Delightfully Healthy! Color Me Red!

Tasting Friday, 2/10, 4:30 -6:30pm

Red D’Anjou Pears

Winter! The time of the year when it’s cold outside, a hot cup of tea is a blessing, and roasted fruit is traditionally on the menu. The produce being featured this week, red D’Anjou pears, were first domesticated in China thousands of years ago and currently pears are among the five most cultivated fruits in the world. When you take a look at the nutrient content of this delicious fruit, it’s not hard to see why. With each juicy bite of a pear, you get a dose of vitamin C, fiber, and phytonutrients! Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from cellular damage being caused by metabolic processes and it is also used to facilitate cell growth and repair. During the winter, the rates of vitamin C deficiency increase, so snagging a pear for a snack is an easy way to help make sure you get enough of this essential vitamin! Pears also contain a healthy dose of fiber, which is found mainly in the skin the fruit. This type of fiber, called insoluble fiber, helps to promote gut health by facilitating bowel movements. This is one of the great ways to get rid of toxins in your system!

Have you ever been in the store and wondered how to tell if a pear is ripe? The secret is to “check the neck”. If you apply pressure to the neck of the pear and if the flesh yields to the pressure, it’s the right pear for you!

Pears and Brussels sprouts? At first glance, this combination may seem like complete anarchy, but the recipe below for Roasted Pears with Squash and Cashews is a great new way to incorporate both fruits and vegetables into one quick and easy meal which is ready in only 30 minutes! The sweet pears and butternut squash combined with savory Brussels sprouts are brought together by a tart pomegranate glaze and chopped cashews add an extra crunch. This dish is great served cold or hot, and it’s guaranteed to be Pear-y delicious!

Red Beets

Beets are such versatile root vegetables that often get overlooked at the grocery store. Often times it is because a lot of us don’t know exactly what to do with them! But lo and behold, beets are about to become your best friend! Not only are beets nutritious, they are delicious, and have so many uses! The rich ruby red color in beets is due to its betalains content. Betalains are potent antioxidants that have been found to support cardiovascular health. This highly-pigmented vegetable is also rich in a phytochemical compound called betaine. Current research has claimed that betaines have the ability to protect internal organs, improve heart health and protect the body from harsh environmental factors. In addition to all of these impressive attributes that beets contain, beets are also able to provide as an excellent-source of manganese and folate. It is important to note here that folate is a vitamin that is commonly deficient in those with gluten-free diets due to a lack of enriched wheat flour that provides a rich source of this B-vitamin.

Beets can be an acquired taste. We aren’t denying that. But they are becoming more and more common due to its versatility. They can be eaten raw so pull out your fruit peeler & shave some of these bad boys over a nice green salad!

These versatile root vegetables are also making its way to the bakers oven! After a roast in the oven, beets become super soft and juicy, which make them perfect for moist and decadent baked foods. Beets are also fantastic when roasted in the oven with a coat of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Check out the recipe below that incorporates roasted beets into a heart healthy salad with grains and a wonderful citrus dressing!

 

Roasted Pears with Squash & Cashews

Adapted from: usapears.org

Ingredients

1 small butternut or delicata squash (about 12 ounces)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 red D’Anjou pears, halved, cored, and cut into 6 wedges

8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (keep any loose leaves)

3 large shallots, peeled, trimmed, and quartered lengthwise in half or quarters

1/4 cup chopped cashews

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick moon-shaped slices. (If using a butternut squash, peel the squash first)
  1. Whisk together the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Use the dressing to coat the squash, pears, Brussels sprouts, and shallots evenly.
  1. Spread the mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast tender and browned on one side, 20 to 25 minutes.
  1. Use a spatula to remove ingredients from the pan and toss them all together. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the chopped cashews. Serve hot or at room temperature.

 

Red Beet Salad with Shallots, Parsley & Orange Miso Dressing

Adapted from: ohsheglows.com

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the salad:

3 – 4 medium red beets

8 small shallots

1 cup uncooked rainbow quinoa

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 medium navel oranges, segmented and chopped

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

For the Orange Miso Dressing:

1/3 cup orange juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tbsp light chickpea miso dressing

1 medium garlic clove, peeled

1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 tsp cane sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Trim beet greens if not purchased loosely. Wash beets, but do not peel them.
  3. Place beets on parchment paper. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll around the beets to coat.
  4. Peel shallots and place on a piece of aluminum foil that will be enough to wrap and cover them. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper as well. Place shallots on a baking sheet, along with beets. Roast both in the oven for one hour.
  5. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and place it into a pot along with 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low-medium, and cover with tight fitting lid. Simmer for 17-20 minutes covered, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  6. Prepare the dressing by processing together all the dressing ingredients.
  7. After 1 hour, remove the shallots and set aside on the counter. Prick the largest beet with a fork. If it slides easily through, it’s ready.
  8. Remove beets from oven and allow beets to cool until they can be handled. Trim both ends of the beet and discard. Run water over beets and peel the skin off with your fingers (the skin should slide off fairly easily) and then slice beets into bite-sized pieces for the salad.
  9. To assemble the salad: Toss together the cooked quinoa, chopped parsley and a couple tablespoons of the dressing. Gently fold in the shallots, segmented oranges, and beets. Drizzle dressing and enjoy!

 

 

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