The Only Way I Can Get My Husband to Eat Beets

Our CSA is sadly drawing to a close.  We’re taking it week by week seeing what’s still available, rather than having a specific end date.  Our Monday pick up was amazing, and I’ll be sharing it with you soon, but as I looked back over my meal photos, I realized there’s still a lot of our CSA bounty I haven’t shared with you.  Like the one and only way I can get Eric to eat beets.  Perhaps, like me, you’ve been trying to figure out how to get a beet hater to eat beets.  I’ve tried several beet recipes, even sneaking beets into food, but this beet and potato roesti (or pancake) is the only thing he’s eaten more than one bite of.  Each recipe I try leads Eric to ask “Why eat beets?  Can’t we just throw them away when we get them in our CSA?”

There is the obvious reason of not wasting food, I don’t even throw away the greens of our vegetables.  I just had a lovely carrot and blueberry smoothie, made with carrot greens (no actual carrots!).  So no, wasting is not an option.  Perhaps you’re wondering if you should bother buying beets in the store.  Maybe you’ve also asked “Why should I eat beets?”  I’m no expert, but I’ve got some answers!  The nutritional benefits of beets are pretty amazing.  For instance, studies have shown that the large amounts of betacyanin (which give beets their lovely color) are powerful cancer fighting agents, especially effective against colon cancer.  Beets are rich in the B vitamin folate, which helps protect against birth defects.  Folate is essential for normal tissue growth, and if pregnant moms don’t get enough, it can lead to an underdeveloped spine for their infant.  One cup of chopped beets meets the recommended daily dose of folate.  (Guess I should save some of my pickled beets for when we’re pregnant!)

I’ve had a little more trouble in using beet greens than swiss chard (which is in the same family).  I tried putting them in my green smoothies, but the beet taste really overpowered the other fruits.  Beet roots can last about a month in a plastic bag in your fridge, just cut the greens off so they don’t suck the moisture out.  For now, I’ve just been pickling beets for myself (so I don’t have to use them up right away), and making the roesti once in a while, like for this CSA vegetarian dinner we had.

The cooking away my CSA group has been really helpful in providing ideas for using our CSA produce.  I haven’t been doing a very good job of posting there, it’s hard to keep up with everything!  But I found two of the recipes for this meal there, and although the maple syrup and walnut radish recipe didn’t really do it for us, we loved the kohlrabi pasta.  I pretty much stuck to the recipe so you can find it here.

For the roesti, Katerina found a recipe for a beet roesti in a Mark Bittman cookbook.  She decided to add green onion and potatoes, while taking out the rosemary.  I think the green onions were a great addition and the potatoes helped to cut the beet taste.  I kept my version practically the same, but I ended up doubling the amount of  scallions (or green onions) because we like them so much, and get a lot in our CSA.  We typically like some kind of dip or condiment with any sort of vegetable fritter, like the lime and dill yogurt for our zucchini fritters.  If you really like beets, you may just want to take out the potatoes and use all beets!  Or, try some delicious roasted beets and carrots.

Beet and Potato Roesti

serves 4-6 as a side

Ingredients

4-6 medium beets, About a 1/2C when grated
2 small potatoes, scrubbed
salt and pepper
4 scallions, chopped
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

Trim and scrub the beets then peel them. Grate them into a medium bowl. Start preheating a large (12″) skillet over medium heat. Working fast, so they don’t discolour, grate the potatoes into the same bowl as well. Add the salt, pepper, and scallions and combine well. Then add the flour a few tablespoons at a time until well combined.

Melt the butter into the skillet until it foams. Put the mixture into the middle of the pan and flatten out with a spatula. It should be a centimeter or thinner. Cook for 8-10 minutes until nice and crispy.

You will need to flip it over. To do this place a large plate over top and flip the frying pan over then slide the roesti back into the pan. Cook until the other side is crispy about another 8 -10 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature with green onions on top.  We also like to dollop some sour cream or plain yogurt on each slice.

Approximate cost/serving: More good news about beets, they’re cheap!  So are potatoes.  Without a dipping sauce, this can be less than $1 to make and comes out to 15-25 cents a serving!

Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is not only vegetarian, but can be vegan if you sub olive oil for the butter.  I think a gluten free flour could work great in this.  Spelt might be an interesting choice (Spelt is NOT gluten free!  Thanks to Nancy for this list of gluten free flours.  I’m thinking oat flour, I really want to try that!).  If you try it let me know!

Have a picky eater? Try Quesadilla Pie for the Bean Hater!


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No Responses to “The Only Way I Can Get My Husband to Eat Beets”

  1. jenn
    September 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    I think that’s a great way to try to get someone to eat beets. I think I would qualify to be in that group. hehe… Don’t eat it it too often, but I’d like to give these a try. ;-D

  2. Sundancer
    September 3, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    I sympathize with Eric. I had marinated beets at a restaurant last night, and they are just not my favorite vegetable!

  3. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    September 3, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    I’m not a huge beet fan, but that sounds like it is a recipe that might convert me! Great idea.

  4. Katerina
    September 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    So glad you enjoy the roesti recipe, I just love your beet photo!

  5. Cristin
    September 7, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    I recently discovered that I love pickled beets. I have yet to try non-pickled beets in a recipe. This looks like a great one to start with. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. jackie
    September 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    Be careful – Carrot greens are toxic. I looked it up after we got carrots from our CSA with the greens attached. I think small amounts are fine, but don’t have too many smoothies.

  7. Tanya
    September 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    I can’t wait to try some of the beet recipes – I have had them in smoothies too and quite like it (though I only use a little).

  8. Alejandra
    September 16, 2009 at 6:09 am #

    Those look fabulous! My boyfriend would love them as he’s Russian and a huge beet fan and a huge latke fan. It’s the perfect combo of both! You know what else you can try with your husband? Beet gnocchi. I have a really easy recipe on my site (just check the recipe index) and the beet flavor totally disappears so all you get is a nice pasta but it uses four whole beets! I also made beet ice cream, but that might be too much for him…

  9. diana
    September 16, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    Thanks for the advice Jackie, I’d heard the same thing and did some research. I found a couple cases of people who died from eating carrot greens, but it was due to an allergy. According to the Carrot Museum, the greens are an allergen (like peanuts) but not actually toxic. But I do just use them in small amounts anyway!

    Alejandra, I will have to try the beet gnocchi, that sounds really good to me!

  10. Edith
    October 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I just made a big batch of this recipe tonight with beets & potatoes from our CSA farm. My dish wasn’t red because our beets weren’t red. Probably someone who didn’t know might not have even guessed the dish was made with beets. We loved this recipe! My husband finished all of it.

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