We love the idea of Meatless Mondays, and want to provide balanced, delicious meal plans in hopes that you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today, the season's most brightly-hued vegetable takes center stage twice, for double the impact. Earthy beets add heft --and color! -- to a zippy borscht, while the greens are used in a creamy, fresh warm salad. This meal will excite your tastebuds without weighing you down -- just what spring demands.
Click through on the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes, but we've also written you a handy grocery list and game plan below.
Serves 4, with leftovers
Greens from 2 bunches of beets
1 large potato
1 celery stalk
1/4 bunch fresh dill
12 juniper berries (optional)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sour cream
Hearty bread, for serving
We're assuming you already have a bay leaf, cider vinegar, sugar, cooking oil, salt and pepper on hand. If not, you'll be needing those things, too!
1. Set a pot of water on low heat. Add in oil, chopped onion, bay leaf and juniper berries (if using). Peel the beets and cut into halves, thirds or quarters, depending on size. You want them to be roughly the same size pieces. Add to pot.
2. Peel and cut the carrots into rounds, and cut the potatoes into small chunks. Add both to the pot with the chopped celery and the juice of 1/2 of a fresh lemon. Bring your heat up and cook the soup until a fork easily pierces through one of the larger beet pieces; this should take about 15 minutes on medium low heat.
3. While soup is cooking, begin the salad. Whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and salt for the dressing. Next, steam the greens, in 1/4 cup of water, in a large sauté pan for 3 to 4 minutes. Set dressing and greens aside.
4. Skim any foam from the soup, and add a touch more oil. Scoop the beets out and shred them. Return them to the pot, and cook 10 more minutes. Next, add dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Ladle soup into bowls for serving. Toss the greens with the dressing, and place on a large platter. Serve with hearty bread. Enjoy!