Beet Greens are an excellent choice for a "Gateway Green" for those that upon hearing the term leafy green recoil in terror at the very thought of anything beyond Iceberg Lettuce. Beet greens are very tender in texture and flavor in the same category as Swiss chard, spinach and a few others.
Beet Greens are delicious, amazingly healthy and very low calorie. If you have never had beet greens you are missing one of the most amazing tastes on the planet. In ancient times the Romans only cooked with the greens of beets and reserved the root for medicinal purposes.
They are similar in taste to spinach or Swiss chard but are even more delicate, surprisingly sweet and mild. They make a great dark leafy green to introduce children or those who are put off by the stronger or more bitterly flavored greens.
All this and they are also one of the healthiest of leafy greens.
- 2 Bunches of Organic Beet Greens (stems and leafs)
- 12 oz Organic Whole Wheat Italian Spaghetti
- 1 large organic lemon
- 1-2 tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- Himalayan Sea Salt to taste
- crushed red pepper to taste
- Vegan Parmesan cheese or make your own see RECIPE at bottom
THIS SAME RECIPE can be a side dish by simply omitting the pasta
Cut beet leaves from root at the base fill the sink or large container with water and wash/rinse thoroughly and drain. Chop leaves and stems approximately 1 1/2 to 2" set greens aside.
Meanwhile, fill your spaghetti pot with water, turn heat to high cover to bring to boil.
Mince garlic and set aside, Wash lemon thoroughly, zest and juice lemon set these aside
In large covered skillet, heat oil over medium heat until it glistens but do not burn, add garlic, and crushed red pepper over medium heat until garlic is lightly golden. Increase heat to medium-high; add beet greens to skillet and cover, cook covered stirring occasionally. You may want to add a little water to the pan, continue to cook until beet stems have bled and the liquid in the pan is reddish purple. Reduce heat to just keep it warm and cover.
Cook spaghetti and drain about a minute before desired texture, remove 1 cup pasta cooking water; reserve. Drain spaghetti and return to sauce pot. Increase heat to medium and add beet mixture and reserved pasta cooking water, lemon juice and 3/4 of the lemon zest; toss well, heat for about a minute or two until pasta is done.
Plate and serve, garnish lightly with reserved lemon zest, Himalayan salt and cheese.
Health Hint: to Reduce your sodium intake without decreasing the pleasing sodium taste. Only use salt on your finished dish (never while cooking) and don't mix the food after you salt it. By doing this you will get intense sodium flavor while using only a small fraction of the salt.
© Dave Martin ComeHomeVirginia.com
HOME MADE VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE
1 cup raw almonds
2 - 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pulse process in food processor until almonds reach desired rather grainy consistency. Taste test and add additional nutritional yeast until it reaches the desired flavor. Store in airtight container in the fridge. It will stay usable for several months at least.
Alternatively I will often times just sprinkle just a bit of the nutritional yeast on a dish that would otherwise have Parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast is nothing at all similar to baking yeast or brewers yeast, it has a cheesy salty flavor even though a Tbls of it only has 20 calories and 10 mg of sodium. It is packed with nutrients including B12 which is often lacking in vegan and vegetarian diets.
Try sprinkling it on popcorn instead of salt its great!
"Vegan Beet Green Spaghetti Recipe"
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