To peel beets easily, use a vegetable peeler and peel the beets under slow running water. The water prevents the beets from staining your fingertips.
To Serve in a Salad:
For dressing, in a small saucepan stir together 1 cup of the beet cooking liquid and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Cover and chill until ready to serve (up to 2 weeks). Nutrition analysis per serving: 33 calories, 0 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 0 g total fat, 0 g sat. fat), 0 g fiber, 8 g total sugar, 0% Vitamin A, 4% Vitamin C, 96 mg sodium, 0 %calcium, 0% ironFor croutons, preheat oven to 350°F. Cut 4 slices good-quality bread into bite-size pieces (you should have 1 3/4 to 2 cups pieces). In a medium bowl stir together 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt; 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed; and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed. Add bread pieces; toss to coat. Transfer to a shallow baking pan and bake 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once. Nutrition analysis per serving: 59 calories, 1 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 0 g total sugar, 0% Vitamin A. 0% Vitamin C, 95 mg sodium, 1% calcium, 2% ironTo serve, arrange 6 cups mixed salad greens on a large serving platter. Top with 2 cups Pickled Beets and 1 cup sliced pear. Sprinkle with 1 recipe croutons and 1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese (2 ounces); drizzle with 1/2 cup dressing. Pass the remaining dressing. Makes 4 servings.Nutrition analysis per serving: 266 calories, 4 g protein, 50 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 3 g fiber, 40 g total sugar, 10% Vitamin A, 27% Vitamin C, 608 mg sodium, 11% calcium, 6% iron
For Easy Cleanup:
Line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside.