I’ve had a sweet tooth for as long as I can remember. It became more intense with my first pregnancy and by the time my second son came around, well, I couldn’t walk past a bakery without stopping in and buying something. I have self-restraint in some areas, but this is not one of them.
It’s been 2 ½ years since I gave birth to Theodore and I still have a pretty intense desire for a daily sugar hit…evidenced by the fact that almost everyone who works at a bakery, pastry shop, cupcake store, or donut plant near my home knows me by name. Within a minute of walking through the door I’ll hear “Oh hey, Batya. How was your trip?” or “Did that biscotti come out right?” or “Is Otis feeling better? I hope so…” and knowing that I’ve been looking for a good deal on a mid-century modern piece I’ll get asked, “Did you find that credenza for the dining room?” It’s possible that I’m a little bit too regular, a bit too familiar, at some of the local establishments selling sweets.
That said, I can’t and I won’t give them up. But I am determined to get a bit more balance back into my diet. I cook a lot and there aren't a ton of preservatives in the foods I eat, but I've kind of lost my way a little bit. I feel more lethargic and sluggish than usual. Some of this I attribute to the exhaustion that comes with raising two young boys. Game of Thrones marathons that run well into the night don't help either (I need more sleep!). But I just haven't been eating right and that causes drag too. I know it, I really do. I'm keenly aware that when I eat well I feel better. So I've started picking up juices at a fabulous local place my friend introduced me to (and I joke that I'm "juicing"-- not in the hey-my-neck-is-gonna-disappear-athlete sort of way but in the cold-pressed-raw-vegetable-and-fruit sort of way) and I'm incorporating lots of super foods into my diet.
As I celebrated my 38th year on this Earth, I made myself a promise that I’d add more salads to my repertoire and treat them as meals (which I rarely do) and if I really crave something sweet then I will walk to get it…but maybe only once a week. Two times, tops! For now, let there be salad...
Beet Salad with Miso + Black Sesame (Courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine)
6 small beets (about 1 lb.), preferably golden, scrubbed, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup white miso
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 bunch watercress, trimmed
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds or toasted white sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place 4 beets on a large piece of foil and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and close up foil around beets. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender. Bon Appetit says 30–40 minutes but mine took about 1 hour and 10 minutes (maybe because I used larger beets) until they were tender.
Unwrap beets and let cool slightly. Peel and cut into ½” wedges.
Meanwhile, whisk miso, vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Set dressing aside.
Thinly slice remaining 2 raw beets on a mandoline.
Arrange watercress and roasted and raw beets on a platter and drizzle with reserved dressing; top with sesame seeds.
Do Ahead: Beets can be roasted 2 days ahead. Cover separately and chill.