I Couldn’t “BEET” This One

beets

OK, so Jennifer got me.  This Once Upon a Chef inspiration really got me with her balsamic glazed roasted beets.

Developing one’s personal arsenal of recipes rarely begins from scratch.  These days it’s just too easy to see what all the other foodies are up to out there!

Usually I make a new recipe by following the prescribed rules (OK, yes, mostly following the rules.)  It just makes sense and there’s almost a sense of ‘honoring’ the original creator–although as most recipes have been borrowed and tweaked from hand to hand who knows where it really all began?

But I have my own take on kitchen concoctions and love to play around with possibilities… I enjoy adding more of this or substituting that to see if I can “Michelle-ize” the recipe.  Hey, we all get our kicks in different ways…

This recipe for beets, however–as many simple recipes are–is absolutely perfecto as-is.  I would not change one single solitary thing.

I made it.  We ate it.  We wanted more.

Also, as Jennifer states on her blog, the glaze is actually good enough to drink.  My girls greedily scooped it up with their spoons and slurped down every last drop.

Balsamic Glazed Roasted Beets

Ingredients: Approx. 6 med. beets, salt, olive oil, maple syrup and any balsamic vinegar (don’t go fancy-vinegar here, doesn’t matter)

Directions: Clean, peel (if you like) and cube the beets.  Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil/sprinkle with salt.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until beets are cooked.

As beets are finishing up, heat 1/3 cup vinegar and 1 tbsp. maple syrup on stove top.  Stir constantly as it will heat quickly and you don’t want to burn the sugars.

When the beets are done, simply pour glaze over the top and dig in.

Tips: I used golden beets because that’s what I had.  Although my five-year-old son swears he can tell the difference between red or yellow beets, the rest of the family agrees we cannot.  We don’t argue with Grayson though.  It’s not worth it.

Nutrition info if ya wanna know: Besides magnesium, calcium and iron, beets contain significant amounts of folic acid which helps in the production of new cells.  Beets have also been linked to prevention of cancer, especially colon cancer.

(Also, my girls would like me to point out that it’s very exciting–after eating red beets–to see that your pee has turned pink.  Hey, like I said, we all get our kicks in different ways.)

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Pre-Summer Quinoa Salad!!

Lisa's salad

There are three things you should know about this salad.  First of all, I’ve never actually made it myself.  It’s not my fault though!  Lisa keeps making and making it and bringing it over…  When or why would I go to the trouble?

The second thing you should know is that this recipe comes from another blogger, Once Upon a Chef that Lisa says “is a lot like me.” (Sounds like a cool lady, huh?)

The third thing you should know is that not only do I love this salad soooo much, I love tons of salads like this.  This, friends, is my kinda bowl of yum to have in the fridge.  It’s a pretty complete meal, it’s de-lish, you can prep large quantities at a time and then grab a spoon for days… I’m smiling already.

So I’m telling you all this to tantalize your taste buds.  There will be more salady-posts coming your way as summer (SUMMER!!!) approaches.  Aren’t you excited now?  Boy-oh-boy-oh-boy!

Quinoa Corn/Tomato/Lime Salad (you can read the recipe here, on my recipe page or you can check out the blog from whence it came–nothin’ like options!)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, from one small onion
  • 1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if not washed, follow package instructions for rinsing)
  • 1-2/3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, from 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh cut cooked corn, from 2 cobs
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 large lime
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add quinoa to onions and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add vegetable broth and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Cover pan tightly with lid, turn heat down to low and simmer for 17-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer cooked quinoa to mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator.
  3. When quinoa is cool, add remaining tablespoon olive oil, tomatoes, corn, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Right before serving, scatter avocado chunks over top.

Tip: So far, every time Lisa has made this we get so distracted with the kids (gossip, whatever) she has forgotten to put the avocado in–but it still tasted heavenly.

Tip #2 (unrelated to quinoa salad, but still good to know…): If you’d like to check me out all week on Hometown Pasadena, well, go right ahead.  My featured March recipe is fajitas !!!