Hey Happy Tummies!
How's everyone doing? It's Thurrrsdaaaay! And you know what that means...it's almost the weekend! :D
I don't know about you, but it has been a great week! Aside from the fact that it is mid June and 60 DEGREES, New York is beautiful right now...albeit cold.
Earlier this week, I went to an awesome concert with my friends. It was super fun...the band was R5. They play amazing music -- check 'em out!
So given the chilly weather (yes, you read that right...it's downright frigid in NYC right now!), I decided to make a warm and cozy dinner. And it. was. fabulous.
During the summer, when it's super hot and humid out, I have a rule that I don't turn the oven on:) But since the heat is not an issue, bring on the roasted veggies!
So what did I make? I made Roasted Beets & Cauliflower w/ a Spicy Butternut Squash Cream! And there are 2 ways to serve it!
And it's Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly and Paleo!
Here's what you need: (Serves 1)
1 beet, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1/3 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
3/4 cup butternut squash, steamed
1/2 sweet bell pepper (red or orange), chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
baby spinach, chopped (garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub and dry your beets, and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. On a tin-foil-lined, olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet, place your beet rounds and cauliflower florets in a single layer. Spritz with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, flipping once, halfway through.
Meanwhile, steam your butternut squash, either by using a steamer basket, or microwaving it in a Pyrex measuring cup with 1 inch of water, covered, for about 8 minutes. (I did the later)
While it's cooking, sauté your bell pepper in a large non-stick pan in 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and spices. Let it cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until it begins to soften. When your butternut squash has finished steaming, add it to the skillet with the bell pepper. Let them cook together for about 5 more minutes.
Then, transfer to your food processor, and process until smooth. You'll have to scrape the sides several times. It helps to do this when the veggie mixture is still hot and steaming (be careful!) because the steam helps to create a creamy texture.
When your beets and cauliflower come out of the oven, sprinkle with sea salt.
From here, you have two options: You can plate it as a large dish over the cream sauce, OR, you can create little bite sized Beet Blooms. These would be perfect for an appetizer or tapas!
Take your roasted beets and slice them into match sticks. Place a bed of the butternut squash cream on the plate, and artfully mound the beets and cauliflower on top. Garnish with chopped spinach.
Leave the beets as whole rounds. Top each round with 1-2 Tbsp of the butternut squash cream. Top that with a cauliflower floret and garnish with chopped spinach.
What a delicious meal! This combination of flavors is not one that traditionally goes together. But my goodness, is it ever tasty!
First of all, roasted veggies are SO. GOOD. Especially beets and cauliflower. The beets' inherent sweetness is intensified, and they become chewy and wonderfully caramelized. The cauliflower also becomes caramelized and deliciously golden brown! YUM!
And then the butternut squash cream is terrific. Butternut squash and bell peppers have a lot of natural sweetness to them. So when you add the cumin and chili powder, it complements that sweet note beautifully! It is the perfect accent to the beet's earthy sweetness and the savory cauliflower.
The textures are wonderful too. The beets are chewy, the butternut squash is rich and creamy, and the cauliflower is perfectly crunchy and has a nice bite to it.
Finally, it is a stunning dish. The deep purple of the beets bounce off the plate against the burnt orange butternut cream sauce, white cauliflower and bright green spinach. And the Beet Blooms are so cute! They look like little dainty flowers! A great party food:) (Just watch out for purple fingers! -- a knife & fork food for sure!)
A "ten" if I've ever seen one!
Are you going to any fun concerts this summer?
Until next time!