nutrition seminar with a support group of amazing ladies who are either currently in cancer treatment or are in recovery. To say it was inspiring just doesn’t do justice.  These women were warriors!   I am a firm believer that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and have witnessed testimonials from people who say some of their weakest and lowest moments end up becoming their biggest blessings.  #staystrong

This particular seminar focused primarily on anti-inflammatory foods since inflammation and gut health are critical to recovery and fighting free radicals.  #foodheals  One of my highlighted foods was the artichoke and can I just say it is amazing!  Truly!   I can’t say enough about how my mind was blown when I started researching the benefits and why artichokes might be the best superfood on the planet!

For starters,  did you know that the antioxidant value in one cup of artichoke hearts is nearly the equivalent of  1 cup of blueberries plus an 8-ounce cup of orange juice combined?! Not to mention it is double the fiber of 1 cup of cooked broccoli and 25% higher in fiber than a cup of prunes! But wait, there’s more;  artichokes provide 12% of our daily requirement of vitamin k, they also contain phytonutrients and compounds that fight and neutralize free radicals. The list goes on and on…

http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/12-unexpected-artichoke-health-benefits/

So when was the last time you ate an artichoke heart and why didn’t we know this? Clearly, pom wonderful and blueberries have a better marketing team because for the longest I thought they were The power food with the highest amount of antioxidants.  #mindblown

Now comes the hard part.  What do I do with an artichoke? How do I cook artichokes and start incorporating them into my diet?  Easy!  Check out some of my favorite recipes below for preparing this superfood at home fresh or out of the jar! And check out my video below on grilling artichokes with a Ceasar style dipping sauce.

 

artichoke benefits

Artichoke & Leek Soup

  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 2 leeks- tops removed, washed well and chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cans (8 ounce) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2-3 quarts of chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 1 TBSP Turmeric
  • 1 lemon juiced or 1 Tablespoon organic bottled lemon juice
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • Chives for garnish

Heat the oil in a stock pot or large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and garlic and stir.  Add the artichokes, stock, salt, turmeric, and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender about 15 minutes.

Using a handheld immersion blender, puree the soup.  Add the coconut cream, lemon juice, cayenne and re-season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with chopped chives and a pinch of cayenne or paprika.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoon mayonnaise or substitute with greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP Sambal Oleek – (Red Chili Paste)
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Once all ingredients are combined serve fresh with toasted pita chips or place in a baking dish and bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top

Grilled Artichokes 

grilled artichoke

  • Four large artichokes
  • 2 lemons halved
  • Fresh dill for garnish
To prepare the artichokes bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lemon to a large bowl of water and working with one artichoke at a time, trim the outer leaves, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the choke.  Place in lemon water to prevent browning while trimming the remaining artichokes.
Cook the artichokes in the pot of boiling water for 15 minutes or until almost tender but not falling apart. Drain.
Heat a grill pan on a high heat.  Brush the artichokes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill the cut side down until charred in spots for about 5 min.  Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy leaf by leaf.
Caesar style dipping sauce 
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
    Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Low-Carb Cauli Fried “Rice”

 

 

It’s of course that time of year, where we are all struggling to keep from breaking those new years resolutions,  hoping to lose a few more lbs and shred that winter weight.  I am a firm believer in watching carbs, primarily I say carbs and refer to wheat and grains.  Over the course of the last couple of years, I have slowly merged to a gluten free lifestyle and have eliminated pasta, bread and a lot of grains from my routine.  To be honest, I don’t miss it (that much).  Let’s be really honest, there are those days no substitutions will suffice for good ole’ southern biscuits and gravy BUT, I try live by the motto progress not perfection. #afreshhotmess

 There are so many options available now and fairly easy substitutions.  Take my fried cauli rice recipe for instance,  I have a nine year old and she can’t tell the difference between cauli-rice or white rice in this dish.  It is flavorful, full of veggies and Asian flavors and is delicious!

Not only does replacing white rice (a nutrient-poor refined grain) with cauliflower drastically cut the amount of simple carbs you would be taking in, it adds tons of beneficial nutrients as well. Cauliflower is chock-full of fiber (about 3 grams per cup), which aids with digestion, helps fill you up and keep your belly full longer, and could help lower your cholesterol. Looking to boost your immunity? A one-cup serving of cauliflower provides  nearly 77% of your day’s recommended vitamin C intake. It is also a good source of B vitamins and vitamin K.

A 1-cup serving of cooked cauliflower rice contains a mere 29 calories (23 calories per every 100 grams) and 7.5 grams of carbs. If you compare that to an equal-sized portion of white rice, you will discover that 1 cup of cooked white rice contains 242 calories and (130 calories per every 100 grams) and 53 grams of carbs. That is a huge difference!

Enjoy my delicious recipe for Fried Cauli “Rice” and Share your dishes with me on instagram at @afreshhotmess! Cheers!

fried-cauli-rice

Cauliflower FriedRice
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (6 to 7 cups florets) or 1 bag of riced cauliflower
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 nob ginger (1 tablespoon minced)
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame or frozen peas
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire’s sauce (soy free) or coconut aminos
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime juiced or rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ¼ cup cashews, for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1.  If you can not find the already riced cauliflower in the bag. Chop the cauliflower into large florets. Place half of the florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully chopped and the cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Remove the “rice” to a bowl and process the remainder of the cauliflower.
  2. Peel carrots, then chop them into small cubes. Thinly slice the celery stalks. Peel and mince 2 cloves garlic. Peel 1 nob ginger, then mince enough for 1 tablespoon. Thinly slice 2 green onions.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large frying pan, then add eggs and scramble them, breaking them into small pieces. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil; add garlic and ginger and saute, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add veggies and saute for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and 2 cups shelled edamame (or peas) and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons sesame oil, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and fish sauce along with the cooked egg and stir until fully combined.  Remove from heat and stir in the green onions and cilantro. Serve topped with cashews.

Chef Notes:  We like things a bit spicy in our house, so I like to top with a little Sriracha drizzle over the top of my bowl.  Also for a complete dinner you can top with grilled shrimp, seared chicken thighs, mix in ground beef, and so on and so forth.

 

Eat it up!

Can’t Beet This Salad! It’s Too Good To Beet-true!

Happy Monday Gang!  I’m still truckin on this fitness journey and six-week #fasterwaytofatloss boot-camp.  This morning began day one of week two in this carb cycling, intermittent fasting, HIIT training (still not sure what that means but ok?), heavy lifting, speed burst training, and  insulin manipulation cycle…thanks to the fitness gem and mastermind @amandatress. “HELP ME!”  Just kidding!  I actually feel great, I notice I  already have more energy, I am getting the workouts completed in the morning (and I AM NOT a morning person), I have zero hunger pains, cravings, and I  think I am losing weight. (part of this boot camp is to not weigh or measure until the end) I whisper this mantra daily….”Progress not Perfection!” but boy, will I be stoked at the end of this six-week journey if I have shed those lbs and lost inches!

It is November 14th and I just had a moment today realizing that Thanksgiving is nearly a week away! November is notoriously known for pilgrims, Tom turkey, and pumpkin pie but did you also know it is American Diabetes month? One of my best friends was recently diagnosed with type-1 diabetes and several of my family members are type two.  I wanted to share with you a recipe that has not only been great and filling for my fitness journey but is also beneficial for anyone with diabetes.

It is the peak of beet season here  in Bluegrass and I love heading to our local coop and seeing all the varieties and vibrant colors of beets. What better salad to enjoy the cool breeze and rust orange leaves than this Roasted Beet salad.  Beets are highly nutritious and are a diabetes-friendly root vegetable.  Certain unique pigment antioxidants in the root as well as in its top greens have found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke; lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects. Beets are low in calories, containing just 43 calories per 100-gram serving. They are high in levels of antioxidants which mop up damaging molecules called free radicals that can harm blood vessels. They are also high in phytonutrients called betalains, which help reduce inflammation. They also contain no cholesterol and very small amounts of fat.

And for those of you working on those macros…Each 100 gram serving of raw beet contains:

  • 9.96 grams of carbohydrates, made up of 7.96 grams of sugar and 2.0 grams of dietary fiber
  • 1.68 grams of protein

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts, Apple Slices, and Honey White Wine Vinaigrette 

Serves 4-6

For the Beets

  • 1 bunch medium beets (about 3)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Salad

  • 10 ounces mixed greens (I like a blend of frisee, radicchio and mesclun)
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (I also prefer them toasted for more flavor)
  • 1 granny smith apples, cored and sliced 

For the Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1½ tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • 1½ tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1½ tablespoons minced garlic 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons avocado oil

Directions

For the beets:
Preheat oven to 425°F.  Wipe or scrub beets clean then trim stems down to one-inch (leave “tails” on). Place beets on a large piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil, then wrap foil around them to form a neat packet. Roast directly on rack in middle of the oven until tender, about 45 min-1 hour. Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife. If it enters easily, it’s done. Unwrap beets and let sit until cool enough to handle. Use your hands or a paring knife to peel skin, then cut into ½-inch dice (I usually do this right on the aluminum foil but you can also use a stain-proof cutting board or plate). Set aside.

For the vinaigrette: 
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey,  mustard, red wine vinegar, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. (Alternatively, add all your ingredients to a jar, cover with lid, and shake vigorously to blend.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

For the salad: 
Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again. Divide greens onto plates, then sprinkle with beets, walnuts, green apple slices, and goat cheese. (The reason you don’t just mix it all together in a salad bowl is that the beets would cause the whole salad to turn pink.) Serve immediately.

 

Enjoy!

 

Summer Steamed…

Here’s my truth: sometimes I just overthink dinner, therefore making it stressful, making it a job and taking the joy out of cooking. In reality, dinner doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as steamed mussels in a gorgeous white wine broth served with a side of crusty bread and a block of cheese.  I have a lot of friends however that are following the whole thirty, paleo, and auto immune protocol and you may not be allowed wine, cheese, and bread.  Here is a quick fix:  substitute white wine vinegar for the white wine in your broth along with some fresh lemon juice.  Instead of bread roast off some cauliflower and tomatoes and toss in with your mussels after you have steamed.  Now tell me that doesn’t sound good…and the best part is it can be ready and served in less than 30 minutes. Plus, it’s cheap! A bag of mussels is usually no more than $3.00-$5.00 a pound. A three-pound bag is more than enough to feed a family of four.
This simple and delicious dish can be served any time of the year but is one of my preferred weeknight dinners on a hot summer night. It’s fresh, full of flavor,  and yes, my nine-year-old daughter enjoys it just as much as I do.
Trust me, this will become a family favorite on many summer nights. I recommend stopping by the market on your way home, picking up a bag of mussels, and voilà, dinner is served in no time, leaving you more time to enjoy with family. Cheers!
Summer Steamed Mussels with White Wine Sauce
Ingredients
3 pounds  mussels
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots (5 to 7 shallots)
1 ½ Tablespoons minced garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes (heirloom, or cherry)
⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup good white wine  (For my whole 30 friends sub in  1/2 cup of white wine vinegar and juice from two lemons)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce or ½ tsp crushed
red pepper flakes
Lemon for garnish

Directions
To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water and soak for 20 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the “beard” from each with your fingers. (The beard is a fibrous tail that you can pull with a pairing knife off of the mussel). If they are dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren’t tightly shut or are cracked.
Tip: Another way to tell if the mussel is dead is if it is wide open and will not shut when you apply pressure to the shell.
In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, wine, salt, and pepper. Add a splash of hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes (preference Frank’s Red Hot). Bring to a boil.
Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (discard any that do not open.) With the lid on, shake the pot (like if you were popping some Jiffy pop) once or twice while cooking to be sure the mussels don’t burn on the bottom. Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large bowl and serve hot with fresh lemon wedges, a side of crusty bread, (i.e. Ciabatta, French Baguette) and a block of cheese.

Summer is quickly coming to a close so get out of the kitchen and spend some QT with those you love most!

 

Cheers!

 

 

Spring Time = Salad Time

Who is ready for spring?  I think it’s safe to say, we have had our fair share of snow and cold weather this year in the bluegrass, and enough is enough!  Spring is one of the most beautiful times of year in Kentucky.  With horse racing season and the trees and flowers all in bloom. I can hardly wait to get my hands dirty in the garden and plant some kale and fresh salad greens.   Spring just makes me think of lighter fare like salads (to be brutally honest, it also makes me think about pool season on the horizon and how many lbs I need to drop before I slide on the ole bikini.)

When building a salad you need to think taste and texture.  Our tongue and palette is divided into compartments with taste buds specifically targeted to salty, sour, sweet, and spicy.  When I build a salad, I always keep these four flavor components in mind and try to have something to represent each.  Texture is also extremely important. Crunchy, creamy, crisp, smooth, etc. all combined will add to the enjoyment of a well composed salad.

This spring salad will be sure to please all of your taste buds this season with a delightful combination of fennel, orange segments, goat cheese, and almonds.

springtimesalad

Mixed Green Salad with Fennel and Orange Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed and sliced thin
  • 2 oranges, 1 peeled and cut into segments, and 1 reserved for juice
  • 1/2 cup of organic raspberries
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups organic mixed greens
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese
  • Toasted almond slices

 

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice the salad ingredients and add to a large bowl.

Chef Tip:  I find it best to fix each individual salad in small bowls or on salad plates to ensure that each serving has an adequate amount of each ingredient.  If you mix it all together in a large bowl you end up digging for all the good stuff at the bottom. 

Combine the remaining vinaigrette ingredients, except the oil, into a medium glass or non reactive bowl.

While whisking, slowly add in the oil in a thin steady stream until the oil is evenly incorporated/emulsified.

Season with salt and pepper, toss with the salad ingredients, and serve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Snow-Day Soup & Butternut Brew!

As I peered out of the window to see, yep you guessed it,  SNOW  on the ground my mind immediately started thinking of soup. I’m a foodie, not a fashionista (though I desperately try to be both which always leads me back to the hot mess reference) so instead of thinking what shoes or what jacket am I going to wear, I start thinking ” Do I still have fresh basil?” “Wonder if the onions are ok? “I need to pick up some leeks and cream before I come home.” This may sound crazy to some, but I have to believe I’m not the only one out there completely obsessed with food. The weather can seriously affect your mood in terms of what you want to eat and there is no better time to indulge on a delicious soup then on a chilly snow day! Whether you call it sopa, potage, shiru, zuppe, or soup…this one is a goodie!

Any time you start thinking of making a soup it a good idea to think seasonal and use produce that is in-season. Winter squash varieties such as Acorn, Amber Cup, Banana, Butternut, Buttercup, Carnival, Delicata, Pumpkin, and Spaghetti are great this time of year and one of my all-time favorite soups is this butternut squash and apple bisque. The saltiness of the bacon paired with the sweet apple and squash with a touch of coconut, sage, and white wine makes this brew a keeper.  Bon Appetit! Remember, it is not rocket science, it’s just cooking and soup is one of its simplest forms. Remain calm and keep the hot mess out of the kitchen.  Cheers!

butternut squash soup

 

  • 2 lbs butternut squash cut up
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 slices diced up bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic crushed
  • 3 large Honeycrisp apples(if available)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup honey
  •  6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can of coconut cream

Put squash, apple, onion, bacon , garlic, tossed in melted coconut oil in a roasting pan- roast on 400 degrees for about 35  min or until bacon is somewhat crisp- when done take out of oven add the wine into the roasting pan scraping bottom of pan (deglaze)-add chicken broth and fresh sage and honey- taste -if you want it sweeter then add more honey but it should be plenty sweet as is. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add in the can of coconut cream and mash with some of the squash and apples (don’t mash all of it) I like to serve it with a few chunks of the apple and butternut squash. Fry up lots more bacon and crumble on top. Garnish with a few sage spring serve and enjoy!  For extra heat add a touch of Sambal…(red chili paste) it gives just the right kick at the end.

 

 

I Think I Believe in Paleo…

January 3rd, 2016….and we resolve to do better this year. Eat healthier, workout, balance life, and so on and so forth. Honestly, I’m already salivating for the chance to bite into a delicious cheeseburger with a side of truffle fries. But why can’t we have our fat and eat it too? The truth is you can! Seriously.. not all fat is bad and if you choose to eat your favorites in moderation you can still achieve the results you want. Right?

So where do we begin? At the first of December, I started making changes to my daily habits. The first goal was drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day. Drinking water not only helps boost your metabolism and cleanse your body of waste but also acts as an appetite suppressant. Drinking more water can also help your body stop retaining water, leading you to drop those extra pounds of water weight.

The second step is far more personal and requires some diligent research to see what works best for you and your lifestyle. I chose to eliminate “bad” complex carbohydrates and sugar from my diet with a primary focus on whole foods, chock-full of vegetables and limited quantities of pasture- raised locally-sourced meats. As a chef in Kentucky I have access to some amazing farms including Pike Valley Farm which is a certified organic farm with free range chickens, 100% grass fed beef, heritage breed pigs, and more. The quality of their meat has made a tremendous difference in my overall health. To learn more about Pike Valley visit

With just the increase in water, decrease in processed wheat and refined sugars; focusing on vegetables and local meat, I have lost 10 pounds in one month! (Let it be noted…I dropped these 10 pounds over the holidays and yes I cheated on bourbon and bacon on Christmas with ZERO reservations) No starvation diet here, no hunger pains, just results. I think I am a believer in Paleo.

This now so common household kitchen term is less complicated than it sounds. The Paleo tent is big enough to fit a host of different approaches, but the core tenets of this “caveman” eating remain the same:

  • Eat whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense, nourishing foods. Prioritize grass fed and pastured meats and eggs, wild-caught seafood, and vegetables. Enjoy fruit, nuts, and seeds in moderation.
  • Avoid foods that will harm us by causing systemic inflammation, wrecking our guts, or derailing our natural metabolic processes. Abstain from toxic, pro-inflammatory foods like gluten-containing grains, legumes, sugar, and processed foods so conveniently placed in the middle of every aisle in the grocery store. (I mean how many different boxes of cereals can there be?!) #tangint

Once slang as “the caveman diet” Paleo has certainly entered into the 21st century. Not that I can speak for the caveman, but I highly doubt they were eating roasted beets with fennel and Brussels sprouts topped with a walnut vinaigrette, or a Chinese braised pork belly with grilled bok-choy and a sesame ginger glaze. You can find an abundance of helpful resources to explain the benefits of this lifestyle along with thousands of gourmet recipes that even a novice cook can perfect. I haven’t posted a cookbook alert in over a year so I thought I would hit you with a double whammy as you start down a road towards the new and improved you of 2016.

Some of my current Paleo favorites include:

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

practical paleo

Against all Grain by Danielle Walker

aagcovers.jpg

And here is one of my very own recipes to get you going…
Roasted Beet and Brussel Sprout Salad with Fennel and Walnut Vinaigrette
beet and brussel sprout salad

Roasted Beet, Brussel Sprout & Fennel Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

Serves 4 – 6

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 2 large beets
  • 1-2 fennel bulbs (Fennel fronds reserved for garnish)
  • coconut oil, salt, and pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • Orange Segments (optional)

vinaigrette

  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or unfiltered raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 TBSP walnut oil

Heat the oven to 400. Cut large brussels sprouts in half, and trim any tough stems. Peel and cut the beets into large chunks (about an inch). Cut the fennel length wise and remove the bottom core and slice in 1 inch thick pieces. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss with a drizzle of melted coconut oil (roughly 2 TBSP) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned.

Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the vinaigrette. Mince the shallot and toss in a medium bowl with the next five ingredients. Whisk together and while continuing to whisk vigorously, slowly add the walnut oil to create an emulsified vinaigrette. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the brussels sprouts, beets, and walnuts. Taste for salt and pepper, garnish with fresh fennel fronds and orange segments (optional) and serve. Can be prepared up to two days ahead of time.

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