10 minutes. That’s what it took to put this beautiful salad together. 10. Minutes.
Pan-seared asparagus. Doesn’t that sound so yummy? I can feel my stomach rumbling already.
And then you’ve got these beautiful golden beets. I’ve only ever had beets that were boiled or roasted. It was a little scary to go for them completely raw here, but I realized how silly that was.
For this week’s special Earth Day edition of my Meatless Monday series, I wanted to feature a quick, simple, nutritious, and most importantly, TASTY, salad that wouldn’t leave any sort of waste.
Beets and radishes pack a nutritious punch:
- Beets are high in folate, manganese, potassium and fiber that help promote cardiovascular health, lowers your risk of cancer, and proper functioning of the brain.
- Radishes are a relative of arugula and both are members of the cruciferous family which boasts cancer-fighting benefits, digestive health, and heart health.
When bought fresh, radishes and beets come with the greens attached. People typically hack off those leafy green tops and trash them. Note to the world:
DON’T THROW THE GREENS AWAY!
Not only are those greens edible, they’re filled with more nutritional benefits than the roots themselves. Radish greens contain much more protein, vitamin C and calcium than the small red bulbs.
Consider using them interchangeably with greens you’re more familiar with, like spinach or kale.
Something important to keep in mind though is that you MUST soak these greens at least two or three times before using them. They’re covered in dirt in almost every nook and cranny. We don’t want to eat that.
In an effort to go green by eating my greens, I’m sharing TWO recipes here using both the roots and leaves in different ways. I saved the beet greens for a saute later this week. Maybe I’ll make some tacos out of them? Now…there’s an idea.
- 4 cups of fresh arugula, rinsed
- 1 large (or 2 small) fresh golden beets, greens trimmed (make sure to soak and remove dirt), peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 radishes, greens trimmed (make sure to soak and remove dirt), sliced thinly
- 1 small bunch of asparagus spears, cut into thirds
- ½ cup of garbanzo beans, (if using canned beans, make sure to rinse and drain first)
- 2 tbsps goat cheese
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp of balsamic glaze or vinegar (try to go for the glaze if available)
1. Prep all veggies, by soaking beets and radishes (greens too!), and slicing thinly with either a mandoline or very sharp knife.
2. In a small bowl, mix asparagus with the oil, salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high flame. Once hot, add the asparagus and spread evenly across the pan. Allow it to cook on one side for 3-4 minutes or until they start to brown. Flip over and cook on the other side. You want to make sure they sear but don’t burn.
3. Prepare salad in a large serving bowl. Add arugula, sliced beets and radishes, beans, crumbled goat cheese, and seared asparagus. Toss together and presto- you’re done!
MANGO PINEAPPLE RADISH GREENS SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ frozen banana
- ½ cup of frozen mango
- ½ cup of frozen pineapple
- 2 tbsps hemp protein powder (you can sub in your favorite protein or flax seeds, chia seeds, etc)
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 2 cups radish greens, soaked 3 times (so much dirt trapped in there!) and drained
Blend well together and you’ve got yourself a powerful nutrient-packed smoothie. And pat yourself on the back for not wasting any part of that produce by throwing it away.
Looking for more radish or beet greens recipes? Check out these yummy ideas:
- Banana Beet Green Smoothie
- Grilled Goat Cheese Pizza with Figs, Beets, and Wilted Greens
- Lemon and Butter Braised Beet Greens
- Punjabi Radish Greens (Mooli Ke Patton Ki Sabji)
- Radish Leaf Pesto
- Rustic Radish Soup
What do you do with your greens?
How are you going green for Earth Day?
Take part in the Meatless Monday Thunderclap by pledging here!
By taking the Meatless Monday pledge this Earth Day, you’ll:
- REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
- MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
- HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
(Shared from Meatless Monday Earth Day initiative)