Sides & Appetizers

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese

Posted on Oct 2, 2013 in Brunch, Healthy Eats, Ingredient Knowledge, Sides & Appetizers | 0 comments

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese

How to Roast Beets

You can’t beat beets! According to Men’s Health beets are amongst the top 10 best foods you can eat.  Besides all the wonderful vitamins and minerals it provides and its amazing ability to tie die your favorite tee, yes I use to tie die….don’t judge, it is also delicious to eat! For the longest time, beets most definitely scared me.  Besides buying them canned and putting them in my juicer, I had no idea what to do with them.  Especially whole and raw.  Eeek! So I decided to face my fears and realized that beets aren’t so scary after all. In fact, they are incredibly easy.Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Beets are the most flavorful during the spring and fall.  When you are picking it out look for small to medium firm beets that are smooth without soft spots. When you buy them whole, they have long leafy stems that are also edible and kind of taste like spinach.  You can sauté them up or use them in soups, but if don’t want them at all you can trim the beets a couple inches off the stem for easier storage.

The best way I found to roast them is with absolutely nothing….that’s right you heard me NOTHING! Just pop them in a 375 degree oven for about an hour skin on.  Do trim off the stem however about an inch away from the root.  You may want to line your pan with some foil as the liquids will start to ooze as it roasts just for easier clean up.

Fried Goat Cheese & Beat Salad

After all the beets have cooled, simply peel off the skin which will be very easy and loose.  And the beets are ready to be used.  Just a little tip since the beets do stain.  Use gloves during this process. See easy peasy! Why would anyone be scared of a beet?

I’ve always been a fan of beets and goat cheese.  The smooth sweetness of the beet is fabulous with the tangy creaminess of the goat cheese and frying them with a coat of panko gives it a really nice crunch. I also added Hazelnuts and a Balsamic reduction to this recipe which just pulled it all together. If you haven’t had beets & goat cheese together before.  You must try it!

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese


  • 4 Medium Roasted Beets (see instructions above)
  • 16oz Goat Cheese (1 Log)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 3 teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • Salt & pepper


  • Chopped Hazelnuts
  • Balsamic Reduction


You can either buy the balsamic reduction or make it yourself.  To make the balsamic reduction, heat balsamic vinegar in a saucepan at a simmer for about 30-40 minutes until it become thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Voila balsamic reduction!


Step 1
Freeze the goat cheese log for about 15 minutes prior to slicing. To easily slice goat cheese, use a serrated knife and make it sure it is clean after each slice. Or you can always use non flavored dental floss as well. Slice the goat cheese into 8 slices. Place them on a plate and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Step 2
In a medium bowl good for dredging, beat the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the panko, garlic salt, thyme, dried parsley, salt & pepper. Heat a pan over medium heat with oil & butter. Dredge each goat cheese slice in the egg and then coat both sides with the panko mixture.
Step 3
Fry each on each side each goat cheese slice just until it turns golden brown. You do not want the goat cheese to get runny and melty.
Step 4
Peel the roasted beets and slice into rounds, about 1/2" thick. Arrange alternating rounds of fried goat cheese & rounds of beets. Top with chopped hazelnuts & drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.


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How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Baking Tips, Breads, Sides & Appetizers | 0 comments

How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

 So what’s the secret to making the most delicious chewy Homemade Soft Pretzels? Dipping them in a boiling water & baking soda solution before baking them.  This little extra step is what gives yummy soft pretzels their signature crusty pretzel flavor, color and texture.  Some people skip this step when making pretzels at home.  But DON’T! It’s totally worth the extra 15 minutes to get your pretzels brown & crusty.  Traditionally pretzels are dipped in lye and there is food grade lye but it can be hard to find and you might need safety goggles & rubber gloves, which just seems to weird to me since I will be eating it, so instead I always opt for a baking soda solution which produces nearly the same results.

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Zucchini Cakes

Posted on Sep 25, 2013 in Healthy Eats, Ingredient Knowledge, Sides & Appetizers | 0 comments

Zucchini Cakes

 I don’t know if there is another vegetable or fruit for that matter that can be used in as many savory dishes as it can in dessert dishes, then the Zucchini.  The carrot may be a close competitor but then its sweet flavor always shines through and even the zucchini’s second cousin, the squash can’t compete.

The Zucchini is definitely something we probably all grew up eating.  Whether it be fried, steamed, spiraled in a salad, baked in a lasagna, stewed, sautéed, grilled, roasted or baked into a bread, we’ve all had zucchini and we love it!

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