Beet Update

Forgive me for not making the obligatory Fourth of July blog post, but things are busy around here! Measuring our apartment to see what will go where come Monday, getting insured so I can get a license and register my car, hunting for affordable shelving/storage options (thanks to the limitation of having just one closet in our entire apartment) and patio furniture, figuring out this whole paleo thing, trying not to screw anything up at my new job, scheduling appointment after appointment with our internet provider who apparently installed a faulty modem (making it a royal pain to type these posts up on my phone… it’s madness!

But, what I do indeed owe you all is an update on my beet trial!

Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned. I roasted the beets as I’d intended to, but I learned something important: despite all I’d read about how easy it is to remove the skin from beets once they’ve been cooked… it’s not! I started just using my fingers, then a butter knife, then I finally gave up and used a vegetable peeler. I cut the beets into strips and although they weren’t as thin as I’d hoped, they sauteed pretty nicely with minced garlic in olive oil. I added some dill just because (in the end it didn’t add any flavor to the dish, but oh well) and let it all simmer together and stay hot.

I grabbed the kale leaves with the intention of using them like taco shells, but that didn’t work out. I forgot that the shape of kale isn’t very romaine lettuce-like, rather more like a maple leaf! I gave up and just chopped up three huge kale leaves to add to the sizzling beets and garlic. I sliced and browned some chicken sausage, tossing the boyfriend’s with olive oil, herbs, red pepper flakes, coconut cream, and red pepper flakes (and, yes, he had a gigantic veggie-filled salad with lettuce from the CSA!), and adding my portion atop a hearty pile of the beets/kale mixture. Half of a sliced avocado on the side made it a pretty damn gorgeous dish (which my phone’s camera doesn’t do justice).

Looks are one thing… but what about the taste?

Honestly, cooked beets taste like cooked carrots. The texture, the sweetness, the smell. All of it is that of a carrot… and I love carrots; therefore, I love beets. They’re just a bit of a pain in the ass to cook, honestly. I’m unsure if it’s worth the reward. I had some of the beet and kale leftover, so the following morning I cooked some diced uncured bacon in a pan and added the leftovers to the pan, accompanied by the remaining avocado half. (If I had remembered to buy eggs, it would’ve been awesome to have a nice runny yolk oozing all over it; avocado was a creamy substitute.)

So, overall this was a big success! I have two more little beets in the fridge that I need to cook up before the end of the week; I’ll see what I come up with and you better believe I’ll share it with you.

Speaking of sharing, here is my first paleo recipe!

BEET AND KALE SAUTEE
Serves two.

  • 3 medium red beets
  • 3 large kale leaves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic, divided use
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut off greens from beets. Clean dirt off of each of the beets and place each on its own square of aluminum foil. Drizzle 2 tbsp worth of olive oil evenly over all of the beets. Repeat with 2 tbsp of the minced garlic. Wrap the foil around the beets like you’re making them look like a Hershey Kiss. Place beets in center rack of oven and let bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Remove beets from oven and let cool. Peel the beets and slice them into thin strips. Put the remaining olive oil, garlic, and dill in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When aromatic, add beets, salt, and pepper. Sautee until beets begin to smell fragrant and get slightly darker. Add kale, lower heat to medium-low, stir, and cover. After about five minutes, stir again and serve.

This is a great accompaniment for protein like sausage, pork, and other meats that work well with a sweet side dish!

Another option is to omit the olive oil in the pan and brown some diced uncured bacon in the pan, cooking the veggies and herbs in the rendered fat!

Conclusions:

  1. Beets are delicious. If you like carrots, you will like beets.
  2. Beets are not fun to cook. Despite all I’d read online, the skins are a royal pain in the ass to remove, even after being cooked. Oh, and that cooking part takes over a half hour in itself.
  3. Beets do not stain countertops or kitchen appliances as bad as I’d read! I dripped juice on my very cheap linoleum countertop and it sat there overnight; in the morning, I wiped a wet paper towel over it just once and it came off immediately! (Maybe I was just lucky?)
  4. Beets do not stain people as bad as I’d read, either! Although with the juice on my hands, they looked very red. Just a quick hand-rinse and my hands were no longer red. On a gross side-note, my pee was not red after eating beets, which was another thing I’d read happens as a result of beet-consumption.