You may substitute raw grated or roasted beets—feel free to experiment. Be aware that handling beets will stain your skin; you may want to wear gloves when preparing.
2 or 3 beets, different colours if you like, peeled and quartered
2 cups (500 mL) mixed baby greens
1/2 cup (125 mL) goat chèvre or feta cheese
Mint or cilantro to garnish
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp (23 mL) balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) raw sugar (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Steam beets until tender, about 15 minutes. While beets are cooking, whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette in small bowl and crumble cheese.
Toss greens with half of the vinaigrette, and put a handful of greens on each of 4 plates. When beets are done, allow to cool, peel, then cut into small chunks and toss with remaining dressing. Arrange beets on top of greens, sprinkle with goat cheese, and garnish with mint or cilantro leaves, if desired.
Each serving contains:
209 calories; 5 g protein; 19 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 142 mg sodium
Did you know?
Like spinach and chard, the beet is a member of the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae). Its ancestor is the wild beet, or sea beet, which dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Originally eaten for its leafy green tops, the roots were cultivated by the ancient Romans. By the 16th century they had become popular not only as livestock fodder, but also in family kitchens throughout northern Europe.
from "Unbeatable Beets", alive #344, June 2011
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.