Blood Red Beets with Pine Nut Vegan “Goat” Cheese

I had SUCH a wonderful time this morning at the Native Foods “Lady in Red Makes Red Food” Cooking Demo in Southern California!

Native Foods is one of my very favorite vegan restaurants and it was a real treat to watch how they make their scrumptious food! We learned how to create (and ate!) several delicious vegan items, and here’s the first one!

Blood Red Beets with Pine Nut Vegan “Goat” Cheese

Vegan “Goat” Cheese

1-1/2 cups Raw Pine Nuts
1/2 cup Water
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, zested, peeled, deseeded & quartered
1 Medium Shallot
1 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast

Beets:

1 lb. Medium fresh beets (red, golden or striped)
4 tsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
3 sprigs Fresh Thyme

1. Soak pine nuts for 1 hour.

2. Drain pine nuts from the water and place them in a food processor with extra virgin olive oil, lemon quarters, lemon zest, and shallot. Crumble for 7-8 minutes until all ingredients are well combined and clumped together.

3. Transfer mixture into a blender.

4. Add nutritional yeast to mixture in blender and blend on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and smooth.

5. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

6. Form into a block or loaf and refrigerate until really cold.

7. Wash the outside of each beet. Place them in a bowl and toss with oil and salt.

8. Arrange each beet individually onto a piece of foil and top with thyme. Fold foil around beet and seal tightly. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until beets are tender. Baking times will vary for different sized beets. Always check the inside of each one. If you poke the beet with a fork or toothpick, it should slide right off. If not, it’s not done.

9. When beets are cool enough to handle. peel off the outer skin. Dice the beets into 1/2 inch cubes and top with “goat” cheese crumbles. (in the sample, she also topped it with sprouts – which is hiding the vegan goat cheese… sorry!)

If you don’t have access to pine nuts (or think they’re too pricey), Chef Kendall said you could also use sunflower seeds instead if you’d like. Also, even if you don’t have time to make this dish, how awesome is this type of beet?! They’re striped! I also never thought to bake a beet! That keeps all of the nutrients in the beet instead of escaping into the water when they’re boiled. Cool!

What a pretty, healthy, VEGAN beet & faux “cheese” salad! I love it! Next UP, a crazy good vegan crumble, a very yummy bruschetta & sweet sparkling sangria! (what was that about vegans not having anything to eat?! ha!)