With that kind of crazy talk, I bet you would never in a million years thought I had ever been a vegetarian. In fact I have! Well for about a year. I don't really know why. It was probably a college phase thing. You know...because people experiment in college right...? So here's a little something something about veggies and a recipe to match!
Factoid: Beet Juice for Healthier Brains
I figured some people really don't like the taste of beets. I'm a veggie lover and I thought it tasted like dirt when I first ate it. Actually, I still think it tastes like dirt...but I've grown accustom to it. I'll eat it now, especially knowing how good it is for me! A research group at Wake Forest University, has shown that drinking beet juice increases blood flow to the brain. That's super important as you age because some areas of you noggin just don't get enough blood, leading to dementia and forgetting where you last saw your keys...or grandchildren :/
The reason is that beets contain lots of nitrates, which is also found in celery, cabbage and other leafy greens. Good bacteria in your mouth will convert it nitrate to nitrite. Nitrite is a super important blood vessel dilator that will increase blood flow everywhere and especially to places lacking oxygen. Read more about increased MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain activity recorded in old old people after drinking beet juice here.
Also, don't freak out when you get red doo doo okay? That's just the beets. :D
Adapted from F&W
1 (8 oz) medium red beet with greens (SAVE the greens!)
1lb medium baking potatoes
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (divided)
1 onion vertically sliced
1/4 cup fresh parmesan
Garlic salt + Pepper
Preheat oven to 400F
Remove greens and stems from beet. Save the greens! We're going to use the whole plant.
Pierce beets and potatoes with a fork. Bake potatoes for 1-1.5 hours and the beets for 1.5 - 2 hr or until soft.
While you're waiting, chop the green parts to measure 2 cups. Slice the onion too.
Once they're extremely soft peel and mash them both pretty well in a bowl. You can use a paper towel to rub the skin off. It should come off pretty easily. A trick I learned from bubs is to mash using the end of a wine bottle! Very convenient if you don't have a potato masher.
To the mashed beets and potato, add in 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp salt to form the dough. The dough should be a brilliant red. Knead on a floured surface until smooth.
Divide the dough into 4 and make long ropes out of them. Dust them if the remaining 1/4 cup flour to prevent from sticking. Cut each Gnocchi out (~3/4 inch) and roll each piece down with a slightly floured fork.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a pot. Add half of the gnocchi, cook for 2 minutes or until done. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, saute 4 minutes. Add gnocchi, greens, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp salt. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Serve with some shaved cheese!
|and some fresh parmesan~|