I don’t know you, but I know you. You’re busy, you have a lot on your mind, these days. You also want to eat well, but it can’t be too complicated. I know you, because I write books and articles for people like you for a living. It’s cooks like you who have embraced “sheet pan” meals, in which all the ingredients go into one pan, and roast in the oven. This, my friend, is a plant-based, one pan meal, just for you.
Sheet Pan Meals are Perfect for Fall
When the temperatures drop, I no longer have to plan menus around keeping the kitchen cool. It’s time to start roasting my meals, and filling my kitchen with the scents of caramelizing vegetables and herbs. As you’ll see in my video, it’s also time to harvest the beets I was growing in my garden, and put them into a delicious sheet pan meal.
In this sheet pan meal, I added tofu, so the tofu will get seasoned, as well as tinted pink, by my just-picked beets. This is a time-saving trick, so you don’t have to marinate the tofu and cook it separately. I also added the beet greens, using the residual heat from the roasting pan to steam them quickly. Don’t waste those nutritious, delicious greens, when you can add so much to a meal, with so little effort. If your beets don’t come with greens, you can sub a few leaves of swiss chard or kale, to complete the dish.
This is a link to the kind of pan I used, but you can use a sheet pan with a rim, too.
I love Roasted Beets
I remember when roasted beet salads started appearing on menus in the 90’s. Somehow, nobody had thought to cook them this way before, and it took the world by storm. Roasted beets and goat cheese became ubiquitous, as the sweet, earthy beets and the tangy, creamy cheese played together well. I have to say, it’s one of those food fads that may have faded, but left behind a durable, popular dish that you still see often.
That’s why I wanted to toss in tofu- and make a whole entree of it. Instead of cheese, chewy cubes of roasted tofu provide a foil for the sweet beets. A chopped onion, a few stems of thyme, and the beet greens add some complexity, and good olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper are all you need to play it up.
I’ve been in love with beets for a long time, and you can share the love with this Beet Hummus, these Jumbo Beet Sushi Rolls, or a lovely Beet and Cucumber Salad with Miso Dressing.
This one is going to be a keeper, and you can make it all year round. Served warm, it’s a hearty main course, easily paired with toasted whole grain bread or a simple pilaf. Chilled, it’s a salad that eats like a meal, and you can stir in a little mayo to make it into a sandwich filling for lunch the next day.
So crank that oven and get your beets in there, for a fun new way to eat beets!
Roasted Beets and Tofu with Thyme
- 2 bunches beets peeled and cubed, save the greens
- 1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu drained and pressed
- 1 large onion chopped
- 5 stems fresh thyme
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- coarse salt
- coarsely cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash the beets, and wash and trim the greens.
- Cube the beets and tofu, chop the onion. Put the beets, onions and tofu in a large, deep roasting pan. Add the thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in beet greens, then cover and let steam until tender
- Uncover and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with more salt and pepper, and toss to mix. Transfer to a serving platter.