Monthly Archives: June 2012

Toasted Millet Rice Pudding

I suppose maybe I was inspired by Chopped, or maybe it was the fact my dinner literally consisted of tomato basil potato chips, a cucumber, and some yogurt with cereal.

…yeah….

So, I’ve been in a bit of a grocery rut lately.  I get such variety from the CSA that I’ve been neglecting buying a good variety of other foods.  This means if I want a snack, I usually have to do some actual cooking.

The theme of Chopped tonight is chocolate, which put me in a mood for sweets.

How I came up with millet rice pudding, I have no idea.

Actually…I do.  First I was going to toast millet so I could puff it up and have cereal with peanut butter and sugar.  Then, I was looking through my ‘ancient grains’ cookbook and saw a recipe for rice pudding.  I didn’t have any of the right ingredients, but it sounded good, so I made up a recipe of my own.

Is it truly rice pudding?  Um, probably not.  Do I care at this point that I’ve mislabeled this post?  No.

Also, I apologize in advance for this being the most haphazard recipe ever.  I used to believe in measuring ingredients at one point in my life.  Then I met my roommate.

Toasted Millet Rice Pudding

-layer a dry pan with millet and set to medium heat
-while shaking the pan, let the millet toast (you’ll hear crackling)
-once the millet starts to brown, add water and cook until the millet soaks up all the water
-add milk, honey, and vanilla
-continue to cook until liquid has been absorbed
-add orange juice, peanut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar
-cook until liquid has been absorbed
-continue to add water/let it be absorbed until your millet reaches the right consistency (I don’t know what the right consistency is, soooo I cooked it until it was soft).
-for a more intense flavor, add orange extract

This ended up tasting pretty good.  I think adding chocolate chips would be amazing, and in the future I would maybe not add nutmeg.

Total Price: cheap

I don’t know exactly how much of anything I used, but the millet was something, like, $1.50/lb…I probably used $0.30 worth.  I used such trivial amounts of everything else that I don’t think this could have cost more than $0.75.

 

How to convince…

your picky 15 year old niece that eating healthy is cool

Solution: honesty.  I was worried when my niece visited over the weekend that she wouldn’t eat anything at my house because, well, I have weird health food.  Want cereal?  Sorry, all I have is toasted millet.  Yogurt?  I hope plain is okay!  When it came time for dinner, I realized I may have made a grave mistake by only picking up tofu the day before.  Instead of just making food and putting it on the table, or being overly apologetic about having weird food, I was very straight forward with her.  I told her what we had and then I took her to the organic grocery store to let her pick out anything she would want (I thought this was a good compromise because I knew pretty much anything she would have chosen would be organic/healthy).  To my absolute astonishment, she said she had been thinking about going vegetarian and would like to try the tofu.  We ended up leaving the story only with strawberries and bananas.  This majorly surprised me because I know she’s used to having fast food/frozen food most of the time.  So, I felt like I had a huge challenge ahead of me to not mess up dinner.  I ended up making her quinoa and barley with pickled tofu, cucumber, and a few other vegetables.  I had a lot of fun teaching her about pickling and the different things ingredients, since she had never heard of most of them.  She ended up loving it (or at least saying she did)- which I kind of believe because I haven’t gotten any messages from my sister yet asking why I made her daughter eat hippie food!  I think with teenagers, the way you approach food is really important.  If I had been apologetic, she probably would have naturally assumed my food was different or gross in some way.  If I had forced it on her, she maybe would have rebelled.  I was honest with her that tofu has a weird texture and plain yogurt tastes funky the first time you tried it.  I think that made her way more willing to at least try it, which was awesome!

 

Pickled Tofu, Cabbage, Cucumber, and Yukina Savoy over Black Beans and Red Quinoa

Tonight’s meal was an experiment.  It seems as though every chef on chopped ends up pickling something in the 30 minutes they’re given, but that doesn’t make sense to me.  Don’t you need 5-7 days?!?

As it turns out, you can still do a semi-pickle in about 10 minutes.  Which is good for me, because I’m slowly becoming addicted to the vinegary tang that comes with pickling.

finished meal

I’m also becoming addicted to quinoa.  I don’t know why, though.  The red quinoa doesn’t seem to have much taste to me.  I do like the texture a lot, which, when combined with the soft beans is really nice.

Pickled CSA Veggies over Black Beans and Red Quinoa

-bring water, 1/2 cup of red quinoa, three mint leaves, and a 29 oz can of drain black beans to a boil
-chop half a head of cabbage, half a cucumber, half a package of tofu, 1 swiss chard leaf, and 1 yukina savoy leaf
-sautee in olive oil
-add 1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar and 1/8 cup apple cidar vinegar
-add equal amounts of salt and sugar
-veggies should be simmering in liquid, if not, add more

-combine black beans/quinoa/veggies and enjoy!

This tasted really good, one thing I’m confused about is that half the cucumbers had an astringent taste.  Maybe those were the cucumbers that soaked up the white balsamic vinegar?  The cabbage really tasted good with the vinegar.

Total Cost: $4.63

1 29 oz. black beans: $0.99
-1/2 package tofu: $1.00
-1/2 organic cucumber: $0.75
-1 organic yukina savoy leaf: $0.44
-1 organic swiss chard leaf: free! (garden)
-3 organic mint leaves: $0.15
– 1/2 a head of organic cabbage: $1.30

As per usual, plenty leftover for lunch, so another organic meal under $3.00!

Kohlrabi and Yukina Savoy Sautee over Red Quinoa and Barley in Garlic Scape Tzatziki Sauce

As of late, I feel like the names of my meals have become more and more complicated.

I was so excited to come home and cook today.  I had a long, frustratingly unproductive day in the chemistry building after an AMAZING weekend with my best friend from college.  This meal came out better than I expected it to, and I absolutely attribute that to the sauce.  I had a few moments of trepidation about mixing the sauce with the grains and greens, being afraid to ruin the dish, but it came out so. great.

Before I talk about that dish, first I want to share the pasta salad I took to a picnic I had with my visiting friend (Dani) and two new friends, Matt and Matt.

We went to Oliver Winery, bought a bottle of Moscato, and sat outside to eat the food we each brought.  I had so many veggies to use up from the CSA that I thought mixing them with pasta would make a perfect picnic food.  I don’t have any pictures of it, but I do have a picture from our picnic!

Dani and me!

CSA Pasta Salad
boil a 1 lb bag of rigatoni with 1 cup (cooked) black beans.  When I’m making pasta salad I cook the noodles a little bit past al dente since they will be served cold
-while the pasta is cooking, toss 2 sliced beets, 8 chopped garlic scapes, and 2 chopped kohlrabi, including stems and greens in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.
-roast the veggies at 400 degrees for 20ish minutes
-add olive oil to the pasta and toss the veggies together
-add goat or another soft cheese and blend all together

This salad was so cheap.  I had bought the pasta for $1, the leftover black beans cost me about $0.20, and all in all the CSA veggies were probably $3.25.  That makes this salad about $4.50, but it lasted through the picnic and 3 more meals!

Anyway, onto the main meal I’m trying to blog about.  I’ve been really, really bad about posting what I’ve been getting in the CSA as of late.  This week I got Irish Cobbler potatoes (already gone, boiled them, then seasoned with olive oil, rosemary, salt, and parsley), Yukina Savoy, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, and a cucumber. When I came home, I went through the fridge and pulled out everything that *needed* to get used soon, along with some grains that had been sitting in my pantry for a while, and the tofu I opened last night.

tonight’s ingredients

Let me take you through my thought process:

1.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph that’s a lot of garlic scapes.  I’m going to pickle those with the kohlrabi because I am getting sick of kohlrabi
2.  I have a cucumber, garlic, AND plain yogurt?  tzatziki- no brainer
3.  Does tzatziki go with quinoa?
4.  Does it matter?
5.  I’m sick of eating greens raw so I’m going to sautee them.
6.  I can add mint leaves to the tzatziki.
7.  Browned tofu sounds really good.
8.  I’m going to sautee the tofu/greens and serve them over the quinoa/barley, and mix in the sauce.

..and that is pretty much a look inside my brain at how meals are made.

If you’ve never heard of yukina savoy before, you’re not alone.  I never had, either, before the CSA.  If you’ve ever eaten in a Japanese restaurant before, though, you have probably had it, or something similar.  It’s what I consider to be hardy.  It sautees really well because it maintains some of its crunchy silkiness.  if that makes sense.

-chop tofu, kohlrabi greens, and yukina savoy
-coat a large pan with olive oil and add the veggies.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and zahtar
-sautee, but also let sit for 2-3 minutes at a time to allow tofu to brown
-combine quinoa and greens/tofu
-in a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 finely chopped cucumber, 2 finely chopped garlic scapes, a couple dashes of salt, and 3 finely chopped mint leaves
-combine, add black sesame seeds, and toss together in a large bowl

Like I said, I was worried about adding the sauce and ruining the flavors.  The zahtar and black sesame seeds, however, went really well with the garlicy sauce.  Also, I’m not sure when I got so into tofu, but it’s most definitely thanks to Becca!

Total Cost: $5.35

1/2 cup organic red quinoa: $0.88
-1/4 cup organic barley: $0.40
-1/2 package organic tofu: $1.00
-1/4 organic cucumber: $0.25
-greens from two organic kohlrabi: $1.00
-2 organic garlic scapes: $0.15
-1/4 cup organic plain yogurt: $0.42
-3 organic yukina savoy leaves: $1.00
-3 organic mint leaves: $0.25

Considering I had enough for 2 helpings, plus lunch tomorrow, I’d say this turned out pretty great 🙂

Pickled Kohlrabi and Garlic Scapes

I can’t believe how I become more and more overrun with vegetables every week.

I also can’t believe how much fun I have coming up with new ways to make my vegetables.

Like pickling!

This has seriously become one of my favorite ways to use up the vegetables that I’m getting sick or have too many of.  I’m trying extremely hard to not let anything go to waste, and I’m proud to say I haven’t had to throw anything away yet (I will admit I let some otherwise edible beet greens/stems go into the produce bag because I just couldn’t stomach the thought of eating any more).

I adapted this recipe for pickled kohlrabi in my cookbook DIY Delicious.  As per usual, I made quite a few adjustments.

Pickled Kohlrabi and Garlic Scapes

-dice two kohlrabi including greens and stems
-chop ~5 garlic scapes
-in a saucepan combine 1 cup distilled vinegar, 1 whole garlic clove (peeled), 1 teaspoon raw sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds.

i love the turmeric color

-let ingredients simmer until everything is combined
-meanwhile, sterilize a mason jar and pack the vegetables into the bottom

this part always reminds me of sand art from when I was little

-once the vinegar mixture is ready (~5 minutes), pour over vegetables, seal jar, and let sit in fridge for 3 days.

I wish I had a picture of what everything looked like after the 3 days- such a great yellow color.  The kohlrabi pickles really well and the best part is, if you have people over they’re always super impressed by pretty much everything about pickling.  First of all, it looks so freaking quaint to pull a mason jar out of your fridge.  Secondly, the colors of pickled vegetables are usually amazing.  Third, even though it’s easy to do, just saying that you pickled something if you’re under 65 sounds kind of BA.  Maybe the Bloomington hipster mindset is starting to infiltrate my brain.

Tonight I served this with grilled tofu, bison burgers, and a brown rice/red quinoa side dish I made last night that I totally regret not taking pictures of.  Basically, I combined brown rice, red quinoa, chopped kohlrabi, chopped mint leaves, black beans, and garlic scapes in the rice cooker so that I could have something for lunch today.  Totally delicious.

Total Price: $2.65

2 organic kohlrabi: $2.00
-5 organic garlic scapes: $0.25
-1 organic garlic clove: $0.10
-vinegar/spices: $0.30

$2.65 seems like a lot to me, at first, but when I think about it, I’ve had the pickled veggies for a side dish in two meals for myself, I served it tonight as a side for 3 people, and I put the rest in my lunch.  I’d say I stretched every last cent out of that.

Black bean – kale – kohlrabi – garlic scape burgers

yikes, that’s a mouthful.

This really is the best part about the CSA- the opportunity to make bizarre meals.  My inspiration actually came from this blog, where there was a recipe for garlic scape and kale hummus.  I figured since I had garlic scapes and kale, but no chickpeas, I could make a black bean hummus.  I also have more kohlrabi than I know what to do with, so obviously I wanted to add that, too.  After I got everything in the food processor it dawned on me that I should just add some cornmeal, too, and make burgers!

Last night I topped the burgers with plain yogurt and chipotle chili powder.

 

Tonight I added my caliente goat cheese and a fried egg….DELICIOUS

I’m not the best at taking food pics haha

I definitely like the black bean burgers best with cheese and egg.

If I were my roommate, I would probably like this with olive tapenade.

CSA black bean burgers

chop 2 kohlrabi (root, stem, and leaves)

-steam in the microwave for 2 minutes
-add to the food processor, along with 5 chopped garlic scapes and a handful kale

 


-blend in the food processor
-add a 29 ounce can of blackbeans, continue to process
-add cornmeal, a 1/4 cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached
-add cumin, taco seasoning, and crushed red pepper, blend
-form burgers and bake at 400 degrees until crispy or you lose patience

Total Price: $4.39 ($0.37/burger)

1 29 oz. can black beans: $0.99
-5 organic garlic scapes: $0.15
-2 organic kohlrabi: $2.00
-organic kale: $1.00
– 1/4 cup organic cornmeal: $0.25

Toppings:
-1 container organic plain yogurt: $0.80
-organic caliente goat cheese: $2.00

Celebratory Dinner! Trout, brown rice, and fried beets

Today I celebrated the fact my roommate is awesome.  She bakes and shares it with me, she runs fast marathons, and she doesn’t judge me (even though I’m about to judge her for wearing leggings).

So, to celebrate, I made her dinner.

I had originally thought of making more beet pasta, since she missed out on the first go-around, but then I thought that I would make it special and pick up fish.  I don’t know why, but a nice piece of fish is always my go-to when I want to have a really great dinner.

Becca doesn’t like salmon, so when I got to B-foods that left me with trout or tilapia.  Hands down, I had to go with the trout.  Trout and Lake Michigan perch are by far the two best fish ever.  I cooked the trout on a bed of kale from the CSA, kohlrabi greens from the CSA, and swiss chard from our garden.

trout, kale, swiss chard, kohlrabi

The side dish was brown rice, which was cooked in vegetable broth I made the other day from a filled leftover produce bag.  I chopped up turnips and kohlrabi for the rice.

Finally, I failed my dessert 😦  When I made beet muffins a few weeks ago, I dipped a slice of beet in the batter and thought it tasted awesome.  So tonight I roasted beets and mixed sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger and tossed the beets in it.  Then I fried them on my cast iron skillet.  Pretty underwhelming, unfortunately.  I think it would have been better had I added egg or, as Becca suggested, milk.

yeah, not so good

Trout

pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
-line a baking dish with chopped kale, swiss chard, and kohlrabi greens
-place two trout filets on top, season with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, cumin, and crushed red pepper
-bake for 15 minutes

Rice with Turnip and Kohrabi

in a rice cooker, add 1 cup rice, 3 cups vegetable broth, two chopped turnips (bulb, stem, and greens), and 1 chopped kohlrabi
-cook until the rice cooker tells you its done 🙂

chopped turnips

Fried Beets

-slice beets and roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees C
-coat in mixture of wheat flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
-coat pan in olive oil, fry

I’m really glad I got to use a lot of CSA veggies for this…they are seriously overflowing our refrigerator.  I’m also pretty pumped I made a huge overabundance of rice so both Becca and I can have lunch tomorrow AND still have leftovers!

Total Cost: $18.19

1 lb trout: $12.78
-organic swiss chard: free! (garden)
-organic kale: $0.50
-2 organic  turnips: $1.00
-1 organic kohlrabi: $1.00
-1 cup organic brown rice: $0.66
-4 organic beets: $2.00
-flour/sugar/cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg: $0.25

Clearly, this meal cost a bit more than I would normally spend, but I also usually don’t cook for 2 people.  It ended up being $9.10/person.  Plus, there was a ton of rice leftover, so I really don’t think it’s that bad, especially for a great piece of fish.