Friday, February 25, 2011

Pickled Beets

Pickled beets are a wonderful complement to entrees, as a side dish for lunch, or as an addition to salads.  This version of pickled beets consists of two recipes--the first to enhance the flavor of the beets, the second to pickle.  It is meant to be used fairly quickly rather than preserved for several months.

 Lemon Garlic Roasted Beets


1 lb beets, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons  lemon juice
1 pinch each, salt & pepper
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In an 8" square glass baking dish, toss all ingredients together.
  • Rub a piece of parchment paper with olive oil and set oiled side down on the beets
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 40 minutes, shaking pan occasionally.
Pickled Beets                                                                                


Pickled Beets (recipe above)
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup tarragon wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

  • Arrange beets in desired jars--small mason jars work well--alternating layers with the onion.
  • In a small pot boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets. Tightly lid the jars and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 7 days before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Bingham

Friday, February 18, 2011

Teriyaki Beets

Photo source

A Food Bank favorite, this recipe has been demonstrated and enjoyed at our Moveable Market food distributions.  Serve with rice or Asian noodles and fish or tofu.

Cleo, Food Bank volunteer


12 small beets (or one bunch full sized, beets quartered)
4 tablespoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Minced garlic to taste

  • Boil or steam beets until almost tender (10-15 minutes).  Rinse in cold water and cut in half.
  • In a sauce pan combine the butter or oil, honey, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce.  Heat gently, stirring until sauce is smooth.
  • Place foil on a cookie sheet.  Place the beets on the cookie sheet.
  • Preheat the oven to broil.
  • Brush sauce on the beets and heat under broiler 5-10 minutes, basting frequently.
Serves 4 to 6.
Recipe source:  Fresh from the Farm and Garden by the Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chocolate Beet Cake

Photo source

1 C. margarine or butter, softened, divided
1 1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs at room temp
2-3 oz. dark chocolate
5 medium beets (2 C. pureed)
1 t. vanilla extract
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

To make beet puree, trim stems and roots off beets and quarter them.  Place in heavy sauce pan filled with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 50 mins or until the beets are tender.  Drain off remaining liquid and rinse beets in cold water as they’ll be too hot to handle otherwise.  Slide skins off and place beets in blender.  Process until a smooth puree forms.  Let cool slightly before using in cake.  I like to make the puree ahead and store it in the fridge, sometimes up to several days in advance.

In a mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup margarine and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Melt chocolate with remaining butter in the microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring each time until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla into the creamed mixture.  The batter will appear separated so don’t fret.

Combine flour, baking soda , salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. spring form pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 60-70 minutes  or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe source:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February's Volunteer of the Month: John Schneider

Take a walk back to the warehouse on Tuesdays and Fridays, and you’ll likely see the smiling face of this month’s featured volunteer, John Schneider. Since the fall of 2009, John has brought a ton of energy, knowledge, and a positive attitude to his volunteer position at the Food Bank of Yolo County.

John first became a volunteer with us after he picked up food from the Food Bank with a partner agency. He met our Volunteer Coordinator and has been with us ever since. When asked what his favorite part of volunteering with the Food Bank is, John told us he enjoys the opportunity to network with others, the friendly atmosphere, working with a diverse group of people, and being appreciated for his time. Thanks to John’s bicycle repair skills, our Moveable Market program has been able to give away numerous bikes at sites throughout Yolo County.

Volunteering means a lot to John. Some of his desire to help others comes from his time serving in the Army as a medic, and also from his time studying Buddhism, as he believes we are all interconnected. John has previously volunteered with organizations like Meals on Wheels and CASA.

A retired resident of Woodland, John spent much of his career with various school districts as an elementary school teacher and administrator. Originally from Los Angeles, he has also lived in Ohio, Colorado, and Washington before returning to California. Married with three daughters and four grandchildren, John enjoys painting and gardening whenever he can find the time.

Thank you John for all of your hard work!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Unfried Crispy Baked Beet Chips (Low Fat)

Photo source

It's February with hints of Spring in the air.  Beets are the Veggie of the Month and our first recipe is for an unusual snack.  This is a lower calorie and a much healthier alternative to potato chips or other veggie chips that have been fried.  Pack them in a lunch bag, serve at a party or just nibble away and feel good about eating them..

Cleo, Food Bank volunteer


  • 4 beets, large, scrubbed clean
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt, to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.  Using the slicing blade of your food processor, a mandoline* or a sharp knife, slice beets thinly.  You want them to be the size of a potato chip.

3.  Spread evenly on a cookie sheet, spray with nonstick spray and season with salt.

4.  Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning halfway through, until crisp.  Check often to make sure they don't burn.  You may need to roast for a shorter or longer period of time depending on your oven and how crisp you want them - so keep an eye on them. :)

5.  Serve as is, or with sour cream or another favorite dip.

Servings per recipe:  4
Recipe source

*A mandoline is a flat slicing device especially suitable for very thin slicing.