Bloody Orange and Beet Salad With Tarragon

This salad is really speaking to my senses—I mean look at it,  this thing is gorgeous! The moodiness  almost seems wrong for spring, but beets are still showing up at the farmers markets and the sweet crispness that comes from the oranges and tarragon makes this one a year round favorite.

Tarragon is a stupendous source of magnesium, iron and zinc. ***Side note—ladies, if it is your lady time eating foods high in mag, iron and zinc is a really really good decision. Not to mention the grounding energy in the beets, which is good when your body is super busy being a lady.

With Tarragon, fresh is best, best, best. It is far more potent eaten fresh. Tarragon is also easy to grow, and it’s delicate silvery green leaves are a feast for the eyes. When acquiring or growing tarragon, go for the French variety. The Russian stuff is a bit bitter and has a slightly different flavor.

This is good made ahead of time so that the juices can all mingle around and get all juicy together.

Feel free to vary the orange varieties to whatever is available for you!

Bloody Orange and Beet Salad With Tarragon

Ingredients:

  • 2 roasted beets
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 cava cava oranges
  • 5 satsuma oranges (reserve one for juicing)
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Juice of 1 satsuma orange

Instructions:

  1. Roast Beets: I roast my beets whole. I just pop them on a cookie sheet into a 400 degree oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender. Check by poking with a knife or fork.
  2. While beets are roasting, finely slice red onion and place in a dish with apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt, to slightly marinate. Set aside.
  3. Once beets are ready and cool enough to handle, peel them. The peels should slide right off when you rub the beet between your fingers.
  4. Cut up the beets, wither into cubes, or into thin slices. Add all beets to a bowl.
  5. Peel oranges and cut however you like. I like to cut the whole orange in half, splitting the segments, and maybe in half again, depending on the size of the orange. Add oranges to the bowl.
  6. Finely chop the fresh tarragon, and add to the bowl as well.
  7. Add onions, olive oil, and the juice from one satsuma orange.
  8. Stir it all up, to get the juices all mingling together! Serve!

Notes:

Scoop up a spoon-full of these jewels and enjoy! Also delicious served over a green salad, or in a pita with hummus!

 

Going Deep—With the Roots

rootcollage

 A weekly meal at my house in the colder months is roasted roots. I tend to make these on a Sunday night, to bring the weekend to a close. The grounding, warming energy of the roots is exactly how I like to wind down the weekend and prepare for the work week ahead. Additionally, making a big batch of roots sets us up with a few lunches for the week. I love to feel prepared with easy to assemble, nutritious lunches for my husband and I to bring into work. It leaves me feeling grounded and in charge!

But that’s not the only reason I love making roots.

These quiet, brooding, extra serious winter vegetables of the root variety have some really admirable characteristics.

culprits

beets

If you think about a root, and it’s function in the plant, the root is there to stabilize. It acts as the anchor, providing consistent nourishment, giving the plant the stamina and endurance needed to thrive.

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the energetics of food when dealing with any sort of discomfort or dis-ease in the body. I find it fascinating to look at a food beyond it’s nutritional values (though those are super important too) and consider the energetic characteristics of the food we put in our mouths. Food for thought, right?

parsnips

An interesting read on the topic is the book Food Energetics by Steve Gagné.

Here’s a great quote from Gagné regarding roots:

“The private nature of the root, demonstrated by its work underground in darkness, is energetically manifested in us as stamina, confidence, grounding (physically and mentally), persistence, and strength…

Roots are fixed-goal-oriented: their goal is to dig deep and get to the point.”

Don’t you just love that? And doesn’t that energy satisfy the sort of inherent desire we have lurking around in the winter? I know I have been digging deep this winter, doing a lot of soul searching and feeling energized by creating and maintaining persistent habits. I figure I better do it now, before the freshness and the newness of spring encourages flightier endeavors! The flit and fancy of spring’s leafy greens are perfect for such moods!

But now, in the winter, the root reigns king, and I am all for it.

kings

This recipe is incredibly flexible, so please feel free to try whatever vegetables you want! Though, these are all real tasty…

Also good: A few varieties of potatoes, daikon radish, celery root, celery stalks, sunchokes—etc. Do what you want!

And please, don’t fear the knife here! I know some people can be a little shy to chopping up hard vegetables like roots—but having a sharp knife and watching your fingers ought to get you through unscathed. I find that having a nice rhythm on in the background helps too—get the old rock and chop going and you won’t want to stop! For your convenience I have added a few tunes at the end of this post—they accompanied my last round of roots!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2  onion
  • 2 medium sized beets
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 15 or so Brussels Sprouts
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 inches of ginger, sliced thinly or grated
  • 1/2 olive oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • salt + pepper to taste (lot’s of pepper!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree

2. Chop all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, or to your preference.

sweetpotato

3. Once chopped, add to a deep bowl.

cutup2

4. Toss vegetables with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

rootcollage

5. Spread coated vegetables onto a cookie sheet. Cover with foil.

onthesheet

6. Bake for 80 minutes or so—bake time will depend on the size of your veggies—test often!

7. Remove from the oven when vegetables are soft, yet still somewhat firm.

8. And voila! I like to serve with some cooked quinoa or brown rice (I cook mine in a little rice cooker while the vegetables are in the oven),  a bit of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and a lot of fresh ground black pepper.

roots!

I often add a few raw vegetables into the mix as well. There is some chopped kale and purple cabbage tossed in here.

Simple, nutritious, and designed to take your energy where it needs to go this time of year. Rock and roll.

Enjoy!

As promised, some tunes to chop it out to:

How could I resist this one?! The Seed 2.0 by The Roots

Beat those winter blues little Ikes: I’m Blue by The Ikettes

Pushovers don’t rock and chop—keep that in mind: Pushover by Etta James

Ok, I get it, ‘m talking about the personalities of parsnips: Superstition by Stevie Wonder

Bonus Shot—here is my lunch the next day at work! Yesssss!

RootLunch

 

Roasted Roots
Author: Denise
Ingredients
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 medium sized beets
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 15 or so Brussels Sprouts
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 inches of ginger, sliced thinly or grated
  • 1/2 olive oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • salt + pepper to taste (lot’s of pepper!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree
  2. Chop all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, or to your preference.
  3. Once chopped, add to a deep bowl.
  4. Toss vegetables with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  5. Spread coated vegetables onto a cookie sheet. Cover with foil.
  6. Bake for 80 minutes or so—bake time will depend on the size of your veggies—test often!
  7. Remove from the oven when vegetables are soft, yet still somewhat firm.
  8. And voila! I like to serve with some cooked quinoa or brown rice (I cook mine in a little rice cooker while the vegetables are in the oven), a bit of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and a lot of fresh ground black pepper.
Notes
I often add a few raw vegetables into the mix as well. There is some chopped kale and purple cabbage tossed in here. But good old salt and pepper are about all you need!

Getting Comfy Cozy With Borscht-y

On a cool crisp autumn day, nothing beets a bowl of Borscht!

Beets are in season right now and I couldn’t help but loading up at the farmers market, where the beets were piled sky high.

This super simple recipe can be whipped into a satisfying meal with little effort, and a big pay off! The simplicity of the soup begs for garnishes, which is where all the fun happens.I have a few suggestions listed below, but go nuts and come up with your own.

But first, a few reasons why beets can’t be beat:

  • Beets are sexy! Beets contain the trace mineral, Boron, which increases sex hormones for ladies and gents, among other wonderful things, like reducing inflammation in the body and boosting bone health.
  • Beets are cleansing. They refresh the liver, purify the blood, and alkalize the body!
  • Beets give you a healthy high. Beets contain a bit of natural sugar, but are low in calories and so loaded with fiber, that the sugar just eases right into the body to be used as energy in a most effective way.
  • Beet’s are stinking gorgeous. Look at that color! I like to use a slice of beet as a lip and cheek stain. The color is the sweetest pink. You’ll have that beautiful “I just came in from briskly walking through the cold but now I am all warm and cozy and just plain adorable” glow. Go ahead—try it, I know you want to.

To the soup!

A Cozy Borscht

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sized beets, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cups mushrooms, washed
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Onion
  • Water (or vegetable stock)
  • Bunch of Fresh Dill
  • **Garnish possibilities below**

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Toss chopped beets and quartered mushrooms in a bowl with pepper and salt to taste and enough olive oil to coat the vegetables.Spread beets and mushrooms onto a cookie sheet. Roast vegetables for 30-40 minutes, until they are very tender. Once vegetables are soft, remove from the oven and let cool to the touch.
  3. While waiting, heat some olive oil in a stock pot, chop up the onion and sauté until soft and onions begin to go translucent - about 15 minutes.
  4. Finely chop up the beets and the mushrooms. Add to the stock pot with the onions, along with 6 cups of water. Add most of the bunch of dill to the pot (keep some fresh set aside for garnish). I clipped the stems to the side of the pot to keep the dill in a bunch, rather than floating all throughout. Alternatively, you could bind the stems with some string and toss into the pot.
  5. Cook at a medium simmer for about 30 minutes or so. Remove dill and discard.
  6. Garnish!!! This soup is great to dress up. Definitely add some finely chopped dill to each bowl plus…

Notes

Some other tasty garnish options: 

  • Boiled potato, chopped mash potatoes, swirled in
  • Hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • A dollop of fresh goat cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cashew cream
  • The options are endless!

I like to serve the soup hot and have a number of different garnishes on the table so people can dress up their bowls however they wish.

Enjoy!

 

And, as beats and beets are an unbeatable combination, enjoy a little cooking inspiration

Just Give Me The Beat - Ghostland Observatory