Sunday, February 21, 2010

An homage to root vegetables

Yesterday the weather was just a bit warmer and got me to thinking that we'll be shifting our seasonal focus on food very soon.  I decided that a batch of roasted root vegetables was in order, so I prepared brown rice, chick peas, and wheat berries as the base for this vegetable medley. The vegetable line up was yellow turnip, buttercup squash, carrots, and roasted beets.
Brown Rice with Chick Peas and Wheat Berries
1 cup brown rice (organic short grain)
1 cup dried chick peas (organic)
1 cup wheat berries (organic)
5 cups of water
1 tsp of sea salt
Place the grains, chick peas, water, and salt in the pressure cooker. (I like the Aeternum) On medium heat bring the pressure cooker up to pressure, just until the steam starts coming out of the valve, then turn the heat down as low as possible.  Cook for 45 minutes.  This is the most nutritious way to prepare brown rice, and the addition of the chick peas and wheat berries makes for a great base for some very quick, easy and healthful meals.

Roasted root vegetables
1 yellow turnip
1/2 bag baby organic carrots
1/2 buttercup squash
1/2 sweet white onion (large)
Olive Oil
Peel turnip, cut in half and slice each half into 1/2 pieces.  Then cut each slice into a 1/2 inch dice:
Do the same with the squash:
Cut the carrots into 1/4 inch slices, and dice the onion, then place all vegetables into a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix so all vegetables are coated:
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 1 hour turning every 15-20 minutes. You can raise the heat to 400 degrees for the last 10 minutes to brown a bit more.
Roast Beets on bed of sauteed beet greens
1 bunch of organic beets (with greens attached)
2-3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cut greens off the top of the beets leaving one inch of the stem attached to the beet.  Peel any rough spots off the outside of the beet and then cut in half, diagonally, and cut each half in half again. Place beets in a roasting pan with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Turn to coat the beets. Place in the 375 degree oven to roast.
Roast for about 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes.  Turn the oven up to 400 degrees for the last 10 minutes.   Test by inserting a fork.  It should easily pierce the beet.

Beet Greens
Wash the beet greens and then slice the greens and stems into 1 inch pieces:
Place a tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan. Add 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic.  Heat until garlic just starts to brown.  Add greens to the pan:

It's fine to have a high pile of greens as they will shrink once cooked.  Turn the greens every few minutes until the stems are tender:
Arrange a bed of greens on a platter and place the roasted beets on top:
Transfer the cooked grains to a bowl and add the following:
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp of mirin
Toss gently to mix.  Place a portion of grains on a plate, add the roasted root vegetables, and then top with some beets and greens. Enjoy!
If you have any questions, comments or feedback we'd love to hear from you.  Just post in the comments box, or using the comments link below.


  1. Lori - this looks amazing...I may want to try this healthy and yummy! love your photos and thing we know you will be on the food network! Have a great sunday..Debbie H

  2. Hi Debbie,
    The Food that could be fun!!