Garden Eats has received a handful of requests expressing curiosities about the nutritive qualities of beets. Popularized by its aphrodisiac offering juice and garlic-breath covering root, this blood-nourishing tuber has been used as a medicinal food staple since the middle ages for immune, digestive and blood concerns. Magnus is joining us today from his UK kitchen to whip up his fave winter beet curry!
What You’ll Need
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion Finely Chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
- 1 Tbsp Madras Curry Paste
- 1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 x 400ml Tin Coconut Milk
The Beets Etc
- 8oz Puy Lentils
- 1 ltr Vegetable Stock
- 6 Assorted Beetroots (Preferably with Leafy Tops)
- 6 oz Spinach Leaves
- 12 oz/360g Feta Cheese Diced
- Coriander (cilantro) Leaves to Garnish
- For the curry sauce, sauté the onion in the oil over a low heat for 20 minutes or until golden and caramelised. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the curry paste and allow to cook for five minutes until the flavours have developed.
- Add the tomatoes and the coconut milk and bring just to a simmer for 45 minutes to1 hour, or until the sauce has reduced and is nice and thick and oily.
- If the beetroot has the leafy tops, then remove and wash them well, especially the stalks in addition to the spinach.
- Wash and roast the beetroot in a moderate oven for an hour or two until softened. Allow to cool a little, then peel and quarter them and keep warm in the oven.
- Meanwhile cook the lentils in vegetable stock until tender, approximately 20 minutes, you may have to add a little more stock or water. Strain and set aside.
- When the sauce is ready and the beetroot and lentils are cooked, assemble the dish. In a large frying pan or skillet heat the curry sauce and stir in the lentils. You may have to add some more stock to thin out the sauce a little. When the lentils are simmering add the spinach and beet leaves and toss in the pan until wilted.
- Divide the beetroot between four bowls or plates and spoon over and around the lentils and spinach mixture. Scatter with the feta and flash under a hot grill to lightly brown the cheese.
- Top with the coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve with bhajis or pilau rice.
Magnus’ Notes on Nutrition
Beetroot is a fantastic ingredient. Having been shown to be a great liver cleanser, the dark purple colour also aids in fighting cancer. Eating beetroot regularly also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400%! It is virtually fat free and converts into sugars in the body very slowly so can help stabilize blood sugar levels for longer (glycemic index). Thinking of tossing those tops? Think again! The green tops are very rich in folates.
Lentils are an amazing food also being a very important source of iron for vegetarians. They are rich in protein and contain two of the essential amino acids (lycine and isoleucine). They are also a great source of fibre and have a low glycemic index so are excellent for diabetics!
Until next time! Enjoy!
Magnus!Magnus Mumby is a UK based chef where he’s best known for enabling diners to easily and inexpensively create healthy and delicious dishes. He was awarded the Top Ten New Chefs of the Year award by Esquire magazine, among numerous other accolades. Ready to whip up one of his tasty, nutritive dishes? Visit Magnus’ site, HealthyNutritiousRecipes to make one of his favorites yours!