Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We've got the beet!

Spring semester is almost over! I took my last "non-final" test today and I finally feel like I have time to not only cook supper, but also photograph and blog about it :) This was a great night for it too, because I've been excited to try cooking a bunch of beets I got on Monday from our C.S.A. (community supported agriculture). I highly recommend joining one - it's a great way to "push" yourself into eating more vegetables and trying new foods in general!

Beets are really healthy - they contain powerful phytonutrients called betalains that have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidantdetoxing, and anti-cancer properties.

The greens are great too - they're packed with vitamin K & A, beta carotene, and lutein

Gerry was OK with the beets as long as they were on the side, so I made some healthy tuna wraps as the main course. He ate one beet and a few of the greens, so at least he got a little benefit. The beet leaves tasted a bit like cooked spinach or collard greens so some might not like 'em, but the carrots and beets were very sweet and the roasted garlic was delicious. 

I used this easy recipe for both the beets and the greens with a few changes:

 Tuna Wraps with Oven Roasted Beets and Sautéed Greens:

1 bunch beets 
1 cup baby carrots
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup diced onion (I used the green onions from the C.S.A.)
beet leaves, torn into 2-3 inch pieces with stems removed

4 ounce pouch or can (drained) tuna
2 green onion stalks, chopped 
1/4 cup tzatziki (or plain greek yogurt with dill, cucumber, and garlic added)
a few crumbles feta cheese
a couple handfuls red lettuce and/or spinach, torn into 2-3 inch pieces (more C.S.A. goodies!)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Remove the beet leaves, rinse and set aside. Wash the beets, leaving the skins on. (I mist veggies with 1 part vinegar: 3 parts water, let sit a few seconds, then rinse with water)

2. Place the beets, carrots, and garlic in a small baking dish. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and toss to coat. 

3. Cover with tin foil and bake for 60 minutes.

4. While I waited for the beets to cook, I mixed the tuna, green onions, and tzatziki together and put it in the fridge. 

5. When beets are almost done, heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in a pan and add diced onion and garlic, cooking for about 1 minute. *(Also, at this point I popped two tortillas in the oven to warm for the wraps)

6. Add beet greens to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until all the leaves are wilted. 

7. While the greens are cooking, assemble the tuna wraps.

Here's what the greens look like wilted:

8. After 60 minutes the beets and carrots should be done, but you'll know for sure if a knife easily slides through the beets. You can slice them, but I served them whole and they were easy to eat that way. 

9. Enjoy!