“Heartbeats” (Heart Shaped Beet Root Chips / Croutons) & “Lettuce Turnip the Beet” (Pink Savory Herbed Avocado Yogurt Dip / Salad Dressing) Recipe (Healthy, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan) AKA- Undercover Valentine Veggies!

056Leigh

This is the perfect Valentine savory snack for the picky eater who turns away from anything green or labeled as a healthy vegetable. Who can turn down trying an adorable hot pink heart chip, even if it is an undercover veggie! The avocado’s green is also disguised as pink and creamy yumminess thanks to a couple of healthy secrets, and the seasoning can be adjusted to any taste. It’s also easy to spoon out a bit of the dip into another bowl then turn up the flavor in the first one (hence the “let us turn up the beat” veggie pun in the title). Enjoy them as a healthy chip and dip combo, or make smaller “heartbeats” to use as croutons in a salad flavored by the dip as creamy dressing!

66Leigh


Heartbeat Chip Ingredients:

  • 3 beet roots (or as many as you’d like to make)
  • olive oil (enough to drizzle, & try any oil you prefer)
  • salt & pepper to sprinkle atop (or garlic salt, lemon pepper, no-salt seasoning, cinnamon & sugar, etc.)

Lettuce Turnip the Beet Dip Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 8 ounces unsweetened vegan coconut yogurt (or any unflavored yogurt, but note that “unsweetened” is less sweet than “plain”)
  • 1 ⅟₂ teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon beet juice (or pomegranate juice)
  • herbs & spices according to taste, on this particular day I chose…

♥ ⅟₂ teaspoon ground white pepper

♥ ⅓ ground ginger

♥ ⅓ teaspoon ground coriander

♥ ⅓ teaspoon ground thyme

♥ 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

♥ ⅓ teaspoon salt

♥ + lots of cracked red peppercorns & black carbon sea salt for fiery garnish

… but you might want to omit the ginger, coriander, & thyme for a more traditional taste experience J


“Heartbeats” Chip Instructions:

1Leigh

First wash the beets roots thoroughly, and cut off the plant tops.

8Leigh

Then remove the tough outer part with a veggie peeler.

12Leigh

The best way to prepare beet chips is to use a mandolin kitchen tool to cut really thin slices. I have a beautiful stainless steel one that can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but I wanted to make sure that you could make these at home using a knife, cutting board, and old fashioned elbow-grease! It does take a little longer, but as you can see they turned out beautifully. They also took longer to bake because the slices were thicker. If you’re trying it this way, try to cut them as thin and uniformly as possible. You can also try cutting them with a food processor.

14Leigh

Once you have those cut, you can use cookie cutters to press shapes into the slices. I wanted hearts for Valentine’s Day, but you can choose any shape that will fit. Tiny flowers would make delightful pink chips and look lovely atop a spring salad like healthy croutons!Take the leftover bits and dice them further to spike another meal with vitamins. You can bake these into croutons for soup or salad, or steam them with some olive oil and seasoning to add to a pilaf or veggie mix.

26Leigh

Toss your cut out shapes (or plain slices) with olive oil in a bowl. Then spread out your lovelies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake these in a 375ᵒ oven, to preserve the vitamins in your veggies, for 45 minutes to an hour. If you’ve cut these thicker, by hand, add cooking time. Thinner mandolin cuts will of course finish faster. Either way, I would advise checking on them often (by turning on the oven light, not opening the door).

33Leigh

About halfway through the cooking time, when the top side looks fairly done like this picture, take out the tray and flip them over before returning it to continue baking. If utilizing a dehydrator, cook them at 145ᵒ for 45 minutes then reduce heat to 115ᵒ for 24 hours until crunchy.

36Leigh

They’re done when crispy but not brittle. Blot these with a paper towel and sprinkle with your preferred seasonings. I used the same ones (cracked red peppercorns in a mill and black carbon sea salt) that I garnished the dip with. These not only showed up beautifully on the chips but also gave them an amazing fiery zing. You can even make sweet chips by sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar like a pink veggie buñuelo!

056Leigh

Enjoy the heartbeat chips by themselves or prepare this Avocado yogurt dip while they’re baking…


“Lettuce Turnip the Beet” Dip Instructions:

23Leigh

Wash and cut open a lovely ripe avocado. They’re best when just slightly softened to the touch. The easiest way to get the seed out is to whack it with a knife, twist, and pull it out in one motion. Slice the flesh into tiny crosshatch squares right in the shell, and then squeeze it into the bowl. (I do this all the time when making my “minute guacamole”, because it can then be smashed with a spoon into the side of the bowl very easily and quickly.)

18Leigh

Add the lemon juice and plain yogurt into the bowl along with your favorite mix of spices… or try my crazy combination. I love to cook by adding different flavors until it just tastes right… just remember to use different spoons with each tasting. No double dipping people! J If making this into a salad dressing, just add more yogurt, lemon juice… or both.

25Leigh

I used an immersion blender to completely emulsify and thicken the dip, but any good blender should be fine. Of course the “smash-against-the-side-of-the-bowl-with-the-back-of-a-big-spoon” method also works… it just burns more calories.

31Leigh

Spoon into a pretty dish and refrigerate until ready to eat. Garnish with a contrasting seasoning like these (cracked red peppercorns in a mill and black carbon sea salt) that also serve to turn up the flavor.

64Leigh

I have to admit that I enjoyed this recipe so much that I would have eaten the whole thing by myself (guilt-free) had I been alone. Next time, I will be making so much more!

42bLeigh

Happy Heartbeating!

Faithfully Yours,

Leigh

P.S. What are your favorite seasonings to add to dips & dressings? Tell me how you like to “turn up the flavor” in the comments section, and I may use them in a future recipe!

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