Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roasted Beets or Warm Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Anyone?

Why didn't anyone ever tell me roasted beets taste like CANDY? Yum. Okay - haven't had any candy for some time now so I'm getting a little more sensitive to sweet tastes. But seriously, they taste good.  Until recently I thought beets were only good for borscht. But, one of the first times I went out for lunch after "going clean and wheat-free" I quickly realized I was going to have to try some new menu items that I wouldn't normally give a second thought. There often aren't many wheat-free options on the lunch menu. So a warm beet and goat cheese salad with shrimp it was. And I loved it!

I tried replicating that salad at home a few weeks back by steaming them - wow - those are hard little bundles of nutrients that don't cook quickly. It was a failed attempt. So today I gave it another shot by roasting them. And I got it right - success!

Warm beet salad - spring mix with roasted beets, goat cheese, orange wedges, roasted pistachios and an orange vinaigrette. 

If you are trying to go clean its a good idea to try and expand your palette and try some new vegetables to keep things interesting. Beets are a good choice since they are a good source of iron and have shown to boost immunity and guard against cancer. Plus they are available year-round and have a good shelf life so you can have them on hand and use them when you run out of "fresh" stuff. And they taste like candy - oh yeah I already mentioned that!

A little distracted as I'm trying to "let baby learn the critical skill of falling asleep on his own". That's the politically correct term for "cry it out". He thinks I'm his very warm, very large human pacifier. Last night he was up for the second time by 10. I was really worried that something was seriously wrong since he appeared to be having some sort of seizure (planking and throwing back his head). Turns out he was just pissed I didn't immediately offer my breast. Yes - I've let it go too far. I hate sleep training. 

Anyway, back to the salad. This actually ended up as two recipes because the roasted beets were so good on their own I will be making these as a standalone side dish in the future. 

Paleo Roasted Beets
4 medium sized beets - peeled and slices into wedges 
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (I'm sure EVOO would work too)
fine sea salt
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel beets with a potato peeler or knife and cut into wedges (I did them fairly thin - see pic). Spread them out on a 9 x 13 casserole. Drizzle with melted coconut oil and lightly season with sea salt and garlic powder. Garlic is optional - you'll notice I put it in everything. Bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender. I turned them once. Serve as is or use in warm beet salad. 
Beets roasted in coconut oil. Wheat-free veggie deliciousness!

Wheat Free Warm Beet salad (2 large salads)
4 cups organic spring mix (lettuce)
1/3 cup raw pistachios
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 orange, peeled and sliced into rings
1/3 cup goat cheese (I used soft unripened goat cheese - Blue Menu item from Super Store)

Put the pistachios in the oven (in a separate baking dish) with the beets for the last 5 minutes to roast them. Split all the ingredients, spring mix, pistachios, onion, orange sliced and goat cheese, between two large salad plates and drizzle with orange vinaigrette. You can serve with some grilled shrimp or chicken if you are eating as your main entree. Enjoy!

Orange Vinaigrette
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp orange juice - I squeezed an orange as we don't have juice - juice would be fine though
1 tbsp dried parsley.

Whisk all ingredients together. Drizzle on your beet salad. Save the extra for another day - yay - you now have unprocessed salad dressing in your fridge. 

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