Beeting the System

While doing some research I came across a staggering statistic: 70% of Americans don’t cook.  That’s right.  Most Americans eat out at least 4 times a week.  We heat up, microwave or assemble food; but cooking from scratch is becoming something of a novelty.  I asked myself, “Are we really that busy?”  I can’t imagine myself not cooking regularly.  For me, it’s my most sincere expression of love.  I wonder if people understand what they are missing?  The kitchen has always been the heart of the home; a place where intimacy takes place, both in the preparation of food and the sharing of it around our tables.  As I contemplate this, I feel as though we’ve been sold a collective bill of goods.  As we scramble to meet our financial needs, we are forgetting some of the fundamental, simple pleasures of life; cooking fresh food with love, for our friends and family.  Isn’t it time we break bread together?

Those of you who have followed this blog or my previous one Basics with a Twist, know I have not been a beet lover until recently.  Alas I have come to my senses.  The first time I  had this salad was as a guest in the home of Kat and Tom Vanhammen.  When she told me what we were having for dinner I remember thinking, “Oh-oh, I’ve never had raw beets and can’t say I was excited about the prospect.  But as a child I was instructed to be a gracious guest and took a serving.  Wow.  Now I can’t leave this salad alone.  I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I make it several times a month.  It’s as though my body literally craves it..

And no wonder!  You simply can’t beat beets!  Your body does love them.  They are chock-full of nutrients like B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium.  They can lower your blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, improve your stamina, help you brain work better, and detox your liver.  Whew.  Now that’s real nutrition!

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Raw Beet Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds of beets, scrubbed and peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (don’t be shy)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs; this might seem like a lot of vinegar, but look at it as a raw pickled beet)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. Grate the beets by hand on a box-grater, or food processor fitted with a metal blade or a Kitchen Aid fitted with a shredder cone.  Place in a large bowl.
  2. Toss beets with the salt, pepper, oil and vinegar.  Add chopped dill.  Let the salad macerate on your kitchen counter for about 1 hour.  Taste and adjust with more vinegar, salt or both.  I like mine with a little zing.

Serves 4

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“The food you eat can either be the safest & most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”   —unknown

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