Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Stacks

Not very many people like beets. They definitely are an acquired taste, a taste I strongly suggest you try.  The first or second time may still gross you out, but I am telling you, try them prepared homemade or professionally (NOT FROM THE CAN) and you will be pleasantly surprised.  They are sweet, yet Earthy and rich in various nutrients.

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Last year, I was out to dinner in Chicago celebrating my sister’s Master’s graduation.  We were at a restaurant known for their chicken and waffles, which were amazing.  Our table tried the beet appetizer on the menu, most guests at the table skeptical and uninterested.  However, the stacks of deep purple goodness were welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed.  Ever since we had this recipe I have wanted to create some type of beet stack similar to this one.  Unfortunately, Bryan is not a fan and so I never buy any while at the store.

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Fortunately, Bryan’s mom planted beets in her garden this year so I received my first batch of beets last week.  You can’t get much more organic than produce from your own backyard.  I can’t wait to have a large yard one day so I can have my own garden!  So when Bryan came home with the bag of beets I knew I wanted to create a stack like the one in the restaurant.  I wanted it to be a simple bite that I could enjoy before our dinner  (Grilled Chinese BBQ Pork Tenderloin) and not be full.

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I had some delicious, creamy goat cheese in the fridge that I sliced into small medallions as the 2nd star in my stack.  A simple sprinkle of parsley from my balcony garden and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar completed my creation.  These are very easy (although a bit messy, they stain your hands pink) to prepare and very beautiful.  Prepare these stacks and encourage your guests to try them.  So don’t be shy and quickly move on to your next blog, give the beet a try!

roasted beet & goat cheese stacks

Recipe by: Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 1 hour   |||   Servings: 4  |||   Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
~8 beets (2 per person, depending on size)
~4 oz goat cheese
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Remove the stems and greens from the beets.
3.  Place the beets on some tin foil, leaving enough room to wrap up into a pouch.  Add the garlic cloves to the beets and drizzle with olive oil.
4.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and close up the foil pouches.  Place in oven directly on the rack.
5.  Once fork tender (about an hour) remove and use a paring knife to remove the peel.
6.  Cut the beets horizontally and stack them back up alternating with the goat cheese.
7.  Sprinkle with the parsley and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.
8.  Serve warm or chilled.

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Tomato & Goat Cheese Endive Cups

{healthy & vibrant snack}

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As you know, I am a big snack & appetizer fan.  Sometimes I get really sad when out to dinner if I accidentally max out on the appetizers.  No room for dinner!  However, it is really hard to pass up appetizers so I try to opt for healthy, less filling ones.

When we go out Bryan and I are always suckers for mussels or seared Ahi tuna bites.  If I am not having seafood for dinner, these are my go-to appetizers.  I am never left full and ready for dessert.  Veggie appetizers are few and far between so I have been experimenting with some ideas.

I have been compiling a list of some apps that I would like to serve when I host a Sip Happens party.  I am all about balance… a protein app, a sweet app, sweet & savory combo app, veggie app etc.  Since I am on a healthy and clean eating kick, using the endive leaves as scoops instead of crackers makes for a low carb, practically calorie free alternative.

This appetizer is a beautiful one to present with its vibrant colors.  The mixture can easily be adapted to your likes as well.  I love tomatoes anytime of the year so that was the main veg here.  I paired it with creamy goat cheese and thyme.  As summertime approaches, I will definitely be making this again as a caprese version!

tomato & goat cheese endive cups

Recipe by: Doughie
Hands on time:  15 minutes   ///  Servings:  about 18

Ingredients
3 endive bunches
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup of goat cheese crumbles
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp Agave nectar (or honey)
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

Directions
1.  In a bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, thyme and spices.
2.  Drizzle over the tomatoes.  Refrigerate until serving.
3.  Gently, remove each endive leave for the core.
4.  Add the goat cheese to the tomato mixture.
5.  Spoon a bit into each endive cup.
6.  Serve immediately.

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