Monday, July 27, 2009


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Cleaning beets and beet greens from our garden

The weekend before last DH and I were on Salt Spring Island (BC) visiting his stepdaughter Kathy and her DH James, along with kathy's brother Pierre and family from Quebec City (who had not been "out West" for 18 years!). DH's sons Sean and Laurie were also there, along with Laurie's girlfriend Meghan, and their half-brother Tommy, with his daughter Aimee (who lives on Salt Spring) and son Tyler. It was the first time that all 4 brothers had been together in 18 years-- a photo op if there ever was one! Cousin Tristan, Kathy and James' son, also showed up.

So, it was nonstop talking (largely in French, in which DH is fluent, but not me!) and eating! We had tons of fresh, organic fruit, including the best strawberries EVER from Kathy's daughter Tali and her DH Dave's large organic garden, and we utilized fresh produce from Salt Spring and from our own Denman Island garden, particularly fresh beets and greens which are growing abundantly in our little garden. All of this fresh produce was enjoyed by the omni's as well as visiting vegans!

It was a really fun and relaxing weekend, full of sun, children (Pierre and Natalie's 2 daughters Jeanne and Rose, and Tali's 2 kids, Jasper and Chiara) family stories and pictures, and swimming at the nearby lake. DH and I got to sleep in a lovely big tent out in the trees, which was cool and breezy at night.

On the first night we had a lovely salad and DH's famous vegetarian spaghetti sauce and bread, with a yummy new beet salad (see recipe below) that I made:

The next day everyone went to the Farmer's Market in Ganges, the biggest town on Salt Spring, and I stayed behind to make lunch, which we ate outside:

That's a platter of roasted beets with fresh Italian parsley from my deck garden in the center; with Armenian flat bread, my Creamy Low-Fat Hummous, local bread, and a trio of salads that I made.

Hummous and roasted beets on the left, and a Middle-Eastern tahini-parsley salad in the center, a made-up-on-the-spot potato/sweet potato/green bean salad in the back, and cooked beet greens with my mother's lemon salad dressing (recipe below) in the foreground.

For dinner there was another green salad, leftover lunch salads, chile (Kathy made a veg and a non-veg version), corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, fresh tomatoes, and a fruit crisp. The omnis had salmon and chicken-- we vegans had Breast of Tofu.

Our last meal on salt Spring was Sunday breakfast, prepared by Pierre's wife Natalie-- big blueberry pancakes (with local organic blueberries), served with maple syrup which Pierre and Natalie brought from Quebec.

Kathy sharing a laugh with her sister-in-law Natalie.


Printable Recipe

Servings: 4

This colorful and delicious salad is a veganized version of a recipe from Joyce Goldstein's "Mediterranean Fresh".

Yogurt Dressing:
1 recipe Rich "Bulgarian-Style" Tofu Yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons aquafaba or Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
salt to taste
8 large or 12 small beets, steamed or roasted, and skinned
1 large bunch of any kind of tender but sturdy greens, such as baby kale, beet greens, radicchio, arugula, chard, etc. (a mixture)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dillweed (or 2 teaspoons dried)
3 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until smooth. Add salt to taste. Set aside.

Slice the beets to the size you prefer. Clean, trim and dry the greens and slice about 1/4" thick. Just before serving, mix them with the beets in a salad bowl and sprinkle with the dillweed and walnuts. Add the dressing and coat the vegetables. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving)
: 272.9 calories; 50% calories from fat; 16.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 447.6mg sodium; 952.6mg potassium; 24.5g carbohydrates; 5.3g fiber; 14.7g sugar; 19.2g net carbs; 12.1g protein; 6.0 points.

I don't really have a recipe for the cooked beet greens with lemon dressing. Just cook some trimmed beet greens (or any other greens), cool them off and squeeze them as dry as you can, then slice them thinly. Toss with the following dressing (you may need to multiply it, depending on how many greens you cook) and serve. So simple, yet so delicious!

Printable Recipe

Servings: 4
Yield: a scant 1/2 c

My mother, Eve Urbina, never bought prepared salad dressing. This is my version of the one we had on our big daily bowl of salad greens when I was growing up. My mother never measured, but I have figured out a formula for those who like to use exact amounts. This method of mixing is easy and convenient for small amounts made just before dressing the salad, but there's a method for making a laarger amount, too.

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, minced or crushed
3 tablespoons aquafaba or Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

With the back of a teaspoon in a small round-bottomed bowl (or use a medium-sized mortar and pestle), mash together the salt and garlic until it is like a paste. (The salt grains will help mash the garlic to a paste and the garlic juice will dissolve the salt.)

Whisk in the broth and lemon juice with a fork, or small wire whisk.

If you prefer to make a larger amount ahead of time, a good method of mixing larger amounts is to place all of the ingredients (using crushed garlic) in a Tupperware QuickShake® container, or a jar with a tight cover, and shake until well mixed.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving)
: 64.8 calories; 92% calories from fat; 6.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 119.3mg sodium; 12.5mg potassium; 1.4g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 0.2g sugar; 1.3g net carbs; 0.1g protein; 1.8 points.


1 comment:

Kelly said...

That looks like a gorgeous and perfectly seasonal feast. I love when produce is the star of the show. I haven't been to BC in awhile myself and am hoping my boyfriend and I will make it out next summer or fall.