I have a confession.
I have a Friday ritual.
I cry every damn Friday morning…not because I want to cry. No, I cry because Story Corps comes on NPR’s Morning Edition every Friday morning while I am on my way to work. And I’m not a cryer, folks,…I’m tough…I’m strong…I do what I want….Rargh!!!!
But on Fridays, there I am….crying at the stop sign or crying by a playground or crying in the parking lot of my office. I have mascara smeared across my face because this little old man is being interviewed by his granddaughters and he is talking about his wife of 70+ years that just passed away and he remembers dancing with her the first day that they met and how beautiful she was and how she sparkled and now life just doesn’t have that sparkle anymore because she was his sparkle and….damnit…here those stupid tears come again.
This morning those tears streamed down again as I heard an amazing story of a young woman that was homeless in highschool. She shared a room in a Chicago shelter with 6 other family members. She rode the bus 1.5 hrs one way every day to school. She currently is in college, working hard and continuing to take care of her family. And here those tears come again…it kills me knowing how common this story is. So many Americans are well below the poverty line. So many children are homeless. They have so much to overcome and many are able to but many do not have the chance.
So here is where I give an interweb high five *BAM* to all you educators (my husband included) for fighting for these kids and working long hours and believing and loving and opening your homes and hearts. Keep trucking, because what you do matters.
Doh! There I go again. Telling ya’ll a story and forgetting to go into much detail on the featured recipe. So lets talk beets and fall apples! A dear friend of mine from grad school sent me a recipe for an apple and kale saute. I drooled and immediately made it the next night but added two roasted beets that I had bought at the market. Winner!
Roasting beets is super duper easy. It is way better than boiling…ew! Read below for a short tutorial on roasting and removing the outer skin of the beet. I always run my roasted beets under running water and the skins rub off easily. Oh and USE THOSE GREENS!!!! I added the beet greens with the kale. The tart apples and earthy roasted beets are a perfect pair. A dijon vinegerette drizzled on top really seals the deal! Serve as a side with grilled salmon, pork chops, or chicken. Or for a vegetarian or vegan dish, serve over quinoa and maybe add some toasted walnuts. Mmmmm fall.
Roasted Beets with Apples and Greens (adapted from Whole Foods Market)
Serves 4 as a side
- 1 bunch of beets with beet greens (about 1 lb)
- 2 small apples
- 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, divided
- 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard or dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Let’s roast some beets! Remove greens from beets. Set beet greens aside to use later. Scrub beets well and do not dry off. Wrap beets loosely in aluminum foil. If beets are similar size, then they can all be wrapped together. If the beets are very large, then wrap them separately. Transfer the wrapped beets to a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour for large beets and 45 minutes for smaller beets. Beets are done when a fork slides easily to the middle of the beet. Allow the beets to cool for 5 minutes, or cool enough to handle. Hold the beets under running water and rub the outer skin away easily. Note – if the skin doesn’t come off easily then it is likely that the beets need to cook a little longer. Peel and slice all the beets. Set aside.
- While the beets are roasting in the oven and they have about 20 minutes until they are done, start cooking the rest of your ingredients. Wash and remove the stems from the beet greens and kale.
- Heat 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Saute red onion for 5 minutes or until translucent and browned. Add thinly sliced apples and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider, kale, and beet greens. Place lid on top of skillet and allow to steam for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when greens are wilted.
- In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, and mustard. Set aside.
- Divide the kale and apple mixture among 4 plates. Place sliced beats on top of kale and apples. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature. Note – If you don’t use all of the roasted beets, they can be stored whole or sliced for up to a week in the refrigerator.