I was never a picky eater, but there were two things growing up that I really did not like. Eggs and beets. We’ve talked about my aversion to eggs before. I really did try to like them! Beets never got the benefit of the doubt. In Costa Rica, we have a very popular salad that we call ensalada rusa- “Russian salad”. Just like I really doubt that “Greek salad” is actually called Greek salad in Greece, I have confirmed that “Russian salad” as I knew it is definitely not known as Russian salad in Russia. Ensalada rusa does contain several elements found in a lot of Russian cuisine, such as beets, potatoes, sour cream, and hard boiled eggs. My Russian belly dance teacher tells me the closest thing is Russian “Venigret”.
(Photo found on Pinterest)
I digress. The fact is, growing up, I couldn’t think of many things more disgusting than Russian salad.
First there’s the Spanish word for beets. Remolacha. It sounds revolting. Ensalada rusa also has the colour of Pepto Bismol, which was in my mind inextricably linked to a very bad time. And of course, the hard boiled eggs didn’t make it any more appealing to me.
It wasn’t until many, many years later, when a friend invited me over for dinner and served a salad with fresh beets, that I realized that my hatred for beets had been misguided. All the beets I had ever had in my life had been canned! I still hate canned beets, and I have been pleasantly surprised to find that fresh beets are almost nothing like them.
Fast forward to my Whole30 experience. I’ve eaten more eggs in the past two weeks than I probably ever have in my life. I’ve been very happy to come to the realization that my dislike of eggs is really a dislike of yolks, specifically runny yolks. So instead of cooking them “sunny side up” (if you can believe it, I had to google how to do this), I flip them over so that the yolk gets cooked too. Which brings me to my next food adventure: “Sweet-beet hash with egg on top”. I got this recipe from the back of a package of Veggie Noodle Co. spiralized beets.
Stop the world! Lindsy is eating something that has BOTH EGGS AND BEETS! Voluntarily!!! (My Mami would probably be proud).
It was pretty simple. The thing that took the longest time to prep was the roasted sweet potato. You basically add onion, roasted sweet potato, mushrooms, spinach, and spiralized beets to a cast iron pan with some balsamic vinegar and put fried eggs on top.
The result was so pretty and colourful! My husband jokingly said “Yes, you should always eat things with many different colours to ensure good nutrition. So let’s eat skittles!!” (lol, right?)
But really though. I was actually really happy with the result. Overall the whole dish was slightly sweet, what with the vinegar, the beets, and the sweet potato, but also had lovely salty notes from the eggs, and a lot of earthiness from the beets, spinach, and mushrooms. I chuckled to myself a bit. My inner child is probably looking on in horror at me eating something a little too much like ensalada rusa. I’ll have a talk with her about it, and make this again in the future.