Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pecan Fruit Rye Bread

First off, holy crap is it hot. All I want to do is lie on the couch. While it's a little under 90F (31C), it feels about 10 degrees hotter because of the humidity. I'm so happy it's not like this all summer. I'm finding it hard to just get through a few days of it. I know many of you have to deal with this all summer... Oh and I should mention that I baked this a while ago, when it wasn't nearly as hot. I love baking so it has to be pretty hot for me to not want to run on the oven but there's no way I'm turning it on this week.

A while back I saw that Hélène had found a recipe for Raincoast Crisps and made Cranberry Hazelnut Crisps. She discovered this recipe from Dinner With Julie who made Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps. And this lead to me being reminded of the Pecan + Fruit crisps from Terra Breads, a local bakery. So what does this have to do with my loaf here?? Well. I wanted to make a bread that was like the pecan + fruit crisps from Terra Breads. And soon I will also try making the Raincoast Crisps.

I combined dried cranberries, dried apples, pecans and orange zest into a bread made with rye flour and bread flour. And it was delicious. Really delicious. Exactly what I'd hoped for. The only problem was that the dried apple pieces that were sticking out on the outside of the loaf burned, so I would try to stick them in the middle somehow or push them into the dough. Or maybe freshly chopped apple would be better? I'm not sure why the recipe instructs you to roll the dough out into a rectangle then roll it up into a log. There's nothing to be put in the center (though it would be a good place for the dried apple). So I'd say either do it this way, or just try shaping it into a loaf without rolling it out.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Roast Banana Pumpkin Breakfast Bread
Milk Chocolate Cherry Twist
Golden Cinnamon Loaf
Whole Wheat Orange Spice Muffins

Pecan Fruit Rye Bread
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

Makes one delicious 18 inch loaf.

1 1/4 cups warm water (about 110F), plus more if needed
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
10 ounces (about 2 cups) bread flour
5 1/2 ounces (about 1 cup) rye flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup dried apple, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir yeast into the warm water to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flours, salt, sugar and orange zest, and mix on medium-low speed until dough just comes together. If the dough is too dry, add more warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating. Switch to the dough hook, and beat on medium speed until dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky, 4 to 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, mix in cranberries, pecans and apples. The dough will feel stiff; push in any loose cranberries, apples and pecans with your fingers. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough to a rectangle, about 13 by 10 inches and 1/2 inch thick, with a short side facing you. (Ashley note: Instead of adding in the chopped apple with the cranberries and pecans, you could add them here. This way they will all stay on the inside of the loaf and won't get burned. This is what I'll do next time.) Fold 1/2 inch flaps inward on the shorter sides of the rectangle: Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you, gently pressing as you go to form a tight log. Gently roll the log back and forth to seal the seam. (If the seam doesn't stay sealed, brush it with some water, and press down again to seal.) Transfer loaf to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down; cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until dough is puffed and holds an impression from your fingertip, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 350F, rotating sheet halfway through, until the crust is deep golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the bread registers 190F, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Bread can be kept, in a sealed container, at room temperature for up to three days. It also freezes well.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Garlic Rolls

Wow this is the fastest that I have ever blogged about something that I've made. And I probably will never do it so quickly again! I signed up to take part in Taste & Create again this month, except the days went by a lot faster than last month when I wasn't working so I ended up making something from my partner, Bombay Foodie, on the last day! Yikes.

Anyway, I found these garlic rolls and what sounds better than bread + garlic?? You're supposed to grease the muffin tins and top the muffins with this garlic oil but I didn't have a garlic press and was scared minced garlic would burn so I opted out of that. Bombay Foodie added oregano as well which sounds awesome but I wanted to see what they would be like with just garlic powder. I love the pull apart style of these rolls! I used to love eating those Pillsbury flakey rolls, partly because it was fun to pull away at the layers. Freshly baked these are really addictive. The rolls have kind of hard/crusty edges but super soft insides. I love that these only need 30 minutes to rise and from start to finish can be ready in a little over an hour.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Oatmeal Bread
Soft Pretzels
Caramelized Onion, Sage and Cheddar Muffins

Garlic Rolls
Adapted from Bombay Foodie & For the Love of Food

Makes 12 rolls.

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour (Ashley note: I used 373 g.)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
scant 3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 200F then turn off.

In a large mixer bowl, stir together the flour, garlic powder, salt, and yeast. Heat up milk until lukewarm. Stir in the sugar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix together with the flour mixture and knead in your mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed. Grease a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Shape the dough into a ball, place in greased bowl and roll the dough around to cover all sides with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the warm oven to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Grease 12 muffin cups with oil. Roll the dough into small balls (for a total of 36 balls) and place them in sets of 3 into each form.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Honey-Mustard Marinated Tofu

This is my new favourite way to eat tofu. It's extremely easy to put together, I always have all the marinade ingredients, and it has mustard and curry in it (two of my favourite things). It took me some time to find a curry powder I like, but I've now settled on Sharwood's mild curry powder. One of my other favourite tofus is Matthew's Delicious Tofu (from The Garden of Vegan) but that one requires chopping garlic, sauteeing, and paying attention to what's going on in the pan (the horror!). I chose to use Dijon mustard but try it out with whatever mustard you have.

The recipe comes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (Deborah Madison) which I had previously boycotted because I made a few things from it and none of them turned out well. But after seeing some bloggers have success with her recipes, I thought I'd give them another try and I'm happy I did because I know I'll be making this tofu recipe for many years. I also found a good recipe for refried beans and enchiladas, which I'll be posting about soon.

Abby in one of her favourite moth watching spots. She lunges at the glass to try and get the moths on the other side.

I find that my days are going by so fast and I'm struggling to find time for everything. So I may be a bit behind in blog land. I want to try and keep updating my blog and read/comment where I can.

Honey-Mustard Marinated Tofu
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

The recipe originally called for 1 tbsp molasses but I omitted it. I also reduced the oil.

1 lb package tofu
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp peanut oil (Ashley note: Use whatever oil if you don't have this, you could maybe even omit it.)
1 tsp soy sauce
3 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp curry powder
salt and freshly milled pepper (I didn't add these)

Cut up tofu. Mix all ingredients together and pour over tofu. Let sit
for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F. Bake until sizzling and
hot, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Energy Cookies

I love cookies so I was happy to discover this healthier version of a cookie. One that's yummy, and that I can eat frequently and still feel like I'm nourishing my body! As the name implies, I think these are great to have on hand for an energy boost. Which is exactly how I used them while studying for my finals (yes I made these a while ago)! I love that they pack so much good stuff in them (sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax, raisins, spelt flour). I thought they would be cakey but they were more soft and dense. And tasted kind of peanut butter-y, even though there's no peanut butter. Maybe from the hemp seeds? And they freeze well.

I looooooooove this picture of Abby. I put the wok under our bed (because our kitchen and pantry are already stuffed!) and Abby discovered it. I found her curled up in there, so then I dragged the wok out to the living room (with her in it) so I could take pictures of her adorableness.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Sunny Jungle Bars
Whole Wheat Orange Spice Muffins
Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins
Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins

Energy Cookies
Adapted from Vive le Vegan!

Makes 10-12 cookies.

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp light spelt flour (90 g)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seed nuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp flax meal
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except the flax meal, mixing well. In another bowl, combine the flax meal with the maple syrup and milk, and stir through. Add the molasses, vanilla, and canola oil and stir through. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir through until well combined. Drop spoonfuls of the batter (about 2 tbsp each) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten a little and bake for 13-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 minute on sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I know this isn't the most innovative salad, and in fact is really not innovative at all. But it was super delicious and I haven't participated in No Croutons Required (a monthly soup/salad blog event) for a while, so I'm submitting this! This month's theme is soup/salad with grains. I wanted to include this salad in my mom's birthday meal since I know she's been wanting to find a good tabbouleh recipe for a while. I remember she tried one out but no one really liked it that much - I think because of the mint. So I skipped the mint in this one, and we all loved it. Even my stepdad, who said he always says no to tabbouleh, had a second helping. For those interested, my mom's birthday meal included this tabbouleh, insanely delicious focaccia (which is kind of fried while baking mmm, more on that in another post), olive tapenade, broccoli lemon feta pecan pasta, roasted vegetables, and lemon lust cake.

I don't feel the need to search for a better or different tabbouleh and will definitely make this again. I would love to try adding the suggested additions to make it more of a substantial meal salad - chickpeas, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, olives. Bulghur isn't available at the grocery stores near me, so I have to get it from a warehouse/specialty food store that's about 30 minutes away. My boyfriend was in the area one day (while I was at home) and he called me to tell me he was at that store. A store I think he doesn't really enjoy going to when I'm with him because I say I just need to pick up 2 or 3 things and then get lost looking at all the different kinds of grains, beans, dried fruit, etc. He went to search for the bulghur because he knew I'd been wanting it. How sweet is he? Oh and did I mention that he did all of the chopping for this salad?

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Bulghur Grape Salad
French Barley Salad
Santa Fe Pasta Salad
Balkan Roasted Vegetable Salad

Adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook

1 cup bulghur
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 bunch parsley
1/2 small red onion (Ashley note: The recipe recommended using 1 small onion but I thought it'd be too much so only used half. But the salad can definitely handle 1 small red onion so it's up to you.)

1. Combine bulghur and salt in a bowl and stir in the boiling water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap for 20 minutes. (Ashley note: Mine took longer than 20 minutes - maybe 30-35.) Uncover and fluff the grains with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and seasonings. Set aside.

3. Wash stemmed parsley, shake off excess water and dry on a clean kitchen towel. Mince the parsley and red onion. In a serving bowl, combine cooled bulghur, prepared parsley and onion. Pour dressing over the ingredients and toss thoroughly. Let the salad rest before serving (30 minutes), or cover and store in the refrigerator.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Plum Sour Cream Kuchen

Ever since I heard the word kuchen, I've wanted to make one. Though apparently kuchen is just the German word for cake - so really, I've already made many kuchens! But I still love how it sounds. I randomly came across this plum sour cream kuchen on a blog somewhere and since I have the cookbook it came from (The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book) and it looked pretty easy, I decided to make it for a simple dessert at a family dinner. Plus it uses one of my favourite fruits! And speaking of plums, I was just reading about how "one relatively inexpensive plum contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a handful of more expensive blueberries." (Source)

This kuchen would be great as an afternoon snack, breakfast, anything really. It was wonderfully dense and moist - I should've taken a picture of a slice of it to show you the gorgeous inside. And I love how the plums look on top. You could easily use whatever fruit you want, or even omit the fruit. This cake would make a great base for all sorts of experimentation. Maybe add some earl grey tea leaves or chocolate chunks or a caramel swirl.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Strawberry Cream Cake
Applesauce Spice Bars
Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake
Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake

Plum Sour Cream Kuchen
Adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book

I used a 9 inch springform pan so only used 3 plums, but if you want to use a 10 inch pan, you could fit 4 plums. If you want you can put a glaze of apricot jam on top but I opted not to.

3 large plums (about 3/4 lb)
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Ashley note: I used 300 g.)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Grease and flour 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

Pit plums and cut into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. In bowl, toss together plums, brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange rind and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In small bowl, stir sour cream with oil. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of wet ingredients. Scrape into prepared pan; smooth top. Arrange plums in concentric circles on top, leaving about 1/2 inch (1 cm) between circles.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. (Ashley note: Check at 1 hour.) Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove side of pan. (Make-ahead: Let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap (or put in a plastic container) and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours or freeze in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mushroom Pecan Burger

I just started my summer job yesterday, and after a month off from work and school, it's taking some time to get back into things. I have to get organized with optimizing my time so and I have to figure out how to stop feeling so tired once I leave work.

One of my least favourite home cooked meals is burgers. I really don't like most commercial veggie burgers (though I have recently discovered the Sol Cuisine ones and those are good, and there are some sun dried tomato basil ones that are good too). But I think the real reason that I don't like home cooked burgers is because I have no idea how to create a good burger - like I don't know what condiments to add and in what combination to make it delicious.Whatever I put on there (usually trying to be healthy) it never turns out awesome.

BUT when it comes to homemade veggie burgers like this mushroom pecan burger, there's no way I'd turn it down. I liked eating this burger patty on salad and just on the side of whatever else (like with rice and vegetables). I think I only ate it burger style once, and even then it was good because the patty is just so flavourful and delicious. The patties don't stick together incredibly well but I don't mind because the taste is so awesome.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Mushroom Crescents
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms in Mustard Wine Sauce
Walnut and Mushroom Nut Roast

Mushroom Pecan Burger
Adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook

Yields 10 to 12 burgers

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, diced
1 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
6 cups sliced button mushrooms
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups grated carrot (about 2 carrots)
1 cup pecans, roasted and finely ground
2 pieces whole wheat bread, toasted and torn into small pieces
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and saute onion. Turn up the heat and add the garlic, mushrooms, salt, thyme and chile flakes. Stir and saute until the mushrooms have released their juices and the pan begins to dry out. Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar. Let the liquid evaporate, turn the mushrooms out into a large bowl and let cool.

2. In a food processor, blend the torn bread until you have bread crumbs. Add the brown rice, grated carrot and mushrooms to the food processor. (You made need to do this in 2 batches if your food processor isn't big enough.) Pulse the mixture until well combined but still coarse in texture. Return to the bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and season to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight. Shape into patties and either saute until golden brown on both sides, or bake at 375F for 10 minutes on each side.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Croissant Pockets with Apricots and Brie

I'm so very tired right now. We just got back from my cousin's wedding (yaey congratulations!) and we were taking care of my brother's dog this weekend (who I tried to get a good picture of but she wouldn't sit still for the camera), which resulted in us not getting much sleep. So it's a good thing I wrote this post yesterday because there's no way I could get anything too coherent out right now.

I made croissants for the first time a few months ago. I baked up half the dough into croissants, and saved the other half for future delicious adventures, like this one! I'm really glad I saved some of this dough as these croissant pockets, filled with apricots, brandy, brown sugar, walnuts and Brie cheese were extremely yummy. It's a good thing that I halved this recipe because I could've easily sat there eating one after another of these. My only complaint was that the apricot pieces were too big (when quartered) so I'd recommend dicing them. And I ended up with extra apricot/nut mixture, but maybe that's just me. If you're looking for motivation to try making croissants for the first time, these are it! And if you have some extra croissant dough, you really must try this out. I have a bit of extra croissant dough in the freezer which I should use up soon. I'm thinking of making cinnamon twists with it.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Caramelized Apple Danish Braid
Mushroom Crescents
Caramelized Onion, Sage and Cheddar Muffins
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

Croissant Pockets with Apricots and Brie
Adapted from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More

My adaptations were to not dust the pockets with powdered sugar after cooling, and to chop the apricots more finely.

9 ounces dried apricots, diced (1 full cup)
1 cup water
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 to 2 tbsp brandy
1/2 cup toasted broken walnuts
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
6 tbsp light brown sugar

1/2 recipe dough for Flaky Croissants
8 ounces ripe Brie cheese, cold, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, 3 inches long
1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water, for egg wash
1/4 cup milk, for brushing pockets

Make the filling:
1. In a small saucepan, combine the apricots and water. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a little liquid remains.

2. Return the liquid to the pan and add the granulated sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons of brandy. Over medium-low heat, cook the liquid until the sugar is melted and the alcohol is evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the apricots to the pan. Stir gently to coat the fruit with the syrup. Set aside to cool. Combine the walnuts with the cooled apricot mixture.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the soft butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon, stirring until a smooth paste is formed. Set aside.

Shape the dough:
4. On a lightly floured, cold work surface, using a dough scraper, cut the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a 10 x 12 inch rectangle, keeping the 12 inch side parallel to the edge of the work surface. Pierce the surface of the dough several times with a fork to prevent shrinkage. Using a pastry cutter or a pizza wheel, cut the dough into eight pieces.

5. Working with one piece of dough at a time, gently reshape the dough into a 3 x 5 inch rectangle. Spread a generous teaspoon of the brown sugar/butter mixture in a strip down the center of the 3 inch side of the rectangle. Place a slightly full tablespoon of the apricot/nut mixture over the brown sugar/butter strip. Place a slice of cheese over the apricot mixture. Do not overfill.

6. Brush the far edge of the dough with egg wash. Bring the opposite edge over the filling to enclose it, then overlap it with the egg-washed edge. Gently pinch the seam, leaving the sides open, and place the pocket seam side down on a parchment lined baking pan. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the tops and sides of the croissants lightly with milk and place in a warmish spot to rise until almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes. Brush the croissants again with the milk 2 or 3 times during rising time.

Bake the pockets:
7. Fifteen minutes before baking, position the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 400F. Gently brush the tops of the pastries with the egg wash, working from the bottom of the pocket upward. Do not drip the egg wash onto the baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350F and continue to bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. To ensure even browning, toward the end of baking time, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back.

8. Remove from the oven and place on racks to cool. Loosen the pastries on the pan and cool for 20 minutes. Note: If any of the filling has run out of the ends of the pockets, take a small spatula and slide it back into the pockets.

Storage: Store in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving. These pastries may be frozen.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sesame Beets

I love beets. I could eat a bowl of beets everyday. I prefer them boiled to roasted but I like them either way. It seems as though my love for beets is causing me to rhyme. So, moving on! Beets are delicious. Really nothing not to love about them. I know I don't post recipes with beets that often but we do eat them fairly often. I usually just roast them with other vegetables or simple boil them and slice them up.

Here's Abby with a salad I made with these beets. (The salad had mixed greens, tofu, raw chayote and beets.)

This is a really simple recipe to dress up beets a bit. Nothing too crazy, but it's a nice change, and you can do what I did and add them to a salad. The natural beet juice and light sesame dressing can take the place of your regular dressing. Though I've started to eat my salad without dressing anyway. At first it was hard but you get used to it. Just like eating raw vegetables without dip. One thing I haven't done with beets yet is bake with them. I really want to try these double dark chocolate beet muffins. Oh and I forgot about these beet & carrot latkes, yum! Ooo and this maple-roasted pear salad (with beet dressing!) and this beet pesto. Wow I didn't realize I had all these beet recipes saved - I must get busy with beets!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Beet, Barley & Black Bean Soup
Asian Beet and Tofu Salad
Caribbean Roasted Vegetables
Maple Mustard Glazed Potatoes and String Beans

Sesame Beets
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

The dressing isn't too strong so next time I might add more lemon or vinegar.

1 pound beets
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 green onion, minced
1 tsp sugar
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Trim the leaf stems of the beets to about an inch (if your beets come with leaves, save the leaves for cooking), scrub the beets, and place them in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a sharp knife. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the skins, which should slip off easily, and slice the beets into a bowl. Toss with the lemon juice, vinegar, sesame seeds, green onions, and sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill thoroughly for about 30 minutes and serve.