As a mom/chef of a toddler, one has to have something up her sleeve at all times! My little munchkin has always been an adventurous eater, but I've noticed lately that her portions have shrunken, due to the toddler syndrome I am guessing. That coupled with the fact that she is pint sized (I mean she still has infant medicine when needed, and is in her baby bath.....). I want to make sure she is still getting all her nutrients and continuing her food education! However, exposure to so many types of flavors can take a chunk out of your wallet.
SO I found these enormous golden beets for $2.69 a bunch at the grocery store and scooped them up without thinking what to use them for. That is very dangerous because it could potentially lead to wasted food, mind explosion of not knowing what to do with them or not having the accompanying ingredients when I do figure out what to do with them. Luckily, I had quinoa at home and I always have fresh herbs on hand. Really, one can't go wrong with throwing a bunch of stuff together in a bowl of quinoa, herbs, cheese and some roasted ANYTHING!
After the beets were roasted I got to thinking I could basically use beets, especially these golden beauties, in place of butternut squash in other recipes/concoctions. These beets are a little lighter on your wallet than the squash, too. Plus, they get double points because you can use the green tops as you would any other greens like kale, spinach, chard or dandelion. Also, they are just so darn sweet. I did end up making beet green chips, similar to kale chips, because I am a chronic binge eater and I figure these are way better for you than regular chips! (They are almost gone :/)
I hope you get inspired to use beets in your recipes soon!!!
Golden Beet and Quinoa Pilaf
1 large bunch golden beets, scrubbed, and boiled till just tender (a fork should be able to just slide through and the skin can be rubbed off)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
sprinkle of Himalayan salt
2 sprigs thyme and/or rosemary (pick something hardy)
1 garlic clove, minced
small handful fresh mint, chopped
4 oz soft goat cheese, cubed or crumbled
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
3 cups cooked qunioa, still warm
After the beets cool slightly, rub the skin off with a knife or back of a spoon. Do this while still pretty warm. Dice the beets into bite size pieces. Toss diced beets with oil, vinegar, salt, chopped herbs and garlic. Spread evenly on baking tray.
In a preheated 350 degree oven, roast beets about 15-20 minutes. Turn beets and roast another 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
Add goat cheese to warm quinoa. It will partly melt, partly cluster. Add fresh mint and beans. Fold in beets. Hide from everyone else unless you are in the mood to share.
Beet Green Chips
Tops of fresh beets, stems removed, rinsed and dried really well (I let mine sit out on a dish towel for an hour)
Black pepper, old bay, chili powder, or any other seasoning you like on chips
In a preheated 350 degree oven, spread beet leaves over two baking trays sprayed with cooking spray or covered in parchment paper. I had so many greens I did mine in two batches. Drizzle olive oil, salt and any other seasoning over the leaves. I sprayed my leaves with cooking spray to make sure they were all the way coated. Alternatively, you could drizzle the oil over the leaves and toss them before spreading on trays. Bake 15-20 minutes on one side, turn and bake 10 minutes more till crisp. Keep an eye on them; they will appear to steam if not enough time has gone by and they will quickly crisp up when ready. Eat right away!!!