Monthly Archives: May 2012

Beet Muffins

My CSA is getting out of control.

Well, to be fair, I also haven’t spent a weekend in Bloomington in a long time, which isn’t helping me to use up the excess veggies.

(I never have the pretty box pictures where everything is laid out neatly inside)

From left, I have 3 kohlrabi, 4 turnips, 5 huge beets, a bag of mizuna, and a bag of pak choi.  Leftover from last week, I STILL had 10 beets left.

Tonight Becca and I somehow perfectly orchestrated using the oven for 3 separate dishes.  We combined our collective forces to make roasted vegetables (carrots, beet stems, tofu, and broccoli seasoned with olive oil, sesame seeds, paprika, crushed red pepper, and zahtar).  I also got a chance to use my birthday present from my old roommate, Jayne!


This makes clean-up so easy!

The baking sheet underneath the veggies is PERFECT.  It molds to any shape and nothing seems to stick to it.  One drawback is that you dont’ seem to get the crispy veggies stuck to the bottom, but honestly, you also don’t have to clean that up, either, haha.

Keep in mind, today is also the hottest day of the year so far.  Why Becca and I decided to roast/bake when it was 92 degrees at 7:30 PM is beyond me.  (It’s 85 right now at 10:12 PM).

Besides putting together the veggies, Becca suggested I make beet muffins with all the beets I have.  She made a chocolate cake.  How we choreographed this is beyond me, but it was pretty awesome 🙂

Anyway, back to the beet muffins.  They’re pretty good.  I only used 2/3 of the sugar, and I think I should have used all of it because they definitely came out very beet-y (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).  To sweeten them up a bit we used some of Becca’s silken tofu frosting she made for the cake.  verrryyyy good.

such a great color

Beet Muffins

pureed beets

-Combine 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup raw sugar (should have used 1.5 cups), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
-add 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups pureed beets (roast 5 large beets first at 400 degrees for 25 minutes), 2/3 cup applesauce
-mix together until just combined

combined ingredients

-distribute batter into muffin tin

I think these are good on their own, or could honestly be good with a cream cheese frosting.

Total Price: $4.47 ($0.37/muffin)

-1 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour- $0.39
-1 cup organic raw sugar: $1.26
-baking powder/baking soda/cinnamon/ground ginger: $0.15
-1 organic egg: $0.17
-5 large organic beets: $2.00 (?)
-2/3 cup applesauce: $0.50




Stroke of Genius of the Month

So, as you may have noticed, I haven’t been making dinner as much lately, or, when I do, it has turned out to be something quick that doesn’t have any leftovers.

On the flip side of that is the fact that I have far more green, leafy vegetables than I know what to do with.

Tie both aforementioned facts together with the problem that I need to make a lunch everyday that includes protein, yet I am still burned out on sandwiches, and you get my new, cheap lunch idea:

-Mix together greens, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a microwave safe container and microwave for 2 minutes at lunch time.

What you end up with is a salad souffle of sorts that seems totally inspired but, in my case, stemmed from extreme desperation.

The total cost?  About $0.84.

Life is Good

A  year ago today I graduated undergrad.

It’s amazing how much my life has changed, and the small changes I’ve made in my life.

Actually, I think it’s the small changes in my life that have brought about the big changes.  It’s crazy how one positive change creates a snowball effect.

Case in point: everything I did today.

A year ago today, I didn’t own a bike.  Today, I biked to and from work and to and from the grocery store.

A year ago today, I would have bought the cheapest cleaning products possible.  Today, my shipment for green cleaning products came that I bought with a groupon.  Paying a little bit extra for these made me feel good.

A year ago today, I wouldn’t have left the grocery store having spent less than $50.  Today, I spent $8 (peanut butter, two bags of cereal,  oatmeal, garlic, and bananas).

A year ago today, I never would have bought grind-your-own peanut butter.  Today I craved it.

A year ago today, my cilantro and parsley plants were dying.  Today Becca and I have a successful container garden (purple bell pepper, swiss chard, heirloom Rutger tomatoes, and parsley).

A year ago today, my half marathon PR was 1:22:40, now it’s 1:18:09!

A year ago today, I questioned whether or not I would succeed in grad school.  Today, I am so proud of my success so far.

A year ago today, I never would have made such as awesome dinner (puffed millet cereal with peanut butter, an apple, raw sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon) (the second bowl had banana 🙂 )

A year ago today, I wasn’t nearly as happy as I am now.

Mexican Spring Vegetable Casserole

random ingredients

I hope this is what summer grad school is.  I got in 3 hours of microscope time today, got trained on a new instrument, put together the rest of the rough draft, sent a few emails, organized my inbox, and then came home and made aammaazzing dinner.

I finished off so many leftovers today that when Becca came home she thought I had organized the refrigerator.  My meal consisted of: 1 leftover egg, ~1/4 cup of salsa, 6 corn tortillas that got left out in the fridge so they were hard/crunchy/kinda gross, 6 radishes and 6 green onions that needed to be used because they were from last week’s CSA, 1/2 cup black beans, and gross leftover chives from my very first CSA.

When I was laying out all the ingredients I realized I could make something that resembled lasagna with the tortillas and salsa, so I rolled with it.  It turned out surprisingly good!

Mexican Spring Veggie Casserole

-layer a pan with corn tortillas

-next, add black beans and salsa

-thinly slice 6 radishes and layer on top of salsa

-chop radish greens and green onions, layer on top

 -season with crushed red pepper, salt, and taco seasoning
-tear up remaining tortillas to cover vegetables
-crack an egg on top and spread egg evenly over tortillas; add chives

-bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees

This tasted really good, although in the future I would probably just discard the really crunchy/dried out portions of the tortilla or make sure they are on the bottom where they can soak up all the good salsa/black bean juices.  The egg really pulled everything together…I would maybe add another next time.  I wasn’t exactly sure radishes would go well in this dish, but their tangy horseradish-ness worked well with the black beans and salsa.  Definitely glad I tried this instead of letting my gross tortillas go to waste!

I’m not going to try and calculate a total cost here because I think it would be impossible with all the CSA ingredients…the tortillas were ~$0.40, the egg was $0.17, salsa was free from my mom, the black beans were crazy cheap because I bought them dried…I would definitely say this meal was less than $4.00 🙂

Pickled Beet Salad with Fried Eggs

I realized I never was able to post what I got in my CSA box on Friday!

The CSA is going really pickup is on Friday and every Thursday night I’m usually scrambling to use up what I had from the week before.  I think I also came up with a good way to quantify how much money I’m spending…well, a couple ways.

1.  I walked around the farmer’s market the other day and realized that if I went there to buy the exact same things I get in the box, in the same quantities, I would spend much more.  This makes me happy.  (I think I’m spending more, though, than if I were only buying sale items…jury is still out).

2.  Another way to determine it is to decide how many meals I am able to use my veggies in- for instance, with the lettuce I got this week I have made 5 salads and I have used the mushrooms in 2 meals.  Once I’ve used all the veggies for the week, I’ll be able to see how much money each serving was.  I think last week’s ended up being $0.50 for each serving.  not bad!

Okay, back to the point.  Here’s what I got this week:

lots of green this week!

Here’s what it is:
-a TON of romaine lettuce (you can’t tell that most of it is behind the brown bag)
-green onions
-Shiitake mushrooms

So, last Thursday I had an insane amount of veggies left.  I still had 3 beets, 3 turnips, and a whole bag of pok choi.  I decided to pickle everything and see how it turned out!  I’ve never pickled before, so I was pretty confused about everything.  I mixed a couple different recipes…I happen to think it turned out amazing.  Tangy and a little bit sweet, with an amazing color.

Pickled Beets

-chop beets/stalk/greens, toss in olive oil, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for ~15 minutes
-simmer 1 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup water
-chop remaining ingredients while the beets are roasting (I did pok choi, turnips + stalk + greens, and romaine lettuce)
-once beets are out of the oven, layer vegetables in a mason jar and pour liquid over vegetables
-be sure all the vegetables are submerged
-let veggies sit in the refrigerator for at least three days (I ate some after 4, we’ll see if the taste changes at all as the days go on)

 Pickled Beet Salad with Fried Eggs

-combine romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, pickled vegetables, and 1-2 fried eggs
-add olive and salt, if desired
-be sure to soak up some of the purple juice with your fried egg!!

yum 🙂

Total Cost:

Pickled Beets: $3.63

3 organic beets (CSA)- $1.00
-3 organic turnips (CSA)- $1.00
-bag of organic pok choi (CSA)- $1.00
-1/2 cup organic raw sugar: $0.63
-1 cup vinegar: no clue

Pickled Beet Salad with Eggs: $2.14

2 organic eggs: $0.34
-organic romaine lettuce: $1.00
-2 organic carrots: $0.20
-1/6 organic pickled veggies: $0.60