Tag Archives: beets

My Heart is

Squash and Beet Risotto 


Yep – winter is here and I’m already ready for spring.  Temperatures have been unusually cold, dipping in to single digits when wind chill is included which is just way too cold for mid-November.   However this is the perfect time to just stay in the kitchen and experiment with new-to-me ingredients and all sorts of flavor profiles.  Or throw a bunch of random vegetables in to a dish and see what happens – which is what happened here.  I had a bit of delicata squash left, along with two candy-stripped beets, and half a vidalia onion.  So I went for a random grain, in this case arborio rice, and started chopping!

Beet and Squash Risotto

Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1/2 vidalia onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 1/2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup milk

1 cup arborio rice

1 cup delicata squash, peeled and chopped (reserve any seeds)

1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

2 small beets, peeled and sliced

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a 2qt sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden.
  2. Meanwhile heat the vegetable stock in a small pot over medium heat, ideally should be at a strong simmer but not boiling.
  3. Add the rice to the garlic onion mixture, stir well, and then add the white wine and milk. Allow rice to soak up the milk and wine, stirring to prevent sticking. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add the vegetable stock in 1/2 cup increments, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. After adding 2 cups, add the chopped squash along with a 1/2 cup of liquid.
  4. In a small saute pan, heat up the remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the fresh herbs and cook for 1 minute before adding the beet slices. Cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent them from burning.
  5. The risotto is ready when it no longer absorbs any liquid. Remove from heat and stir for about 3 minutes, then fold in the beet slices. Serve and enjoy!


When using a diary free milk, make sure to grab plain/unsweetened for this dish.


In order to avoid a pink blob, I held off on adding the beets until the last possible moment.  Not only did this ensure they were super crispy, but it also gave the squash an opportunity to shine on its own.  In the future I would most likely going for a strong squash, acorn perhaps, but there is something to be said about the subtle taste of delicata.   I enjoyed my risotto topped with a bit of pepper, while Joe was more traditional and went for the Parmesan cheese.

Take a Breath

Sweet Potato Lentil Burger (Aussie Style)

Sweet Potato Lentil Burger

Prior to this week’s Australian challenge on /52weeksofcooking my knowledge of Australian food was limited to that I seen on TV and that which is shown on the awesome Australian show known as Dance Academy (season 3 finally on Netflix streaming!!!!!).  So essentially this left me with The Outback (not happening) and salad (rather boring).  Luckily there is this thing called the internet, and with that Google, which allowed me to find all sorts of delicious treats.  In that search I found an unusual number of links talking about beets and burgers – which I didn’t really understand.  Granted this could be because I’m only starting to tolerate beets but still, beets on a burger???  However I was intrigued and so I set off to figure out a way to do a vegetarian burger – Australian style.

Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers

Serves: Makes 5-6 patties


1 cup lentils

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup mashed sweet potatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup beet leaves, chopped

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (or Red Mill GF)

1/4 cup mayo (vegan or otherwise)

2 tbsp siracha

2 beets, sliced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Rinse the lentils then place in a small sauce pan along with the vegetable stock. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Allow to slightly cool then mix in the sweet potato mash, along with the garlic cloves and beet leaves.
  2. Form the patties and then lightly cover in the panko bread crumbs. Place on a plate, cover in saran wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile mix up the chili mayo by adding the siracha to the mayo (or veganaise), then place back in the fridge until ready.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, or griddle, over medium heat. Gently add the patties and cook for 5 minutes on each time, adding the beets to the skillet after flipping. Cook the burgers until they are slightly brown on each side - at which point the beets should be roasted.
  5. Assemble the burgers using the siracha mayo, beets, and burgers.

For an even more authentic burger experience add some roasted pineapple and a fried egg – which was (and is) a bit too much for me.  However I have to say that the spicy sauce went fantastic with the sweetness of the potatoes and the tart earthiness of the beets.  Lots of contrasts in this dish but it all came together to make a fantastic meal.  I served the burger with some spicy carrots – which will eventually show up on the blog.  I had a fantastic time with this, so another success thanks to /52weeksofcooking.

Thing to Do

Summer Quinoa

Summer Quinoa

The combination of rain and sun has resulted in a glorious garden, which is resulting in a large amount of delicious produce and with that meals filled with vegetables.  Thanks to some coworkers I’ve had a steady supply of beets and swiss chard, and thanks to my garden I now have large amounts of tomatoes and carrots – a vegetarian paradise!  When it came time to cook everything I relied on the Top Chef motto of “what grows together, goes together” and combined anything and everything to see what would happen.  At the end of the week I had a little bit of everything but with the exception of the tomatoes I didn’t have enough of any of thing to make it a feature.  So everything got tossed together with some quinoa in the ultimate tribute to summer vegetables.

Summer Quinoa

Serves 4-5


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1 cup red onion, diced

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1/2 tbsp chili powder

1 cup fresh corn

1/2 cup beets, cubed

2 cups garbanzo beans, presoaked and well washed

1 1/2 cups swiss chard, loosely torn

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes before adding the spices and cooking for an additional minute, stirring well.
  2. Add the corn and beets and cook for an additional 5 minutes before adding the beans and swiss chard. Cook until the chard has mostly wilted, about 6 minutes, then add the quinoa and vegetable stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover, turn heat to low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff the quinoa and serve!

I topped mine with some greek yogurt for dinner and had it “naked” for lunch the next day and both ways were amazing.  This is one of those dishes that is guilt free, even if seconds are involved!

We Will Rock

Potato Beet Salad

Potato Beet Salad

Okay, I promise this will be the last beet recipe for the near future but when a coworker brought in a bag of beets from his local garden I couldn’t pass!  I decided to recreate a potato salad that I frequently have with Joe’s family, after asking his Aunt and Uncle to share their secret.  I had to make a few changes since I try to avoid mayo as much as possible, but that’s what Greek yogurt is for so wasn’t a problem at all.  The best part is this is one of those dishes were parts can be made in advance, in fact this dish tastes even better when it has time to sit and embrace all the flavors going on.

We Will Rock

Serves 6-8 as a side


2 lbs red potatoes

1 1/2 lbs beets

1 vidalia onion

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 cup white wine vinegar (or lemon juice for those w/o citrus issues)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp Greek yogurt (So Delicious or dairy variety)

pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the beets and potatoes. Boil for until just soft, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and then set aside to slightly cool before breaking up the beets/potatoes.
  2. Use a microwave to slightly warm up the white wine vinegar and olive oil, around 30 seconds, then stir in the mustard before slowly mixing in to the potato/beet mixture. Place in the fridge for at least three hours.
  3. After three hours mix in the greek yogurt and season as needed with the salt and pepper. Place in the fridge for at least another hour and then serve and enjoy!!!

This dish might be an interesting shade but it’s delicious, and probably one of the healthier picnic salads out there.  For a twist stuff the salad inside of a cabbage leaf for a different type of taco – one with all the crunch and half the guilt!

Told Me To

Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna

Greetings!  Hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July – and is now having a great weekend.  Summer is finally starting to arrive, and the sun is finally shining.  My garden isn’t as far along as it was last year but thankfully the local farmer’s markets aren’t having those issues.  This layered treat is essentially a lasagna without the lasagna, just squash and other delicious vegetables.  I kept things nice and simple and focused on vegetables that are currently in season, also making this the perfect Simple and in Season recipe!

Vegetable Lasagna

Serves: Serves 3-4


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 vidalia onion, diced

8 basil leaves, chopped

1/2 tbsp fresh thyme

3 roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 lb spinach, well washed and loosely torn

2 Zucchini, cut lengthwise

2 straight yellow squash, cut lengthwise

3 beets, grated

2 cup baby bella mushrooms, halved

2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced

1 cup ricotta, divided

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Heat the olive oil a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the diced roma tomatoes along with the spices. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 and lightly oil the bottom and side of a 9x9 dish
  3. Meanwhile, place a single layer of squash/zucchini and top with a quarter of the grated beet along with 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese followed by the spinach, mushrooms, and a layer of the beefsteak tomato slices. Build another layer and then top with half of the tomato sauce before making the final two layers.
  4. Top with the remaining sauce along with the grated cheeses. Cover the dish in tin foil and then bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a final 10 minutes.

I’m looking forward to doing this again in a few weeks with vegetables from my own garden but until then I’m lucky to have so many great farms just down the road.  Hopefully the sun will continue to shine and the temperatures will stay up as I can’t wait to start enjoying tomatoes and eggplant that are as local as local gets!