What to do with all of that extra…?

Little Chef and  I juiced today for the first time this season! Littlest Chef has been sick the past couple of days, and Little Chef was sick at the beginning of the week, so I haven’t done much of anything fancy with our vegetables. We’ve had some rockin’ salads, and we had the kohlrabi hash. Last night, my in-laws came over, and I made a salad with half of the remaining spinach, the arugula, and the radishes. I’m crossing my fingers that my cilantro makes it to tomorrow and Tuesday, so that I can do an an Asian-inspired meal and tacos, respectively.  I found myself with apples from Chelsa’s share, and a whole bunch of beets that I had also gotten from Chelsa.

Little Chef is not a fan of beets, so he made himself (!!! He’s growing up, oh man.) apple-cucumber juice. I made myself beet-apple-spinach juice. Having a tasty drink like this feels decadent, but it’s also a nice way to sneak in some extra vitamins with my lunch. It’s a bonus that it helps me finish off some veggies in the fridge.

What are your favorite juicing combinations? I’m looking forward to experimenting this year.

Red Chili

Last week, I got beets in both of my CSA shares. I love beets, but I’ve been feeling a little off lately, and didn’t want any of my usual beet options. So, I made Beet Chili to freeze for this winter!

The recipe comes from Light & Healthy Cooking, a Good Housekeeping cookbook that I got on a bargain rack at PathMark years ago. A very well-spent $7, as many of my favorite recipes come from this book.

I normally hesitate to post pages of published cookbooks, but this recipe is readily available online here: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a9756/valentine-red-chili-recipe/

I had to change a few things, none of which impacted the quality of the chili. I had green peppers, not red (thoroughly an aesthetic change), and I discovered partway through assembly that I did not have a can of tomatoes. However, I did have several fresh tomatoes, so I diced them up, along with some cherry tomatoes.

Before the long simmer:

And after:

As I implied above, this recipe freezes really well. If you’ve got a lot of beets and are running out of ways to use them, I highly recommend this recipe.

Sweet and Sour Beets and Meatballs

I had beets hanging around in my fridge – I got them both in last week’s and this week’s Coeur et Sol share. (Things overlapped a little, since I picked up on Thursday last week, but got my share on Monday this week.) I broke out Skinny Slow Cooker and made a recipe I’d tried once before, and I was not disappointed.

Sweet and Sour Beets and Meatballs with Wheat Berries

Now, of course, I tell you this and then have to explain all of the things I did differently. First, I substituted farro for the wheat berries, since that’s what I had in my pantry. It worked perfectly well. Both are grains that hold up to long cooking times, and both get a chewy, dense texture when cooked down. Second, I omitted the apricots, because I just don’t care for them. Thirdly, I ignored their instructions for the meatballs and made my own turkey meatballs, using garlic chives from my share, parsley from my yard, and a ton of garlic.

The colors are not as vivid in my finished product as in the cookbook. Partly, of course, that’s because the cookbook picture is staged and lit, but a couple of things worked against the coloring of my dinner: half of the beets were golden beets, not red, and the red onions I used were very pale once you got past the first layer, so there was little distribution of the deep red color.

It doesn’t matter. It was still delicious. My picky preschooler even ate an entire serving!

BEETS.

I have an almost comical love of beets. Chelsa included some baby beets in the share this week, and here’s how I enjoyed my first beet fix of the season.

I used the greens as part of my breakfast this morning. I did a simple sautee of the beet greens with some EVOO, garlic, and black pepper. I topped this mess of greens with one of the nasturtium flowers that also came in my share.

That is a breakfast fit for finals week. The toast is topped with strawberry-cranberry jam, which is homemade. The egg is topped with chervil from my share.

(My day job is as a private tutor. All of my students have finals this week. This partly explains why I haven’t yet begun obsessively blogging.)

I then steamed the beets in a bamboo steamer until they were tender, shredded them, and made “beet tartare.” The dressing for the beets is mayonaise, mustard, lemon juice, and pepper.

I ate the beet tartare on toast triangles, along with a salad topped with pan-fried tempeh.

Today is the first pickup for the Bloomfield-Montclair CSA, so I anticipate having more to share later.

Celery Root and Beets

Celery root. Every year, it shows up near the end of the season, and every year, I wish I knew more to do with it than to make a soup or a mashed-potato-like side. This year, I did the leg work and came up with some new choices, and we tried one of them last night.

Celery Root Puree with Balsamic Roasted Beets and Pearl Onions

Now, I am not a fancy person. This should be obvious from my entire approach to this blog, down to the clearly-not-professional pictures. However, this is a recipe that looks and sounds fancy while being practical, easy, and delicious. I didn’t have any coconut milk, so I substituted almond milk, and it worked fine. We served it with flax tempeh that was marinated in garlic-ginger maple syrup and then roasted, as well as a loaf of sea salt foccacia, and it was a deeply satisfying chilly-night dinner.

The amazing maple syrup concoction came from Get Juiced, by the way. We visited them at the Pocono Garlic Festival, though they have a storefront in Sussex if you are local and an online store if that’s a haul for you.