Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

1 Comment

Sunshine on a Plate

As creative types we are usually open to trying new things and taking a risk here and there. And that tendency includes cooking and/or eating new and different foods.

One food that I’ve never been fond of is beets. My only experience with beets was limited to the kind you get in a can; all purpley -red and tasting, well, awful. And the smell…fuhgedahboutit. One tiny bite of that variety as a kid and I swore off beets for the rest of my life. Blech!

Then, a few years ago some friends served beets at a gathering. Yes, these were the red beets that make me flashback to the stuff in a can. However, the difference, the BIG difference, is that these were fresh beets from their garden. And they were prepared with a creamy dressing.

I was pleasantly surprised. Could beets really taste this good? Apparently so, if you use fresh beets.

On our last day in the workshop in France, Dayle bought a fresh beet salad to go with our lunch. This beet salad had vibrant red beets, cut into small cubes, and prepared with a light dressing. Again, I was amazed at how good beets tasted when prepared well. (Of course, just about anything you eat in France tastes good; even the not so great stuff still tastes pretty good.)

When the Boston Globe food section recently featured a recipe for beets, I knew I had to try it.

When I tweeted that I planned to make a new dish for dinner using yellow beets, the comments ranged from a quote from “The Office” suggesting I grow candy (“something that everybody likes”), to a fellow Tweeter sharing how she prepares beets (steamed with a light, oriental style vinaigrette), to another Tweeter referring to yellow beets as “sunshine on a plate.”

Hence the name of this post.

So, if you’re feeling creative and up to trying something new, here is the recipe for “Sunshine on a Plate,” otherwise known as

Beets in Creamy Horseradish Dressing

1 bunch red or yellow or orange beets (about 1 1/2lbs)
1 T prepared white horseradish
1 T mayonnaise
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t white vinegar
salt & pepper

Cut off the leaves, stems and ends of the beets. In a pan, cover the beets with water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer 30-45 minutes or until the beets are tender and easily pierced with a skewer.

While the beets cook, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the beets.

Drain beets in a colander under cold, running water. Let drain. When cool enough so you can handle the beets, remove the skins from the beets. Cut beets into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes and toss in bowl with the horseradish mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Served chilled or at room temperature.

This dish goes well with fish. I served the beets with red snapper and sliced baguette.

Beets in Creamy Horseradish Dressing

Beets in Creamy Horseradish Dressing

And thanks to wvclaylady on Twitter for the inspiration for this post.

1 Comment

20 Minute Meals

Where has this week gone?  When I was little I believed that time went to Australia because it was on the other side of the earth.  Now I believe time just keeps moving on whether I catch up with it or not.

Continuing with the time theme, I want to recommend a great cookbook for those who are also pressed for time (all the time or sometimes), Minute Meals: 20 Minute Gourmet Menus.  Delicious Weekday Dinner Solutions from the Chefs at

I found this cookbook last year at Barnes & Nobles during a time when I was feeling exceedingly frustrated with preparing meals and running a home-based business.  I like to cook but I was finding my expectations of myself and my cooking clashing with making time to cook.  In a nutshell, I began to dread cooking and found the whole ordeal very stressful.

Minute Meals is great because each meal/recipe is a complete presentation, including the main entree, salad or veggie, and dessert.  Lots of shortcuts are suggested such as using pre-cut veggies or fruit from the salad bar, microwaving rice (a real light bulb moment for me) and buying bagged salad greens.

Simple tricks that I just never considered because I believed I had to prepare everything by hand and/or prepare it on the cooktop.

Minute Meals is divided into 6 chapters covering main courses (soups and salads), poultry, meat, fish & shellfish, pasta & grains and healthy menus (which are menus that follow dietary guidelines from the USDA and its food pyramid; the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society).  Not that the other menus are “unhealthy” but those in the last chapter include nutrient analyses for all components of the menu.

So, if you feel pressed for time, if cooking is one more task that adds to your stress level, or if you just don’t like to cook and are looking for quick meals, check out Minute Meals.

You can also check out the menus at