Category Archives: sauce

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 🙂


Beet Pasta with Balsamic Vinegar-Garlic Scape reduction

I have to admit it.

no beet relief!

I am getting sick of beets.  This week’s CSA contained beets, kale, mint, kohlrabi, and garlic scapes.

I still haven’t eaten all of my beetes (or turnips, or kohlrabi) from last week.  This week I will be better.  More cooking this week!  I don’t know what happened last week, but I ended up being stuck with a lot of quick meals (aka cereal).

I have actually been thinking of making beet pasta for a few days now because I thought the color would be fabulous.  I did a little searching and found a recipe that included ingredients I actually had here.  I also think beets are unparralled when combined with balsamic vinegar, so I thought a balsamic vinegar reduction would be a perfect sauce.  To make it better, I sauteed chopped garlic scapes in the reduction.  (don’t know what garlic scapes are?  neither did I- they’re the flower of the garlic bulb).  You can see them in the plastic bag in the picture.

When I put it all together, the pasta was clearly missing something.  No worries, manager’s markdown specials had me covered.  In went the AWESOME goat cheese I just got at Bloomingfoods on sale- Capriole’s Fromage a trois caliente torta.  It’s creamy and spicy and was the perfect addition to my pasta.

As an aside, you know what helps me keep from spending too much at the grocery store?  Biking to/from the store and only being able to carry back as much as I can fit in my messenger bag.  It was so hard to carry all this!

it doesn’t look like a lot, but try biking up a long ass hill with this in your messenger bag

Beet Pasta with Balsamic Vinegar-Garlic Scape reduction

peel and slice 4 large beets
-toss in olive oil
-roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until beets are fork tender
-puree beets
-combine 1/4 cup pureed beets, 2-1/4 cup wheat flour, 2 eggs, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and blend until a ball of dough forms *note- I had to add water to my dough in order to get a dough consistency
-coat a cutting board with flour and roll out the dough into flat sheets
-cut into noodles using a pizza cutter
-boil until desired doneness

my new favorite trick! placing a wooden spoon over the boiling water keeps it from boiling over

-for the baslamic vinegar reduction, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a sauce pan, then pour in ~1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
-sautee chopped garlic scapes in the balsamic vinegar

beautiful colors and flavor

-once the balsamic vinegar has reached its desired thickness, toss with drained pasta
-stir in cheese

Total Price: $3.48
-2 organic beets: $0.50
-2-1/4 cup organic wheat flour: $0.59
-2 organic eggs: $0.34
-6 organic garlic scapes: $0.25
-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar: $0.30
-organic cheese: $1.50

That’s it?  Definitely more labor intensive than expensive.


+ olive oil.

I don’t have time for a real post…well, unless I want to stay up even later (didn’t end up eating dinner tonight until long after 10 PM 😦 ) but, before I forget, I want to share the best topping for anything orange ever.

olive oil + turbinado sugar + crushed red pepper

I put that on my squash pasta tonight and it was amazing.

I also assume it would be good on sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots?

that is all.

Dinner for Four

As per usual, I had found myself in a dilemma.  I had promised dinner to 3 people at 7, but was still in the chem building at 5:45.  Then, I invite a 4th, which exponentially raised my stress.

When I had gotten home at 6:15, I still had no clue what I was going to make for dinner.

I took a quick look into my pantry and saw a pile of canned pumpkin looming over the rest of my food at me.  Pumpkin pasta!  That seemed easy enough.

Then I began to worry about a side dish.  I had a spaghetti squash that had been adorning our bar, so I figured no better time than the present to roast it.  I quickly halved it, and started pre heating the oven.

Fortunately, my roommate came home at this point and offered to roast some tofu as a protein.  Not really sure what I would have done without her, since I didn’t have anything else to share 🙂

I also realized I lacked a sauce for the pumpkin pasta.  Doing a quick search for what kinds of sauce goes well pumpkin I realized another dilemma — my roommate is lactose intolerant so anything creamy would be bad.  Then I saw my plain yogurt!  I figured I could make a pseudo-alfredo with sage.  In the end, my roommate hated it and used olive oil + brown sugar, but everyone else liked it.

In my stress to get everything on the table, I forgot to take pictures 😦

Here are the recipes:

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

preheat the oven to 410 degrees F
cut the squash down the middle, scoop out the insides (but keep the seeds!)
place each half on a roasting pan, fill the pan ~1/4 inch with water
roast until the squash easily peels away with a fork and forms “spaghetti”
(It wasn’t ready when I wanted it to be, so I stuck it in the microwave for 2 minutes to finish it off)

Bonus: roast the seeds the same way you would with pumpkin seeds, they’re delicious

Pumpkin Fettuccine

In a food processor, mix 2 cups white flour, 2 tablespoons semolina flour, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and a dash of nutmeg
In a seperate bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup pumpkin puree and 1 medium egg
combine pumpkin mixture and flour, briefly
Add 2 medium eggs to the mixture and continue mixing until a ball of dough forms

I had to add more flour, probably ~1/4 cup because it was too moist

On a semolina dusted cutting board, knead the dough.  Let it rest for 30 minutes

After resting, cut the pasta to your desired size.  I used thickness 4 with a fettuccine die.

Boil until desired doneness, ~4 minutes for al dente

Pseudo alfredo sauce

Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan, adding 1/2 the amount of chicken stock you normally would for 2 cups of water
Add 1 cup plain yogurt
Add a dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, and pepper
whisk together
if sauce is too thin, whisk in flour until you achieve the desired thickness

Roasted tofu

place diced tofu on a roasting pan and toss in olive oil and salt.  Roast at 410 degrees F until brown and crispy ~20 minutes

This meal was the perfect amount for 3 runners and 1 heavy eater who each took 3rd helpings.  It would probably work great for 6 light eaters.  Bread would be a great accompaniment.

Total Cost: $4.89+ (but probably still less than $5.50)

squash: $2.79 (bought for $0.69/lb)
pumpkin pasta: $1.55 (pumpkin – $0.45, flour – 0.50, semolina – $0.10, eggs – $0.50)
tofu: (I actually have no idea, I never buy tofu)
sauce: $0.50 (used about 1/4 of the yogurt I made)

Pasta is the perfect meal for cooks fast and is universal.  I didn’t end up serving it until about 7:30, so if you can make the dough ahead of time, that will save a ton of time.  Roasting the spaghetti squash took the majority of the time.

100% Home-Made, Organic Pizza

I know what you’re thinking…3 posts, one night??! It seems like maybe I’m setting myself up for failure by posting too much, too soon, but I’m just so gosh darned excited and have done so much cooking over the weekend that I have to share it.  Had I known I was going to write this blog, I would have taken a picture of the pizza.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one.  The pizza was delicious, especially when paired with Portlandia on IFC.  Wonderful Friday night, if I do say so myself.  The pizza took a little longer than expected, so I’ll give you a timeline, too 🙂

For a 7 PM pizza:

Anytime before 3:30 PM you need to make the crust:

In a food processor or kitchen-aid mixer combine

1 1/2 cups flour (wheat or white, I’ve made both and it works equally well)
1/4 tsp yeast
3 ounces warm water (it usually takes more for me, and it seems to take even a little more when using whole wheat flour)

Mix until a ball of dough forms.  The dough should be moist but not sticky.  If it is too dry, add more water, if too moist add more flour.  Place in a bowl and cover with a cloth.  Leave it out on the counter out of sun light.  To avoid the dough from becoming cracked, grease the bowl and coat all sides of the dough by rolling it around in the bowl.  You need to let it rise for at least 3 hours before baking.

5:30- make the sauce (can most definitely be made ahead of time, or make it for spaghetti and freeze)

Bring to a boil:
1 29 ounce can of diced tomatos (OR, 1 can diced, 1 can whole tomatos)
1 small can of tomato paste
enough water to make your sauce the desired consistency
suggested seasonings (the amounts really don’t matter, just play around):
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, cloves, a bit of nutmeg, sage, fennel, bay leaf

sautee onion and a clove or two of garlic in olive oil or butter, then add to the sauce.  Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes..add more water if needed

5:40 – while the sauce simmers, make the cheese (this recipe is from D.I.Y. Delicious, written by Vanessa Barrington)

bring 1 gallon of milk to 185 degrees F
Add 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar to the milk.  Let it sit for 8 minutes, undisturbed.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the curds to a cheese cloth lined strainer.  Less cheese cloth = drier cheese.  I made my cheese very dry, which made it not melt very well.  I honestly really liked this, it was more like a dry feta.
Once your cheese has reached the desired dryness, season it with sea salt (I used tea smoked salt).

6:30- spread the dough onto your pizza pan.  I use a 14” pizza pan for a very thin crust.  If you prefer a thicker crust, use a smaller pan.  If you do not have a pizza pan, cookie sheets also work.

6:35- pre-bake the dough in the oven at 410 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your dough.

6:45- spread your sauce, add your cheese, add your toppings.  I like to add whatever I have available in the kitchen.  My most recent pizza was browned ground beef, onion, and spinach.  If you have enough sauce left over, add some to the top of the pizza.

6:50- put back in oven for 10 minutes.

7 PM- enjoy..preferably with Blue Moon’s spiced amber ale 🙂

Food costs:

crust: $0.61 (whole wheat flour, $6.99, used 6/68 of the bag)
sauce: $1.25 (made for spaghetti night before, used half for spaghetti, half for pizza- can of whole tomatos- $0.99, can of diced tomatos – $0.68, can of tomato paste –  $0.42, onion- $0.30, garlic – $0.10, spices ~ $0.10)
cheese: $3.00 – (used 3/4 of a gallon, only used 3/4 of the cheese made, gallon of milk was $6.00)
ground beef: $0.47 (bought ground beef on super sale, $1.88/lb a while ago, used 1/4 pound)
spinach: free! (roommate out of town, said I could use it)
onion: $0.30

Total: $6.05

That may seem a little bit expensive, but, compare that to a Little Caesar’s hot ‘n ready, which is about the same price.  So much better, so much healthier 🙂