Beets are a wonderfully versatile vegetable. They can be roasted, boiled, pickled, sauteed or juiced. The tops can be eaten, much like you would spinach. Served hot or cold, beets are a great source of iron and folic acid, which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells (especially good for anyone undergoing physical healing).
Studies have also shown that beets guard against cancer, especially colon cancer and help protect you against heart disease.
Both Beets and Tzatziki are great weight loss food choices. Tzatziki is a traditional Greek appetizer that is a mixture of yogurt, cucumbers and garlic, all of which are good for you. Try some today! – Yum!
For this recipe you can boil or roast the beets but we suggest the roasting method since they take on a sweeter flavor. You'll probably end up with extra Tzatziki sauce but try it on some crackers, or over meats and other vegetables. It makes a refreshing dip.
Both the beets and Tzatziki can be made in advance. Just keep them in the fridge and assemble right before serving.
1 pound beets, stems removed
Tzatziki Sauce (recipe below)
Walnuts for garnish (optional, you can also garnish with a sprig of mint or dill)
Fine quality extra-virgin olive oil (optional) for drizzling.
DIRECTIONS FOR BEET PREPARATION:
1. Cook the beets using one of the two methods below:
Option 1 – ROASTING: wrap the whole, unpeeled beets tightly in aluminum foil. Roast in a 425F oven until they are tender when pierced with a fork (approximatley 50-60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets). Remove from the oven and allow to cool while still wrapped in the foil.
Option 2 – BOILING: put the whoe, unpeeled beets in a pot and add enough water just to cover them. Bring to a boil then cover the pot with a lid and turn down to a simmer. Cook the beets until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
2. Peel the cooled beets using your fingers to slip off the peels. If they are fully cooked, the skin should come off easily or if needed, use a butter knife to gently scrap any stubborn skin off. (If you are making ahead to use later, put them in a covered container and keep in the fridge. Proceed to step three right before assembly for serving.)
3. Slice the beets into 1/2 to 1 inch rounds with a knife.
1- 32 ounce container plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (optional)
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (mint, oregano or parsley may be substituded; use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS FOR TZATZIKI PREPARATION:
1 Place the cucumber in a strainer and toss with the salt. Allow 10-15 minutes for some of the extra moisture to draw out and drain.
2. In a medium bowl stir together yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
3. Add lemon zest, dill, pepper and whisk until smooth.
4. Squeeze some of the extra moisture from the cucumber and stir into yogurt mixture, mixing thoroughly.
5. At this point you can use immediately or place in a covered bowl in the refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend.
1. Place beet slices on a serving platter in a single layer.
2. Top with approximately 1 tablespoon prepared Tzatziki sauce.
3. Garnish with walnuts and drizzle with a little fine quality extra-virgin olive oil.
4. Serve and enjoy!