How To Love Your Beets, by GreenChef Aria Alpert

Flesh Monkies prepare yourself for what I am about to tell you. This is V Blak by the way. I know you and I don’t feel this way, we are freaking Monkies after all, but the truth is, sadly most people, HATE, I mean really hate Beets. Even our hip youngish first lady, Michelle Obama has something against these red bloody beauties. She told Ladies Home Journal “Neither the president nor I have the beet gene”. What does that mean? You have to have a gene to like one of the best veggies on the planet? I am taking a wild guess here, but I bet they had that all to common first taste beet experience, you know the one, the dreaded dirt taste.

Yes dirt, come on, lets admit it, beets are very very earthy and if you are a clueless fleshy, like I was, you just don’t know how to properly bring out the lushes side of beets. The result can have them coming out tasting like the backend of a dog. Okay not that bad and no I haven’t tasted a backend of a dog, and anyways I think that taste is exclusively reserved for Durians.

“Neither the president nor I have the beet gene”.

My own first experience with beets almost completely turned me off them forever. I was just beginning to juice and I tossed in way too many beets, greens and all and the result, I could barely keep from tossing the thing back up. I thought I was going to be sick. I just completely over did it. I may have also added garlic to that juice. I think I was sick or something. My point is, it was just too many beets and too little of the sweet stuff. Life is about balance and sometimes I just completely forget that. Oh well, lucky for me, I have an experienced beet lover close at hand now days and she has completely turned me around. I’ll admit it, her beautiful smile and her contagious laugh might have opened me up to giving the beet a second chance, but in the end it was her Beet dish which closed the deal. And maybe if your unfortunately in the hater camp, she can do the same for you. I present to you, GreenChef Aria Alpert and her love love love for the dirty little Beet.

Aria and I whipped up a short GreenChef video just for you, about you guessed it, the Beet. Sit back, click play and enjoy the first GreenChef video from the new G Living Pad in Palm Desert and afterwards, jump down to the comment section and tell everyone why you love or hate beets. And if your in the love category, spill the beans and maybe even share your beet recipe / story. We would love that…. Recipes and photos after the jump.

roasted beets aria alpert recipe greenchefs 02 How To Love Your Beets, by GreenChef Aria Alpert

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Time To Breathe And Make Some Beauty Beets With Parsley Pesto & Sweet Pepper-Fennel Cream By GreenChef Natalia

beets fennel pesto raw vegan recipe 01 Time To Breathe And Make Some Beauty Beets With Parsley Pesto & Sweet Pepper Fennel Cream By GreenChef NataliaPhotographer Natalia

Oh my goodness, it is time to breathe. I spent the last 6 weeks working 15 hours a day without a taking a single day off and completed the greatest accomplishment of my life thus far…my book. Pure Pleasures: Luscious Live Food Recipes from the Glowing Temple Kitchen (link is published! Wow, that feels good.

So now I’m trying to get back into some sort of “normal” rhythm, whatever that means. There’s actual dinners rather than downing a quick smoothie and yes, I’ve taken a few hours off here and there for time at the beach and visits with friends. Though, I’m having trouble not working because I guess I really created some pretty deep habits. It’s amazing how quickly something truly begins to feel natural. So I’m still up until midnight every night, but now it’s more with promotion rather than production and there’s a lot less pressure if I feel I need to put something off until tomorrow.

These last 6 weeks focused on design, writing and editing, so I’ve really been missing being able to get in the kitchen and create. Like really create. You know, something delicious, beautiful and gourmet, not just tossing together a salad. Now that I’m back to breathing, it’s time to play a little and here’s my first post-book creation that I wanted to share.

beets fennel pesto raw vegan recipe 02 Time To Breathe And Make Some Beauty Beets With Parsley Pesto & Sweet Pepper Fennel Cream By GreenChef Natalia Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Scarlet Quinoa (Bite This)

Scarlet Quinoa 02 Scarlet Quinoa (Bite This)Photographer V Blak

I have had many different incarnations of Scarlet Quinoa. Mostly people make it with red Quinoa because, well, it’s red. But I don’t really like the flavor. Tastes too earthy for me. Though I do like it as a breakfast grain with dried fruit, but that’s a different bite…My version is a super, delicious, simple recipe to whip up. Especially if you have some leftover Quinoa from a previous dish. And let’s not forget, it looks prudy too!

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Chilled Cream of Beet Soup by GreenChef Julie Morris

beetsoup juliemorris 01 Chilled Cream of Beet Soup by GreenChef Julie Morris

Sweet beets combine with creamy avocados for this alluring, satisfying, and not to mention stunningly-colored soup.

Serves 4

For the Soup

4 Medium beets

1 Avocado, chopped

1 Lime, juiced

2 Cups water

3 Tbsp hemp seeds

1 Tbsp ground coriander

¼ tsp sea salt

Fresh cilantro leaves & black pepper for garnish (optional)

1. Roast: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim the beets and remove stems and end. Individually wrap each beet in tin foil. Roast for 1 hour and allow to cool completely. Using a paper towel, rub off the beet skins. Chop coarsely.
2. Blend: Place the beets, avocado, lime juice, water, hemp seeds, coriander and sea salt in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
3. Chill: Place soup into refrigerator, and allow to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Serve: Pour into serving bowls and sprinkle with cilantro and black pepper if desired.

Healthy benefits: vegan, gluten-free, cholesterol-free

GreenChef Chad Sarno | Raw Beetroot Ravioli

chad ravioli GreenChef Chad Sarno | Raw Beetroot Ravioli

Beetroot Ravioli

Cashew-chive bourson cheese, green garlic oil, aged balsamic (raw)

This is one of my favorite and easiest versions of raw ravioli. In my Istanbul restaurant we offer many small plates, encouraging our guests to share and experience many options off of the menu. I offered this dish on our opening menu and it was by far the best selling small plate we offered for the winter and spring. It is a great starter or amusé for any Mediterranean focused meal, really giving the diner that first delicious introduction of what is to follow. The sweetness of the beetroot, and cashew based cheese is balanced out very nicely with the acid of the balsamic and spiciness of the garlic oil.


For the Ravioli:

1 Large Beet, slice paper thin rounds and marinated in garlic oil, salt and pepper

½ Cup Cashew Herb Bourson Cheese (see recipe)

Aged Balsamic

Green Garlic Oil (see recipe)

Minced Chives

Course Sea Salt to taste

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Red Beet Ravioli

sarma red beet ravioli01 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Red Beet Ravioli

Red Beet Ravioli
with cashew cheese filling, tarragon, and pistachios (raw)

The colors in this dish are amazing: the bright blush of beets, the sunniness of yellow or orange pepper sauce, the summer-green herbs. When in season, experiment with candy stripe beets and try other herbs for the cashew filling. We use Sicilian pistachios that we buy at a Middle Eastern market. They’re a darker green and better-tasting than other types, especially when raw.

“Originally I tried to make red beet gnocchi using beet juice and ground up whole beets with other ingredients. They came out tasty, but our kitchen looked as if a gruesome crime had been committed. So I deconstructed the components a bit and came up with these much more manageable raviolis instead.” – SM

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course

For the filling:

3 cups cashew nuts, soaked for 2 hours or more

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/4 to 2 teaspoons salt

2 green onions, white and 1 inch green, minced

3 tablespoons minced tarragon

2 tablespoons minced parsley

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