Posts Tagged ‘beets’

Unrecipe of the Week: Beet Hummus

March 13, 2017

 

 

Rainbow carrots, beets and radishes, ready to roast. I bet those carrots would have made a delicious hummus too!

Once again, I am in the throes of Whole 30, a healthy elimination diet that is geared towards breaking up with the foods that may be inflammatory to you for a whole 30 days, in effort to better your health, and change your relationship with food. Similar to the Paleo diet, it encourages you to eat fresh, whole foods and eliminate grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, alcohol and anything processed. That pretty much leaves you with fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, with a few nuts ( not peanuts!) thrown in for good measure. Unlike the Paleo diet, any form of sweetner, or foods that are compliant, but resembling other foods, are out of the question. Read: alternative grain pancakes, breads or pastas etc.

Most of the time, it’s not so bad, but as the days wear on, it can get a bit dull. Couple that with not being a meat eater and it gets really dull. I thumb through recipe books to find interesting vegetable dishes, and dismiss many of them for having a non-compliant ingredient. Beans, grains, a little crumbled cheese or a drizzle of honey disqualifies the dish from Whole30 compliance. I’m not dying for a pizza, or a cookie; just a new texture, or flavor profile to break up the monotony of it all.

Today, I made a roasted beet hummus accompanied by a pile of raw vegetables to dip in it. The creamy consistancy, the beautiful magenta color and the jolt of tahini hit all of my senses in new way. It’s a great snack, and pairs well with a simple piece of broiled salmon, or a bowl of cold shrimp. Tahini, made of sesame seeds, is also a source of plant based protein. Although hummus is traditionally made from garbanzo beans ( chick peas), it is much like making pesto, where the main ingredient is easily changeable with interesting results.

Beet hummus with carrots and celery

Beet Hummus:

Scrub and trim 3 or 4 beets and toss them with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Roast for about 1 hour at 375 degrees until they are easily pierced with a fork.

Once they are cool enough to handle, rub them gently to remove the skin. Place the beets in the bowl of the food processor with a clove or two of garlic, about 1/4 cup of tahini, and the juice of a lemon. Blend until smooth. Taste to correct flavors.
Beets vary in size, so you may need to add more tahini, lemon, salt or garlic depending on your taste.

Serve drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds as a garnish if desired.

Enjoy!

Check out our post on Cauliflower Hummus for another variation.

Photos by Glasshouse Images and indigo jones.

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Unrecipe of the Week: Summer Salad Rolls

May 19, 2014

These vegetable rolls are riff on the traditional Vietnamese Summer roll. A study in simplicity, these rice paper rolls are filled with fresh julienned vegetables. The secret lies in the sauce: we dipped ours in a carrot, sesame oil and soy based dressing that brought the flavors to life. The best part? We’re torn between how healthy and low calorie they are, and the fact that nothing needed to be cooked.  Twice the reason to try this unrecipe!

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For the rolls:

Julienne a variety of vegetables, including cucumbers, carrots, diakon, red bell pepper, radishes and beets. Mix it up to suit your tastes. I used a mandolin, but depending on how many you are making, you can just cut them by hand. Be sure to peel the carrots, diakon and beets first!

To assemble:

Dip a large rice paper wrapper* in warm water to soften. There is no need to soak them, just get them hydrated enough to be pliable.

Place the rice paper on a work surface. Lay a small piece of lettuce and a fresh mint leaf or two at the bottom of disc. Layer on the julienned vegetables. Begin rolling the rice paper, tucking it tightly, but gently as you go. Roll it twice, fold the sides in, and continue rolling to the top. It should look like a fat, transparent egg roll.

Lay the finished roll on plastic wrap. The rolls will stick together, so be sure to keep them from touching. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the sauce:

Peel about 3-4 medium carrots, and cut them into chunks. Place them in the food processor, along with a small shallot, peeled and quartered, a good sized chunk of peeled fresh ginger, about 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar, a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, about a 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Puree until everything is finely diced and combined. With the machine running, add about 1/4 cup or so of vegetable oil ( We used grape seed oil, which has a neutral flavor. Do not use olive oil, as the flavor is too strong!) Add about 1/4 cup of water, and continue mixing until it forms a a chunky dressing. Check flavors, and add more vinegar, or soy sauce as needed. If the dressing is too thick, add a little bit more water. Refrigerate until ready to use.

We served the rolls cut in half lengthwise, on a pool of drizzled dressing, and then put the rest on a platter with a bowl of sauce on the side. Sounds like the perfect dish to toss in my lunch bag tomorrow!

*rice paper wrappers are sold packaged in the international foods section of grocery stores, or at Asian markets.

Eat for Performance

July 25, 2013

If you work out hard, chances are you get sore. What you eat to fuel your workout is as important as the exercise routine itself. Here are a few healthy foods that aid in muscle recovery and help ease those aches.

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Cherries are in season, and you no longer need a mortgage to buy them! (They were $12.99 a pound in early June in New York City, down to $4.99 today!!!)

Studies have shown that tart cherry juice can help athletes recover more quickly from their workouts, due to anti-inflammatory properties that block the enzyme linked to muscle soreness. Enjoy these tiny red fruits as a post workout snack, but watch out for the pits!

Multicolored tomatoes

Tomatoes are also at their peak right now, and the Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores are filled with all kinds of ripe, delicious tomatoes in all sizes and hues.

A study has shown that athletes recovered faster when they drank tomato juice before and after their workouts, than when they fueled up with carbs. Tomatoes also have a high water content, and are filled with potassium, which helps replenish the electrolytes lost from sweating. It is also thought that the antioxidants in tomatoes soothe inflammation and hastens muscle recovery.

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Beets are another favorite, and they are full of natural nitrates that raise the nitric acid level in the body, improving blood flow. Studies were done using beet juice, but  eating beets can also be helpful.

Try adding roasted beets to your salad, tart cherries to your Greek yogurt and tomatoes to just about anything for better workout results.

photos: glasshouse images

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Unrecipe of the Week:What to do With Beet Greens

May 30, 2013

A stroll through the Union Square Greenmarket today yielded rainbow baby fingerling potatoes, some asparagus and a huge bundle of beets with the teeniest, tiniest little beets settled at the bottom of an enormous bunch of leaves.

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Determined to use them, I washed and dried the leaves to await their fate.

It seemed like they could be used as one would use kale; massaged in a salad or sautéed lightly in olive oil. That assumption was correct, and our roasted beets were the perfect accompaniment.

Roasted Beets on a Bed of Sautéed Beet Greens:

Remove the beets from the leaves, and cut off the ends. Scrub them well, as it not necessary to peel them before roasting. (Especially these little tiny ones!)

Sprinkle with olive oil, and roast covered in a 400-degree oven for about 40-60 minutes until they are tender, depending on how large the beets are.

Set aside.

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Wash and dry the beet greens, discarding the thick stems. Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Add a chopped shallot, and a diced clove of garlic and stir. Sauté the beet greens for a few minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the greens on a plate. Top with the roasted beets and drizzle with a little aged balsamic vinegar.

We also sprinkled a few toasted walnut pieces and some goat cheese over the beets to make it a heartier dish.  Enjoy!

Photos: indigo jones

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Natural Easter Egg Dyes

March 28, 2013

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This Sunday is Easter, a sacred Christian holiday that has somehow become synonymous with bunnies, chocolate, and colored eggs. Like Christmas, the commercialized aspects of the day have turned it into Everyman’s celebration of spring.  The drugstores, grocery stores and toy stores are filled with bunnies; some stuffed, some chocolate, and some made out of a nasty colored, chemical laden marshmallow mixture. The colored eggs, when not formed from plastic and designed to hold some of the above, are made at home.

There are many ways to dye Easter eggs. Some hard-boil them; some poke a hole and blow the contents out, leaving a hollow egg to embellish. They can be painted, drawn on, covered in fabric, yarn or colorful tapes. There are decals and decorating kits, produced just for this purpose.

I prefer to create eggs that can be eaten. And I sure don’t want to eat something that has been dipped in possibly toxic dyes and vinegar.

Why not consider making naturals dyes, derived from real foods?
Here are a few ideas for creating edible dyes in beautiful hues to enhance your Easter basket:

Chick standing by broken egg, studio shot

Blue:

Boil 2 cups of chopped red cabbage in a quart of water. Add ¼ cup white vinegar. Strain before using.

Alternatively, cook blueberries in water and vinegar for a purple-blue cast.

Lavender:

Mix 1 cup of Concord grape juice with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Pinks and reds:
Simmer 2 chopped beets with ¼ cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Strain before using.

Cranberries can also be used instead, to create another red hue.

Yellow:

Mix 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of turmeric. Allow it to steep for at least 10 minutes before using.

Green:

Mix the yellow dye and the blue dye together to create a new color.

Orange:

Mix 2 tablespoons of paprika with 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar and allowing it to steep before using.

Alternatively, mix the red and yellow dyes together to obtain the perfect color.

Allow the dyes to cool before using. The longer the dyes are allowed to steep, the deeper the hue will be. The dye should look darker than the desired shade before using. The longer the eggs are soaked, the deeper the color. Experiment with other colorful foods to create beautiful, edible eggs.

Happy Spring!

photos: Glasshouse Images

CSA Tuesday: It’s a Wrap!

December 20, 2012

This week marks the end of our CSA series for the season. I have mixed reviews about it. On one hand, I did become acquainted with a few new vegetables, and I did need to flex a little culinary muscle to use some of the items I received.

On the other hand, there was a lot of waste. Things that went bad before I could get to them, and things I just didn’t like that much that kept on coming.

This week we received more beets ( yum), lettuce, spinach and pumpkins (hence the things that just keep coming!). We also got butternut squash and garlic.
I have 4 day weekend coming up, so I hope to be creative and use it all up.

Spinach…That’s an easy one! Saute with garlic. ( 2 items used already!)

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I love beets!

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Roasted beets in a salad? That’s a no-brainer!

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People were leaving the pumpkins behind…they are heavy to carry, and harder to prepare. Late in the season pumpkins are not always so tasty. I will give them a try, one last time!

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photos: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Assignment

CSA Tuesday

December 5, 2012

It’s that time of the week again; CSA Tuesday!
Today we got golden beets, potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cilantro and celery.

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Brussels sprouts, still on the stalk!

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Fresh cauliflower.

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Golden beets.

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Cilantro.

It’s been so busy, that it may have to wait until Sunday to get cooked and eaten. We still have leftovers from last week’s haul!

photos: Spencer Jones

CSA Tuesday

November 28, 2012

It’s a cold rainy day in New York, but the farmers came through with a bountiful array of vegetables.

We got cabbage, leeks, beets, parsley, lettuce and yams. We ended up with only 1 leek, and 1 bunch of beets (which I love!) but a ton of lettuce and parsley. Wanna swap?

Although they said to take 2 cabbages, this one is bigger than my head and truly magnificent. One is plenty!

We got several heads of lettuce and a few giant, lush bunches of parsley.

My baskets of onions and potatoes have now grown to 3, even though I used a lot for Thanksgiving.

I am toying with the idea of making a sweet potato bread pudding that I found a recipe for. Definitely a salad, with roasted beets, pecans and goat cheese.

The parsley and giant cabbage pose a bigger challenge to my creativity. Perhaps stuffed cabbage of some sort? A parsley pesto?

Great ideas are always welcome!

Unrecipe of the Week

March 21, 2010

I love beets! They are delicious, and rich in vitamin C and potassium.

This colorful salad has strong flavors and rich textures that make it the perfect starter to any meal.

Roasted Beet Salad with Feta and Corn

For the dressing:

Mix together 1 finely chopped shallot, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. Whisk in 1/3 cup of olive oil.

For the beets:

Peel and quarter about 6 beets. Toss the beets with just enough dressing to coat them. Reserve the rest for the salad. Sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and cover tightly with another piece of foil.

Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Uncover the beets, and continue roasting for another 25 minutes.

Mix together arugula, endive and radicchio in a salad bowl. Add crumbled feta cheese and about 1 cup of corn. Toss with the dressing and place the beets on top of the salad.
Enjoy!!!!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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