roasted beet & brussel sprout salad

I need to preface by saying this is one yummy little number.  I decided to combine one of my all-time favs (beets), with something I have never EVER tried before (brussel sprouts).  This Saturday morn, we took another visit to the Evergreen Brickworks Farmer’s Market.  Something that has become an awaited weekend adventure.  I love the atmosphere.  I love the people.  I love chattin’.  Week after week, the icing on the gluten-free cake is when the vendors and farmers start to recognize your face and call you by name.  Really cool!

Amongst our market haul, were amazing organic heirloom beets, brussel sprouts and fresh perch.  To put this dish over the edge, I thought it would be ideal to cook up some bacon in the oven first and then roast the beets, onions, garlic and brussel sprouts in the fat afterwards.  Two words.  Fantastic decision.  It was so flavourful and delicious.  After slowly roasted in a big pan in the oven, everything caramelized together, to make one huge mound of goodness.  While still warm, we platted this on same mixed greens and drizzled with some really good quality olive oil.  Trust me…once you actually have a taste of what olive oil should really taste like, you will never want to go back to your other ‘cheapy’ brand.  I highly recommend paying the few extra bucks and getting something worthwhile if you are able.

roasted beet & brussel sprout salad
Print
Recipe type: side, appetizer
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6-8 beets – I used heirloom beets (different varieties) – cubed
  • 1 small basket of brussel sprouts – cleaned thoroughly
  • 1 medium white onion – thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic – chopped
  • .5 – 1 lb bacon
  • 3 tsp dried thyme
  • ground pepper
  • sea salt – I used coarse rosemary & lemon
  • chopped nuts – I used a mix of pecans, walnuts, almonds and cashews (optional)
  • handful or two of mixed greens
  • a splash of olive oil
Instructions
  1. on a tin foil-lined baking sheet, lay and cook bacon in oven until desired crispiness
  2. remove and set aside, keeping the bacon fat for cooking the vegetables
  3. in a large roasting pan, add beets, brussel sprouts, onion and garlic
  4. drizzle with leftover bacon fat
  5. add in a few dashes of ground dried thyme, ground pepper and sea salt
  6. roast in the oven at 350(ish), until softened and browned
  7. in last 5-7 minutes of roasting time, crumble in the bacon and set to broil (watch carefully)
  8. on a dish, plate a couple handfuls of mixed greens
  9. while warm, scoop out several spoonfuls of the roasted mixture
  10. top with a sprinkle of chopped nuts (optional, but they were a yummy touch!)
  11. finish by adding a drizzle of good quality olive oil (optional as well, but recommended)
  12. enjoy!
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beet chips

Who knew veggies transformed, could be so wicked?  I didn’t and was pleasantly surprised.  This recipe is super easy and similar to that of my ‘sweet potato’ chips, but I thought I would post anyways.  Having  tried both recipes now (and many versions of each), I have to say I am actually a bigger fan of the ‘beet chips’.  They seem to get a little crispier than the sweet potato ones, and I really fell in LOVE their ‘earthy’ flavour.  I had to literally chase ‘the duster’ out of the kitchen, as he was sneakin’ a few too many taste tests!

We ended up making a pretty big batch, but ‘we’ (yes, I admit I was fully guilty here too)  kept eating them along the way, as I mentioned.  So addictive and delicious.  All that was left, when it came time for the blog photo, is what you see in the picture.  Hehe.  I have suggested this a couple times now, but if you do not yet own a madoline slicer, go grab.  They aren’t super expensive, but really are a time and energy saver for sure!  Also, when making different veggie chips, they are a big player in ensuring that the slices cook much more evenly.  Each chip ends up being the same-ish thickness.

beet chips
Print
Recipe type: snack, appetizer
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Ingredients
  • yellow golden beets – unpeeled (can use other varieties as well) – quantity varies depending on size of batch you wish to make
  • coconut or olive oil
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper
  • assorted spices and herbs, as desired
Instructions
  1. scrub beets thoroughly
  2. use a mandoline to evenly slice the beets
  3. put them in a bowl and coat with coconut or olive oil/spices
  4. use hands to make sure everything is all mixed together and all sides are coated well
  5. take some parchment paper and line a baking sheet
  6. place the sliced beets on the baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they are not overlapping
  7. heat oven to 250-300 degrees
  8. place the beets in the oven and cook until golden brown and crispy!
  9. note – you really do need to keep a close eye on them, as they can burn in no time
  10. use thongs to flip them every 10 minutes or so
  11. when fully baked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool on another piece of parchment paper or a wire rack (helps in getting the ‘crispy effect’ to it’s fullest!)
  12. enjoy!
Notes

When we made these, we did 3 different flavours. They were plain (sea salt and pepper), chili spice and rosemary. All so yum! To top of this fab snack, we dipped them in some homemade guacamole! Again, this is one of those recipes that is just WAY too simple and tasty not to make. Play around and invent your own fancy flavs for your fam to enjoy. A guaranteed hit…and awesome party snack!

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roasted beet and avocado salad

Wow! Just look at the vibrant colours in this dish! I have to say that Fall has some of the yummiest and most versatile foods in it’s season. From various types of squash, to boatloads of apples, and from brussel sprouts to swiss chard…you just can’t beet it! Beets…with an earthy flavour, this very nutrient dense vegetable can be eaten raw, boiled or slow-roasted.

When looking back, I have so many fond memories of my mom’s amazing cooking. Ah, all those delicious Sunday meals. I specifically remember her making boiled beets for my dad and brother regularly (at that time, they were the only ones that liked them…everyone else thought they were weird because they made your pee turn pink/red! haha). Some say that this may be linked to an iron-deficiency…hmmmm…

Anyways, as I stood in my kitchen the other day, scrubing my stained hands like crazy, I was flooded with emotion. As I was doing this, I could vividly see her doing the exact same thing, back in the small town home I grew up in. It is funny how different experiences, scents or songs, for example, can make you think of people dear to your heart that have passed on. Beet-stained fingers made me remember how much my mom loved cooking for her family and how hard-working and dedicated she was. She always wanted others to be happy and always went above and beyond. Miss you so much mom ~xox~ Extra love was poured into this dish, as I attempted making beets for the first time. It definitely won’t be the last either. Roasted enough to have for leftovers as well…

Serves 2-4
Roasted Beets
Ingredients:
  • olive or coconut oil
  • bunch of beet – trimmed and washed
  • coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Prep:

  • pre-heat oven to 375-400 degrees
  • trim and wash beets thoroughly
  • cut 2 large pieces of tin foil to make a double pocket for roasting
  • using a silicon brush, coat the layer or tin foil with oil
  • arrange beets on the tin foil
  • coat with more oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • fold sides together tightly and then tuck in the ends to close the foil envelope
  • place on baking sheet and roast for 1-1.5 hours (depending on size and number of beets)
  • use a fork to check if they are done
  • let cool for 15 minutes and remove skins
  • enjoy!

Lemon & Thyme Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • boneless pork chops (I used 3 small ones)
  • coconut oil
  • 1 lemon
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Prep:

  • brush both sides of pork chops with coconut oil
  • on high heat pan-sear pork chops until brown on both sides
  • reduce heat to medium
  • cut a whole lemon and squeeze juices into the pan
  • wash a few sprigs of fresh thyme and add for flavour
  • finally, add salt and pepper to taste
  • let cook on low-medium heat for about 15 minutes (do not overcook)
  • when done, let stand before slicing
  • enjoy!

Salad

Ingredients:

  • large handful of mixed greens – I used a sunflower mix (sunflower, radish, mustard and shungiku)
  • 1-2 large avocado – sliced
  • handful of pomegranate seeds – I bought them out of the fruit, in a container! =) less mess…
  • 1-2 carrots – shredded – I used rainbow carrots (purple, orange, red varieties)
  • 6 roasted beets – sliced
  • lemon and thyme pork – sliced

Prep:

  • on a plate, arrange a large handful of mix greens
  • using a peeler, add some shredded carrot to the mix
  • next, add a layer of sliced avocado
  • then, place strips of sliced pork and top with roasted beets
  • sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and garnish with fresh thyme
  • enjoy!

Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice
  • a couple small spoons of grainy mustard
  • coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Prep:

When making salad dressing…I honestly usually just “wing it”! These are the basic ingredients that I use, whisk everything together and then usually use my taste buds to gage when it is done to my satisfaction. Play around with different dressings and have fun with it. ENJOY!!!

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