Weekday Vegetarian- Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Polenta

Posted on May 12, 2012

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One of the funny things to come out of cooking for a vegetarian is that I’m really becoming motivated to eat healthier and less meat myself. But still I’m not ready to fully commit to the vegetarian life.  I’m just too much of a foodie. So I’m working on being a weekday vegetarian. I was inspired by one of the TED talks about how weekday vegetarianism is healthier and better for the environment.  Listen to the one about how fish farmers feed the fish chicken, that one really got me  to try harder to cut meat out of my diet and watch what I buy. Yuck!

Anyway, no huge story this week, I just wanted to share this fabulous dinner we had the other night! I didn’t miss meat one bit! Prepare some of the veggies ahead of time if you can it was a bit time consuming.

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

4 Beets with leaves
½ 1lb of green beans
1 tbls red wine vinegar
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbls capers, drained, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 ½ oz of goat cheese

Trim the leaves off the beets, scrub the bulbs and wash the leaves thoroughly. Simmer the bulbs in a large saucepan of water for 30 minutes or until tender with the point of a knife, this may vary depending on the size.

Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to boil and add the green beans for 3 minutes, or until just tender. Remove the string beans into cold ice water with a slotted spoon. With the same hot water add your beat leaves, you can chop them to desired size or leave whole before adding to water. Leave them in the water 3-5 minutes or until teder. Remove the leaves into cold ice water with a slotted spoon.

Drain and cool the beets in the same manner. Remove skins and slice into wedges.

For the dressing mix the next four ingredients in a salad dresser jar or shaker.

To serve layer the green beans on a plate with the beets on top, drizzle with your dressing to taste and top with goat cheese. I used a mild goat cheese and enjoyed it more.

Polenta Cakes with Sage

1 tube of pre- made polenta
10-15 fresh sage leaves
2-3 tablespoons butter

Sauté your sage very carefully in butter over a medium heat for about 2 minutes, turn them occasionally and watch to avoid burning. Slice off polenta patties and add to your butter and sage till the polenta is heated about 5 min. Add more butter if necessary. (olive oil may be substituted but this dish is our homage to Paula Dean)
***I learned how to cook fried sage from a friend who married  an Italian man. I enjoy it so much I grow it in my garden. For more info on using fresh sage try this article http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/roasted-potatoes-with-fried-sage-brown-butter-recipe/

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