Saturday, November 12, 2005

Beets Me

Usually on weekends I have a list of dishes I want to cook to get me through the following week, especially to keep me fed for my morning coffee breaks at work and for lunches after my noontime swim.

This weekend, though I had a couple of recipes in mind, I had a pretty lackadaisical attitude about getting anything done. (Call it the lingering effects from not wanting to cook or eat much this past week.)

But in looking over the contents of the refrigerator this morning, I decided to go all out with the veggies for dinner. I had a simple recipe for baked parsnips that I thought I'd try, as well as a recipe for lemon-ginger glazed beets and carrots. Between those two dishes and some steamed kale, I knew I'd be set.

Though I discovered I had no lemons on hand, I quickly adapted the recipe and used balsamic vinegar and vegetable stock as the cooking liquid for the beets and carrots, and the rest of the ingredients, including both fresh and crystallized ginger, gave me no problems at all.

Both the beet-carrot dish and the parsnips required a long time to cook in the oven, but that only gave me the chance to whip up a batch of brownies, too, which then baked while I ate dinner.

And what a dinner! I haven't had such a gorgeous array of colors on my plate since the chard gratin or the vegetable quiche, if then. Brilliant red and deep orange beets and carrots, creamy white parsnips, and bright dark green kale all made a fragrant palette of palate-pleasing flavors.

Maybe this is why I'm getting more laid-back about my cooking...

Even the simplest dishes can be satisfying.

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