Now that we’re vegetarians and my daughter probably needs iron boosts once a month, we eat beets. I’ve made them several ways. Sometimes it’s successful (beet pilaf) and sometimes not (beets with yogurt topping.) Most recipes with beets are in salads. I love my daughter’s eating habits … but she’s really not huge into salads.
When we first went vegetarian, I needed some help and I bought a few books. One of my favorites is Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet. Now she’s a total vegan, which is great and all, but I haven’t gone THAT far with it. Still, she’s got some fun recipes in there and they aren’t all tofu either. (Actually … we don’t eat a lot of tofu either!) So, this is based on her recipe.
Here’s what we used. (Adapt as necessary.)
- 2 shallots
- a bunch of beets (which for us was 5 beets of various sizes), peeled and cut into 1″ chunks.
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 2 carrots, same as the parsnips
- 1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and thickly sliced (this was a new one on me folks, and the guy bagging the groceries said “fennel, what are you going to do with that?” and I had to say “well roast it I think, new to me too!”)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (Alicia always called for kabocha squash but since I don’t live in Southern California, I go with a butternut or acorn.)
- 2-3 celery stalks
- 2 bay leaves
- Handful of walnuts (she called for pecans but I had walnuts, so walnuts it was)
- 8 dried apricots, cut into pieces
- Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
- Lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons)
- Soy sauce (about 2 teaspoons)
I chopped up everything and stuck it in a large bowl and then the bowl was too small. So I then spread out said veggies on a baking sheet, added the non-veggie ingredients and tossed the ingredients until well mixed. TIP: USE PARCHMENT PAPER. Christine, you are saying, why would I waste my money on parchment paper? What is the point? To you I say use it, trust me. Your clean ups are way WAY easier. Save the elbow grease for the gym. You’ll also use less water when cleaning up and perhaps you have heard we are in a drought. And third, it browns better. Don’t believe me? Make a batch of cookies without parchment paper. Now make a batch with parchment paper. The bottoms on the parchment baked cookies? Nice and even and light brown. The non-parchment? Dark brown, probably. The parchment paper lets the heat distribute better. Do I have scientific proof of this? Hell no. I have an art degree people. I just have my own anecdotal stories of cookies that came out much happier on parchment.
Once you’ve spread the veggies and mixed them up with the remaining ingredients and all, you can put them in the oven at 350 and let them cook for an hour. (NOTE: if you are like me and don’t bother to read carefully, you roast with the parley. Turns out you can GARNISH with the parsley. It was still good anyway, so pick either way.) She recommends putting aluminum foil on them for 45 minutes, removing said foil and cooking for another 15. I did not do this. For one, it’s only 350. For another … well … I wouldn’t be there to remove said foil. Here’s the other thing I love about this kind of recipe. The kid had a martial arts lesson from 6-7, so that kind of interferes with dinner preparation, UNLESS you get it all cut up and on a baking sheet by 5:30 (totally do-able.) Then you can throw it in the oven, set the oven to kick on at 6:15 and let it cook for an hour and fifteen minutes. (Why the extra time? We have an oven with the heat units hidden, which means it can take a while to heat up.
Here’s the great thing about this too. We drove home, got in the house and the kid goes “wow, the house smells great!” It’s almost like someone cooked FOR you.
Now your option what you want to put the veggies on top. I suggest a nice whole grain (of course) but you can do whatever you like. We went with barley, because I had planned to make a barley casserole too, but turns out we couldn’t fit it in and I had already made the barley. Barley by itself is really good if you like a nice chewy grain. Couscous is good, quinoa is a good choice with protein. Rice works too. (If you can sneak brown rice past your husband, even better.)
Or you can eat this as a side dish too.
Kid gobbled this up, but my kid is weird. Still, a great way to discover those awesome fall root veggies.