Category Archives: turnip

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.

Southern Inspired Savory Cornmeal Pancakes with Beans, Greens, and Oysters

cornmeal pancake with greens, beans, and oysters

Tonight’s meal (a new one!) had a ton of inspiration behind it.  It was partly from reminscing about cooking with my roommates from undergrad, partly a visit to my sister’s new, southern comfort inspired restaurant, partly from my desire to use my new cast iron skillet, partly me wanting to cook the black beans I just bought, and partly from flipping through the new cookbooks I got from my sister for my birthday.

I was looking through one cookbook this morning and ‘asparagus oven pancakes’ caught my eye.  Essentially, it’s just vegetables with a pancake cooked on top in the oven.  I thought that sounded pretty good!

I then started thinking that I wanted to cook the beans I had soaked the night before.

This reminded me of a casserole I used to make for my roommates that consisted of black beans, ground beef, salsa, and corn bread.

This made me think a corn bread pancake would be a good substitute for a white pancake.

This made me want to make it in my cast iron skillet.

When I decided to add oysters, it made me realize I had been craving the crawfish pot pie I had at my sister’s restaurant over the weekend.

So, I found a recipe in the second cookbook I just got for cornmeal pancakes and made up, quite possibly, my new favorite meal.

Oven baked cornmeal pancake with beans, greens, and oysters

Cornmeal pancake mix

-in one bowl mix 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon turbinado (raw) sugar, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt
-in another bowl, whisk together 1 egg, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3/4 cups milk
-combine the liquid and dry ingredients, stirring briefly (if you over mix, the pancake will be tough)

Black turtle beans

-soak beans the night before use
-for every cup of beans, add 4 cups of water
-simmer soft

I honestly should have used more water and let them cook longer, but I got impatient

Skillet corn bread…

-line a seasoned cast iron skillet with very thinly sliced potatoes (to do this, I used a potato peeler to make very thin slices)
-add chopped garlic, chopped green onion (greens, stalk, bulb), chopped turnip (greens, stalk, bulb), and chopped beet greens

lining the skillet with veggies

-add oysters

i prefer smoked

-add 1/2 cup cooked beans on top of veggies

steaming beans

-add salsa

adding a bit of color

-pour pancake mix over mixture, add chives

somehow I didn’t mess this up

-bake in oven at 370 degrees C for 15 minutes, or until pancake is golden brown.  At this point, I decided to add the kentucky bleu cheese I just bought.  My second and third helpings were cheeseless…I think it could be good with cheddar, but I think bleu cheese was a bad idea.

serve with bleu cheese? or not…

This was amazing..and super easy.

Total Price: $2.34-$5.00

1/2 cup organic cornmeal: $0.15
1/4 cup organic whole wheat flour: $0.06
1 tablespoon organic turbinado sugar: $0.05
baking powder, baking soda, sea salt: $0.10 (?) (no clue)
3/4 cup organic milk: $0.32
1 organic egg: $0.17
1 organic potato: $0.26
1 clove organic garlic: $0.10
beet greens, green onion, chives, turnip: $0.50-$1.00
1/2 cup organic black beans (as in 1/2 cup dry, not sure what this equated to cooked): $0.35
1/4 cup organic salsa: free! (thanks Mom!)
1 can oysters: free! (thanks Mom!)
1/20 of my cheese: $0.28

I only ate half, so this ended up being ~$1.17 for tonight’s meal

BONUS

Becca and I had our first joint kitchen accident today

oops

This is what happens when your beans boil over, you forget to turn off the burner, and then your roommate accidentally puts a towel on the stove….

EDIT: I stand corrected…I thought it had been a joint effort, but I guess I’m the sole one responsible for trying to burn the house down this time haha

Recent Discoveries

I’m leaving for Orlando tomorrow, so this will be my last post for more than a week…(unless of course I somehow find free time, which is highly unlikely).  I’m very fortunate that my research advisor is bringing me along to Pittcon, an analytical chemistry conference, that’s taking place all next week.

I’ve been crazy busy lately, as I’ve alluded to, but I’ve had time to make a few awesome meals that I want to share before I forget about them.

1. Pork and Guacamole Omelette

I’m not a fan of omelettes without cheese.  However, the other day I found myself with only avocado, eggs, pork, tomatoes, and onions.  I figured since guac is creamy it might make a good substitute in my omelette.  SO GOOD.  I wish I had cilantro, though.

Guacamole
mix 1 avacado, 1 roma tomato, 1/8 red onion, tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 clove garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning, lime juice

2.  Mashed Root Vegetables

leftovers

I had these left in my fridge, so I wanted to use them but didn’t feel like roasting.  I thought they might be good mashed/pureed.  DEFINITELY.  The celery root added a subtle hint of celery flavor, while the turnip imparted a taste of horseradish.  Basically, it tasted like I made really well seasoned mashed potatoes.  The best part was that I didn’t have to add butter or milk because they came out creamy.

3.  Pork Gravy

I’m nearing the end of my 2 lbs of pork that I made ut I didn’t want to waste the jus that the pork has been sitting in.  I decided to make gravy to go with the aforementioned potatoes.  I think I will always be disappointed in the gravy I make because it will NEVER be as good as my mom’s.  Seriously.

For this I just added all the drippings from the pork in a pot, started to heat it, then added the water that I drained from the vegetables that I boiled.  This is a very important step.  You need the starch from the potato water to emulsify the gravy.  To thicken it, I made a roux (four and water) and added it until the gravy was the right consistency.  It was good, but lacked the same warmth and depth of flavor that my mom’s has.

a wonderful hodgepodge meal

Roasted Root Vegetables and Tomato Barley

mmm, leftovers 🙂

refrigerator stragglers

As per usual, tonight’s meal was inspired by things in my refrigerator which need to be eaten soon.  From top left, I have tomato sauce, barley, sweet potato, celery root, turnip, and onion (which didn’t end up getting used).

Since I have only been putting the turnip and celery root in soup, I really wanted to try roasting them.

Roasting vegetables is something I had never done, or even considered, before moving in with Becca.  The first few weeks we lived together she would rave every day about how roasted broccoli was her favorite dessert.  I’m not going to lie, I thought that was a little strange…but I went along with it.  The first time she roasted broccoli for me, though, I was absolutely smitten.  Becca’s pretty big on getting the vegetables charred (I don’t have the patience for it) but it makes such an amazing difference.  It’s so easy, too!  Anyway, I decided to try roasting these to see how the flavor changed.

I was absolutely not disappointed.  The subtle flavor of the celery root seemed to become a little bit stronger, in a good way.  Likewise, the flavor of the turnip became sweeter and lost some of its pungent bite.  Most definitely worth doing again.

Also, I have to go on an aside about these sweet potatoes.  Best. Sweet Potatoes.  Ever.  Bloomingfood’s had them on sale for $0.99/lb, so I grabbed a couple.  The first thing I noticed is that they are much more vibrant than other sweet potatoes I have bought.  The color is much more red than orange.  Becca and I aren’t sure if it’s a different variety, or if it has something to do with being organic.  The flavor is also remarkably better.  Like the color, the flavor seems to “pop” more than a normal sweet potato.  The only reason I am mystified by this is because when it comes to pesticide residue on vegetables, sweet potatoes are one of few vegetables where it doesn’t matter if you buy organic or conventional.  They are found to have the lowest pesticide rating.  This would lead me to believe there isn’t much difference in flavor.  When I’m not so crunched for money I would like to try comparing organic and conventional fruits and vegetables and see if I can detect any differences.

But I digress.

Back to dinner.  Easiest. Meal. Ever.

Roasted Root Vegetables and Tomato Barley

-in a small pan, bring water and barley to a boil.  stir occasionally
-dice 1/2 a turnip, 1/2 a sweet potato, 1/2 a celery root and toss in salt and olive oil
-place in oven at 400 degrees C for ~15 minutes (or until veggies are soft)
-once barley has absorbed all the liquid (~20 minutes), mix in leftover tomato sauce.

-remove vegetables from oven

is there really anything better than roasted vegetables?

-combine vegetables and barley

yummm

So, I initially thought parmesan cheese would be good grated over the top of this.  Don’t bother.  It wasn’t all that good.

The crazy thing about roasted vegetables is that no matter how much you make, you never have leftovers.  Becca and I could make 10 pounds of broccoli and honestly eat all of it in one sitting.  I suppose there are worst things, but it’s kind of frustrating when you’re banking on having enough for lunch the next day.  🙂

Total Cost: $2.15

organic barley: $0.60
organic tomato sauce: $0.32
1/2 organic turnip: $0.25
1/2 organic celery root: $0.58
1/2 organic sweet potato: $0.40

I have enough left over for lunch tomorrow, too!!

“Creamy” Root Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs

I don’t know what it is with me and making creamy soup without creamy ingredients, but I really like it.

finished product 🙂

I wish I had taken a picture of all the ingredients used because it ended up being quite a few.  This was definitely a night for slow cooking 🙂

The last time I went to B-foods, I bought quite a few new ingredients that I’ve been wanting to try.  Mainly, I wanted tonight’s meal to involve red lentils and celery root.

celery root - one of the ugliest vegetables known to man

I also had barley, potatoes, onion, and turnip so I thought soup would be great.  I’ve been thawing ground turkey so I wanted to incorporate that, too.

This soup turned out to be amazing.  (My boyfriend wants me to include that he’s pickky and he thought it was great).  Interestingly, the red lentils disappeared.  I had anticipated them to become pretty soft, but I didn’t think they would completely lose their color and disintegrate.  I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure this is why the soup became so creamy.  It had the consistency of cream of celery.

The soup used little seasoning, and could very easily carry itself without the meatballs if you’re vegetarian.

Creamy Root Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs

bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add 3/4 cups barley and 3/4 cups lentils (I’m going to be completley honest- these are estimates, I just poured them in)
-add 2 diced potatoes, 1/2 a diced celery root, 2 diced carrots, 1/2 a diced onion, 1/4 diced turnip
-add a bay leaf and salt, pepper, and sage to taste.  (I honestly probably used at least 2 teaspoons salt)

While the soup is simmering, make the meatballs.
-in a bowl combine 3/4 cups ground turkey, 1 egg, 1 chopped garlic clove, salt, pepper, parsley, fennel, crushed red pepper, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
-mix with your hands, form into balls, and place onto a frying pan with vegetable oil.
-brown on all sides, then place in the oven at 380 degrees for 8 minutes, or until cooked all the way through

fresh out of the oven

-Add the meatballs to the soup and let simmer for 5 more minutes

The meatballs went nicely with the soup.  As I said earlier, I would compare the soup to a cream of celery – light, yet filling and refreshing.  The meatballs add a little extra, but aren’t necessary.  The parmesan cheese really came through in these meatballs and complemented the soup well.

I was pleasantly surprised with the celery root.  It had a nice flavor, somewhat between a potato and celery.  Picky boyfriend Dave says he wold have enjoyed it if it had been chopped more.  He claims it was a little overwhelming.  I claim it was delicious and should have been chopped less.

I’m glad I saved the other half of the celery root (instead of using it all in the soup) because I’m looking forward to experimenting with it.

Total Cost: $5.54

-organic pearled barley: $0.36
-organic red lentils: $0.67
– 2 organic potatoes: $0.40
-1/2 organic onion: $0.21
-1/2 organic celery root: $0.59
-1/4 organic turnip: $0.12
-2 carrots: free! (borrowed from awesome roommate Becca)
-3/4 lb organic ground turkey: $1.92
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese: $1.00
-1 clove  organic garlic: $0.10
-1 egg: $0.17

This soup was enough for Dave and I to each have two bowls plus there are a couple bowls left over.  Definitely a good deal 🙂

“Creamy” Manhattan Clam Chowder

Back to reality..

I haven’t really been cooking lately…actually, the last time I cooked was Friday night, I think.  I was super spoiled over the weekend with nice pre-Valentine’s Day meals + I had tons of leftover pizza.  Honestly, I probably would have run out of food otherwise!

I was not feeling any more grains today, so I decided to make soup.  (More evidence I am out of food – here is what I ate today:  oatmeal, left over pizza, a granola bar, more oatmeal).  I was definitely feeling a bit of a change.  Unfortunately, I also had to dip into my emergency canned food section of the pantry.  Here is what I had to work with:

random much?

From left I have whey, organic whole tomatoes, baby clams, chorizo flavored refried beans, organic onion, organic garlic, and organic turnip.

A major reason I went for the clams was because I’m starting to feel like my iron might be a little low.  Little known fact- shellfish contain much more iron than beef.  I’ve struggled with anemia for the past 6-ish years, so cooking with iron in mind is something I feel like I’ve perfected over the years.  Because I wanted to get the most iron possible, I actually eliminated the whey.  I’m not positive what the calcium content in whey is, but calcium inhibits the absorption of iron.  Vitamin C, however, helps the absorption of iron so making a tomato based clam chowder seemed like a no brainer.  I wanted to add the beans to the soup to add iron and also a fuller, creamier texture and flavor since dairy was out.  Also, I didn’t have any potatoes so I figured the turnip could be a good substitute.  It def=initely was, and I can see myself making that substitution again.

I’ve made clam chowder quite a bit and this adaptation is one of my favorites.  The chorizo flavor in the beans went well with the clams, and the turnips added extra flavor.  Here’s what I did:

Creamy Manhattan Clam Chowder

-combine a 28 oz can tomatoes, 14 oz can refried beans, 12 oz can baby clams in a large pot
-add 1/2 a diced onion, 1/2 cup julienned turnip, 1 clove garlic
-season with bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes
-simmer for ~20 minutes

needs more green..story of my life

Sooo easy.  This actually made quite a bit, too.  I ate two bowls tonight and have 2-3 bowls left.  Hooray for lunch tomorrow 🙂

Total Price: $5.48 (for 4-5 servings)

Tomatos: $2.89
Clams (not organic): $1.29
Refried Beans: (not organic) $1.10
Onion: $0.19
Turnip: $0.10
Garlic: $0.10

Considering that Darn Good Soup (an amazing soup place in B-town) sells a bowl for ~ the price of my entire pot, I think that’s a pretty good deal.

Squash’s Last Stand

Finally!  Exactly 1 week later and I am through with squash..for now.  I actually really enjoyed it.  Besides the meals I’ve listed I have had squash in nearly every dish.  As far as non dinner meals went, it certainly worked the best in oatmeal.

I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of wheat products lately so I was kind of feeling a light, refreshing dinner.  I had a very little bit of romaine left, and I had been craving more turnips in my life.  I also have these oranges that I bought that unfortunately are going moldy, so I wanted to use one of those, too.  I realized I also needed some protein, so that’s where the tuna came in.  Therefore, I came up with the following salad:

goodbye, squash

It contains the following:

-organic romaine lettuce
-1 organic navel orange (cut in 8ths)
-one can of tuna
– ~1/4 cup organic turnip, julienned
– ~1/3 cup organic butternut squash
– balsamic vinegar

I was a little bit skeptical of putting tuna with this salad, but it actually worked.  I think the citrus really helped balance the flavors, along with the acidity of the vinegar.  The turnip has mellowed a little bit, so it didn’t overpower any flavors.

Total Cost: $1.48

romaine: $0.25
orange: $0.40
tuna: $0.60
turnip: $0.10
squash: $$0.13

I’m honestly a little bit surprised that this salad is almost as much as my bread.  However, this is all fresh produce, and if you think about how much you would pay for a similar salad, I think I came out on top 🙂