Janel, a Registered Dietitian who follows a vegetarian diet, promotes no-nonsense, plant-based cooking so that eating is both healthful and enjoyable. Janel has a masterís degree in nutrition communication from Tufts University in Boston.

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Janel's Vegetarian Kitchen

by Janel Ovrut, MS, RD, LDN

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Beets don't intimidate me anymore. Nope. Not after I realized that you really need to bake the heck out of them (for about an hour) so you can easily slide the skin off and enjoy them.

Cooking with Beets

Fresh beets beat canned any day, and I love their earthy flavor and heartiness. So I didn't skip a beat when I saw these bright orange beets at the Farmer's Market recently and picked up a bunch, fully intact with a huge head of beet greens. They literally took up my entire veggie drawer in the fridge!

I have never cooked orange beets. Actually, I think they're referred to as yellow beets, but I'm sold on the fact that they don't stain your hands (or plates, or countertops) like red beets do.

I cooked the beets in tinfoil in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour and let them cool overnight before peeling and cutting them into bite sized pieces.

Meanwhile I whipped up about 3 servings of whole wheat couscous in the microwave. After rinsing and ripping the beet greens, I sautéed them in about 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil on the stove. I like grapeseed oil because it has a higher smoke point when heating than olive oil does and it has a nice flavor, in addition to healthy fats.

Next I mixed in my cooked couscous. While cooking, I drizzled on about a tablespoon or two of agave nectar and some rice wine vinegar. Beets are sweet, and yellow beets especially so, so I made this into more of a sweet than savory dish. You can use honey if you don't have agave. I also added in a pinch or two of salt to finish off the dish.

This was a great mixed meal that tastes good hot or cold the next day. Are there any other varieties of beets out there besides red and yellow? If so, I'll be on the prowl.

If you hunger for great meatless recipes, be sure to check out the 700+ vegetarian recipes served up daily right here at Diet.com!

Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN is a Registered Dietitian who follows a vegetarian diet. She promotes no-nonsense, plant-based cooking so that eating is both healthful and enjoyable. Janel has a master’s degree in nutrition communication from Tufts University in Boston. You can read many more of her blog posts at Eat Well with Janel.

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