A First Time For Beets - The Vegetarian Who Loves Bacon Blog at Allrecipes.com - 99494

The Vegetarian Who Loves Bacon

A First Time for Beets 
Jun. 4, 2009 2:27 pm 
Updated: Jun. 8, 2009 10:03 am
I have to be honest here. Beets frighten me. I don’t even know why, I'd never even tried one until this week! 
Really. I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly ate a beet. My only experience with beets is at a restaurant near my hometown. On every salad plate, a few slices of pickled beet are placed on top of the salad. These maroon oddities stained the ranch dressing a strange, seemingly unnatural fuchsia color. And they smelled funny. It wasn’t long until I would ask that they not give me the beets. And, my pink ranch dressing problem was solved too.
But recently a friend from college sent me a message. Did I have any good beet recipes? As a vegetarian who loves vegetables, I felt guilty that I didn’t! At least, not a recipe that I had tried. I searched Allrecipes in the Advanced Recipe Search, and put “beet” in the “Ingredients I Want” section. Allrecipes gave me 113 recipes, many of them for pickled beets or beets in Russian-style soup. Not exactly what I was looking for. Many of the recipes looked good, but the recipe for Roasted Beets ‘n’ Sweets caught my eye.
I’ll try almost anything at least once—as long as it’s not meat or seafood. In fact, I think I have a bigger food repertoire than my meat-eating brother. So I figured I would take the plunge and make beets.  Of course, I Googled these suckers first to see what health benefits I’d get from eating beets. What I found was astounding. Beets are, apparently, an excellent source of folate, manganese, and potassium. They also have powerful nutrients in them that help protect against heart disease, birth defects, and cancer—especially colon cancer. Well sign me up!
So I stopped at the store on the way home the other day and got some beets. The recipe calls for the beets to be peeled and cut into chunks, so I started peeling. I had no idea these beets would be so…purple! I clearly had thought beets were dyed that color in the pickling process and never expected my hand and the cutting board would be bright pink as well! (Have no fear though, my hands returned to their normal color by the next day!)
I cut them up and spread them in a glass pyrex to give them the baking head start, and started chopping the rest of the veggies. By the end of the hour, the veggies sure smelled good. But I have to admit, I was still a little hesitant on the beet thing, so I served up the vegetables and crumbled a little goat cheese on top of them. Everything’s better with warm, melted goat cheese, right? Oh, and it was.
While beets might not be in the weekly rotation, they are certainly something I’ll make again! Here are some of the other beet recipes I hope to try next:
Do you have any beet suggestions or favorite recipes for me to try?
Roasted Beets 'n' Sweets
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Jun. 4, 2009 3:42 pm
I love beets, can't say the hubby does though.
Jun. 4, 2009 5:10 pm
I adore beets. Any way, shape, and form. You really should give pickled beets another chance. Now with your new sophisticated palate, I bet you will like them. Assuming you like pickled things that is.
Jun. 4, 2009 5:57 pm
I also love beets and have already saved this recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Jun. 4, 2009 6:50 pm
My suggestion is that you try a recipe that roasts or boils the beets before you peel them. You'll be amazed at how the skins just slip off. And if you do it under cold running water, you won't get pink at all. I've never tried to peel them raw, but it sounds amazingly messy!
Jun. 5, 2009 7:46 am
I wondered about that Bonnie, because I've seen in a few recipes to peel them AFTER they're cooked, which sounds difficult! I think I'll do that next time with the cold water suggestion! And Avon, I might have to give the pickled beets a try again! Can I have more goat cheese on top? ;)
Jun. 5, 2009 7:58 am
Hey Jenny, I grew up hating beets because I'd only had the ones that were canned. I ranked them in the same category of things-that-weren't-meant to-be-eaten as rat poison and lima beans. Then I reluctantly tried a roasted beet. Loved it! It's like it's not even the same vegetable. Thanks for pointing me to this recipe. It looks delicious.
Jun. 5, 2009 8:07 am
I am slowly introducing myself to beets and first thing I ventured into was Beet salad with Goat Cheese. YumYum
Jun. 5, 2009 6:32 pm
I love Harvard beets, Yes, I use canned & always the julienned ones. Thankfully hubby is not picky-I'm lucky there.
Jun. 5, 2009 6:43 pm
Hi Jenny, Your blog really caught my attention for I, too, have never tried beets. It was the smell and the stain from the color that has kept me away. How funny is that. I'm not sure when I'll try them, though. In a way, I hope I don't like them for I would have wasted a lot of years. lol
Jun. 5, 2009 8:50 pm
I think you need to acquire a taste for red beets. As a kid the only way I would eat red beets were pickled. At some point my mother came across a recipe called Raisin-Sauced Beets which I enjoyed. I've since then learned to like some Harvard Beet recipes. My husband won't eat them even though his mother made them when he was a kid. I searched AR recipes. Found some pickle recipes and one was close to mine. I don't put spices or onions with my beets. Here's my Grandmother's recipe for Red Beet Pickles. Ingredients: Red beets to make 4 quarts 3 cups sugar, 2 cups vinegar, 4 cups water, 1 tsp salt. Directions: Cook red beets and skin. Cut red beets into pieces. Combine above ingredients. Add beets. Cook 10 min. Pack in jars & seal. Substitute: 2 cans red beets-drain & save juice. Add enough water to juice to make 2 cups liquid. Pour liquid into pan, add 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup vinegar. NO SALT. Cook 5 min. Let stand 1-2 days before eating. At this point you can add eggs to make pickled red beet eggs. The longer they sit the better they get. **I will confess I use store bought canned baby beets.** Raisin-Sauced Beets Ingredients: 1 1lb can red beets, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 Tbsp cornstarch, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper. Directions: Drain liquid from beets into sauce pan. Add raisins and simmer a few minutes until raisins are plumped. Combine cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Add that to raisins along with butter, salt & pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened. Stir in beets and simmer just until beets are hot. Enjoy your red beet quest.
Jun. 6, 2009 4:56 am
Oh how I wish i liked beets! I think they are so pretty and healthy, but when I've tried them, they taste like mud to me. Well, I've never actually eaten mud, but I imagine it tastes like beets. Your dish looks gorgeous, though! I'm happy you found a new addition to your rotation!
Jun. 6, 2009 1:29 pm
Booschmoo, You hit the nail on the head! That's exactly how I would have described their taste, like dirt/mud. That's why it took something like sweet pickling or a sweet sauce, to make them palatable for me.
Jun. 7, 2009 4:44 pm
Hello, I'm Russian and I love beets. I cook them all the time and now my Puerto Rican husband likes them as well. Just boil them like you would potatoes, unpeeled. Takes a little longer. When a knife goes in easy, they are ready. Put them under running cold water for 5 minutes. That will help peeling process. Peel them, shred them, add 1 clove of garlic per one medium beet (adjust to your taste) and add some meyo and salt. I find it very tasty. This is basic. Later you can start adding chopped prunes and walnuts, or pickled cucumbers and olives. Just give it a try. There is another good dish with beets I know. Let me know if you are interested.
Jun. 8, 2009 10:03 am
Wow, so many great suggestions! I would like to try Harvard beets too, those caught my eye. SHORECOOK, I feel the same way about meat! I've been a vegetarian my whole life, I hope I'm not missing out on anything! And Mary and ALCOLON, thanks for the recipes! It's gonna take me quite some time to get through all the suggestions! But hopefully if I make them again, I'll cook them differently to avoid the staining. I didn't notice any smell though? Anything with lots of fresh garlic doesn't usually smell that bad! ;)
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I love to cook and bake. I live to eat, not eat to live. I love eating out and trying new things! I’ve been a vegetarian for my whole life, but I do sneak the occasional slice of bacon or pepperoni.
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