Call me crazy, but I when I think of romantic food my mind prances right over oysters and asparagus and lands smack dab on beets. I understand why the slippery/slurpy experience of raw oysters is supposed to be sexy, and eating asparagus with the fingers can offer many a come-hither moment. But beets? Yes, beets!
Their vibrant hot pink hue alone makes me weak in the knees. And unlike much other produce, they are actually available locally for me in February. They taste sweet yet savory, and are loaded with sexy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In fact, they offer almost 35 percent of the daily value for folate. Is it a coincidence that folate is one of the most essential vitamins required for pregnancy? I don’t think so.
Which brings us to this recipe from Eating Well magazine. Let’s reconsider humble borscht; this one is vibrant with its flirtatious fuschia with spicy horseradish kick. Time to kiss those oysters good-bye.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2-inch cubes (see Tip)
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add broth, potato, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the potato is just tender, about 8 minutes.
2. Add beets and vinegar; return to a boil. Cover and continue cooking until the broth is deep red and the potato is very soft, 2 to 3 minutes more.
3. Combine sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl. Serve the soup with a dollop of the horseradish sour cream and a sprinkle of parsley.
How to Prep and Steam Beets
Trim greens (if any) and root end; peel the skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices. To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
Yields 4 1-cup servings. Per serving: 172 calories; 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 6g mono unsaturated fat); 6 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 395 mg sodium; 534 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (25% daily value), Potassium (15% dv). 1 Carbohydrate Servings. Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat
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