just beet it

Sorry, I just couldn't resist the obvious MJ reference.

I ventured to Portland with a group of gals over Easter weekend and experienced many many tasty treats.  You can check out my friend Kristin's blog for some more dirt on where we ate.  We ended up at one spot by accident in the SE Division, called The American Local.  We indulged in several small plates and the gosh darn best bourbon cocktails I've ever had, complete with house-made salted caramel bitters.  Yeow!  One of the plates we all really enjoyed was their cumin roasted carrots, avocado, yogurt, cilantro and sunflower seed dish, and it happens to be the source of inspiration for today's recipe : )  Beets are so incredibly versatile - we can juice them raw, pickle them, roast them, or boil them and throw them in a salad or a smoothie.  They're a great source of iron, vitamin C and calcium.  Don't forget you can use the greens too - they are higher in iron than spinach!

What you'll need: beets, grape seed oil, cumin seeds, coriander, kefir, lemon zest and juice, cilantro and salt and pepper.  Do yourself a favour and uh, ahem, peel the beets BEFORE you chop them up in to 1/2" cubes.  #oops

* Preheat oven to 375 degrees
* Peel and cut the beets in to 1/2" cubes
* grind in a mortar and pestel 2 tbsp of cumin seeds and 1 tbsp of corriander, and a bit of salt and pepper
* throw the beets in a mixing bowl and toss with grapeseed oil and the spices
* spread out on a foiled cookie sheet
* roast for about 55 minutes, turning them a couple of times throughout
* once they're out, set them aside and let them cool
* in a bowl, combine half a cup of kefir (this is a wonderful fermented food, great for supporting healthy bacteria in the gut, but you can also use plain yogurt!), and the juice from one lemon.
* once the beets are cool, you can zest your lemon on them, then drizzle the kefir mixture over top and generously garnish with fresh cilantro

I sprinkled some hemp hearts on at the end, for some extra protein.  I didn't have any seeds to add today but I definitely would - I think I'd go for pumpkin seeds for a good hit of magnesium to support the calcium in the beets, as well as Omega 3's.

This is a great side dish that brightens up any plate.  I enjoyed mine with a piece of wild salmon and a leafy green beet top salad ; ) If you try it, please let me know what you think!

beet tops are green, too,