Wednesday, July 28, 2010


For some reason, we've been getting a lot of beets in our CSA. When Blokey's parents were in town, we went to Brighton Beach and we got some borscht for his gastro-adventureous mother. We've gotten these delicious, local and organic beets in our CSA pick up twice now.
This stuff fills me up but is actually quite lite. I recommend that you don't wear light colors while making this delicious veggie stew.

3 large beets, washed and peeled (keep the greens, washed too)
2 potatoes or turnips, rinsed and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 bunch of parsley, washed and chopped
1/4 c. of fresh dill, washed and chopped
2 onions, diced
2 Tbs of olive oil
1/2 head of cabbage, cored, and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 c. of plain yogurt
pepper to taste
1/2 teas of oregano
6 Tbs of apple cider vinegar
caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice (or 5 all spice berries)
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of salt (this has to be to your tastes though, don't just dump it in)
Dark rye or pumpernickel bread

Thinly slice the beets into match sticks. This will take time, but it's worth it.
Next start cooking the onions and 1 clove of garlic in oil in a large soup pot. Ours is coated with chemical goo, but it works. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, until softened.
Add grated carrots and potatoes, and stir. Cook another 2-3 minutes, then add the beets. Continue to cook and stir for about 4-5 minutes (add more oil if you'd like) and then add the cabbage, and enough water to cover by 2 inches, all spice, bay leaf, pepper, oregano, caraway seed. Bring to boil, and then simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Add the beet greens, parsley, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 the dill and simmer another 5-10 minutes, until everything is the desired consistency.
In the mean time, mix the other 1/2 of the dill with 1 clove of chopped garlic with the yogurt.
Salt the soup to your desire saltiness. Always undersalt, you can always add more. Add more vinegar if you desire (we generally add more).
Serve warm with toasted rye bread and garnish with yogurt. We usually butter the bread, but that makes the meal non-vegan.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Savory rainbow chard and mushroom tart with potatoes

Tonight, it finally got below 80 degrees, which is a big deal if you don't use the A/C your in-laws generously sent. We've lately become Stan Cox devotees (except on the train), so I baked now that it was a little cooler out. We got some rainbow swiss chard the other day and I really wanted to make an eggy, cheesy quiche. But since I stink at quiches, I made a tart instead.
This is an adaptation of the Fresh Direct recipe. Oops, did I fail to mention that sometimes, we get our groceries delivered? I have a lot of enviro-angst about this too, but since we don't own a car, and sometimes I am not always well served by the grocery stores in our neighborhood (and buying groceries in Manhattan and lugging them down to Brooklyn only makes sense during the school year), we resort to this sometimes.

Savory rainbow chard with mushroom tart
(approx 1 hr to prep, serves 4)

1 bunch of rainbow chard, washed and finely chopped (separate out the stems)
1/2 onion, diced
4 oz of baby bella mushrooms, rinsed and chopped
1/4 c. and 1 Tbs of olive oil
1/4 teas. of salt
salt, pepper, and oregano to taste
1 c. of whole wheat flour
3 large eggs
1/3 c. of finely grated parmesan
1/4 c. of crumbled feta
1/4 c. of milk

Preheat the oven to 400.

Mix 1 cup of flour, 1/4 teas. of salt, and 1/4 c. of olive oil in a bowl. It should get to be grainy but doughy. Press into the bottom of a pie plate and stick in the oven (to firm up a bit) for about 4-5 minutes.

Cook the onions in the remaining olive oil over medium heat, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the mushroom, and stir occasionally, another 3 minutes. Next add the chopped chard stems and stir. You can increase the heat a bit here. Add the leaves, stir, and cook until the liquid boils off.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cheese.

When the liquid is evaporated from the chard/mushroom mixture, empty the mixture on top of the crust in the pie pan.

Pour the egg/milk/cheese mixture on top, and bake for 40 minutes.

post baking goodness (it tasted meaty! But there was no meat!)

But in full disclosure, the "crust" was neither good nor necessary. Next time, I'll forgo the crust entirely and make it frittata, upping the recipe to 5 eggs.

Roasted Potatoes with Paprika
In the meantime, scrub and dice 4 medium potatoes. Toss with 1 Tbs of olive oil, and bake in the same oven for about 30 minutes. You can turn the oven onto broil and stick the pan in the broiler for 3 minutes to get the tops crispy. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Our baby cat Buster really wanted the potatoes.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Speedy, no-cook dinner

Did you guys ever make "no cook" recipes with your ma when you were kids? Well, since it's been so hot out, we have been making more no cook dinners. It's too hot to even bother with take out.

We had a bunch of left over brown basmati rice sitting in the fridge from when Blokey's parents were in town, so I used it to make fake tabbouleh. If you leave out the feta, it's vegan.

No cook Middle Eastern style rice
Probably serves four as a side dish. We pigged it down just the two us together.

About 3 c of cooked, cold rice
Juice of 3 lemons
Handful of parsley, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
4 green onions, sliced
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 can of no added salt chickpeas
3 oz. of feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 c. of sliced black olives (or nice kalamata ones, if you've got them)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together with the rice in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with yogurt-tahini sauce

Yogurt Tahini sauce
3/4 c. of plain yogurt
2 Tbs of tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt to taste

Mix everything together. If you want more tahini, add it until you reach desired nuttiness. Serve over the rice.