Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Never did use my turnip greens and northern beans...

I did have some semi-success with an almost vegetarian meal that had only salt pork to flavor the green beans. Green beans, mashed potatoes, corn bread, and fresh melon. Its a traditional summer  dinner for us but without a main dish. Nobody missed it, at least that I heard about.

 We had a couple of mini-crisis events around here so I hadn't been cooking or blogging much. BUT I wanted to mention something I've been fretting about a little in the back of my brain. BEETS. I've harvested many this summer. I have had enjoyable beet experiences. Not this summer. I've tried baking them instead of the peel and boil method and it just doesn't seem to work for me. We did make a beet and mayo salad one day that I've enjoyed in the past but we (1st grader A and me) did not enjoy it this year. I've seen some recipes for beets with citrus and it intrigues me as a salad component. I need some beet inspiration please.

 One other thing I want to work on is whole grains. I want to start including them more often and in greater variety. We use whole grain rice and occasionally barley or bulgar wheat. I've been known to use quinoa. This is the whole extent though. I also find they take forethought. So, I've been thinking about soaking up some early in the week like I do any beans I'm going to use. Anyone have a magic bullet for whole grain prep?

 My ace in the hole for this fall is sprouts. I've done some experimenting and I think they will work out well for fresh salads and stir-frys. I'm not ready for tofu yet (have tried frying in the past and didn't love it). But sprouted almonds, soybeans, and salad sprouts do sound yummy on a cold day when not much else is green.

Speaking of green, I'm a little psyched about adding row covers and plastic to keep my salad greens at least going over the winter. HOWEVER, I haven't gotten spinach to germinate in the soil here EVER so my winter green selection will probably be limited to kale, turnips, and any salad I can keep alive. I have a lot more ideas for winter veggies but I also don't mind giving the soil some rest (or green manure should I be able to get an order in to Bountiful Gardens).

I do have some more harvesting to do: soybeans. Oh how I am looking forward to parboiled and salted (AKA edamame) soybeans. I pulled a handful today but I have plenty I can freeze up for a taste of summer all winter. BTW soybeans are extremely easy to freeze up. Left in their pods and parboiled they go straight into freezer bags after cooling and patting dry. Out of the freezer you boil again and eat from the pod with some pretzel salt. A not as bad for you snack.


  1. I know you said you didn't like tofu fried, but maybe try baking it. I squeeze the excess water out of firm or extra firm tofu, slice it, brush on soy sauce, let it sit for about 10 min. and then bake it @375 for about 30 minutes. The time depends on the thickness of the slice - thinner for crisper and thicker for chewier. You might like it - gives it a "meatier" texture. I have been doing this for awhile and putting the tofu on my sandwiches for the protein.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Sally! I'll buy some tofu and give it a try.

    Do you make up a bunch and use it all week (ie eating cold or reheating in some way) or is it 40 min process each time you eat it? Whole grains take some time too so they might work well together in terms of prep time - just trying to think it through.

    BTW do you watch Christina cooks?

  3. I bake a block of tofu at a time. However, I eat it up within a week. It's my main protein source so I eat it on sandwiches or just snack on the slices. I always eat it cold or room temp.

    I don't watch Christina Cooks - never heard of it. Is it on Food Network? I will be watching more cooking shows as the weather gets colder and I feel like doing more cooking and baking.