Beets

Beer Batter Onion Rings with an Arugula, Beet & Daikon Salad

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Last night I decided to try something I do not do often as well as trying something new.

The thing I do not do often is make some deep fried food, more specifically as the title of this blog suggests, onion rings! The new thing we tried out for the first time was some Lo Bok which is just one of many names for Daikon or Japanese radishes. I had always looked at these guys in the market but never bought them for reasons I simply can’t explain because we love radishes! Now these  two things were never supposed to come to play in a dinner together. Originally, the daikon was for tonight’s dinner to go in a salad served along side some yummy lamb for my father in law. But since I had never used it, I wanted to try it out last night and not use my father in law as a guinea pig for some made up salad.

So here I am winging this new salad with the Food Network on in the background, when all of a sudden one of the competitors on Food Fighters busts out some onion rings! This is how the whole attempting to make onion rings for the first time occurred in my kitchen. I was inspired and figured it would go well with the salad I was making. I needed a bit of a richer salad to fill up my husband because the meat I had originally taken out for our dinner was still taking it’s sweet time defrosting in the sink, and would not be making it to the dinner table. So while I whipped up some beer batter for my rings he ran to the nearest Nando’s to grab some chicken. The meal turned out great! While I can’t take credit for the chicken of course the salad and onion rings worked perfectly together and made an easy and filling side dish. The onion rings were apparently so yummy that the last words I heard from my husband before going to bed was not “goodnight” it was “damn those onion rings were good tonight.”

I will take that 🙂

For the Onion Rings:

  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Can of Beer
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 3 Dashes of Smoked Paprika
  • Oil for Frying (I used Grapeseed Oil but Vegetable Oil will be good too)

How to:

  1. Mix the flour and seasoning in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk the beer in with a fork and mix until the batter is smooth. Let it stand for 10 – 15 mins.
  3. Heat up your oil in the frier or a heavy bottomed pot to about 380 degrees. I used a medium pot and filled it about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. (if you want to know when the oil is ready, after about 5- 7 minutes drip a tiny bit of batter into the oil, if it turns golden in 20 – 30 seconds it is ready, if not, let it heat up longer)
  4. While the oil is heating up cut your onion into rings. Mine were about a 1/4 inch thick to allow for faster frying.
  5. When ready, dip each ring into the batter and gently put it into the oil. (You should be able to do 4-5 rings at a time)
  6. When the rings are a golden color, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper lined plate so they drip off.
  7. Repeat until all the rings are fried.

*Please be careful* this oil gets very hot! When you are done with the oil, take it off the burner and let it cool down slowly on the stove. Do NOT pour it into the sink right away as it could splatter and the last thing you want is to drop a pot of hot oil.

For the Salad:

  • 4- 5 Handfuls of Organic Arugula
  • 2 Small Red Beets (finely chopped)
  • Shredded Daikon (I used about 10 Tbsp)

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Place your arugula, beets and daikon in a large salad bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing in another bowl until the avocado is smooth.
  3. Drizzle over the salad and mix it all together.

 

Steamed Beet Roots with Balsamic Reduction

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Beets make an amazing and healthy side dish for any meal. They are full of phytonutrients and vitamins, some of which may even help fight off cancer! From lowering blood pressure to giving you your daily dose of fiber these guys pack a punch in your daily intake of healthy foods. There are many different ways to enjoy them, you can pickle them, steam them, juice them, eat them raw and even make an amazing soup from them called Barszcz. I will post my moms recipe on here for this soup once I have been able to master making it. While the origins of the soup are Ukranian and many eastern and central European countries have their own take on the soup, each family has a recipe handed down from mother to daughter and is very popular around holidays.

Alright back to the beets themselves. I found an awesome article about some of the benefits of beets here. Have a read through and see why adding these guys into your diet is worth it.

For the side dish pictured above, I chose to steam the beets with a water and vinegar mixture. You can cook them for less or even more time if you choose, but remember the longer you cook them, the more nutrients you lose so try not to over do it. This is such a simple dish that will go with just about anything. Best of all it won’t take you long to make for all the busy people out there trying to eat healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Medium Red Beets
  • 4 Medium Golden Beets
  • 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. Peel your beets and cut them into wedges. **Use gloves otherwise you will be walking around with bright red hands for awhile**
  2. Fill a large deep pan with the water, oil and vinegars then place your beets in.
  3. Cover then cook on high for 20 minutes or until most of the water steams out.

I served mine drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.

How To:

8 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar and 2 Tbsp Water. Slowly reduced in a pan on medium heat.