Kind of Insane Roasted Broccoli Salad

roasted-broccoli-saladI LOVE BROCCOLI.  Not like cold, gross, hard, raw broccoli.  But roasted, caramelized, nutty, delicious broccoli.  I took my roasted broccoli to the next level and made a super simple, warm salad.  Salty and delicious. Measurements aren’t scientific so give it a whirl and add/take away wherever you like.


Roasted Broccoli Salad
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Recipe type: Side dish, Salad
  • 1 head of broccoli, cleaned and trimmed and chopped into small pieces
  • EVOO
  • S and P
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup of toasted pecan pieces
  • Dried tart bing cherries (no added sugar)
  • ½ raw red onion
  • ⅓ cup of feta cheese
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Cook the chopped broccoli at 350 for thirty-forty minutes with the evoo, salt and pepper and the coconut sugar (it helps everything to caramelize). Very finely chop the half of a red onion. After the broccoli is done and cooled enough to touch (but still warm), chop it into tiny pieces. Throw in a bowl and add the toasted pecans, raw red onion (leave it out if you don’t like it but I love the crunch!), cherries, feta and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Ready to eat!

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Crockpot Pumpkin Chili

I love chili

Oh yes, it is that time of year! Pumpkin ale, Pumpkin smoothie, Pumpkin Salsa, Pumpkin muffins, actual pumpkins and my favorite thus far….. PUMPKIN CHILI. This recipe is nutritious, delicious, and most importantly, will not turn the booty into, well.. a giant jack-o-lantern? I know it is tempting to grab the pumpkin filled desserts the grocery stores have on display right now but more than likely the added sugar and sketchy ingredients lists will add up and fill out our pants faster than we know it. Our pumpkin chili recipe (with bison) in the crockpot is tasty enough to serve a chili snob with all very real, delicious ingredients. Pull that thing out and dust it off. Prepare this mid afternoon and walk away,run errands, come back it’s ready.  Let’s kick off the season, ya’ll!

Did you know that pumpkin is a superfood? It is full of potassium, magnesium, fiber and much more. Translation: It is great for your hair, skin and nails, keeps you full and much more. Read more about it here.  More pumpkin recipes to follow…

Crockpot Pumpkin Chili
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This chili is clean and lean. I served this with my favorite premixed, fool proof corn bread mix by Pamela's. You may use grass fed ground beef instead of bison..Double up to freeze for later!
Recipe type: dinner, crockpot
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 pound of ground bison
  • 2-3 cups of cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (i use more because I LOVE garlic)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of organic black beans
  • 1 can of organic chili beans
  • 28 ounces of organic fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of chili spice (to taste)
  • cayenne pepper to spice! Taste as it cooks....
  • dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of organic sour cream
  1. In a frying pan add oil and then chopped onion, pepper, garlic and bison on medium heat until the bison is browned.
  2. In the mean time, add tomatoes, beans, sauteed bison, and cubed pumpkin to the slow cooker.
  3. Add coconut sugar. Most recipes will call for 2 tablespoons of brown sugar but I replaced it with a dash of coconut sugar. It will not make or break the recipe, it will only bring out the taste in the pumpkin and bison.
  4. Add pumpkin pie spice, chili spice, and salt and pepper at the beginning..
  5. As the ingredients start to cook and blend, taste and add cayenne and other spices to perfect the dish. You can always add salt and cayenne to individual servings for those who like it spicy or a bit saltier.
  6. Dollop sour cream on top and ENJOY.
  7. Best served with fresh corn bread


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A food to keep you young and hydrated



Vitamin D! I am so happy to walk outside and feel the heat. I am even more happy that a lot of our favorite fruits and veggies are in season. It is the time of year our bodies want to naturally cleanse the few extra pounds we may have put on in the colder months. That means eating a lot of water dense food that keeps us hydrated and feeling great. Today I am featuring the mot beautiful, delicious veggie that does not get enough attention, The Cucumber. When you look up the benefits of cucumber so many different articles pop up. One of the first things I read is that cucumber is considered one “the worlds healthiest food” .. which a lot of nature’s food has been coined. But I did find that research on the anti-cancer properties of cucumber (still in the preliminary stages)  show that cucumber contains unique compounds that can help fight cancerous cells. It is a nutritional powerhouse that we would love for you to incorporate in your every day diet. Additionally, I found some other benefits that may be a bit more exciting to you: strait from natural news.

1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns as aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.

4. Fight cancers – Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up. Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache.

8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain -Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036769_cucumbers_health_benefits_rehydration.html#ixzz3boNO29M0

Okay, the real reason I wanted to write about cucumbers is because I am slightly obsessed with cucumber sandwiches, cucumber water, cucumber juice, and cucumber gazpacho. Now that you know you are eating a perfect food… here are some recipes I found to help motivate you to eat more! When we purchase cucumber from the store it may contain a waxy coating that we want to avoid. Try to find an organic cucumber or buy local. We have cuc’s growing in the backyard right now. They are the best.

First and foremost…

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cucumber Sandwich
the easiest recipe I will ever submit.
  • 2 pieces of bread from the local market or Ezekiel bread, or your favorite gluten free bread. (you can also make this an open face sandwich like we do)
  • a bit of organic mayo
  • sliced cucumber
  • seasoning like salt, pepper, dil, garlic, or whatever you want
  1. dress bread with mayo. Put sliced cucumber on top. Salt and pepper it. Top with favorite seasoning.


Try this beautiful and tasty cucumber infused water. 

cucumber waterOr this delicious mixed drink for hot summer nights (or days). The cucumber basil gimlet. Hell yes.

Cucumber-Basil-GimletDrink your infused water and your gimlet and eat Basil Cucumber Gazpacho for an appetizer. (with a Cuc Sandy)


The possibilities are endless! Take care and clean a cucumber. No seriously, it’s hilarious to watch someone clean a cucumber under water.




Mexican Corn Recipe: Cinco de Mayo

Picture credit @damndelicious.net ; pinterest

We are always looking for an excuse to party, right? Some of you may be celebrating Cinco de Mayo at one of the local Mexican restaurants but if you are home with the family or a few friends I have some of my favorite ideas listed below. On average, our family eats Mexican about 3 days per week. One of those is usually at our local Taqueria who make the best street style tacos in town. For our Lynchburg followers… the Taqueria is on 221 in the Forest Crossing center. My order is the same every time:  Shrimp Tacos with corn tortillas and the creamy sauce on the side. I love the spicy, creamy sauce but I like to control how much I am putting on the taco. When you get your food… it may look a bit “plain jane” on your plate but head up to the salsa bar to load up on the good stuff! I have heard many people say that their tacos were not good… but did not use any of the amazing, home made slaw and salsa that add amazing flavor. I hit the Mexican slaw with radish, add cilantro, a bit of green special sauce, and squeeze lime on top. Okay back to the party and our first Mexican recipe for Cinco de Mayo. I want all of our BEC people to know what Cinco de Mayo is so here it is.. strait from Wikipedia itself because the internet is always right, (right?!). I have always heard the Cinco De Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day but it is not! From what I have heard, we tend to party up this holiday much harder than Mexico

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a celebration held on 5 May. It is celebrated in the United States[1] and in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla,[note 1][2][3][4] where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla).[5][6][7]Mexican Americans also often see the day as a source of pride; one way they can honor their ethnicity is to celebrate this day.[8]

The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army‘s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.[3][9] In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16.[3][10]

So now you know.  Here is the first of a couple Mexican Recipes BEC will throw at you this week to have a successful gathering with fresh, clean food. Once you taste this goodness.. you will forget about the over processed Tex-Mex that is offered on every corner. Tis’ the season to buy fresh corn from the farmers market so head down there and grab your ears!

Mexican Corn Recipe: Cinco de Mayo
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Adapted from the beautiful magazine Eating Well and Damn Delicious.net, this recipe is super easy and traditional with a healthy twist. We replaced "low fat and no fat" with organic and full fat because that is how we do it here at BEC. Here ya go!
  • 2 tablespoons full fat, organic mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons full fat, organic plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (or ancho chili)
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 4 tablespoons finely shredded Cotija, (a traditional Mexican cheese) or parmesan
  • A handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered and more to squeeze on top!
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt and chili powder in a small bowl.
  3. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until marked and tender, 8 to 12 minutes total. Spread each ear with 1 tablespoon of the sauce and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Cotija (or Parmesan). Sprinkle with cilantro. Squeeze lime on top...Serve with lime wedges.



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