Kizingo EATS: Pasta with Beets & Beet Greens
Are you making your weekend grocery list? Looking for a super easy meal to wow your weekend guests, or just get from stove to table in no time. Look no further!
The star of this recipe: beets.
Before you groan and click "back", hear me out. Beets are incredible. They may not be as accessible as the carrot, exotic as the artichoke, or beautifully curvy as the eggplant, but beets have fabulous flavor and pack a nutritional punch (they are an excellent source of folate, manganese, potassium and fiber). Beets also have nearly as much sugar as 8 ounces of plain yogurt making it an ideal candidate for enticing picky little eaters who might be convinced to eat anything that contains “sugar.”
This recipe hits all the right points: it's easy to prepare, has a short shopping list (with ingredients, you may already have at home, but can certainly get at your local grocery store), is colorful, and has no waste (you even use the beet greens!).
So, in the first of our Kizingo EATS series we present Pasta with Beets and Beet Greens.
Pasta with Beets and Beet Greens
- 1-2 bunches beets (red work best if you want that deep pink color)
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Shallots, divided and thinly sliced
- 4-5 garlic cloves (or more to taste)
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Pinch dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 Tbsp (roughly) chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, basil, cilantro ... whatever you have on hand)
- 1/2 lb pasta, preferably spaghetti, linguini, or farfalle
- Fresh goat or feta cheese (optional)
- Toasted walnuts (optional)
- Wash, peel and dice the beets. Dry and chop the beet greens; set aside.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente and drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, coat the bottom of a cast-iron skillet or sauté pan with olive oil. Over medium heat, cook the diced beets, shallot, and red pepper flakes, stirring often, until the beets are almost tender. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute, then add the broth and lemon juice.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the beets are tender and the broth is reduced to a syrup-like consistency (I find that it helps to cover for 5-10 minutes, then uncover and continue to reduce). If necessary, add more broth or water. Add the reserved, chopped beet greens, lemon zest, and chopped herbs. Stir and cover.
- Once the beet greens have wilted, season to taste with salt, then toss the beet mixture with the drained pasta. Serve with cheese and toasted walnuts.
Also in Blog
We adore avocados around these parts. Mashed into guac, diced onto tacos or on top of scrambled eggs, smushed into taste and sprinkled with salt ... these are the more obvious ways avocados are consumed by the arm load each week.
Avocados are a power food. They are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber which is great for healthy digestion, contain a component that has been shown to maintain cholesterol levels, and are full of healthy unsaturated fats which help keep brain cells communicating with one another. (Avocados make a great first (or second, or third!) finger food ... if you're at that stage with your little one).
I don't know about you, but when it's hot outside the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven! So as the temperatures warm-up, I stay on the lookout for easy to prepare meals that can be eaten cold or at room temperature. We also love salads like this because they are a great way to encourage kids to try new foods. Deconstructable and flexible meals make taste-testing easier, and help kids learn to try new things without needing to eat a whole lot of something new.
My own weekly menus (as is true of my grocery lists) have evolved considerably since kids came on the scene and my planning is often done in the minutes between breaking up fights over who was using the brown lego tree trunks or getting someone (who was not myself) something to eat. Also, I found that my weekly meal plan – which lived a double-life as our grocery list – was messy and disorganized, which left me wandering through the store trying to remember what I came in for in the first place. Something had to give ...