A winter vegetable available in New England is the beet. A root vegetable, fresh beets pulled from the earth are sweet and delicious, not like the tasteless ones that come in a can!
Enjoyed in various forms -- raw (spiraled), roasted, boiled or steamed, they are regarded as a healthy source of important nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium.
Beets contain phytonutrients and possess a high level of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may be help in lowering the risk of certain types of cancer. Also a good source of folate, the nutrients found in beets are known to lower the risk of heart disease by regulating cholesterol.
Serve this delicious salad that is easy to prepare and uses crimson and golden beets. As is, it's vegetarian with hemp seeds added for protein but you could also add grilled chicken strips for a main-dish salad. Be sure to select beets with greens still attached. Then cook up the greens filled with beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron and calcium (see below for simple beet greens recipe).
BEET ROOT SALAD
Yield: 1 serving
3 medium red beets, tops removed and washed
3 golden beets, tops removed and washed
Spring mix, arugula, spinach
1 - 2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp walnut pieces
Aged balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Himalayan sea salt, fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Wash and trim the greens close to an inch from the stem, leaving the tail on. Save the greens (see below), they are hearty and have a similar taste to kale.*
Drizzle the beets with olive oil and tightly seal in foil; roast on a baking sheet on center rack for at least 1 hour. The beets are done when you can easily pierce them with a knife; they are tender.
Let them cool then peel the skin off the beets under cold running water; pat dry with paper towel and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Store remaining cooked beets in a glass container and refrigerate; use in 2 days.
Assemble the salad:
Add a mixture of fresh greens to a serving bowl; arrange beets, sliced radishes, walnuts and sprinkle with hemp seeds. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil; season lightly with Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with toasted whole-grain pita or Naan bread.