Beet It

January 08, 20134 Comments

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
– W.E. Hickson
Odds are that at least a few of you have made resolutions pertaining to food. Maybe you want to eat more vegetables. Or less meat. Or perhaps you’re looking to add some new foods to your repertoire. I’m a big fan of a new year and the chance it brings for a clean slate. Who doesn’t like a fresh start?

The truth is that I like to eat a rotation of the same things again and again. I love a good panko-breaded chicken, like this one or this one. I also love a hearty vegetarian pasta dish (like this one or this one) during these cold, dark months. And of course, I’m a fool for soups of all kinds. My favorites for winter are this roasted tomato number and this chunky chicken minestrone. Though I didn’t make any food resolutions this year, the time is right to try some new recipes.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’m not a fan of beets. See what I mean here. Go ahead. Try to find beets in any one of the 432 recipes on this site. There isn’t one. Actually, there is one juice recipe from the Guest Kitchen featuring Derek Brown. In fact, maybe Derek should get a little credit here because his terrific little juice cocktail may have been my tipping point. I’ve at last warmed up to beets.

It started out as a minor ingredient in my fresh pressed juice, the dirt earthy taste intentionally cloaked by a load of carrot and apple. Over time, I added a little more beet to the mix. Then there was Derek’s juice. Not bad, I thought. I even ordered a beet salad recently at a restaurant, much to Andy’s surprise (he’s still a hater though I sense he might be slowly warming up as well). I’ve been converted! This means there is one fewer food on my short list of deal-breakers, which still includes blue cheese and oysters (though I did have a raw oyster I liked recently).

But it also means something else – if you have kids, listen up here – the human palate is adaptable. Even the stubborn adult palate. Through repeated exposure, I was able to train my tastebuds to tolerate a strong flavor which formerly made my toes curl. This is a method I use with my kids all the time. How else do you think I got my 4-year-old to beg for kale chips? Try and try again. And then again and again. New year, new foods, new recipes (like the gorgeous beet soup pictured here!). A fresh start never tasted so good.

What are your deal-breaker foods?

4 responses to “Beet It”

  1. Nikki S. says:

    Beans of all kinds used to be a deal breaker for me, and just over the last few years I started to like them. It was a texture thing. In this case, my kids taught me to like them.

    • Alicia says:

      I love that the kids taught YOU to like them! That’s fantastic. You’d never believe it now considering that I put them in just about everything, but I only warmed up to chickpeas a couple years ago. First it was hummus…then I could tolerate the whole bean in a non-mushed form.

  2. Lynda says:

    I am so with you on beets. I used to hate them, and now, dare I say, love them. It took a lot of will to make this happen, but I was seduced by their glorious colors and nutrients. I find the golden beets the best – not so, er, earthy with a nuttier flavor. Happy New Year, Alicia!

    • Alicia says:

      And the golden beets don’t stain your hands and cutting board like the red ones do! I’m experimenting with those, too. Happy new year to you, Lynda!

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