Virtual Vegan Potluck: Beet ‘n’ Bella Carpaccio


Welcome, and thanks for stopping by!

I am so excited to be participating in the VVP today, and am bringing an appetizer to share.  Not just any appetizer, but a beautiful perfect-for-fall Beet ‘n’ Bella Carpaccio!

VVP 005

Beets are the featured ingredient for this installment of the VVP, and since I absolutely love them I decided I’d commit to using them in my appetizer creation.  I’m so glad I did!

This appetizer (it’s sort of a salad too, I suppose) is served cold.  Enjoy the earthy flavors melded with the tanginess of the lemon juice, sweet acidity of the balsamic vinegar, fresh bitter bite of the arugula, and creamy crunch of toasted pinenuts.

Here’s how you make it:

Beet ‘n’ Bella Carpaccio – Vegan and Gluten-free
Serves 3-6 as an appetizer (you’ll want to make a lot more if you’re bringing it to a real potluck!)
Active time: 15 minutes
Inactive time: 20 inactive
Total time: 35 minutes

1 large red beet, peeled and trimmed
1 large portabello mushroom cap
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus (optional) more for drizzling
2 tsp. tamari
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 tsp. lemon zest (about 2 lemons–zest before juicing!)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, chopped
1/2-1 cup baby arugula
1 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Slice the beet and mushroom cap as thinly as possible.  (I do not have a mandoline so I did this by [very carefully] cutting on the bias with a sharp knife.)

Make the marinade by combining the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tamari, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, and rosemary in a small bowl.

Place beet slices in a shallow dish and mushroom slices in another shallow dish.  Divide marinade over both dishes and swirl around a little, making sure the beets and mushrooms are mostly covered.  Let marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

While the beets and mushrooms marinate, wash and dry the arugula, then prepare your plate by adding a thin drizzle of olive oil (I used a garlic-infused variety) and then laying the arugula over it.

When the beets and mushrooms have finished marinating, remove the individual slices, shake off the marinade a little, and then lay them one by one on your serving plate, alternating beets and mushrooms.

Garnish with pine nuts, salt, and pepper.  Serve chilled.

Recipe Note: When prepared according to this recipe, the beets remain pretty crunchy.  If you would like them to be more tender, simply increase their marinating time, which will give the acids in the vinegar and lemon juice a chance to break them down more.  I’d guess you could leave them in the marinade as long as overnight.  I wouldn’t leave the mushrooms in for more than an hour, though.

1) Try subbing orange juice and zest for the lemon.
2) Try grilling the beets and mushrooms before plating.

VVP 001Enjoy!

To see what Radhika is serving over at Tickling Palates, click the icon below:


To go back and see what Ketty at Luminous Vegans has brought, click the icon below:


Or click here to start at the very beginning of the potluck!

Quick, If Not Terribly Creative

It took alot of struggling but I am back to full veganity and it feels amazing!  With my schedule being free-er now that Law Revue is over, I am committing myself to food planning and preparation throughout the week, so that I don’t fall into the same ruts as two years ago.  After all, a vegan diet (like any other kind of eating) is only healthy if you do it right.  Veganism is not outrageously hard to do; it just takes a little more planning and creativity because you can’t just rely on fast food or grab-and-go.

Luckily, since recommitting myself to this lifestyle, I’ve taken an opportunity to really scout the Boston vegan scene through the interwebs, and I have a list of things I’m now dying to try.  Apparently this city is more veg-friendly than I previously realized!  I plan to try some new spots in the next few weeks so check back for pics and reviews!

So, going back to the “veganism requires planning and creativity” thing…sometimes no matter how much you think you’ve planned, you end up just having to roll with it!  For example, when you’re doing dinner at your future in-laws’ house…

H’s mom is awesome about always preparing a separate meal for me when she knows we’re coming for dinner.  But when she doesn’t get alot of notice, it might be necessary to pull out a quick fix.  Enter the following:

Grilled portabellos, roasted potatoes, roasted asparagus. Presto.

I assumed (correctly) that the MIL was going to have vegetable sides so that part was easy, but on the way over, H and I just grabbed some bellos at the store and threw this together. I actually grilled the mushrooms a little longer than I meant to, but they tasted great anyway drizzled with a little balsamic.  I mean, it doesn’t get much simpler than that.  While this meal didn’t exactly require culinary genius, it did the trick and I was satisfied.  Plus, everyone else got to enjoy the vegan parts of the meal as well (clearly I didn’t eat all of those potatoes…though I did do a number on that pile of asparagus.  God, how I love asparagus.)

I have more pictures of recent on-the-go meals to share, and as I mentioned above, I will be doing some Boston restaurant reviews, so check back soon!