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What’s a “taurine” you may ask…good question!  I just made it up, I thought it sounded good, sounds fancy, maybe French…Well looked it up on Google and here is what I found, “Taurine is…a major constituent of bile” (wikipedia). Ha.

But no worries, there is no bile in this Tauriné (like that fancy e).  The only thing hidden in this beauty is a wonderful combination of sweet and salty that leaves your taste buds craving more.  The deep sweetness of the roasted beets with the crisp saltiness from the goat cheese and the nutty taste and texture from the pistachios really combines beautifully.

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I actually got this beet in my second pick-up of the CSA!  The color is just fantastic, so bright and pink, I could hardly resist carving it into a heart, and in perfect time for Valentine’s Day!  I got a bunch of root vegetables and almost three pounds of black beans! That is without a doubt my favorite part.  A lady at the CSA suggested making black bean brownies, and a man was talking about a black bean hummus recipe which sounded stellar.  So prepare yourselves cuz some black beanness is coming your way.

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So I am currently in the application process for an internal transfer into the school for nutrition studies here at NYU.  A question in the application asks what exactly I want to do with a major in the field of nutrition ,which started me thinking. I had a vague idea, yet I was not exactly sure, so I began researching, just looking around the interwebs for ideas of what you can do with a nutrition major. 

Ok so somewhat naturally I started with the United States Department of Agriculture, as they promote health and nutrition through their dietary guidelines and the everchanging food pyramid. So yes the USDA, which also is supposedly meant to organize and support farming (which goes hand in hand with nutrition) in the United States is run by Tom Vilsack, a politician from Iowa.  Hmm I began, why is a politician running the United States’ most prominent farming/nutrition based organization.  I dug deeper to find that Vilsack has no background in agriculture.  He is a straight up career politician (actually funny enough in his biography it states that the reason he was chosen for the head of the department of agriculture was because he was a politician in a state with a lot of agriculture…is that really adequate qualifications?).

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And when I thought about it and researched it more and more I realized that his inexperience is evident, not only in his outrageous policies but how they are affecting America, and Americans!  Not only is he a supporter of factory farms and genetically modified crops but he endorses the two associations most responsible for the increasing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in America.  The first organization Vislack endorses is the Corn Refiners Association (CRA).  This association is responsible for the mass production of high fructose corn syrup and corn oil.  Interestingly enough though the CRA defends itself by quoting that high fructose corn syrup is “natural.”  Natural really?  The genetically modified corn that is crammed into an acre of land, sprayed with chemicals and then processed by machines to a point where no resemblance of the original plant is evident.  I’m not sure what stretch of the mind would refer to that process as natural.

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And secondly Vislack endorses the National Grain Feed Association.  This association is involved in the production of grain to feed cattle.  Cows are meant to eat grass not grain!  Eating grain not only makes the cows sick, but makes them gain an exorbitant amount of weight in a small amount of time. These cows in the factory farms that are eating this grain, which is making them sick, are not moving around or exercising so most of this weight they are putting on is fat.  And that is what is being sold in the supermarkets across America.  A pound of ground beef? More like a pound of sickly fat. (Also Vislack endorses the use of pink slime in our ground beef so it more like a pound of sickly fat with a side of pink slime, yum)

 

So basically Vislack is endorsing the two worst health offenders of the American diet while proclaiming that he is providing “a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people” (USDA Biographies).   It is all a hoax.  But what does he know anyways, he was never a farmer, all he knows is politics, well politics and money.  And this is one thing that is wrong with the US government.  We need people who are professionals, who understand the dealings, who we can trust, rather than politicians who only know to disagree with their opponents and take money from the large corporations who support them and in return run the government.  

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This distortion of the USDA is having direct impacts on America’s health.  We see the affects everyday in the rise of diabetes and heart attacks. More than one third of the US adult population is obese and every third child is overweight or obese. The evidence is right there before us.  The politicians are claiming they are representing the people but we see right here in this small study that I found quite the opposite, they are making us sick, literally.

So yes I am going to do something about that. With or without a major in Nutrition I am going to do something about that, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Well that was quite a dousey. But back to the sweet and salty Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Taurine.  I hope you enjoy.

Roasted Beet and Pistachio Goat Cheese Taurine

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Ingredients

  • 1 large beet, washed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 log of Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of roasted, salted, unshelled pistachios*, chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Place the beet, skin on, on a sheet of tin foil
  3. Drizzle the olive oil all over the skin and sprinkle a touch of salt then wrap in the foil and place in the oven for about and hour
  4. While the beet is roasting, combine the goat cheese, chopped pistachios, thyme and rosemary until all the ingredients are equally spread throughout the mixture
  5. Once the beet has finished roasting remove tin foil and using a paper towel rub the edges of the beet to remove the skin
  6. Cut beet in thin slices
  7. Place one slice of the beet on the bottom and place a thin layer of the goat cheese mixture on top, then repeat until the last slice of beet has been laid on top.

Notes

  • *If you can’t find unshelled pistachios, just get shelled ones and un-shell them.  It’s not too bad and if one or two accidentally fall in your mouth during the process then thats ok 🙂
  • So I just read that you can actually roast the goat these mixture which sounds incredible!  Just heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the goat cheese mixture on a parchment paper lined baking tray for about 10-12 minutes, or until it begins to get bubbly.  If you want to do this before you put the mixture on the beets or put the whole thing in the oven after you made it so it gets all gooey, or if you just wanna eat the melted cheese plain…i don’t judge. Soo good smothered on a delicious slice of toasted whole-wheat, rye, sourdough bread from balthazaar bakery on Spring St.
  • Oh and Happy Valentines Day!  This is certainly a treat that your hubby would be impressed by although it really is not that hard.  And it is really good for you.  The dark colors in the beets are oozing with antioxidants and nutrients that are body will be craving after all those chocolates from all of our multiple lovers (or mom).

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But anyways there beautiful and delicious and I hope you have an amazing Valentine’s Day!

 

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