I am not really that big into Valentine's Day celebrations.  I have had my fare share of good Valentine's Days and bad ones too!  I contemplated coming up with some chocolatey sweet dish, but my husband gave me a little hint (I really hate surprises) that he was going to get me some chocolate.  That covered it for dessert so the only thing left to do was prepare a dinner.  Over the last month I have been working hard to develop the ingredients in this dish.  The reason why I've decided to post this just in time for Valentine's Day, is because making this meal was truly a Labor of Love.  

    I am not a vegan, but I do enjoy eating and making vegan dishes.  After seeing an article in VegNews Magazine for vegan cheese, I knew I had to make some.  One of the ingredients that is needed in most vegan cheese is Rejuvelac, which is a drink made from sprouted grains.  Rejuvelac takes a few days to make, and preparing and aging the cheese takes a few more (about 8-10 days in total).  Was it worth it? I would say it is definitely worth it if you live a vegan, diary-free, or RAW lifestyle.  The reason I decided to go with Aged Chèvre was because I love the combination of goat cheese and beets.

    *If you are not a vegan or you don't want to spend a week or two preparing nut cheese you could always make substitutions.  Swap out the cheese and make roasted lamb, wild caught salmon, or dare I say filet mignon (which is what I would put with it, if we were being "grass-fed and pasture raised" carnivores that day). You could even just use regular goat cheese if you want, but whatever you serve make sure to add some horseradish to it because it goes great with the beets.   

Roasted Beets, Vegan Chèvre and Sautéed Beet Greens

serves 2

2 bunches of organic beets with tops (about 6-8 small beets)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
grey sea salt (Sel Gris)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Aged Chèvre with horseradish (For the recipe - Click Here)
Micro-greens for garnish

Roasting Beets
Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Scrub the beets until all the dirt is removed.  Cut the tops off, leaving about 1-2 inches of the stem attached.  Lay down a layer of aluminum foil and lay down a layer of parchment paper on top.  Place the beets in the center of the parchment lined aluminum foil, drizzle them with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle them with sea salt to taste.  Close up the beets, bundling them with the parchment lined aluminum foil.  Place the package in a roasting pan to collect any drippings and place it in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until tender.  To serve the beets, peel them (or if they are organic, I just leave the skins on) and cut them in half or keep them whole.  You can drizzle a little extra extra virgin olive oil and salt on top if you prefer.

Sautéed Beet Greens:  About 10-15 minutes before the roasted beets will be done, start to prepare the greens.  Start a large pot of water on the stove top and bring to a boil.  Thoroughly rinse the beet greens under running water to remove any dirt or sand attached to the leaves.  Cut off the stems and discard them.  Prepare a bowl full of ice water and place it on the counter top close to your stove.  Once the water on the stove is boiling, place the beet greens in the water and blanch for 2 minutes.  Take them out of the boiling water and transfer them right away to the ice water bath.  After they have cooled drain them and squeeze all the water out of them.  Roughly chop them.  Heat 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet and add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add the chopped beet greens and saute for a few minutes and toss them around to coat.  Season them with salt and pepper and then serve warm. 

Serve your sauteed beet greens and roasted beets alongside slices of Aged Chèvre with horseradish and garnish with micro greens to make it look all fancy! 



02/15/2013 3:33pm

Wow! Incredibly creative recipe--I am so intrigued by the vegan goat cheese round. I must say, I'm a lover of real cheese, but I kinda wish I could try this right now. Your photographs are great!

And I totally agree on the whole Valentine's Day sentiment ;)

02/17/2013 2:29pm

Thanks for taking a look Laura! I must say that I love real cheese much better, but learning to make vegan cheese has been lots of fun.

Kate Russell
02/24/2013 1:30am

Beets roasting as we speak. Do let us know when the vegan aged Chevre with horseradish recipe is posted. Sounds divine and my vegan partner is all jazzed about making our own cheese!

02/24/2013 12:48pm

Hi Kate, I am almost ready to post it. Probably later on today!!!

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