Hide the Beet

This is one of my favorite kitchen games as of late! How many different ways can I sneak these tuberous rubies into the food we eat? Most creative wins! This week we’ve had them in apple crisp – that was tasty – and now they are pureed and hanging out in the latest version of Black Bean Chile. All that manganese, folate and fiber are said to fight against colon cancer. Hopefully my game has a payoff.

Chile, or any soup for that matter, is a great hiding place for many veggies, and if you have a kid who likes soup, consider yourself lucky! Just think about all the vegetables that can be hidden when properly pureed or otherwise disguised. Max never guessed that there was a beet in the soup, but the first thing he said was, “It’s so red!”

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You probably won’t be able to replicate this recipe unless your freezer looks like mine: pesto, homemade chile paste and corn, but remember, Chile is a great place for hiding nutrient rich tidbits! Last summer I took three or four huge bags of dried chiles (chipotle, guajillo and de arbol), reconstituted them and made them into a paste which I froze in a cake pan and then cut into squares for individual servings. I didn’t record the recipe and don’t remember how it was done…sorry.

The basics of the Chile recipe are here:

  • 1 large onion, sauted in peanut oil
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound black beans, precooked
  • 4 cups frozen corn
  • 4-6 tomatoes, pureed or diced
  • 1 roasted beet, peeled and pureed
  • 2-4 Tbs. Chile Powder (I used my paste)
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
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