The holidays brings people together, especially to eat food! Let’s be honest, food is always bringing us together at any time for any or no reason at all, and I love it. Today I’m sharing a simple side dish that can easily be thrown together for yourself, or for a group of people. Christmas is this weekend (can you believe it!?), so if you’re looking for something hearty, delicious, and easy to bring to the table for any of your gatherings, this recipe might just be for you!
This dish contains steamed yams, cooked beets, extra virgin olive oil, some holiday seasonings, and sprinkled raw unsalted walnuts for some extra healthy vibes. I love yams and beets! They’re my favourite root vegetables, and it’s not only because they have an impressive nutritional profile, but because they are versatile, you can easily throw them into any dish for a boost of nutrients and flavour. Plus, they’re on the sweeter side and filling making them satisfying to the sweet tooth and hunger.
There’s nothing like the smell of cooked and hearty root vegetables with festive herbs/spices at the dinner table over the holiday’s (or anytime really). It brings a sense of comfort and relaxation. Root vegetables are also a great swap for grains! They are gluten free and high in antioxidants and other important vital nutrients such as fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. They’re also a source of complex carbohydrates that have a lower glycemic load in comparison to grains. You can easily cook up any root vegetables and toss them together with some extra virgin olive oil + herbs/spices and call it a healthy side dish. Healthy eating can be versatile and easy, it doesn’t need to be extravagant!
ROOT VEGETABLES: Beets, yams, parsnips, carrots, turnips, celery root, turmeric, ginger, artichokes, onions…
FESTIVE HERBS/SPICES: garlic, sage, onion, rosemary, ginger, lemon, black pepper, cinnamon, mint, nutmeg…
Beets // Rich in essential vitamins + minerals, high in antioxidants + fiber, contain anti-inflammatory properties, support detoxification, purify the blood, aid in exercise performance and can be eaten raw or cooked. Not to mention they are on the sweeter side, filling and satisfying!
Yams // Filling, starchy, sweet, soft, versatile, and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, manganese and fiber. Yams can be enjoyed in many different ways, steamed soft or baked into yam fries are two of my top favourite ways to enjoy this root vegetable!
BEETS: On high heat over the stove, bring a large pot of water with a pinch of sea salt to a boil. You’ll need enough water in the pot for the beets to float around in. While you wait for the water to come to a boil, prepare the beets by peeling + chopping them into cubes (you could also prepare your yams at this point to if you want, just peel and chop them up then set them aside). Transfer prepared beets into the pot once the water has boiled and turn the heat down to low and set a timer for 50 minutes. You’ll know when the beets are done when they are soft (check periodically with a fork). If they are still hard after 50 minutes, leave them for another 10 to 15 minutes and see if they soften up.
YAMS: I steamed my yams over the stove in a medium sized saucepan that has a steamer, however, feel free to prepare them whichever way you desire (baked or roasted are other ways)! To steam the yams add 2 cups of water to a medium sized saucepan on high heat and bring it to a boil. While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, peel + chop one large yam into cubes if you haven’t already. Once water is boiled, transfer the prepared yams into the steamer and place it over the saucepan, cover it with a lid, and turn the stove top heat down to medium. The yams will take an estimated 20 minutes to steam (keep an eye). Once they have softened, they will be complete. Leave them longer if they are not soft enough after 20 minutes. Yams don’t take long to steam, they should soften after 20 minutes no problem, especially on medium heat. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t get too soft and become mushy!
TIP: If you want the beets + yams to be done around the same time, prepare the yams when the beets only have about 20 minutes left, this way they will be ready around the same time (give or take).
Once the beets + yams are cooked through, transfer them to a larger bowl and toss them in extra virgin olive oil along with your favourite holiday spices and herbs. I used epicure Holiday spice, oregano, and a good pinch of Himalayan salt. Transfer them one more time to a round cocotte or any dish you prefer to serve with. I like using a cocotte because it keeps food warm (and they look cute for serving!).
Beets N’ Yam Simple Side Dish
A simple and nutritious side dish that comes packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats to leave you and your guests feeling nourished and satisfied.
- 4 medium sized red beets, peeled/chopped/cooked
- 1 large yam, peeled/chopped/cooked
- 2 tbsp Epicure Holiday seasoning, or any of your favourite festive seasonings
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Simply Organics oregano
- Pinch of himalayan salt
- 2 tbsp raw unsalted walnuts
- Peel, chop, and cook up beets and yams (details on how I did this is above in blog write up).
- Once beets and yams are finished cooking, transfer them to a large bowl and toss them around in extra virgin olive oil, holiday seasonings, oregano, himalayan salt, and walnuts (you could also throw in some cranberries for a little extra festiveness). Transfer again to a round cocotte or any serving dish of choice for serving.
NOTE: You can also prepare this side dish recipe for meal prep and keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days to enjoy throughout the week as this recipe makes 5 servings.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy your time over the holidays! Let’s look forward to a fresh new year ahead and start setting new intentions together. Thank you for stopping by The Nourished Vibe to give today’s post a read! Leave me a comment below letting me know your favourite root vegetables and how you like to enjoy them. Are beets and yams up high or down low on your list? See you next year!