I love a good vegetable pun and this one is perfect for Valentine’s Day. This is a delicious and easy meal to make for your sweetheart and it pairs well with an earthy Pinot Noir. Nothing says I love you like this bright and beautiful, heart-healthy meal.
Since garlic scapes are not in season in February, I use frozen pesto that I have stashed away for winter meals. If you don’t have garlic scape pesto, simply use any store-bought pesto and add some garlic to your dish when you are sautéing the onion.
Ingredients: 3 cups vegetable broth 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 cup arborio rice ½ cup red wine 2 medium to large roasted beets, diced ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper 1 tablespoon garlic scape pesto Parmesan cheese, grated for serving
Warm vegetable broth in a small stock pot over low heat.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent.
Add the rice and stir to combine with the onions. Add red wine and continue stirring until absorbed.
Add a ladle full of broth, stirring constantly until absorbed. Continue, slowly adding broth and stirring for about 25 minutes, until all broth has been added and the rice is soft but still has a bite.
Add diced beets, salt and pepper, stirring to combine until risotto is bright red in color.
Spread garlic scape pesto around the edge of the plate, making a full circle. Fill the center of the circle with risotto and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Granola on a salad sounds weird, but trust me it is delicious! The first granola-topped salad I ever tasted was amazingly delicious, made with pine nuts from the BlueFire Bar and Grill. With just one bite it fueled my curiosity to create my own nutty sweet salad topping. My version, Pecan Sorghum Granola, features seasonal pecans and whole grain oats that are lightly sweetened with sorghum, adding the perfect crunch to this fall salad with earthy, tender-roasted beets and mildly sweet acorn squash.
A simple vinaigrette is all you need for this flavorful salad bursting with color and nutrients. For some extra protein, top with grilled chicken or shrimp. Save cook time by using leftover roasted squash and beets from last night’s dinner and granola from breakfast for a salad you can throw together in about two minutes.
Salad Ingredients: 1 bunch beets, scrubbed 1 acorn squash or butternut squash 2 teaspoons olive oil ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 1 bunch or 6 ounce bag spinach ¾ cup Pecan Sorghum Granola 4 ounces goat cheese
Vinaigrette Ingredients: ¼ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon honey mustard ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the skin on the beets and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35 to 55 minutes, depending on their size. Remove beets and set aside until cool enough to touch. With a small pairing knife, gently remove skin from the beets and chop into cubes.
Meanwhile, peel squash and slice in half. Discard seeds and chop into cubes. Place on a baking sheet in an even layer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a mason jar. Tightly secure the lid and shake until well combined.
Create a bed of spinach on four plates and top with an equal amount of roasted beets and squash. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on each salad and sprinkle with my crunchy granola and a drizzle of vinaigrette.
For those of us who are blessed to be able to work from home during COVID-19, life during a pandemic can feel a little like you are stuck in the movie Groundhog Day. We repeat our new at-home routine every day, while the reality of this crisis can feel overwhelming. Giving my worries to God, spending time in prayer and reading the Bible has been the only thing to truly give me peace through this challenging time.
I also feel better when I eat a healthy diet, so continuing to add fruits and vegetables in my meals has been a priority. I was able to purchase some beautiful beets from a local farm and roasted a batch for my new Beet the Morning Blues Smoothie. I mean, how can you not have an extra pep in your step and a smile on your face after drinking something so colorful and delicious. If you don’t have fresh beets don’t worry, canned beets are a great substitute.
I hope you are all staying healthy and enjoying new recipes and cooking at home.
Ingredients: ⅓ cooked beets, peeled and sliced ⅓ banana slices, frozen ⅓ pineapple chunks, frozen milk of choice honey
Combine desired amount of beets, banana and pineapple in the blender. Cover with milk and add a drizzle of honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.
Beets, with their ruby-red-jewel tone, make a colorful plate presentation during the grey winter season. You can cut back on the recipe time by roasting the beets the night before and assembling right before you are ready to enjoy. Leftovers are delicious served for lunch over leafy greens with balsamic vinaigrette.
Ingredients: 1 bunch beets, trimmed and scrubbed 1 cup water 4 to 5 ounces goat cheese ½ cup pecan halves, toasted 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze 2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 60 minutes. Remove from oven and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Unwrap and remove the skin from the beets with a small knife. You may want to wear gloves for this step as the beets will stain your hands pink. If not, the beet juice will wash off with soap and water. Slice the beets and arrange on a serving platter.
Heat 1 cup of water in the microwave or run hot tap water. With a clean knife, thinly slice goat cheese. Dip knife in water as needed between slicing to create smooth cuts. Place cheese on beet slices and top with pecans.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze and honey. Serve immediately.