Tag Archives: DIY

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.


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.

Old Bay Pasta with Smoked Clams

I came home from work today so hungry that I wasn’t hungry anymore.I didn’t want to roast vegetables because I knew that would take a long, didn’t want to make rice for the same reason, and didn’t want to thaw any meat.

I knew I wanted to delve into the smoked clams Santa gave me in my stocking.  I love clams.  I started eating them a few years ago because they are extremely high in iron.  The smoked ones in cottonseed oil are beyond the best!

Anyway, I settled on pasta because fresh pasta is usually pretty quick.  Over New Year’s I bought a pasta cookbook at a secondhand store.  It’s pretty amazing..it has something like 127 fresh pasta recipes.  I came across one which intrigued me – Old Bay pasta.  Normally, I couldn’t care less about Old Bay seasoning.  However, when I moved out of my apartment in Milwaukee I hoarded all the food left behind.  One item was a full carton of Old Bay.  I’ve never used it….until tonight!  The only thing I knew was that the seasoning went well with seafood so I figured I’d give it a shot.  The recipe also called for orange juice, so I was pretty excited for this.  The result?  Surprisingly good.  The strongest flavors in the pasta were the celery salt and orange juice.  As weird as it may sound, it worked.  To go along with the pasta I boiled diced carrots, potato, and garlic in the cooking water.  Since the pasta was made with a tablespoon of Old Bay, no seasoning was needed.  For sauce, I just used the oil from the clams.

Old Bay Pasta

unlikely pasta ingredients

-combine 1-1/4 cup semolina, 1-1/4 cup wheat flour, and 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning in a food processor
-in a seperate bowl whisk together 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons orange juice; combine with flours in food processor
-mix until a ball of dough forms

when I first did this, I stopped too early and tried to use the dough when it was like this:

not ready!

The dough was very tough and kind of dry.  I ended up adding another tablespoon of orange juice, but then the dough seemed too moist.  I ended up just kneading it with some white flour to make it the right consistency.

-make the noodles using the 6 thickness and fettuccine die

chop 3 large carrots, 1 potato, and 1 clove of garlic.  Add to boiling water.
-once the pasta is ready, add it with the vegetables.
-boil ~5 minutes
-plate and top with a container of clams!

not the most photogenic, but it tasted good!


Total Cost: $4.69

organic whole wheat flour: $1.69
-semolina flour: $1.66
-old bay: free!
-organic orange juice: $0.08
-organic eggs: $0.50
-3 organic carrots: $0.46
-1 organic potato: $0.20
-1 bulb organic garlic: $0.10
-clams: free!

I have so much left over…definitely probably enough for at least 2 meals


Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Veggies and Brown Sugar Sauce

This is one of my favorite meals I’ve made in a long time.  I’m really happy that I made a full recipe because I ended up being able to have dinner last night, lunch today, and a reworked version tonight for dinner.

I still had a lot of pumpkin leftover last night and pretty much all I have in the pantry is various flours, so I thought pasta sounded good.

I also had a ton of potatoes, onions, and half a sweet potato which seemed like it would go well with the pasta.

I didn’t have anything for a sauce, so I just used olive oil and brown sugar (soooo good)

One of my favorite things to do with leftover homemade noodles is saute’ them the next day in olive oil because they never seem to taste as good as they did the first night.  What made this even more amazing was that I added some brown sugar into the frying pan and let it carmelize on the vegetables and pasta.


The recipe I used is the same one I used a few weeks ago when I had people over, but I made a couple adjustments:

Pumpkin Pasta

combine 2 cups white flour, 2 tablespoons semolina, 3/4 tsp salt, and a dash of nutmeg in a food processor
-in a seperate bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup pumpkin and 1 medium egg
-briefly  mix together in the food processor
-add one more medium egg and continue to mix until a ball of dough forms
-let dough rest for 30 minutes

While this was resting, I made my roasted veggies.  I chopped 1 onion, 1 potato, and half a sweet potato, tossed them in olive oil and salt, and roasted them at 400 degrees C for 30 minutes.

After letting the dough sit, roll the dough through a medium thickness setting on your pasta machine and then use the fettuccine die.  If you don’t have a pasta machine, just simply roll out the dough and use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut thin strips.

Boil pasta for 5 minutes, then toss with olive oil, brown sugar, and the roasted veggies

pure deliciousness

All this was more than enough for 3 meals, probably more for a pereson who isn’t ravenously hungry by the time they come home at night.

I’m not going to attempt to figure out the price, mainly because I bought the flours before I started keeping track of costs.

Bread Fix!

I had no time this weekend to even think.

I literally did nothing besides work, run, clean the house, sleep (barely), and eat.

Unfortunately, I totally forgot to feed my sourdough starter to make bread for the week.  I’m not sure I really would have had the time to, though.

Realizing I have no food in the house, I decided bread was probably necessary.  I opted for a quick bread I used to make all the time in undergrad- beer bread!!

This bread is so ridiculously easy and delicious (if you like beer) (which I do) (a lot).

The recipe calls for a lager, but I have used it all.  PBR is one of my favorites to make this bread with.  My ex boyfriend (who hated to drink and also hated beer) loved making this with Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.  I don’t like it so much because it comes out a little bit too sweet.  Today I made this with Upland Wheat.  I also made a couple other changes from the original recipe.  Instead of 3 tablespoons white sugar, I used 3 tablespoons brown sugar.  I also used all wheat flour instead of white.

I’ve had mixed results, texture wise, with this bread in the past.  It has come out with a very hard crust, it has come out dense, and it has also come out undercooked.  I have no idea if that is a fault on my part (quite possible) or differences in the beer used.  For instance, PBR always seems to make a denser bread with a harder crust.

Tonight’s bread turned out amazing fluffly and moist on the inside with a crispy crust on the outside.  I think the moistness has a lot to do with the wheat flour and brown sugar.  Interestingly, I don’t think this bread has as much of a beer flavor as previous loaves I’ve made.  It’s still delicious and I think it will be good for lunch, possibly with my almond butter.

Beer Bread

-preheat oven to 400 degrees C
-combine 2-1/4 cups wheat flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablesppoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients to pour the liquid ingredients into.

Beer Well..what could be better?

-pour 12 ounces of beer and 2 tablespoons olive oil into the well
-mix until just blended (this always reminds me of my mom because she is a stickler on making sure baked goods aren’t over mixed)

no over blending here!

-pour into an 8 inch bread pan and bake for 45 minutes
-remove to cooling rack and let cool

I don't think I have an 8 inch bread pan..


Total Cost: $3.93

-organic wheat flour: $2.23
-1 beer: $1.20
-brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, olive oil: no more than $0.50

This was definitely more expensive than other breads I have made, but it’s great in a pinch when you don’t necessarily have the money to go and buy bread, but have a lot of random ingredients and not a lot of time.

DIY Yogurt

I have always turned my nose up at plain yogurt.

I take that back.  I turned my nose up once I realized plain yogurt is different than vanilla yogurt.  (aside:  If vanilla wasn’t white, do you think it would be considered less plain?  This is a question I ask myself often).

Anyway, I was a little bit skeptical about making my own plainyogurt, but I figured for the amount of money I would be saving, it would be worth a try.

This recipe is also adapted from DIY Delicious by Vanessa Barrington

Organic Yogurt

special equipment needed: candy thermometer, sanitized quart sized mason jar (place in boiling water for 5 minutes), water bath heated to 90-100 degrees C, plain yogurt (for cultures)

-pour 1 quart milk (I used 2%) into a saucepan

why does a picture of milk in a saucpan improve this blog?

slowly heat the milk to 185 degrees C.  (It’s really easy to scorch the milk when it’s in a sauce pan)
-hold the milk at 185 degrees C for 5 minutes.
-let cool to 115 degrees C
-place 2 tablespoons plain yogurt in mason jar
-add 1/2 cup milk to mason jar at a time and whisk
-once all the milk is added, place mason jar in water bath and let sit for 8 hours.

One thing I do is make the yogurt before bed, throw the water bath in the oven, and just turn the oven light on.  It keeps the water warm enough.

I really like  this plain yogurt.  It is definitely less tangy than store bought plain yogurt, which is great for me.  I don’t think I could eat it plain..it has a bit of a milky/cheesy taste.

Yogurt ideas:

-mix in almond butter, honey, bananas (my favorite)
-spread on pancakes or toast
-use to thicken sauces
-freeze with almond butter mixed in for frozen yogurt!!

Total Price: $1.50/quart