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.