Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
If you are a beet lover, you will enjoy the variety in this vegetarian cooked beet recipe as a lovely side dish for your chicken or fish.
Beet Casserole Recipe Perfect As A Meatless Side-Dish
We often joke about making a casserole on the Canadian Budget Binder Facebook page, and in some ways, today’s recipe is just that: using fresh beets.
The best part about beets is that you can buy them at the grocery store or farmer’s market this time of year for a great price.
However, if you have a green thumb growing beets in your garden, there are many beet varieties to consider.
Beets can be grown as your standard red or deep purple color or even a golden-yellow or white beet.
The varieties of beets differ worldwide, but some of the most popular beets are “Albino, Early Wonder, Red Ace, and Ruby Queen, just to name a few.
How To Handle A Fresh Beet
We love beets in our family any way we can get them, but the tricky part is coming up with recipes that provide variety for my family.
When using beets, be warned that you will need to wear gloves because the red color from will soak into your skin.
It takes a bit of scrubbing, but eventually will come out.
You don’t want to have red fingers when you go to work or out for the evening.
Beets, one of the world’s healthiest foods, are an excellent source of folate, vitamin C, fiber, copper, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, Vitamin B6, and manganese.
In just one cooked cup you will find these and many other nutrients, as well as only 75 calories.
These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.-The World’s Healthiest Foods
Eating Too Many Beets
If you eat too many beets, don’t be surprised if you see red for a day or so because the pigment does not break down in our bodies.
Yes You Can Eat The Greens
Unknown to many, you can eat leafy beet greens that taste like spinach or other greens.
You can quickly boil, steam, or saute with garlic, salt, and pepper for a lovely side dish.
A beet soup called borscht is very popular in Eastern and Central European countries.
Borscht is of Ukrainian origin and served with a dollop of sour cream.
Other common uses are for pickled beets, which you can find at any grocery store.
You can buy a one-liter jar of pickled beets for about $1.99 or make them yourself if you enjoy canning.
Most people enjoy the pickled beets on their own or in a salad; however, give me a fork, and I’ll run away with the jar.
Beets And Butter
You can also serve roasted beets or cooked beets with butter and salt on top, or consider a beet and carrot salad.
Some people enjoy raw beets, although I’ve never tried one.
Today, I wanted to focus on cooked beet recipes.
Cooked Beets Recipes
Summer is in full swing, so the heat can control just how much cooking some of us do in the kitchen.
The temperatures here have been very hot, and nobody has wanted to eat or do much, let alone go outside.
I didn’t want to cook much this week, so we ate plenty of cold dishes and snacks during the day for an excellent nighttime meal.
Even at night, we haven’t had big meals, but because the boys have football training, I tend to make their dinner a bit earlier so they are not running about on full stomachs.
With all the talk of gardens and vegetables this time of year, I was intrigued to create a new recipe with my beets rather than just making the standard pickled beets.
Don’t get me wrong, I love pickled beets, especially in a cold beet salad or even baked in the oven like today’s dish, but I wanted something more.
Cooking With Beet Greens
Since speaking with the Canadian Budget Binder What’s For Dinner ladies, I didn’t even realize you could cook the whole beet, including the leafy beet greens.
My friend Pat also mentioned a traditional Ukrainian dish called Beet Rolls, where you use the leaves, fill them with bread dough and rice, and serve them in a creamy dill sauce.
That sounded interesting, as my family loves dill on just about any dish I make.
It’s a recipe I will put on my future meal-planning list, as I enjoy trying new dishes.
Beet leaves taste like Swiss chard and spinach and can be prepared similarly.
This had me thinking, and I created this beet stir-fry using the leaves, which turned out delicious.
I was throwing out my greens all these years, not knowing they were edible.
How To Make Creamy Beet Crunch
Today, though, I will concentrate on the beets themselves and give you my mom’s recipe for a Creamy Beet Crunch dish you can enjoy as a meatless side dish.
This dish is loaded and layered with a lovely white bechamel sauce (a simple creamy sauce with nutmeg), mozzarella cheese, and topped with chips and crackers.
You can make the bechamel sauce on the stove-top or in the microwave like I have today.
My mom often makes this at home and serves it alongside chicken or fish to complete the meal.
Creamy Beet Crunch Recipe
Printable Recipe At The End.
- Recipe Type: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
- Author: Nicola Don
- Prep time: 25 mins
- Cook time: 15 mins
- Total time: 40 mins
- Serves: 6
- 6 medium beets
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup potato chips/crackers
- For the Bechamel Sauce
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups of milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook unpeeled beetroots in boiling water until fork tender (approx 10 mins)
- Make bechamel sauce or white sauce by adding the milk and butter to a glass measuring cup. Add the ingredients into a glass measuring cup and microwave until combined.
- Add the flour gradually, whisking until thick. Depending on the flour, you may need to add more milk to thin it out. If it is thick, add more milk and put it back in the microwave for a further minute.
- Add the nutmeg at the end. You can also make the bechamel sauce using the stove-top method. You will find a link to Mario Batali from the Food Network in the blog post above.
- Now peel the beetroot thinly, slice it, and place it at the bottom of your baking dish.
- Pour the bechamel sauce over the cooked sliced beets, ensuring that all the beetroot is covered.
- Crush up the crackers or potato chips so they are like fine crumbs.
- Mix the mozzarella cheese and crackers/potato chips and cover the sauce.
- Place under the grill until brown and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.
So, if you have an abundance of beets hanging around your house or want to try a new beet recipe, try this cheesy, creamy beet crunch side dish.
Let me know what you think and if you made any changes to the recipe that I might want to try.
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