A secret that many professional chefs know: The simplest dishes, made with the freshest ingredients, are the tastiest. So true!
Now that one of our household members lives with diabetes, I’m always looking for ways to prepare low-fat dishes that are as tempting as they are healthy. A simple supper of sautéed beet greens and chickpeas, spiked with lightly caramelized onions, minced garlic and a hint of apple cider vinegar does the trick.
When I had a surfeit of tender beet greens the other day, instead of sautéeing with olive oil as I usually do, I caramelized my onions and garlic in two tablespoons of water before adding the chopped stems and leaves.
With water, I have to turn my onions and garlic a little more often than with oil, but in my cast iron skillet, they brown nicely. For this dish, I was too impatient to give them more than a couple of minutes, and added my stems and half the greens as soon as the onions began to turn.
When the stems tested crunchy-tender with a fork, I threw in a couple of cups of fresh-made chickpeas, naturally buttery and sweet, straight from the slow cooker. Added a splash of apple cider vinegar and bit of salt and freshly ground pepper, and voilà! A wonderful dinner for two, with leftovers for lunch the next day.
While I used all the tender beet leaves, I used only about half the stems, and chucked the rest into my freezer bowl for making vegetable stock.
Here’s the recipe, which took less than thirty minutes to make and serve.
Beet greens and chickpeas sauté
Served with a crust of whole wheat sourdough, this dish makes a satisfying one-bowl lunch or supper.
Or you can dress it up a bit with a dollop of homemade hummus and a side of sliced, cooked beets drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Prep and cook time:
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 C Beet greens and stems, washed, shaken dry and coarsely chopped
- 2 C cooked chickpeas (If using canned, drain most of the liquid into your freezer soup stock bowl)
- 1/2 t Sea salt
- Splash or two apple cider vinegar
- Twist freshly ground black pepper
- Saute onion and garlic 1-2 minutes in 2 tablespoons water (no oil) over medium flame.
- Add beet stems and half the greens and saute 1-2 minutes more.
- Stir in chickpeas, remaining greens, salt and vinegar, in that order.
- Cover and heat through, 3-4 minutes, adjusting flame as necessary.
- Garnish with a twist of pepper and serve immediately.
Note: I first posted a version of this recipe on YayYay’s Kitchen Facebook page on May 9, 2015.
Beet greens, uncommonly nutritious
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods (WHF), beet greens rank in the top ten. They serve up a cornucopia of vitamins and minerals our bodies need to fight disease and stay healthy. Among those, calcium, magnesium, iron of course, but also Vitamins A and E, several B vitamins, and plenty of fiber.
Beets are also high in oxalates, says WHF, which may be a problem for people prone to kidney stones. If you have suffered kidney stones, you might want to forgo the beets and their greens.
Cook the greens as you would spinach or Swiss chard. Or reserve the most tender, young leaves for a tossed salad, where they shine with their vibrant color and mildly sweet flavor.
Are you a beet fan? What’s your favorite way to use the stems? If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear from you, however it turns out.
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This post is shared at Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up.