Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I love beets!

On cozy, winter days I really like to eat soups and stews and borscht is one of my favorites, a well as my husband’s. We enjoy it all year round actually, but winter is the best season for it. It’s a very versatile soup, but I like to make it vegetarian and with the main focus on the beets.

Beets are definitely an underrated vegetable in this country, usually labeled with a reputation akin to Brussels sprouts and broccoli. But, the beet is filled with nutrients like B vitamins, beta-carotene and antioxidants. It’s also as versatile as borscht, in that it can be used in other soups, stews, and salads, and as a great side dish or even juice. Beet juice is probably the most used natural food coloring. Beets are especially good for is juicing due to their detoxifying and cleansing properties.


2 beets cubed
2 potatoes cubed
2-3 carrots chopped
8 cups of water, 2 vegetable bouillon cubes or 4 cups water, 
    4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp red cooking wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp dried parsley or ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
Sour cream for topping

Borscht cooking
Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil in large pot for about 2 minutes. Add water and/or broth and bring to a boil. Add bouillon cubes if using. Add beets and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Add carrot and cook for about 5 minutes, then add potatoes. Add all other ingredients except for sour cream and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream in each bowl and fresh parsley if available. Makes 6-10 servings depending on amount served to each person.

I haven’t given Lily any beets to try yet since organic are harder to come by around where we live, but next time I’m in a Whole Foods or farmer’s market I plan to pick some up for her. While I was enjoying my borscht last night, Lily had:

2 tbsp shredded Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses
2 tbsp cooked black beans
Enjoying her dinner
2 tbsp steamed mixed chopped veggies (corn, peas, carrots and green beans)
As you can see, Lily likes her finger foods. Giving her finger foods to eat also helps keep her occupied while I cook or feed myself. She makes a big mess, but that’s all part of it. She goes right into the tub after dinner anyway.

Recently she tried a new snack that has become a fast favorite- raisins. She’s had black and golden raisins and seems to enjoy them both equally. I plan to make her a carrot cake for her upcoming birthday and raisins are a main ingredient in the recipe I have. I made a test cake about a week ago and it didn’t come out to well. The dough was too wet and it ended up with the consistency of a pumpkin pie rather than birthday cake. The cream cheese frosting was delish though and Paul and I gobbled that up quick enough. It was my first try making a cake ever though, so hopefully next time will be better. I will be sure to blog about it!

For more info on beets, click here

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