Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beets Can’t Be Beat – October 19, 2013

For most of my life, I thought I hated beets.  This all resulted from a bad elementary school lunch experience where I tasted my first beet thinking it was an apple ring.  It was over 30 years before I decided to give them another try and what a pity because I love beets.  They are healthy, sweet and easy to cook.  And, if you avoid the bright red ones, (which actually are the healthiest) they don’t bleed into the rest of your meal.  Usually, I simply wrap beets in Reynold’s Wrap and bake in the oven for about an hour.  When you unwrap them, the skins peel right off and you can slice and salt the beets and serve just like that or add some blue cheese.  But recently, I have been adding beets to Asian food.  They are great chopped with steamed carrots, unsalted peanuts and boiled pasta as a cold noodle salad.  You can make your own noodle salad dressing or buy a great one at Trader Joes called Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette.  Or try John’s stir fry:

John’s Stir Fry
3 beets, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 c. snow peas
1 red pepper, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard stems, chopped (great way to use chard stems after steaming leaves)
1 T. oil
1 T. soy sauce
2 T. Schezwan sauce
½ c. unsalted peanuts
½ lb. spagetti, cooked

Heat oil and soy sauce in wok or large pot.  Add veggies and begin cooking while stirring.  (If you wanted to add beef or pork, cook those a bit in the oil before you add the veggies.  If you want to add seafood, toss in after the veggies get soft.)  While veggies are cooking, prepare spaghetti and drain.  Add Schezwan and fully coat veggies before tossing in spaghetti and peanuts and stirring to coat well.  Adjust sauce, peanuts and pasta to taste.

While thinking about uses for beets, I had my drier out so that I could dry and put up cherry tomatoes.  I tried making beet chips.  I simply covered very thin beet slices with olive oil and salt and added to the dryer.  They were good, especially dipped in yogurt dip, but it was a lot of work and dryer space and time for the amount you can produce.  I think an oven would be a much better way to make beet chips.

One year ago – Winter Squash withChicken and Winter Squash Cheesecake Squares

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