Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted Beets

Roasted red and yellow beets with garlic and lemon

When I started this blog my main focus was on the Mediterranean diet and coming up with recipes that are easy to make, pleasing to the eye, delicious and help with weight loss, or at least maintaining a lean physique.  That hasn't changed.  But along the way in experimenting with different foods to accomplish these goals, I've found that, not only have I lost weight, but I feel better than I have in years.  Eating healthy does more than help you reduce your waistline - it makes you look and feel better.  Friends are saying I'm looking really healthy these days.  I'm off coffee in the morning and have fresh squeezed juice, usually grapefruit juice, in the morning.  And, among other things, I'm eating more beets.

Don't toss the leaves and stems - they're delicious!

I've always liked beets, but it freaked me out a bit they way it turns urine a pinkish, reddish color.  Now I just look at it this way - the beets are doing their job of getting through your entire body.  They detoxify the liver.  They help lower chloresterol. They're even used to treat and prevent certain  cancers.  It's believed that Russians owe their good health and longevity to using beets a lot in cooking - especially soups.

Beet leaves, chopped onion and garlic, tomatoes and beet stems

Technically, raw beets are the best for you as cooking reduces some of their nutrients.  But there are still plenty of benefits left when you cook them.  I cut the stems and leaves off first and set aside.  I put the beets in a casserole pan and put in a 350 degree, pre-heated oven.  Depending upon how many beets you have and how big they are, I roast them for at least an hour.  Last night I had a large amount of beets and roasted at 300 degrees for 90 minutes.

Cook the leaves as you would fresh spinach

As your beets are about 10 minutes or so from being done I start with the leaves.  Yesterday I steamed the stems for about 5 minutes to make them tender.  Then I stir fried chopped onions till they started to soften.  I added chopped cherry tomatoes and garlic to the pan and swirled them around for a minute or so and then added the leaves.  Just like spinach, they reduce considerably.

You know me and lemons - gotta have 'em

Roasted red and yellow beets with salmon

In the future I'll post about squeezed beet juice.  This is the ultimate way to get the full health benefits of beets.  You have to be careful to work your way up slowly with beet juice - and you shouldn't drink it without mixers.  Beet, ginger, apple and celery are a great combination.

Chicken and broccoli with roasted beets

Beets heat up nicely the day after - so they're good for leftovers.  You can also slice them the next day and have them cold or at room temperature - mix with plain Greek yogurt - for a tasty snack or lunch.  


1 bunch of beets (they typically come 3 - 4 beets to a bunch)
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste


Chop off the leaves and stems from the beets and set aside

For the beets

Scrub the beats to remove excess dirt - do not peel
Dry off with a paper towel
Place in casserole pan lined with parchment paper (for easy clean up) and roast in a pre-heated 350 degree oven
Cook until tender - approximately 1 hour to 90 minutes (test with a fork)

For the leaves and stems

Cut away the stems from the leaves
Steam the stems for approximatley 5 minutes, until tender - set aside

When beets are about 5 - 10 minutes from completion start on the leaves

Pre-heat a non stick pan over medium heat for approximatley 3 minutes
Add the olive oil
Add the chopped onions; cook until translucent
Add the cherry tomatoes
Add the garlic
Add the steamed beet stems
Add the leaves; swirl around in the pan
Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the mixture; toss lemon into pan
Salt and pepper to taste
Everything should be done in about 5 minutes

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