Block Rocking Beets

I've been on a kick lately of rediscovering veggies that I used to consider weird and gross. When I first started heading towards vegetarianism about 8 years ago, I was willing to try mildly exotic things (for me, red peppers were exotic) but I had no intention of taking a second look at things like brussels sprouts, lima beans, sprouts, or beets. Now, for some reason, its a thrill to discard my old unadventurous tastes and discover a new love. And I really enjoy mocking my younger brother when he makes a face. Which, come to think of it, is exactly what my parents used to do when I turned my nose up at beets. ("Tastes just like candy!" my Mom used to say.)

Well, I'm snobby no more, and I'm officially in love with beets. The chewy and dense texture, the earthy-sweet flavor, the boatload of folates, manganese and potassium... what's not to love? My Dad bought a sh*tload last week and we've been working our way through them while I take my first crack at finals studyin. The easiest prep is slicing them thinly, tossing with some EVOO and roasting at high temps until the pieces are like chewy beet chips. Tossed with some apples and pecans you don't even need dressing (but it couldn't hurt.)

Of course, I also like the way beets complement caraway seeds and mustard in a dish like the one my Mom made for debate night a few weeks back. My Dad went in another direction for the salad at the top. He was inspired by a Peruvian beet salad he likes at a local restaurant.

Basically, he steamed some potatoes, beets, carrots and onions, and after letting the whole mess cool, tossed it with some oil and red wine vinegar. Super simple, but after a day in the fridge the flavors really "got to know eachother" as he would say, and it was awesome with some simply dressed lettuce. I liked the addition of green onions on top too, for some crunch.

I've also been crushing some brussels sprouts lately, but I keep eating them right out of the oven like popcorn before taking a picture. Am I a major dork for feeling like a bad-ass for liking unpopular vegetables? ;)

Oh, and I hope everyone loved their Thanksgiving dinner! Mine was decent but not the most vegan-friendly fare... but I've got some holidays left, so you just wait and see if I don't make that seitan roulade.


ConsiderEatz! said...

Mmmm! I love brussels, but then again I've always been a fan of the underdog.

jessy said...

i too love the veggies that most people don't enjoy! brussel sprouts and kale are two of my favorites - and beets?! oh, sweet delicious earthy beets! how i love them, too! i was like you - used to not like 'em. now i do - i just kept trying them and trying them again and eventually my tastebuds caught on. mmmmmmmmmm! i love them the most! i also love lima beans and parsnips and such. unloved veggies need love too! yay! your beets look especially tasty! hooray!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Haha, you know, a few years ago, I wouldn't have considered beets either. I got quite a few this summer, but could never really think of anything to do with them besides roast and puree them for winter baking. Talk about uncreative! Now I know where to go for ideas on what to do with beets!

Bianca said...

Now that song is in my head!!! And I'm totally with you on the being-vegan-and-trying-new-things thing. I found, after going vegan, that I suddenly like veggies that I hated before, like mushrooms, brussels, onions (yep, used to hate them), and all kinds of lettuces (I used to hate lettuce too, even iceberg). But beets were the final frontier for me. I only started liking them a few months ago...I'll have to try them steamed with other veggies.

Buku Chic said...

MMM beets!! my brother, the ever-carnivorous one, started the beet train when he was younger. I made them very simple: boiled/steamed beets that were roughly shopped, mixed with thin slices of onion and some shallots for extra punch, and dressed with red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. AWESOME! now everyone around me is getting on the beet train.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Beets are so awesome! I love their bright color!

jd said...

I love that you're rediscovering veggies that you didn't like before...

It's sorta like opening up a whole new world, isn't it?!

And yes, you are a total badass for liking unpopular vegetables!

PS I love the title of your post - nice throwback :)