Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beetchyoull Like This Salad

When I was a kid, my family frequented Frisch’s. Especially when my grandparents were around. To this day I miss the place. Anyway, if you’ve never been, let me kind of describe it. It’s a “family” diner-like restaurant with a salad bar and in the mornings a breakfast bar. My mom always required my brother and I to get the salad bar regardless of what else we wanted. We could have our cheeseburger, but not without the salad bar. This for me was ok; my parents may have gotten a pout every once in a blue moon from me. But my brother absolutely loved the idea! The reason is, according to my mom, he was a little bit of a strange eater as a kid. I’ve heard her say she used to have to pack him salads for lunch when he was in elementary school because he hated sandwiches! This is pretty funny for me partly because my brother was a seriously cute kid (I can just picture him at the lunch table in Kindergarten pulling out his salad) and partly because he is still kind of like that. About 5 Christmas dinners ago, we were having salad. I asked him if he wanted me to pass him some salad dressing. He looks dead at me, serious as a heart attack and says, “Why would I want salad dressing when the tomatoes are so juicy?” #bellylaugh You Win! So back to the salad bar. The other very strange thing about my brother’s childhood salad adoration was his LOOOOVE for beets. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t touch them! I mean; if we’re truly honest with ourselves, they taste like dirt! I think as a grown up that’s the part I like most about them, but its definitely NAAAHT a kid flavor! Nevertheless, a very young Ryan mowed them like they were skittles for a normal child his age!

At this matured age, I now eat them at every opportunity. It’s pretty standard for me to have a beet salad if I’m out for a decent dinner. But I also like making them at home. Beets are one of the veggies I really like to get organic. I guess it’s the porous nature of a beet growing in the ground that causes me to prefer them organic. But even more than that I really like to get them locally at my farmers’ market when I can. They seriously taste better. So a few weeks ago in my organics box I received a whole slew of delicious beets. I was hosting company and needed a salad for them, so I decided to come up with a beet salad. Assuming everyone likes beets is risky, but my friends do, so I lucked out.

First, you must roast your beets. This is quite easy so don’t let it intimidate you. All you have to do is pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove the stems from your beets, rub them with olive oil (skin on) and wrap them in aluminum foil. Bake them on a baking sheet for about an hour depending on their size. Check them with a fork and cook until the fork pierces through easily. When they come out of the oven, rub them individually with paper towel gently and the skin will rub right off. Dice them to the size you want them and splash them with rice wine vinegar. Then refrigerate until the next day or at least 3-4 hours before you need them.

Beet & Pear Salad

Roasted beets
Raw red pears, cored and diced
Fresh thyme
1 navel orange
feta cheese crumbles

Put beets, diced pears, thyme and feta in a bowl. Zest the orange into the salad then squeeze the juice of the orange over it. Toss and serve!

This salad was absolutely beautiful and quite yummy as well. But the bonus points are as follows: 1) it’s super easy and 2) beets are great for you!

Beets have zero trans fat and zero saturated fat. They are low calorie! Beets are also high in carbohydrates which means they are a great instant energy source, but unlike processed foods which are high in carbohydrates, beets will energize your body. Beets contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosperous! They are also considered a fiber food and contain vitamins A and C as well as niacin! Beets contain folic acid which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. Studies have shown that beets guard against cancer, especially colon cancer. Medical studies have also shown that including beets in your diet helps protect a body against heart disease.
-15 Health Benefits of Beets: Fight Cancer and More

So grab your forks and get to eating some beets! If you don’t do it for your health…do it because it’s super trendy! *wink wink


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