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Just Beet It!!

August 22, 2010

Okay, I’m not really that much of a Michael Jackson fan, but ever since City Girl called me up and reported that her most recent food experiment included beets, that song has been going through my head.  But I’ll save you my commentary on moonwalking and sparkly gloves.  Seriously, you don’t want to know about my obsession with Smooth Criminal when I was 7.  Here’s CG:

I remember eating beets when I was really young, as in under the age of 5.  Then there was 15 year gap. 

When I was in college, for the first time, I was living with a friend who was going through a crazy vegetarian phase.
 
I respect vegetarians, don’t get me wrong….I just don’t like it when they get a little militant about it.  “I don’t eat meat, so none of your meat can be even close to my food in the fridge” or “Can you please wash your dishes as soon as you are done cooking, yes BEFORE you eat, because I can’t look at the pan that you cooked the chicken in”…That kinda thing. I mean come on…I’m not going to put my chicken breasts on top of your damn tomatoes, and I’m not going to let the chicken carcass sit in the pan for days. But anyways…
   
 One day my roommate and I were talking about foods we ate as kids, and I mentioned beets. Sheaid she had never had any…I was flabbergasted.  Yes I said it, flabbergasted!!  How could someone in the Midwest NOT have ever eaten a beet, cooked OR pickled??

So, I set out to have her try it. I mean as a vegetarian shouldn’t she expand her small selection of food options? I made them for her…we ate them, and we both loved them!
 
Then a very sad thing happened. Another 6 or 7 years went by, and I forgot all about that reddish-purpley delicious vegetable.
 
Until now. So…that brings us to today.

I know that these little buggers look scary, and the color can be overwhelming, but they are SO easy to cook and taste amazing, with just a little sweetness to them.
 
Here is how you cook them:

Most of the time, beets come with the stalks attached, which are long, green, leafy stems. This time when I went to the store they were already cut off. But either way you want to make sure that the stalk it cut just above the start of the beet.  Look for smaller beets; for one thing they cook quicker and for another thing the smaller ones have a better flavor.


 
Leave the outside on the beets.  Just rinse them off, put them in a large pot and fill with water.  Once the pot begins to boil they should cook for about 20 minutes-give or take.  Just stick a fork in the beet, it should be almost as tender as a potato when it is done, just a little bit less done; there should be just a little firmness to them.

Take the beets out and let them sit for just a few minutes. When they are just cool enough to handle, put a beet in a paper towel and gently rub the beet around.  The outside skin should come right off! Poof, just like that they are ready to eat!


 
I enjoy my beets sliced, with just a tiny bit of butter and salt.
 
They reheat very well, so if you are making them for dinner, you might as well make extra and have some as leftovers the next day!
 
Don’t be afraid of that crazy colored veggie!  They are SO easy to cook, and taste SO good.
 
…just be careful, if you eat a lot of beets you may notice some crazy color the next day….if you get my meaning…..(hehe).  Just telling you so you don’t get too worried and end up calling the doctor or something….

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