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SOS Kitchen Challenge: BEETS–The Roundup!

It’s time for the very first SOS (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge Roundup! 

When Kim and I first introduced the first SOS Kitchen Challenge last month, we decided to choose an ingredient that we both liked and that would suit both our specialized diets.  But we had no idea so many of you also adored the ruby root as much as we do! 

We were also blown away by the immense originality, innovation and culinary creativity in so many of the recipes we received.  And so many beet based dessert recipes–you folks sure know the way to this girl’s heart.  😉

Thanks to everyone who participated in this, our first, event.  We’re looking forward to many more great roundups of your recipes!

And so, let’s get right to it.  Feast your eyes on these amazing beet-based dishes: 

The Sweet:

Chaya from The Comfy Cook (New York) has created a stunning sweet Beet Nut Bread with grated beets that look like little ruby gems in each slice.  The bread is gluten free and easily made vegan.

Claire from Bok Choy Bohemia created an innovative, colorful Golden Beet Dessert Lasagna.  The briliant gold, red and yellow of this dish really do evoke thoughts of summer sunshine and sunsets. Claire’s naturally-sweetened dessert is also gluten free, vegan, and sugar free. 

Another sweet invention comes from Alchemille of Alchemille’s Secret Garden (California).  She created a Super Natural Beet and Lavender Sorbet, which she then froze into popsicles for a sweet beety treat! These are grain free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, and sugar free. 

Shayne of Eat a Vegan (Illinois) offers us another incredibly inventive sweet treat using our favorite root: Beet Snowballs! These yummy bites are a coconut-covered orbs filled with nutritional goodness and the flavor of a sweet.  What could be better? Vegan, sugar free and gluten free.


Here’s an inventive Peanutty-Beet Soufflé from Gaby of La Reina Batata (Houston). Gaby combined a classic nut butter and the brilliance of beets for one yummy dessert (even if it isn’t bright purple, as she hoped).

Aubree Cherie of Living Free (Kennet Square, PA) contributed a visually stunning, sweet  raw beet slaw. A newbie to beets, Aubree declares her love of the raw veg–and created this masterpiece. This sweet slaw is gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and sugar free.

My co-host Kim’s take on a sweet beet recipe are these amazing Dairy Free Beet and Cherry Creamsicles.  The color is stunning and they sound like just the thing for the warm weather that’s around the corner! They’re gluten free, vegan, and ACD-friendly.

My own sweet contribution is my Brilliantly Beet Smoothie, a quick and easy breakfast (or any time) magenta beverage that’s refreshingly delicious. Vegan, nut free, gluten free and ACD-friendly.

And the Savory:

Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe (Melbourne) was our first entrant for this challenge with Beetroot, Greens and Chickpea Curry.  This mild curry sounds like a perfect dinner with chickpeas, beet greens, coconut milk and tomatoes plus some aromatic spices. As Johanna says, this savory curry is also “effortlessly vegan and gluten free,” and goes well with brown rice.  

Scrumptious from In My Box (California) submitted this Russian Beet Salad, or Vinegret, based on a salad she used to eat as a student in Russia. The addition of potato and peas (plus another secret ingredient) makes this particularly intriguing. The sweet-savory recipe is gluten-free, nut-free and vegan.

Aubree also cooked up a batch of yummy Burgers that Can’t Be Beet, an adaptation of the beet burgers that kicked off this event.  Aubree’s use amaranth, rice flakes and a bunch of interesting seasonings to make the burgers her own. They’re gluten free, vegan, dairy free and sugar free. 

Hannah from Bittersweet offered up this amazing Golden Carrot Soup. Doesn’t it look incredibly rich and creamy, even without added cream? Hannah’s soup is sweet enough to suggest dessert–but would be a great savory addition to your meal. The soup is gluten free, vegan and sugar free.

Alisa from One Frugal Foodie cooked up a clever Pepperoni Beet Rice and Greens.  Alisa thinks the beet greens in this dish confer a mild flavor, like spinach.  And the beet “pepperoni” smells just like the real thing as it cooks!  Her savory dish is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and low sugar.

These Tarragon Pickled Beets from Mom of Gluten-Free Edge are both sweet and savory.  Based on a Harvard-style recipe, the beets would make a great accompaniment to just about anything. This sweet and savory dish is gluten free, nut free, soy free and sugar free.

Chaya (New York) from My Sweet or Savory (gotta love that blog name!) contributed a second recipe in this dish of Orange Beets with Almonds, which can be either sweet or savory, depending on seasonings.  And this is perfect for those quick dinners at home–a single-serving recipe! It’as also gluten free and sugar free, easily vegan (use vegan butter).

Ellen from I Am Gluten Free sent in this wonderful savory Curried Beet Salad, a medley of contrasting flavors, textures and colors that sounds divine.  It’s gluten free, sugar free and dairy free and vegan.


Lindsay from Kitchen Operas (Toronto) welcomes spring with this vibrant Magenta Beet and Lentil Salad inspired by a recipe from Mark Bittman. Thes salad is very versatile and allows for many variations.  It’s also gluten free, nut free, and vegan.

Rachel from My Munchable Musings (Sammamish, WA) brings us not one, but two incredible beet dishes, both with roasted beets:  the first is a savory Beets with Pistachio Butter (does that not sound divine?) that’s gluten free, vegan, and sugar free:


She also served up this magical savory Beet Salad with Chivey Dressing that’s vegan, gluten free, sugar free and nut free:

Alexa from Lexie’s Kitchen (Cheyenne) mixed this Roasted Pignoli Beet Salad for garlic lovers. . . not to mention pine nut lovers!  The color is stunning as well. It’s also corn free, gluten free, nut free and easily ACD-adaptable.


Lisa, the voice behind the blog Vegan Cookbook Critic (Toronto), submitted this Beautiful Borscht Salad, a wonderful melding of Russian borscht and Lisa’s raw foods diet. And it truly is beautiful: just look at the color palette on this salad! It’s also vegan, gluten free, raw and sugar free. 


Kim went for a Caramelized Onion, Beet and Rhubarb Compote that’s both a little savory and a little sweet.  Try this over waffles, as Kim did, or instead of chutney with an Indian meal–yum! It’s gluten free, nut free, vegan, with an ACD-friendly variation.

My own savory contribution was the Beet Burger recipe I used to kick off the challenge.  These burgers are easy to make and really tasty on their own or with all the fixins. They’re also gluten free, vegan, and ACD-friendly.

Even Kim’s Dad got in on the fun, with this recipe for Beet Burgers adapted from Greg Stagbouer! These are gluten free and vegan, with Dad’s own “secret” ingredient–his own seasoning mix! 

(Adaption of a recipe from Greg Stagbouer, “Beet This Burger”)




1   tablespoon finely grated raw beet

½  cup cooked oats (quick or regular rolled oats)

1   cup uncooked oats (quick or regular rolled oats)

½  cup walnuts, coarsely ground

¼  cup almonds, coarsely ground

2   tablespoons chopped pumpkin seeds

1   tablespoon Vegix seasoning or instant vegetable bouillon

¼  cup minced carrot shreds

¼  cup minced celery

¼  cup minced onion 

1   teaspoon dried basil

½  teaspoon Dad’s Seasoning Original Blend

¼  teaspoon dried thyme

¼  teaspoon dried rubbed sage

¼  teaspoon dried minced garlic

¼  teaspoon mustard powder 

2   tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free)

1   tablespoon water



Mix all dry ingredients well in one bowl, then add all vegetables, cooked oatmeal, and liquids.


Blend well until it has the look and consistency of ground beef.  Form into patties and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the burgers to firm up.


Cook carefully on a grill or saute in a pan with some olive oil until crispy brown and heated through.


Serve on whole wheat buns (or gluten-free buns) with your choice of condiments and toppings.  Makes 6-8 burgers depending on size.


* * * * * * * * * *


Thanks, everyone, for contributing such an impressive array of recipes and making this inaugural SOS Challenge such a success! Stay tuned for the announcement of next month’s ingredient at the beginning of May. 🙂


22 comments to SOS Kitchen Challenge: BEETS–The Roundup!

  • What a fantastic roundup! Everyone’s dishes look amazing!! Thanks for the terrific and enthusiastic commentary, as well.

    I’ve gone crazy with bookmarking here. I think I’ve bookmarked every single recipe in the roundup, which is a first for me – it’s a special day when I get to read 25 tantalizing new beet recipes and it turns out I can actually eat all of them!


  • I’ve been looking forward to this round up and it was every bit as well written and full of amazing recipe ideas as I expected – which is excellent given that this challenge was the inspiration for me serving beetroot to sylvia for the first time and discovering that she loved it – and that I could enjoy beet greens (cooked with them tonight!)


  • Who knew that beets could be so adaptable to different types of food. I think, if we can transform beets like this, other veggies would go even further.

    My bread was fun to make and I was excited as I saw the bright red batter turn to a “normal” color. How did it do that?


  • So many awesome new ways to use beets! I can’t wait to go through this list and visit each blog. 🙂 Thanks so much for putting this together, Kim and Ricki! What a wonderful idea! 🙂


  • Well, this is certainly timely. As a recent (three days ago) beet convert, I’ll have to take note of there lovely-sounding recipes.

    And yes, it’s taken me about 30 years to shake off my horrifying childhood memories of canned “pickled” beets turning everything on my plate into a pink, soggy mess. *shudder*


  • This looks wonderful Ricki! I love your round up! It is fun to read your comments about the recipes, it is like seeing them new all over again! I like your format too – I”ll have to copy it for next time 🙂 I can’t wait for the May challenge! xoxo Kim | http://www.affairsofliving.com


  • Wow, what a round-up! I have a bunch of beets in the fridge and am looking through several of the recipes now.


  • Such creative recipes! Good job everyone! I am embarassed to admit that I forgot to enter the challenge this month. Oh well, there’s always next month!


  • What a great round-up. It passed me by completely. I must get back to blogworld more often 🙂


  • Wow, what an impressive array! I’ve never done much with beets other than put them in salads, but now I’ve got so many fun ideas to try!


  • ‘Blown away’ hardly covers it for this amazing collection of fresh new recipes! Farmer’s markets everywhere are going to be puzzled by the sudden demand for beets. I have so many earmarked to try that this will be the ‘summer of beets’ here at my house. Isn’t it wonderful that a challenge like this can pull in so many brand new ideas? Great going Ricki and Kim – your SOS Challenge is going to be a fun ride!


  • That’s a lot of beets. Love ’em and those recipes, too. I think your smoothie is my fave 🙂


  • How I missed this whole thing, I do not know. But pretend that I could still enter. I would submit my beet chocolate tart in a flourless cookie crust: http://meghantelpnerblog.com/2009/04/09/sweet-beet-chocolate-tart/


  • Well, Ricki, you know how I feel about beets, but I can see there are lots of possibilities here to change my attitude. Kudos to all the amazing cooks who shared such a variety of recipes!


  • wow, so many great recipes! definitely adding them to my to-try list 🙂 my first instinct is always to pair with goat cheese… i should try to break that habit!


  • Maggie

    I made your beet burgers yesterday, Ricki. I have been trying different vegie burger recipes for years (many of which were extremely labor intensive), and not one of them was a keeper. Now I finally have a keeper! Your burgers are absolutely delicious and easy to make. Thank you so much!


  • Oh my goodness. There’s so many beet recipes here I don’t know where to start!! Everything looks so good.


  • Oh Ricki, thank you so much for adding my post to the round up! I’m so sorry I haven’t yet added the event button to the post, I’ve been so scattered lately… I’ll do my best to amend it asap!


  • Vicki G

    Thank You Thank You Thank you..you have made being on the candida diet bearable…you gave me so many awesome recipe ideas that I can’t wait to try. Thanks again…your so cool and creative


  • Wow, this is too fantastic! I am loving these beet recipes, and can’t wait to try them all out. My list of recipes to cook is ever growing!!!

    And somehow I forgot my golden beet borscht — definitely worth trying: http://kitchenoperas.com/2010/03/16/roasted-golden-beet-borscht-with-collard-greens/ — I bet it would be fantastic with regular beets, too!


  • I got a beet in my CSA this week and my first stop was your site to see what recipes you had…lucky me you had a whole challenge full of recipes!


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