It was 7:00 a.m. and I was already roasting a pan of beets in the oven. It made the house smell earthy and sweet — a lot like the flavor of beets.
I was anxious to try a recipe from Diane Welland‘s “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean.” I had the opportunity to visit with Diane by phone recently about clean eating. It’s not what I would call a diet that creates feelings of deprivation. That’s not for me. But, it is a lifestyle that involves making healthful food choices and providing the body with the best food possible. And that means lots of whole foods as close to their natural form as possible, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans — foods that do not contain any man-made ingredients or unnecessary food additives. It means staying away from processed and refined foods.
Diane admits that clean eating takes some planning, takes time and takes some basic kitchen equipment to prepare. You will definitely need a good paring knife, a chef’s knife, a good pot and pan and at least one cutting board.
But it all pays off when you enjoy more energy, vibrant skin and good health.
Diane suggested I try her recipe for Sweet Beets with Chevre and Walnuts. Perfect for this time of year when fresh beets are plentiful at my local farmers market. I had some fresh beets in my refrigerator, a small log of Chevre and plenty of walnuts.
Yes, the dish did take some time to prepare, but not time that I had to be actively involved in the kitchen. The beets roasted in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes, plenty of time to do some ironing, pull some weeds or clean the bathroom. Once the beets were out of the oven, it took minutes to top it with walnuts and chevre.
I left a plate of Sweet Beets with Walnuts and Chevre in the refrigerator and took off for a weekend trip. I knew they’d be safe there until I got home. There’s no chance that my husband will eat them while I’m away. Beets are on the list of things he hasn’t developed an appreciation for, along with olives. So, I’ll eat those roasted beets when I get home. I’ll have them all to myself.
A small step toward a clean-eating way of life. Sweet!
Sweet Beets with Walnuts and Chevre
- 2 pounds beets, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 ounces chevre (soft plain goat cheese), crumbled
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 14×10-inch roasting pan with cooking spray Place beets, onions, garlic and salt (if using) in roasting pan and toss together gently. Spread the mixture in an even layer and spray with cooking spray.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in oven for about 1 hour or until beets are soft when poked with fork.
Uncover beets, Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 15 minutes, until beets begin to get crisp, but not brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with toasted walnuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 10 (1/2 cup) servings. Recipe from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean, by Diane Welland, M.S., R.D. Alpha Books. 2009.
Each serving has: 81 calories, 4 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 7 g sugars, 3 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 91 mg sodium