Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting Back to Birth

24 hours...5 laboring women...2 babies...3-4 hours of interrupted sleep and about a gazillion evaluations for various pregnancy related issues.  The first day back on call after a vacation week is always busy - somehow the universe knows.

It is nice to get back to birth though.  No matter how much stress is around, whether it is personal or professional, the atmosphere in a room after a baby is born catches you and makes stop.  The emotions in the room - excitement, unabashed joy, relief - are palpable and robust.  I remember feeling this as a midwifery student and being blown away with how there can be such a change in energy.  Even with the most grueling labors, the baby arrives and there is this shift of emotions, of focus.

I used to be able to sleep for at least 4-5 hours when I got home post call, but lately I've had trouble.  Especially if I've caught some sleep no matter how little.  Instead of sleeping, I'm scheming as to what recipes this midwife will try over her next luxurious 2 days off until she's on call again.

For the menu today is Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Horseradish.  I call it Spicy Beet Salad but have just dissected this name for about 5 minutes feeling unsure that that name really captures the essence.  I first had a version of this at the Dublin Airport, on a layover from Brussels to home.  J and I were starving and found a little deli-style restaurant with several types of salads and sandwiches.  The servings were generous and the beet salad left me thinking.  I'm still working on the perfect mix of ingredients.  Today's experiment went well and it definitely earned it's title.

Spicy Beet Salad (Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Horseradish)

Ingredients:  3-4 roasted beets, cut into bite size chunks
                     Olive Oil, to taste
                     Red Wine Vinaigrette, to taste
                     Blue Cheese crumbles, about 1/8 cup
                     1 clove garlic, diced
                     Horseradish 1 1/4 tsp - 1 1/2 tsp
                     Dijon Mustard 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp
Serves 1-2 people as a side dish

Beet Prep
*To roast beets you can place individual beets in aluminum foil wrap and roast in oven at 400 F for 45 min - 1 hr until tender.  Then remove beets from oven and peel skin off once beets are cool.  Cut beets into bite size pieces and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 min to chill.

Once beets are cold...

1)  Drizzle olive oil and red wine vinaigrette over beets.

2)  Add blue cheese and garlic, mix well.

3)  Add the horseradish and Dijon mustard to taste, being sure to mix well.  Can serve immediately or keep chilled in the refrigerator.



  1. Sounds yummy! There's a really amazing beet recipe that I learned when I assisted at raw foods workshop at a vegetarian convention years ago. It was called 'beet nut meat'. I believe it was made of raw shredded beets, ground nuts (I think it was walnuts at the time), sage and soy sauce. Wow! I miss beets- they are hard to get around here.

  2. That sounds interesting! I was thinking some nuts would be a good addition to this salad and maybe carrots too.

  3. That must have been a really good beet salad if you've been thinking about it for a year! I'll have to try this. My beets are boring, and usually just pickled.

  4. I actually tried it once before, but I put a white vinegar and no dijon mustard and it wasn't as good. Definitely taste it as you go, because you may not like it as vinegar-y as I do. Another great beet recipe is Orangette's Beet and Feta Tart. I've made it several times. J is a huge fan of that one and it's very simple. BTW what do you al do with your beet greens? I saute them and add some crushed red pepper to make them spicy but would love some other ideas.

  5. I haven't had beet greens in a long time but with other greens I like to stir fry them in a bit of oil and then put a bit of soy sauce and vinegar after they are slightly cooked down. They are good like that or they can be topped with a few drops of sesame oil or some toasted sesame seeds and chili or however you like them.

    I was looking at terrine recipes to try out with a head of cauliflower someone gave me and I came across this one that uses beet greens