Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Tower

Beet and goat cheese tower..a favorite treat! I say ‘treat’ because I am trying to stay away from dairy. I did a cleanse a while back and found that dairy really does a number on my sinuses and I am much less congested without it. Problem is, a life without goat cheese and pizza makes me a little sad. So, on occasion, I indulge in both (along with a little ice cream from time to time!) Anyhow I… never even realized how much I loved beets until I tried fresh ones a couple of years ago for the first time. So good for you too! They are loaded with folic acic, a good source of fiber, manganese, iron, and vitamin B6. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beets their color and is a powerful antioxidant. On top of all that they are known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure…quite the little nutritional powerhouse! (just an fyi, in case you have not eaten beets much before, they go in a very dark red…they come out that color too..don’t be alarmed:)So, how to roast them…scrub them under running water, cut off any stems or leaves, place on large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt. Fold the foil into a pouch, sealed at the top, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in 375 degree oven for 30-60 minutes. Check for doneness with a fork. Smaller ones will be done in 30 minutes. (I try to buy medium sized beets because the giant ones take a long time to cook and sometimes aren’t as sweet.) Allow them to cool until you can handle them. The skins will slip right off and your fingers will be a beautiful shade of fuchsia for the rest of the day. Slice them into rounds, place a dollop of goat cheese between beet slices to assemble your tower and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Of course, they are also wonderful eaten right out of the foil or chopped up and tossed with spinach and pecans in a salad. I must admit that not all 3 kids are on board with this one so I made it just for me, a solo weekday lunch and loved every peaceful bite! Henry loves goat cheese so he was willing to try it after school but Mae and Charlie both said “no thanks, mom” pretty quickly! Maybe if they assembled it themselves next time?
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