Meat Free Monday

Image by Sarah Shatz

I have another great recipe for you this Monday – warm orzo salad with beets. Doesn’t it sound like a great combination and what a fantastic colour.

Recent claims that beetroot has specific anti-carcinogens which help fight against cancer is a good reason to try out this sweet earthy vegetable.  Cancer fighting or not, what is proven is that beetroot is of great nutritional value in our diets. The green leafy part of the beetroot contains beta-carotene and other carotenoids,which function as antioxidants. This part of the beet also contains lots of folate, iron, potassium and some vitamin C. Try eating the leaves and stalk boiled or steam and accompany with other more flavoursome vegies like onions and garlic. Or chop finely and add to quiches, salads or stir fries.

Warm Orzo Salad with Beets


  • 3/4 pounds beets, with greens attached
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

  1. Heat the pine nuts in a dry skillet, over medium heat, until they begin to brown. Watch them carefully, as they will burn in a flash. Remove from the heat & transfer to a bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Peel the beets & chop them into bite-sized pieces. Remove the stems from the beet greens & slice the leaves into strips. Wash the greens thoroughly to remove any grit.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced red onion & garlic. Cook until the onions are tender & golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low & add the beet greens. Cover & cook, tossing occasionally, until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the beets in a pot of salted water, until just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the beets from the pot using a slotted spoon & set aside. Return the water to a boil & add the pasta. Cook, according to the package instructions, until al dente & drain. Add the orzo to a bowl, along with the beets, pine nuts, beet greens & crumbled feta. Toss, season with salt & pepper to taste & serve.

Recipe Source: Huffington Post