I must admit that it's hard for me to get very psyched up about trying new things with my kids - both girls are being very difficult and picky right about now, and it's so so easy to just serve up a dinner that I know will be met with no complaints. On the other hand, I feel sure that if I never serve up anything new, they will never try anything new - and I'm a bit tired of serving up plain pasta 3 nights in a row!
My new goal for 2010 is to have one vegetarian dinner and one vegan dinner each week. We've always had at least one vegetarian meal each week, but I love the challenge of adding some vegan dishes to my repertoire. Tonight was a vegan night, and I was thrilled - both girls actually tried some dinner and ate a few bites! Neither of them finished, of course, but these are my kids we are talking about - the fact that they didn't burst into tears at the mere sight of a beet invading their plates is progress!
Beans and Quinoa with Beets
I saw a Martha Stewart recipe recently in which she boiled beets along with dried black beans, and I was interested to give it a whirl. This was delicious!! I sauteed the beet greens with some garlic, salt, and pepper (and a little olive oil) to have alongside, but didn't even attempt to serve those to my kids!
1 lb dried black beans, rinsed
3 beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1 tsp canola oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste - I used about a handful but could easily have used more!)
quinoa, cooked according to package directions
Combine beans and beets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove the beets and let cool. Continue to cook the beans for 45 minutes more.
When cool enough to handle, peel the beets (rubbing them with a paper towel is an easy way to get the skin off) and chop them up. Set them aside.
When the beans are tender, drain them in a colander and set aside. In the large pot, heat up the canola oil and add the scallions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for one minute over medium heat. Add the beans back in, stir well, and remove from heat.
Stir the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro into the beans. Serve over the quinoa and garnish with beets.