DDD #73 – Vegan Roasted Beet & Balsamic Borscht

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is a really easy & fresh & light dish.  It will likely render your kitchen a crime scene so be sure to wear an apron.  Most borscht is vegan so that isn’t really of note here – but I thought I’d point it out.  I topped mine with vegan yogurt here.  You could use a vegan sour cream or nothing.  If you do not add any creamy element – this is a guiltless soup.  The only thing in it with any calories worth talking about is a little olive oil but this make a lot of soup so the amount that ends up in a serving is very low.  You could lower it further by boiling the beets rather than roasting them but I think roasting adds a nice flavor.  This can be served hot or cold, too, which is a nice option to have.  I pureed the bulk of the soup & reserved a few cubes of beets for texture.  You could leave it chunky or puree it completely.  Your call!

Click the image below to watch the video on my channel.


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Vegan Roasted Beet & Balsamic Borscht

4 HUGE beets (or 10-12 small ones) – halved or quartered

4 carrots – chopped

1 red bell pepper – diced

4 celery stalks – chopped

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 bay leaves

6 cups vegetable stock

2 tsp Marmite (optional)

1 TBS good quality balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

S&P

Fresh dill and/or scallions – as garnish

Vegan yogurt or vegan sour cream for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the beets in a bit of olive oil & salt & pepper liberally.  Roast on a foil-lined pan at 400 degrees for about an hour – or until easily pierced with a fork.  Set aside to cool.

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Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large stock pot.  Saute the onion, celery, bell pepper & carrots over medium heat for about ten minutes or until they soften.  Add the bay leaves & garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes.  Add the stock & the marmite (if using) & simmer over medium-low heat.

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Peel half the beets & reserve the skins.  Cube the peeled beets and set aside.

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Chop the other half of the beets coarsely.   Add the skins & unpeeled beets to the soup pot.   Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves & discard.  I used an immersion blender & pureed the soup.  You can do this in batches in a blender but be careful you do not get burned & be more careful that you don’t splatter magenta soup everywhere.

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Once pureed to your liking – add the reserved cubed beets & stir in the balsamic vinegar.  Season with S&P.

To serve – garnish liberally with vegan yogurt or sour cream and lots & lots of dill and maybe some diced scallions.  Eat it up!  Then curse the inevitable pink splatter you find in your kitchen hours after you were sure you cleaned the last of it.

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Vegan Roasted Fennel & Beets Salad with Arugula, Avocado, Pistachios & Goat Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Fennel is a divisive vegetable.  The sharp licorice flavor is either something you love or hate, it seems.  But, as with garlic, the flavor of fennel mellows into something else entirely – when you roast it.  It becomes soft & sorta sweet & it compliments this salad nicely.

I used arugula but any mixed greens or baby spinach would work, too.  I added pistachios but any nuts would work – especially if you toasted them a bit first.

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I used this lovely blood orange olive oil but regular olive oil would work.  I used the dark balsamic – but white balsamic would be lovely, too.

And for the goat cheese – I used this stuff (below).   It has the texture of a soft goat cheese & was really delicious.  If you eat cheese – real goat cheese or feta would also work.

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Vegan Roasted Fennel & Beets Salad with Arugula, Avocado, Pistachios & Goat Cheese

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

4-6 beets (red or golden – no matter)

1 large fennel bulb

2 fists full of arugula or other greens

1/4 cup pistachios

1 avocado – cubed

Vegan soft cheese (or real goat or feta cheese) – quantity up to you

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap the beets in foil.  No need to even wash them – as that will happen later.  If they are large (mine were about the size of ping pong balls) – cut them into smaller chunks.

Cut the fronds off the fennel (saving some of the dilly leaves for garnish) & cut the bulb in half.  Place on a cooking sheet & drizzle with olive oil.

Place the beets in foil on the cooking sheet with the fennel & roast 30-45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.  The beets might take longer than the fennel.

When the beets cool – wash them under running water & rub the skins off.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Slice up the fennel.

Place some greens on each plate.  Top with beets, fennel, avocado, pistachios & crumbled cheese. Drizzle with olive oil & balsamic.  Garnish with fennel leaves and S&P.

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Vegan Roasted Golden Beet Risotto with Parmesan & Beet Greens Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I love beets.  I always have.  I have discovered, however, that many folks don’t think they like them – until they have fresh ones roasted.  I have converted more than a few people from beet-haters to beet-lovers.  And why hate them?  They are really a lot like carrots – sorta earthy & sweet.  Who hates carrots?

Anyway – risotto is easy – despite its reputation.  So – though this recipe has a few steps – they are all easy & you end up with a fuckton of yummy, vegan risotto!  If you are not vegan – you could stir in some real Parmesan or – even better – some goat cheese.  If you ARE vegan – you, too, could opt to stir in a vegan creamy cheese – like cream cheese or any of the brands that make soft, spreadable vegan cheeses.  Or – go with no cheese.  Your call.

The pesto is easy & makes great use of the beet greens but you can omit it – or make it with kale or some other greens – even traditional pesto – with basil.

If I were not on a diet – I would have tossed a few chopped walnuts or pistachios on the bowls as garnish.  If you are in a “giving zero fucks” mood – toss some motherfucking nuts on there & get your chow on!  I ain’t judging!

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Vegan Creamy Golden Beet Risotto with Parmesan & Beet Greens Pesto

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

for the beet greens pesto (this makes way more than you will likely use on this dish but you can freeze it or put in on pizza, toss it with pasta or use it as a sandwich spread)

Tops to several beets (I used the tops to about 6 beets – both red & golden) – washed VERY, very well & stems trimmed off

Several kale leaves (only because I had them – so this is easy to omit – if you want to) – ribs removed

2-6 garlic cloves (according to your taste for garlic)

1/2 cup nuts (I used raw almonds but walnuts, pecans, pistachios or pine nuts will work)

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup water (more or less)

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan (or a TBS or 2 of nutritional yeast)

S&P

for the golden beet risotto

4-6 large beets (I had 3 large golden beets & 3 small red ones) – I like a lot of veggies in my risotto to lower the carb hit

3 TBS coconut oil or olive oil

4 garlic cloves (less if you are not a big garlic fan)

1 onion – diced

2 cups Arborio (risotto) rice

1 cup dry white wine (optional – use more stock if you don’t want to use wine)

8 cups vegetable stock

1/4 cup (or more) vegan Parmesan (or other cheese – as you prefer)

S&P

Garnish – more cheese, parsley and maybe some chopped nuts (like pistachios or walnuts) – and maybe some chopped or sliced roasted beets

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DIRECTIONS

for the pesto

WASH THE GREENS WELL!  Beets greens are usually very gritty.  In a food processor, pulse the nuts & garlic & cheese until blended.  Pulse in the greens & kale & oil & then only add as much water as you need to get it to the pesto texture you prefer.  I went drier than usual with this because I wanted it to sit on the risotto without blending – just so I could photograph it.  You can go wetter – if you prefer.  Season with S&P.  Set aside.

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For the Vegan Roasted Golden Beet Risotto with Parmesan

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

Wrap the beets in foil.  If you are using two colors – wrap them separately or the red ones will dye the golden ones.

Cook for about an hour or until they are tender.  Allow them to cool & then rub the skin & rough parts off under running water.  Use a knife to get any stubborn places.  Dice or slice them – reserving a bit for garnish later.  This can be done a day or two in advance – just store them in the fridge.

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Bring the vegetable stock to a boil & reduce to a simmer.

Heat the oil & saute the onions until translucent.  Add the rice & stir so all the rice is coated in oil.  Add a bit more, if you need to.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until the edges of the rice start to look translucent.  Add the garlic & stir for 1 minute.  Add the wine (or one cup of stock) and cook until it is absorbed.  Add the beets (reserving some for garnish) and combine.  Now – over medium heat & stirring almost constantly, add the stock one cup at a time – allowing to to get absorbed each time.  I like my risotto a little wetter but this is a personal preference.  Cook until the rice is just tender – NOT mushy – this may or may not take up all the stock.  Stir in any cheese you are using.  Season with S&P.  Add more stock (or water) if it gets too thick.

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Serve immediately & garnish with a dollop of beet greens pesto, more beets, parsley, more cheese & any nuts you might have decided to use.

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Vegan Creamy Polenta Bowl with Roasted Beets, Toasted Walnuts, Thyme & Balsamic Glaze

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Once again, I created a dish out of an effort to use what I had on hand and, I must admit, I am quite delighted.  I had a bag of polenta from the bulk section at Lassen’s (a store that is a wonderland of healthy foods but 1) mixes meat & vegan items in the same cases & it can get confusing and 2) is SO FUCKING claustrophobic that I am in a mild panic the whole time I am there).  I also had some roasted beets I needed to use.  Voila!

I am a huge fan of both polenta & grits (grits being the same thing, really, but just not as finely ground).  I especially like them creamy & soft – like a porridge.  Most polenta & grits recipes have cheese in them & you can certainly add cheese but this didn’t need it.  AND – I cooked the polenta in my slow cooker while I went spinning this morning!  I came home, exhausted, to a vat of steaming, creamy polenta.  Win win!

If you are not vegan, some crumbled goat cheese on this would be divine!  Actually – they make lots of vegan cheeses that are like goat cheese or Boursin & a little bit of one of those might be a nice addition to this dish.   If you don’t like or don’t have walnuts – I think pistachios would be better, anyway – I just didn’t have any.  Oh – and polenta is naturally gluten-free.  This is a very low fat recipe but is warm & hearty & great for winter weather.  If you really want to get all cold-weather crazy – stir a small can of pumpkin puree into the polenta.   Yuuuum!

I used this balsamic glaze (below) but a balsamic reduction is VERY easy to make.

BALSAMIC REDUCTION

Simply boil a nice balsamic until it reduces by about 50-75% and has a thick syrupy texture.  It really does reduce a LOT so – if it reduces to too little for your pizza – just boil down some more.  Be careful not to burn it! I used about a tablespoon of the reduction on this polenta.

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Vegan Creamy Polenta Bowl with Roasted Beets, Toasted Walnuts, Thyme & Balsamic Glaze

This makes enough polenta to feed 4 easily.  The quantity of the toppings is up to you.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dry polenta

8 cups vegetable stock

Beets

Walnuts (or pistachios)

Fresh thyme removed from stems

Balsamic glaze (see recipe above if you want to make it yourself)

(Adding vegan goat cheese – or any other very soft cheese) at the end with the beets & nuts would take this to the next level.  Fried sage – in place of the thyme – might also be nice.)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

I cooked my polenta in a slow cooker by simply putting the polenta & stock in there, setting it on high (cover on) and two hours later – I had a lot of creamy goodness.  If it gets too thick, add more water or stock.  If it is too thin – cook a bit longer (taking the top off accelerates this process).

OR – cook your polenta according to the package (using stock rather than water).  Stove top – this should take 30-40 minutes.

Wrap beets well in foil. You might want to drizzle a bit of olive oil in there but that is not necessary.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until beets are slightly soft to the touch, 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on their size. Cool beets and then rub off skins (use a paring knife for tough spots).

Toast the nuts in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes – stirring frequently so they do not burn.  Set aside.

Now – assemble your bowls.  Spoon in the polenta, top with beets & nuts & a drizzle of balsamic glaze & some thyme leaves.  Add cheese – if you are using some.  I did not.

Eat’m up!

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5-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Garlic Herb Pasta with Roasted Golden Beets & Chard

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So – I bought that ginormous beet at the farmer’s market a while back.  It was larger than a softball.  It was a glorious thing.  I roasted it & let it sit a day or so to be ready when I wanted it & I was glad I did.  Recently, after hiking to the Hollywood sign, I came home starving & was able to whip up this Amazing dish in the time it took to cook the pasta.  So – if you are a roasted beet fan – roast them ahead & let them be ready when you are.

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I used this vegan cheese here.  I bought it online.   You can try this stuff (it heats into creamy awesomeness!) or another vegan soft cheese – or – if you are not vegan, use Boursin or even cream cheese or goat cheese.   I used chard but spinach would work, too.  Whatever you decide – you must try this.  EASY & delicious!

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How to roast beets:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash beets well.  Coat with a thin layer of olive oil & wrap in foil.  Cook, undisturbed, for at least 45 minutes (it could take much longer for big ones), until a knife pierces one with little resistance. They may cook at different rates.  Remove each when it is done.

5-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Garlic Herb Pasta with Roasted Golden Beets & Chard

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

1 huge or 4 small golden beets – roasted (see above) & peeled & cubed

1 head (4-5 leaves) chard – with the hard vein removed & the leaves chopped

3 (or more) oz vegan garlic herb cheese (or other soft cheese)

2 (or more) cloves garlic – chopped

Olive oil (if you do not have a non-stick pan)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Roast the beets, if you have not already.  Let cool.  Then peel & cube them.

Cook the pasta.  One minute before it is done – add the chard.  Drain.  Set aside.

If you have a non-stick pan – you can omit using olive oil.  Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a regular pan & warm the beets through.  Add the garlic for one minute & then mix in the cheese.  Stir until the cheese is completely incorporated & creamy.  Add the pasta & chard.  Warm through.

Season with S&P & serve.

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Roasted Beet and Chickpea Salad with Dill and Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I love beets!  I love lemon!  I love arugula!  I LOVE THIS SALAD!  If you are vegan – either just lose the feta cheese or add a vegan alternative.  There is enough flavor here that the cheese is just a layer of flavor but the salad doesn’t depend on it.

I roasted the beets days ahead & just used them yesterday.  You can do this, too, or roast them as needed.  I like having them in the fridge – ready & waiting for me to be inspired to use them.  I made this dressing fresh but most any tart dressing would work.

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Lemon Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup olive oil

juice of one lemon

1 1/2 tsp Dijon

1 garlic clove – minced

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Blend the ingredients & then add more lemon or oil or S&P – to suit your taste.

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Roasted Beet and Chickpea Salad with Dill and Arugula

INGREDIENTS

The ratio here is really up to you but here are my suggestions:

2 large beets

1/2 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained & rinsed

A few cups of arugula

1/2 cucumber – sliced thin

1 cup feta – crumbled

Fresh dill

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DIRECTIONS

Wash the beets & wrap them in foil with a little olive oil drizzled on them.   Roast, wrapped in foil, at 400 degrees for about an hour.  Allow to cool & peel.  Cut into bite-sized chunks & set aside.

Make the vinaigrette.

Now just layer your ingredients as you like & drizzle with dressing.  Lots of freshly cracked pepper adds a nice touch.  Eat it up & sit back & think about the fact that your pee will likely be pink tomorrow.  🙂

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Pizza with Roasted Red & Golden Beets, Garlic Fried Brussels Sprouts, Pistachios, Feta & Honey

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – well – it’s pizza again!  This one was inspired simply by the existing produce in my house.  The result has a lot going on but, overall, it is a rather sweet pizza.  I used feta cheese but I think goat cheese might be a nicer fit – or maybe even brie.  Whatever you choose to use – you are in for a treat!

Speaking of treats – look how cute my Memphis is!!!

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And speaking of cute – my badass boyfriend, Miles Miller, completed principal photography on his first feature film – All the Birds Have Flown South.  I will keep you posted as that develops – but behold the vision that is my boy, Miles!

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Pizza with Roasted Red & Yellow Beets, Garlic Fried Brussels Sprouts, Pistachios, Feta & Honey

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I make THIS)

1-2 beets (red and/or golden)

Feta Cheese

10 Brussels sprouts – cut or shaved thin

4 garlic cloves – chopped

Olive oil

Pistachios – chopped

Honey

Fresh mozzarella – sliced

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450.

Place the beets on a sheet of foil (separately – if using two colors) & drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap them up & roast for abut 45 minutes.  Allow them to cool & then peel them under cold running water.  Slice thinly & set aside.

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Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a saute pan.  Pan fry the Brussels sprouts over high heat until soft & beginning to crisp – not long – a few minutes, tops.  Add the garlic & heat another minute – then set aside.

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Grease a pizza pan.

Roll out your dough.  Place it on the cooking sheet & top with sliced beets, Brussels sprouts, crumbled feta cheese, pistachios & sliced mozzarella.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil & cook at 450 for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese & crust are cooked to your liking.  Drizzle with honey & slice it up.  Pour some wine.  Or stick a straw in a bottle.  Eat & drink yourself into a food coma & then go on to Amazon.com & buy my book!   The phrase “I could not put it down!” has been uttered by a conspicuous number of folks – both male & female.  Why not find out for yourself?

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Pan-Seared Beet & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Goat Cheese & Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I was in the mood for beets & goat cheese & considered making little towers but then pizza flashed in my mind & this pizza was born.  I decided to pan-fry the sliced beets rather than roast them because I thought it would save time but then the caramelizing of the onions took as long as roasting the beets would have – so you might just wanna roast them.  Less calories that way.

If caramelizing the onions seems like a pain in the ass, you can lose them but they really do add a nice layer to the flavors.  I adore arugula & am equally pleased by cold greens on hot pizza but this this is also a very optional choice.

I used a homemade dough but your favorite dough will do.

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Pan-Seared Beet & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Goat Cheese & Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I used THIS)

1 large beet (peeled & either sliced thin or roasted whole at 400 for about 40 min)

1 large onion – sliced

Olive oil or butter

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Goat Cheese

Grated pizza cheese

Arugula

Parsley (or mint) chopped

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DIRECTIONS

If roasting the beet – basic instructions are HERE.

Heat an oven to 450 degrees.

If pan-searing the beets, heat 2 TBS of butter or olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Cook the raw, sliced beets, flipping frequently, until they are tender & beginning to brown.  Drain on a paper towel.

Add another 2 TBS butter (or olive oil) to the same pan & caramelize the onions by sauteing on med-low heat.  Add the salt & sugar & stir them every 5 minutes or so.  They should brown & caramelize nicely in about 40 minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.  Nice caramelizing instructions are HERE.  Drain them on a paper towel.

Roll the dough out to your pizza size.  I smeared some basil-infused oil on it – but any olive oil will do.

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Layer some grated cheese on the dough then the onions.  I put my onions on the top & they kinda got overcooked.  Protect your hard-earned caramelized onions by covering them with the sliced, pan-seared (or roasted & sliced) beets.  Pinch some dollops of goat cheese on there.  Another little drizzle of olive oil is nice here but optional.

If your oven really is at 450 – and you want it to be – this should cook up nicely in about 8-12 minutes but that depends a lot on the thickness of your dough & density of toppings.

Top with chopped parsley or mint & put a handful of raw & naked arugula on it.  Slice it.  Eat it.  Look forward to red pee tomorrow!

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Golden Beet Soup

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This soup is exactly as vibrant as it looks and so delicious & SO good for you!  I added red beet diced up but that was just for color.  It adds nothing different to the flavor so if the extra effort seems like a pain in the ass – blow the red beet off.  I enjoyed this soup more than the very yummy Roasted Beet & Balsamic Borscht of last week.

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Easy & so low in all the things damned by dieters – it is a really great weight loss aid.  And it can be served warm or cold.  I ate this for lunch three days in a row while trying to commit suicide-by-tortilla-pizza each evening & still woke up 3 pounds lighter on Monday than I had been on Friday.

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So – if over-eating like a heathen racked with self-pity AND shedding pounds while you are at it appeals to you – try this beet soup!!

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I used this saffron liquid I found at Super King for under $7 – but saffron threads are easier to come by (though costly) & can be used instead.  This can be done entirely with red beets & achieve the same flavor.  It will just look more like the borscht above.

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Golden Beet Soup

INGREDIENTS

4 large golden beets (or red – if golden are unavailable)

1 red beet

4 cups vegetable stock

2 celery stalks – chopped

1 yellow bell pepper – seeded & chopped

1 onion – diced

1-2 cups yogurt (this is a matter of taste)

2 TBS saffron liquid (or 1 tsp saffron threads steeped in 1/4 cup hot water for a few minutes)

1 TBS olive oil

1 tsp white pepper

Salt to taste

Scallions, dill & additional yogurt as garnish (along with the red beet)

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DIRECTIONS

Boil the unpeeled beets (yellow in one pan and the red (if using) in another for about an hour or until very tender.  Cool in a bowl of cold water & the rub or peel off the skins.

Dice one yellow beet & the red beet & set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot & saute the onions, celery & yellow bell pepper until soft.

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Add the stock & saffron (liquid or water with saffron threads), the white pepper.  Roughly chop the three yellow beets & add to the soup.  Heat it through & then puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Stir in the yogurt adding one cup first & tasting it before adding more.  Add more if that sounds good to you.  Add the reserved, diced YELLOW beet.

Ladle into bowls & garnish with a few chunks of the red beet, yogurt, dill & diced scallions.  Add lots of freshly ground pepper & indulge whilst fantasizing about the fatty/carb-heavy/or otherwise decadent meal you will be earning as you eat this healthy soup!

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Homemade Roasted Beet Ice Cream

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Every time I go to the amazing Super King I come out with about ten big bags of produce.  That puts a lot of pressure on me to get creative with big chunks of it (produce) every day so that I use it all before it spoils.   Hence, this beet ice cream which I can freeze!

I also come out of there sometimes with things I’ve never seen before – like this layering of nuts soaking in honey.

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It was far more densely packed in there than I expected and didn’t make a very pretty presentation on my brie – but it sure tasted good!

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Anyway, this bet ice cream makes more than you will likely need so you might want to cut it in half.  Unlike my Avocado Ice Cream:

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the flavor of the beets didn’t get as lost in the cream & sugar as the avocado flavor did.  Plus, it had a less creamy texture.  I think it would be best served in tiny ramekins or sake glasses & used as a between-course palate cleanser.   It is gorgeous & quite tasty but just not the kind of thing you would serve yourself a huge bowl of & then sit back & shovel it into your face whilst watching Silver Linings Playbook or some such.  And it dyes your tongue (and even teeth, a bit) a neon magenta color.   I definitely recommend it but in smaller portions.  But you would be hard pressed to find a more striking bowl of ice cream.

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Homemade Roasted Beet Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

2 large red beets

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 TBS vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup heavy cream

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DIRECTIONS

Put the canister of your ice cream maker in the freezer empty.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap the unpeeled beets in foil & roast for about an hour or until tender all the way through.  erring on the side of cooking too much is better than not enough because a hard beet will be harder to puree.

Cool the beets in ice water & rub or peel the skins off.  Cube the beets.  Blend all the ingredients in your food processor until as smooth as possible.  Chill the mix in the fridge (or freezer) until very cold but not getting solid.

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Then – simply chill it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.  It will come out of there in a soft serve consistency so chill it in a shallow container in your freezer if you like it harder.  Cover it with wax paper before putting the lid on the container.  You will stave off the freezer burn longer that way.

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Vegan Roasted Beet & Balsamic Borscht

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans back

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This is a really easy & fresh & light dish.  It will likely render your kitchen a crime scene so be sure to wear an apron.  Most borscht is vegan so that isn’t really of note here – but I thought I’d point it out.  I topped mine with Greek yogurt.  You could use a vegan alternative or sour cream or creme fraiche.  Or nothing.  If you do not add any creamy element – this is a guiltless soup.  The only thing in it with any calories worth talking about is a little olive oil but this make a lot of soup so the amount that ends up in a serving is very low.  You could lower it further by boiling the beets rather than roasting them but I think roasting adds a nice flavor.  This can be served hot or cold, too, which is a nice option to have.  I pureed the bulk of the soup & reserved a few cubes of beets for texture.  You could leave it chunky or puree it completely.  Your call!

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Vegan Roasted Beet & Balsamic Borscht

4 HUGE beets (or 10-12 small ones) – halved or quartered

4 carrots – chopped

4 celery stalks – chopped

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 bay leaves

6 cups vegetable stock

2 tsp Marmite (optional)

1 TBS good quality balsamic vinegar

olive oil

S&P

fresh dill – as garnish

Greek yogurt (or vegan option or sour cream or creme fraiche) for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the beets in a bit of olive oil & salt & pepper liberally.  Roast on a foil-lined pan at 400 degrees for about an hour – or until easily pierced with a fork.  Set aside to cool.

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Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large stock pot.  Saute the onion, celery & carrots over medium heat for about ten minutes or until they soften.  Add the bay leaves & garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes.  Add the stock & the marmite (if using) & simmer over medium-low heat.

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Peel half the beets & reserve the skins.  Cube the peeled beets and set aside.

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Chop the other half of the beets coarsely.   Add the skins & unpeeled beets to the soup pot.   Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves & discard.  I used an immersion blender & pureed the soup.  You can do this in batches in a blender but be careful you do not get burned & be more careful that you don’t splatter magenta soup everywhere.

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Once pureed to your liking – add the reserved cubed beets & stir in the balsamic vinegar.  Season with S&P.

To serve – garnish liberally with yogurt (or whatever you are using) and lots & lots of dill.  Eat it up!  Then curse the inevitable pink splatter you find in your kitchen hours after you were sure you cleaned the last of it.

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Pasta with Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is super easy & really pretty delicious.  Not a lot of ingredients and, once you’ve roasted the beets, it comes together in the time it takes you to boil pasta.  Mine there is sitting on a bed of spinach but I don’t recommend putting spinach in this.  It is just there for aesthetics.

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Pasta with Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese

INGREDIENTS

2 large beets (or several smaller ones) – I used red & golden varieties

3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup Parmesan – grated

5 oz goat cheese

Olive oil

S&P to taste

Mint or parsley or basil as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Toss the beets & garlic cloves in a little olive oil, wrap in foil & roast at 425 for 30-45 minutes – depending on their size – or until they are tender.  Let them cool & then peel them & cut them into chunks.  Reserve a handful of small cubes of beet for garnish later.

Boil your pasta.

In a food processor, puree the rest of the beets & Parmesan & roasted garlic & 1-2 ounces of the goat cheese & one cup of water until very smooth.  Add S&P to taste.

Put 1 TBS olive oil in a saute pan & heat the beet puree through.  Do not burn it!

Drain the pasta & add it & the beet puree to a bowl & mix until all your pasta is a deep magenta. Serve on plates with extra dollops of goat cheese, a few cubes of roasted beet, whatever herb you selected to garnish it with & some fresh cracked pepper!

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Roasted Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese and Pecorino

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is as easy to make as any risotto.  Risotto?  Easy?  Yes.  It is.  I don’t know why it has a reputation for being laborious.  Kind of like root canals.  People dread them like THEY cause the pain.  I had a friend recently tell me that she had rented a bunch of movies to watch over the weekend as she recuperated from an upcoming root canal.  You get a root canal BECAUSE you are in pain.  Terrible, inescapable pain – or you would never agree to a procedure that terrifies you & is, quite frankly, very expensive.  A root canal is a procedure that removes the nerve so that you will never again have pain in that tooth.  In fact, they get at that thing pretty early in the procedure so within 5 minutes of them starting – it is impossible to feel pain there anymore.  I told my friend this – to her great relief.  And, she reported back, I had been right.  I know – because botched dentistry in my past has led to my having had two of them.

Anyway, I digress.  Risotto is not the arm-ache provoking process people always bemoan.  It just takes about 30 minutes of care with some occasional stirring.  Who can’t manage that?  Especially if a creamy, delicious risotto is your reward.  And, as far as I am concerned, you can’t really screw it up.  Sure – some can be overcooked or clumpy or too wet but that is just a texture concern & I am not a texture freak.  It all tastes the same.  So give yourself a break & a treat & make some Goddamn risotto.

Oh – and at the risk of offering TMI – lots of roasted beets in your diet will turn your pee (etc) reddish – so – do not be alarmed & fear that you are hemorrhaging.  You are not.  🙂

Also – if you have some extra beet around – or roast some extra – you can use a cookie cutter & create little decorative beet toppers to put atop the risotto & impress your neighbors.  Or not.  But I think it is a cute idea.

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Roasted Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese and Pecorino

INGREDIENTS

2 large (large!) beets or 5 or 6 smaller ones

10 cloves garlic

1 small onion – diced

olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 bay leaf

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 cup Arborio rice

3/4 cup dry red wine plus 1/4 cup water

4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock

Goat cheese and/or Pecorino cheese as garnish

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Wash the beets & wrap them with 6 cloves of garlic in some foil & roast at 425 for between 30-45 minutes – depending on their size.  A knife should cut through them easily when they are done.  Let them cool & then peel them.  The skins might just wipe off with a paper towel.  If not – use a peeler.  Put the beets, roasted garlic into a food processor with 1 TBS olive oil & about 1/4 cup water.  Pulse until you have a rough puree.

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Heat your stock & leave it simmering.   Add the balsamic to this stock.

Mince the remaining raw garlic.  In a stock pot, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat & add the diced onion & minced garlic.  Saute until the onion is soft.  Add more olive oil if the pan gets too dry.

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Add the bay leaf & the rice & stir for about a minute or two.  Get the rice coated in oil from the pan.

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Add the red wine & water (One cup total.  You can use white wine or just plain water here if you don’t want to waste good drinking wine – but the wine adds a nice flavor.)  Simmer a few minutes.  Reserving at least half a cup of hot stock – add the stock to the rice by about a cup at a time & stir it in & allow each cup to nearly cook off before adding the next.  About 15 minutes into this process – add the beet puree.  Stir to blend.  Add the cheese and S&P to taste.     Remove the bay leaf.   The rice should be cooked before you get through all the stock but if you use all the stock & the risotto gets too thick – just add some water & heat it through to thin it.

Put some risotto on each plate & top with crumbled goat cheese and/or shaved Pecorino & a nice dose of freshly ground pepper.

Oh!  And again, all my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Golden Beet Carpaccio & Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Salads are very forgiving.  I sometimes feel like a cheat or a fraud when posting recipes for them but then I remember that lots of folks are intimidated by cooking at all and that they like the security of instruction.  So – I post this delicious salad today.  But – except for the vinaigrette – I won’t really post quantities.  I trust you to use the ratio of beet to arugula to fennel to cheese to suit your own tastes.

I used pomegranate wine vinegar & hazelnut oil because I have them & I want to use them before they spoil.  Plus it makes my recipe sound really fancy.  You could use olive oil & any nice wine vinegar – flavored or not.  I used walnuts but you could use almonds or pecans – or whatever.  Even hazelnuts!  Maybe add pomegranate seeds or a squeeze of fresh orange juice to the dressing.  The sky is the limit.  Hate fennel?  Lose it.  Use another fancy green other than arugula.  Get it?  Got it.  Good.

Oh!  And now all my posts have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Golden Beet Carpaccio & Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

Beets – I used golden AND red.  You can use one or the other or both.

Fennel

Walnuts – or other nut

Arugula – other green

Feta cheese – or goat or cotija or other flavorful cheese

2 TBS pomegranate wine vinegar – or other nice wine vinegar

4 TBS hazelnut oil – or other nice oil (even olive oil)

1 tsp honey

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Wrap your beets in foil & roast at 450 for about 30-45 minutes, depending on their size.  When tender, cool & peel them.

Toast your nuts in a dry pan for about 3 minutes.

Blend your oil, vinegar, honey & some S&P for the vinaigrette.

Slice the beets & fennel very thin with a mandolin or by hand – the thinner the better.

LIGHTLY dress the arugula with a small amount of vinaigrette.

Create a fan on a plate with the sliced beets.  Top with some shaved fennel.  Put some dressed arugula in the center & top with the toasted nuts & cheese & maybe some fresh ground pepper. I added a little garnish of red beets.  You could do a fan of red beets & top with golden – or use one color for all of it.

Shove it in your face while watching The Voice & scream, scandalized, every time the Swon Brothers get saved by America.  🙂

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Valentine’s Day Roasted Beet Cavatelli with Caramelized Fennel & Beet Sauce AND a Beet & Watercress Salad with Edamame

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Valentine’s Day.  A perfect excuse for magenta food items.

I love beets and I am always surprised when people say they hate them – mostly because beet salads are such a common thing on menus.  That alone suggests they are popular but whenever I am questioning a person who claims to eat everything about whether they eat the most controversial foods (mushrooms, eggplant, seafood, garlic, peas, Brussel sprouts & beets) – I often get a negative response to all of those – including beets.

Anyway – I think they are wonderful and I love their vibrant color.  One note – if you eat these bright red vegetables – your subsequent visits to the restroom could be alarming.  All that pigment in the beets will go right through you and you might look into the toilet bowl & fear you are bleeding to death.  You are not.  Just FYI.

Another thing – beets WILL dye your clothes & hands – so – wear dark clothing or an apron when working with them.   Also – the cavatelli, the sauce & the salad all call for roasted beets.  So – roast a whole bunch at once – and roast some garlic along with them.  And lastly – cook the cavatelli within a few hours of making them.  I let mine sit out too long & I think they suffered for it.

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First – the salad.

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Beet & Watercress Salad with Edamame

INGREDIENTS

Roasted beets

Watercress

toasted pecans

goat cheese – crumbled

red onion – shaved VERY thin

edamame

1/2 cup olive oil

1 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 tsp Dijon

S&P to taste

Blend the last five ingredients for the dressing.

Halve the beets (tossed in olive oil) & roast at 450 for 45 minutes or until done.

Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan until fragrant – being careful not to burn them.

When the beets are done, cool them & slice or cube them up & toss with some dressing.

Arrange the ingredients on plates & add more dressing.

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Valentine’s Day Roasted Beet Cavatelli with Caramelized Fennel & Beet Sauce

INGREDIENTS

For the cavatelli

2 cups flour

3 TBS olive oil

2 eggs

2 TBS water

1 tsp salt

1 large roasted beet

DIRECTIONS

Halve the beet (tossed in olive oil) & roast at 450 for 45 minutes or until done.

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Puree the beet with all the other ingredients – except the flour – until the beet is completely broken up.  At this point – I put the flour & beet puree in my bread machine & let it do the dirty work of kneading the dough.  You could probably pulse the flour into the food processor in increments.  Or – create a flour well on a counter or in a bowl & blend into a dough.  Knead it until it is smooth & pliable.

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In sections, roll the dough into snakes & then cut into 3/4 inch chunks & roll into little hot dog shapes.

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Check out this woman (at about 2:00) and how she rolls out the cavatelli.

I rolled mine on a gnocchi board.

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For the beet & caramelized fennel sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 fennel bulb – shaved or sliced very thin – dilly parts saved for garnish

1 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 TBS olive oil

3 shallots – chopped

4 roasted beets (tossed in olive oil and roasted at 450 for 45 minutes or til done)

4 roasted garlic cloves (roasted with the beets but removed from the oven after about 30 min)

1 tomato – quartered

4 oz goat cheese

3 oz cream cheese (or more goat cheese)

Fresh parsley – chopped

Fresh grated Parmesan or other hard cheese

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Roast the beets & garlic.

With a mortar & pestle, grind the rosemary into 1 tsp salt.

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Heat 1 TBS olive oil & cook the shallots & fennel for 5-7 minutes – or until browned.  Add the rosemary salt.

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In a food processor – blend the roasted beets, roasted garlic, caramelized fennel & shallots, tomato, goat cheese, cream cheese and S&P to taste.  Add water if it is too thick.

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Cook the cavatelli in boiling water until they all float to the top.  Drain them & toss with the sauce.  Garnish with more crumbled goat cheese and grated Parmesan & chopped parsley and/or the dilly part of the fennel.

Enjoy!  And have a happy Valentine’s Day!

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Fresh Beet Pasta & Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage, Brown Butter & Blue Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

OK – I am not gonna lie.  This beet pasta almost broke my spirit.  I tried a while back to make a beet-based gnocchi and all I got was about 4 pounds of magenta spackling paste that got on EVERYTHING & stuck to everything like a horny terrier & dyed everything it touched pink.  I added so much flour to un-stickify it that I knew the gnocchi would come out as light & fluffy as pool balls.  It was very disheartening & I threw the dough away without even getting to the gnocchi stage.   Actually – that is not true.  I did make a small batch & served it to two friends.  It didn’t taste bad but they were very heavy & even worse – looked like chunks of raw meat on the plate or some kind of dog treat – like THESE –  that I had dressed up with a nice sauce.  It was pretty nasty.

Still – I’ve had such success with the spinach & my magical kale pasta – I thought I could pull this off with the same ease.

I could not.

I looked over a few beet pasta recipes online & made some mental notes & then decided to basically wing it – based on my vast pasta making experience.  In general – folks seemed to recommend a 1-2 cups pureed beets to 3-4 cups flour ratio with three eggs thrown in for good measure.  I started with a solid two cups of puree, only added two eggs & used a bit more than four cups of flour to get this result:

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I was very excited!  It seemed to come together so easily.  And it was such a vibrant magenta, too!!  But it was during the rolling out process that everything went to Hell.  It was VERY, VERY wet inside that innocent looking ball & it looked like raw meat getting pressed through the pasta-maker gears.  Gross.  And – I am guesstimating – but I think I must have added at least 3 more cups of flour to the dough in the various stages of getting it from that ball there to this:

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Doesn’t it look like giant slabs of bacon?  And it made a FUCKLOAD!  That had to be 8-10 servings of pasta, conservatively.  At any rate – I only used about 1/4 of this recipe to make ravioli.  I made the other 3/4 into fettuccine.

It took FOREVER to manipulate the flour & moisture levels to the point that the pasta could be pressed this thin.  I kept thinking as I made it – nobody who hasn’t succeeded in making regular or spinach pasta a few times (at least) should ever attempt this.  And I couldn’t help but fear that all that flour – that seemed to be twice the level others used – was going to result in a starchy, thick pasta that destroyed any hint of beet – both in color and taste.

The GOOD news is – it made the most beautiful ravioli ever.  I can’t say there was a beet flavor to the pasta but there isn’t really a spinach taste in the spinach pasta.  It really all seems to be about color.  The ravioli held their color pretty well.  The fettucine did not – in that it faded to this color when boiled:

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That might even be a tad more vibrant than it really was.

I started with these beets:

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I roasted three in the oven at 400 degrees to set aside to add to the pasta later.  I boiled the rest for an hour & pureed them for the noodles.  I think the roasted ones – when chopped & added to the pink pasta – will bleed out into that pasta & restore the heavy magenta color it originally had.  We will see.  But this blog is about the ravioli.

Know this – I made two kinds.  One with the beet pasta that was nearly the death of me & one with leftover wonton skins I had in the fridge.  If you want the EASIEST ravioli recipe on the planet – just make the sweet potato puree & saged brown butter – and you will be blown away by how easy & delicious – AND LIGHT – these are.  If you are more adventurous – the beet pasta makes phenomenally beautiful ravioli.  I did not effectively capture their beauty here.  I was still feeling a bit beaten up by the pasta-making process & wanted to get on with EATING this shit.  And I can report – they really were pretty awesomely delicious.  But – no reason to slave over beet pasta.  Just make regular pasta – or use the dang wontons.  You are not trying to run a food blog.  Give yourself a break, for Chrissakes!  🙂

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Fresh Beet Pasta & Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage, Brown Butter & Blue Cheese

INGREDIENTS

2 cups beet puree (4 medium beets?) PLUS 3 more for roasting (optional)

2 eggs

flour – and lots of it – potentially 8 cups

1 tsp sea salt

Sweet Potato Puree

1.5 – 2 lbs sweet potatoes (or yams)

2 small onions – diced

1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

wonton wrappers (6 per serving) – if NOT doing the beet pasta

Sauce

Lots of butter (12 or more TBS)

3 TBS chopped fresh sage

olive oil

1-2 whisked egg whites (optional) – to seal the ravioli.  Water works, too.

Pepper to taste

Blue Cheese (or feta or even shaved Parmesan if blue overwhelms you) as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Roast your yams (having pierced them with a fork several times) in a 400 degree oven.  If using – you can also roast three beets at the same time by covering them with a small amount of olive oil & wrapping them in foil.  Sweet potatoes AND beets should be fork tender in a bout an hour.  You can open the foil around the beets for the last twenty minutes to get a more roasted appearance – if it suits you.  Be sure the sweet potatoes are soft in the center.  Remove from oven & COOL.  When cool – peel the yams & slip the skin & tops off of the roasted beets.  Set aside.

The puree beets – cut the greens off ABOVE the meat of the beet.  Leave the beet in tact & boil like that to retain as much color as possible.  Boil for about an hour or until fork tender.  Drain & cool.

Heat some olive oil in a pan & saute the onions until they begin to brown.  5 minutes or so.  Set aside.

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Mash the sweet potatoes with the cinnamon, nutmeg, grated Parmesan & salt to taste.  Do this in a food processor if you have one & get these guys REALLY smooth.  Once creamy – add sauteed onions & set aside.

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Peel the boiled beets in the sink – again basically by squeezing them.  The outer skin slips right off.  Press the base of the greens off, too.  Put these beets in a food processor & puree.  The rest of the instructions are the same as for regular noodles – with the exception that you put the beet puree in the flour well with the eggs.  I’d start with a well made of 6 cups of flour.

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to view the guide to making plain pasta noodles – or got to http://www.delightfuldeliciousdelovely.com & search for “homemade noodles.”  Again – please note: plain or spinach noodles are WAY easier than this beet version so, if you are trying the beet version, BE PATIENT.  This dough WILL come together but the wet to dry ingredient ratio is trickier.

Once you have noodles pressed flat (or once you have your wonton package open) – use a cooking cutter or large glass to cut the pasta into circles (bigger – like 2 inches across or more – are easier to work with).  No need to cut wontons into circles but you certainly can.  Get a small bowl of water (or some whisked egg white) & a pastry brush (I just used my fingers).  Place a circle of dough (or a store-bought easy-peasy wonton) on the work space.  Put about a tablespoon of sweet potato mix in there.  Wet the rim with a brush or your fingers with either water or egg white then top with a second round (or wet & fold your wonton) & seal.  You will get better at guessing how much filling these ravioli can take as you get the hang of it.  You can seal with your hands or the tines of a fork.  I found the pasta & wontons too thin to really seal with a fork.

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Melt the butter in a pan over high flame.  Once hot – add chopped sage.  Saute about 1-2 minutes or JUST until the butter begins to brown.  Add a little S&P.  Remove from heat.

Boil water.  Once boiling (but not rapidly.  We don’t want to beat up the fragile ravioli) – drop the ravioli in.  They will cook quickly – likely less than two minutes.  They begin to float up when they are ready.  Remove with a slotted spoon & put some on each plate.  Spoon some brown sage butter over the ravioli.  Top with some chopped roasted beets (if you are using) and a small quantity of blue cheese (go LIGHT) or feta or Parmesan.  Crack some pepper atop that & serve!

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