Beets – A Lesson in Frugality

Whole Golden BeetsBeets are the ultimate in nutritional usefulness.  Each part of the beet is nutritionally useful, and even the few small parts you don’t want to eat can be fed to your garden in the form of compost.

Golden beets are beautiful and sweet, and according to some sources are much lower in starch than their red cousins.  So if you are reducing starch in your diet for health reasons, golden beets are OK!  Also, red beets are a pain with their sheer redness, which gets all over everything in your kitchen.  I’ve already got stains on everything from all the turmeric I’m consuming, and add the red “blood” from beets and I’ve got sunset-colored cutting boards and wood-handled knives, not to mention my hands…  Ah the price for health.  But I digress…

Beets can be divided into three uniquely useful parts: the roots, the stems, and the leaves.

Roots: The root bulb is the most deliciously sweet part of the plant.  The easiest way to cook the beet root is in foil packets on your grill (btw you can skip the peeling step and eat them with the peel on).  Another way is to simply peel them and steam them, then drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and serve warm.

Stems: The stems of the beets are great for smoothies and soup stocks.  I often cut them in half and store them in a freezer-grade zip lock bag in the freezer until I need them.  When using them in a smoothie or soup (or stock) you don’t even need to thaw them, just throw them right in frozen!

Greens:  Beet greens are excellent when combined with a sweet vegetable (think carrots, fennel, or sweet onions) and sauteed with some fresh minced garlic and olive oil.

All parts have similar nutritional value, with plenty of folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, B6, vitamin C, and iron!  And don’t forget the fiber, which aids in healthy digestion and protects the immune system.

When you buy beets whole you can store them intact for a couple of days in the refrigerator.  They should be stored loosely in bags with the roots toward the back.  When ready to use, trim the beets into their separate parts and store the unused parts for later.  Place the leaves in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator with some damp paper towels (wash now or later, it doesn’t matter).  The roots should be dried off and then put into their own airtight bag and stored in the veggie drawer of your frig. The stems can go in the freezer, also in an airtight bag or container.  Greens will last about a week, and roots will last about two weeks.  The stems can be kept for months.

In my book, beets are right up there with all the other great superfoods and you should eat them as often as possible (organic of course!).

 

Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette

Homemade vinaigrette is so much more flavorful than either bottled or packaged. The one downside is that you need to shake it up every time you pour it. Pre-packaged dressings have added emulsifiers to make the ingredients “stick together.” But I prefer to not consume chemicals with my food so I’m OK with shaking the bottle once in a while!

This is a variation on my original recipe, this time using fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar, going lighter on the seasonings, and adding cilantro and parsley to the mix. Continue reading “Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette”

Beet Ginger Smoothie

Yes, it tastes as good as it looks, and no added sugar!

1/2 C melon, chopped (or apple, including peel)
1 dozen red grapes
1/2 stalk celery with leaves
1 small piece of lime or lemon
1/2 fresh beet
1/2 banana Continue reading “Beet Ginger Smoothie”

Mexican Red Pozole

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Mexican Red Pozole Yum
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Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
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Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Add stock, salsa, and hominy to a medium saucepan and heat on medium until simmering. Cook 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, shred the cooked chicken until you have 3 cups.
  3. Add chicken to cooked pozole and simmer for a few more minutes until the chicken is warmed through. Serve with lime wedges and other optional garnishes (see notes).
Recipe Notes

Serve with avocado, shredded cabbage, diced onion, fresh oregano, and/or warmed corn tortillas. If using, be sure to add them to your shopping list.

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Thai Salad with Peanuts

If you have a peanut allergy in your house you can switch the Thai peanut sauce for any other kind of Thai cooking sauce without peanuts.

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Thai Salad with Peanuts Yum
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Rate this recipe!
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Instructions
  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Strain and set aside.
  2. Chop green onions. Rinse and drain edamame beans and let dry. Chop cilantro and peanuts if using.
  3. Add noodles plus rest of ingredients to a large bowl and toss gently until well blended. Serve at room temperature, sprinkle with cilantro and additional chopped peanuts if desired.
Recipe Notes
  • It's super important to check the labels of any jarred sauce you buy.  Make sure there are no added chemicals, sugars, HFCS, MSG, or "added coloring".  Citric acid is ok as a preservative but if you see anything you can't pronounce, put it back on the shelf.
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