Tag Archives | beets

Homemade Ketchup (traditional & nightshade-free)

Homemade Traditional and Nightshade-free Ketchup

You may have been avoiding ketchup up until this point, it is full of sugar after all, and who knows where those tomatoes are coming from. This post is not to encourage you to eat more ketchup (or fries or hotdogs!) but once in a while, a little bit of ketchup makes the world feel a little more normal, so a homemade, guilt-free recipe comes in handy.

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Roasted Beet Salad with Spiced Chick Peas & Tahini Dressing

Beet salad, generally speaking, does not excite me. It needs textural and temperature contrast, (extreme) freshness and a brush of finesse to stand out from the crowd. Maybe the deli case versions and possibly the beets/chevre/mixed greens restaurant staples are in part responsible. Beets need attention and excitement to really shine.

Beet Salad with Tahini Dressing

I feel like maybe we have stopped thinking about beets and asking where they see themselves outside of where they have been typecast. Is it because they turn everything the colour of strawberry ice cream? Because it is a tricky colour for something that tastes so earthy to pull off. Maybe it’s because they are so intensely sweet….yet savory.

Roasted Beet Salad with Tahini Dressing

The thing is, they are totally worth a bit of a reinvention if it gets you re-interested in them, they are just so good for you. For starters, they are full of the intense pigment, betalain (also seen in pink chard stems and my favourite vacation flowers of the same colour, bougainvillea). They contain anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory powers, promote blood flow and blood purification, and help prevent anemia and constipation. All very good things if you have/had or are hoping to prevent cancer. For optimum health benefits, leave the skin on (you will hardly notice it).

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Beet Salad with Herbed (Macadamia Nut) Ricotta

I remember a time when beets were scary. They were vac-packed and soggy in the produce section of the grocery store, or sliced up in a can, which rarely equals delicious. Despite their endearing colour (purple, you guys!), they fell flat and tasted like dirt.

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Luckily, sooo much has changed. It is now much easier to get beets that recently grew in the ground, often with their greens still intact, meaning their dirt-living life wasn’t too long ago. It’s natural that their earthy flavour still lingers, but that natural sweetness that comes from a freshly dug-up beet is undeniable, and their texture, both when raw or cooked, is something to celebrate too. Oh yeah, and they’re good for you.

They are full of phytonutrients that vary based on the colour of your beets, so by eating a variety of colours (just like all foods) you will get a broader range. They also boast anti-inflammatory super powers, are full of anti-oxidants and aid in detoxification.

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Buying beets with their greens intact is usually the freshest option. The leafy beet greens and stems deserve a blog post all to themselves, so I’m not going to get too into it here, but keep them and juice them or sauté them with some garlic. They are packed with anti-cancer and they taste good too. For this recipe, for me, it was a little bit too beet on beet to use them as well as the roots, but this way you get two meals out of one veg. Bonus.

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Veggie-Packed Veggie Burgers

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It’s time for the veggie burger. Not the weird, brown, ‘this tastes like meat’ veggie burger, made with every scary, processed thing except meat. I’m talking about the veggie burger made with LOTS of fresh vegetables, seeds/nuts, rolled oats and spices. The ingredients could make up a hearty salad, but we’re not feeling salad-y today, we want burgers. And, although veggie-packed, these burgers will not taste like salad. You are going to love them, your friends and family are going to love them and even your meat-eating, terrified-you-might-make-them-eat-something-healthy-and-change-their-life friends and family will.

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The seeds in this burger help it to retain the crunchiness once baked, while the sweet and rich beets and carrots, sharp onions, fresh herbs and green onions, all work together to add punches of fresh flavour. You have to trust me on this, because if you taste the mixture before the baking happens, there won’t be a lot of magic just yet. The ingredients get to know each other much better during the baking process, resulting in enhanced flavour and texture. (more…)