Everything is coming up red this week, with Valentine's day hearts, candy boxes, and roses. I've also had my fair share of chocolate -- one of my ultimate comfort foods.
I was looking for a way to mix comfort food with something that's healthy and cleansing, to perhaps undo all my chocolate consumption. Again, things were coming up red: nothing beats the vibrant beet.
Sweet, savory, and satisfying, beets also offer a massive cleanse to your liver and give you an energy boost with iron and complex carbohydrates. This root vegetable also helps with vision, and studies have shown that it can help in stopping the growth of tumors. Plus, they are packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and full of fiber. Doesn't that make you want some juicy red beets for dinner tonight?
I prefer to buy beets with their greens still attached -- the greens have more iron and are also super healthy and cleansing. However, if you have a history of kidney stones, be wary of these beet toppers -- they, like spinach, are high in oxalate, which are natural in foods, but when concentrated can crystallize and form painful stones.
I think beets taste sweetest when they're roasted -- topped with salt, pepper, and your favorite seasonings, they're done in 20 minutes, and add some brilliance to the dinner table as a festive side dish.
Here's my simple and sweet recipe for roasted beets, carrots, and onions:
- 4 large beets, scrubbed well, quartered
- 3 large carrots, cut into medallions if you feel like your carrots don't qualify for being "large" add more. Also, half a package of baby carrots would work well here too
- 1 medium sized onion, quartered and sliced
- Your favorite spices. I used a combination of paprika, turmeric, and ginger. Italian Seasoning works well, or a blend of dried basil, oregano, and thyme. Feeling adventurous? Try curry seasoning. It's delicious.
- Good quality olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Arrange all your carrots, beets, and onions onto a roasting pan or casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and your spices of choice. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until everything is fork tender and bursting with sweetness. Serves 2 as a side dish, or one as a main meal.
Feeling like you need to detox after all that chocolate, even though chocolate is definitely good for you? What are your end of winter comfort foods?