Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beet & Carrot Salad with a New Turkey Burger

Fall is definitely here.  Do you know what that means?  It's time for another OFF.  This one is going to be tough: beets.  With the exception of this recipe, I have no experience with beets.  Correction, I have plenty of experience eating delicious beet dishes like beet gnocchi and mom's pickled beets and no experience cooking with them.  This video  makes me want to create a beet cake, however I don't know if I could create something that looks that good.  I could make a fun mess though.   

I decided I should start out simple, no cooking, boiling, or whatever it is you might do with a beet.  I needed a side for the new turkey burger I was trying out.  I have to take a detour here to talk about these burgers.  Something was just not right.  Maybe I need to use a paper towel to get some of the moisture out, maybe it was the fact that I cooked them on the grill, maybe it was just that I didn't really measure stuff (but  I don't think I was far off).  No matter what the case, they were really mushy and kept wanting to fall apart.  They tasted much better than I thought they would looking at them, but they were not as good as the first turkey burger trial.  If I make these again, I will add bread crumbs or something.  

Don't forget the sweet  potato fries!
Back to the beets.  Since I needed a side for these burgers, I decided to give this Shredded Beet & Carrot Salad  from my Great Food Fast cookbook a try.  It was so much spicier than that thought it was going to be!  Again, I didn't really measure the spices that closely, but I still think it would have been hot.  There was something about it that I didn't quite like, but I still thought it was good.  Maybe it was the cumin smell that was too strong for me, I just can't figure out what it is.  Someone suggested adding something sweet in like raisins.  I don't like raisins in things, but maybe some apple?  Give it a try and let me know what you thing. 

Shredded Beet & Carrot Salad
6 servings
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Coarse Salt
  • 1 lb raw beets, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, honey, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and 3/4 tsp salt. 
  2. Shred beets and carrots into a medium bowl.  
  3. Add the juice mixture to the beets and carrots. Sprinkle with parsley. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eggplant and Mozzarella Melts

Pretty much over night, it became autumn in New York.  I can't say I mind, it means I can where my jeans comfortably with my flip flops.  I was going through withdrawals.  Naturally this also means warm, hearty cooking.  First recipe up: Eggplant and Mozzarella Melts from Fresh Flavor Fast
 I couldn't really find a small eggplant, so I ended up not really halving the recipe.  I did make a few small modifications though.  I knew that I would have far to much for myself and in my experience, eggplant isn't great as a leftover, so  I invited K over to join me.  She questioned my desire to make something so eggplanty since I had been saying that I like it, but the texture starts to get to me.  I think because the eggplant is breaded and baked, it did not bother me at all.  
It was a great recipe that was relatively quick.  You do need to do some planning if you are going to make this.  While the actually prep work is quick, the baking takes some time.  From start to finish it took me about and hour, maybe a  bit more, to complete.  Since I knew I was going to make this at some point in time during the week, I actually made the bread crumbs over the previous weekend. 

Eggplant & Mozzarella Melts 
3 to 4 servings
  • 2 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs (directions below)
  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 loaf soft Italian bread
  • 1 cups store-bought tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced ( I ordered 3/4 lb from the deli)

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread breadcrumbs in a pie plate or shallow bowl.
  2. Oil a rimmed baking sheet. Dip eggplant rounds in egg, then dredge in breadcrumbs, turning to coat completely; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake (without turning) until golden and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, split bread lengthwise, and place cut side up on another baking sheet; press gently in centers to create a well. Layer both halves with tomato sauce, eggplant, and cheese. Bake until cheese is browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes.
Dried Breadcrumbs

  1. Preaheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Trim crust off of bread and tear into pieces. 
  3. Pulse in a blender (or food processor) until fine crumbs form. 
  4. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 12-15 minutes. 
  5. Store in  an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gluten Free Buckwheat Muffin

This weekend was my neighbor and sometime friend's birthday, (kidding Kurt!  I always wanted a BIG brother across the hall).  It was not just any birthday it was his 30th birthday.  Some of us took him out for pre-birthday drinks on Saturday night and did a pretty good job of prepping him for the real party on Sunday.  Since I was part of the cause of his (possible) pain the next day, I offered to make something for breakfast the next morning.  

I was thinking pancakes and Kurt even in his state was concerned about his brother (and roommate) who recently found out he is allergic to gluten.  They had made buckwheat pancakes before and in my search for a recipe I looked at this recipe for Buckwheat and Carrot Muffins.  The have a lot of honey in them and all I needed that I didn't have was the buckwheat flour.  Two or three grocery stores later, mission accomplished.  Less than and hour after that and just before everyone left for the day, we had muffins.  I loved the slight taste of honey in them, but otherwise, I wasn't a huge fan.  The boys next door really liked them though.  In tossing out ideas, I think adding berries might have been really good and they thought chocolate.  I will have to revisit this recipe and maybe my sister can tell me how to tweak it. In the meantime, give them a try and see what you think. 

Buckwheat & Carrot Muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat  flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 sunflower oil
  • 3 eggs
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees and grease with sunflower oil. 
  2. In a large bowl combine buckwheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Add shredded carrot.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine honey, banana, sunflower oil and eggs.  
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined. 
  5. Bake at 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool to the touch.  Place on a cooling rack.