Moms

Dig up some beets -- and save their greens -- for sides with substance

This sweet, earthy root vegetable comes in many varieties: In addition to baseball-size red beets, you may see baby golden ones or Chioggias, which have red-and-white concentric stripes inside. The beetroot and greens are both edible and good sources of folate, potassium and fiber. Available year-round, they're best in summer and early fall.

Look for dense, firm beets with taut skin; don't worry about any rough patches or small roots. The greens should be unwilted, with crisp stems. Cut the greens off, leaving 1 inch attached, then scrub the beets to dislodge any grit. Refrigerate beets in a plastic bag up to 2 weeks. Rinse and refrigerate the greens, wrapped in damp paper towels, in a plastic bag up to 2 days.

Peel and grate raw beets and add to salads or sandwiches. Roast, steam or boil beets and add to salads or pastas. Beet greens are mild in flavor and make a great side dish; simply saute them in olive oil with garlic and red-pepper flakes.

Everyday Food magazine offers quick, healthy solutions for everyday meals -- from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living.

Roasted beets with mint-yogurt sauce

1 bunch medium beets or 3 bunches baby beets (about 1 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss beets with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover dish tightly with foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes to 60 minutes, depending on size. When cool enough to handle, rub beets with a paper towel to remove skins.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mint leaves, cumin and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Spoon yogurt sauce over beets and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 126 calories, 4 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 4 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 29 percent of calories from fat.

Beet, cheddar and apple tarts

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into six 4 1/2-inch rounds

3/4 cup shredded white cheddar (3 ounces)

1 small apple, cored and very thinly sliced

1 small beet, scrubbed, peeled and very thinly sliced

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pastry rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Divide half the cheese among pastry rounds. Top each with 2 to 3 apple slices. Tuck 2 to 3 beet slices among apple slices and top with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Bake until pastry is golden brown and slightly puffed, about 13 minutes to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional information per tart: 303 calories, 21 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat), 7 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 90 percent of calories from fat.

Beet salad with arugula and oranges

Peeling and cutting beets into small pieces reduces their cooking time. Beets can also be roasted a day in advance; toss everything together to serve.

1 bunch medium red beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

1 bunch arugula (1/2 pound), trimmed

2 oranges, peel and pith removed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

2 tablespoons toasted pistachios, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place beets on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold foil around beets and crimp ends to form a packet. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes to 30 minutes. Remove beets from foil and let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 teaspoons oil with vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add arugula, oranges and beets and toss to combine. Top with pistachios and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 172 calories, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 5 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 42 percent of calories from fat.

  Comments