Fresh Ricotta, Beets & ‘Leftovers’

beet paintingBeet Pasta with Ricotta 

I love to cook, and am always interested in trying new recipes.  After testing out one for Classic Meatballs, I found myself wondering what to make with the unused fresh ricotta?  While leafing through this month’s Whole Living Magazine I came across a recipe for ‘Beet Pasta with Ricotta’. It seemed serendipitous to find it so soon after having the thought. I like beets, the recipe looked easy enough and I’ve always had great results cooking anything from Whole Living or Martha Stewart’s magazines. Perhaps this would be something to try?

The next day, while catching up on some professional newsletters I came across an article detailing that new scientific research on beets includes them as one of the overlooked new ‘super foods’, and a must have in our diets. As a longtime fan of the little beet anyway, I didn’t need prompting to choose it, and I was curious.

The article went on to describe the numerous health benefits of this beautiful root veggie and how advantageous it’s properties are to our longevity, physical and mental health.  Studies show that beets are high in phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory & detoxification properties, it can help control hypertension & heart attack risks, and includes two forms of beta carotene beneficial for eye health. Other studies support that beets can curb tumor growth in humans making it a powerful anti-cancer agent.  Wow!  And that was just the beginning…  As brain health is an area I am fascinated by, my interest continued to be peaked as additional information on the beet’s ability to boost serotonin levels, improve cognition and prevent & control dementia were added to the list of ‘good things’ about the beet.  Neat.  Anything I can do to keep my frontal lobe healthy & serotonin levels high sounds terrific. Finally, beet leaves have more iron than spinach. Ok, I was sold. Move over Popeye & honestly, move over creamy delicious fresh ricotta.  Let’s get some beets!

The recipe was super simple to make, and truly yummy.  I never would have thought this one up on my own.  I ended up with enough extra beet mixture to share it as a side salad to brunch with eggs, New Mexico green chili’s and Ezekiel toast.  Equally delicious!

I consider it a tremendous gift to live in a place where I have access to such a wide variety of healthy foods and do my best not to waste.  This often challenges me to be creative, and to stay committed to eating the foods I buy vs. heading for takeout when days are busy.  What are your thoughts on the beet?  Do you have any favorite ‘leftover’ tips?


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