Posts Tagged ‘stir fry’

Using the Whole Vegetable

I really enjoy the idea of utilizing all parts of a vegetable (when possible.) This vegetable spent so much time growing, it just seems like a waste to throw away edible portions.

My meal tonight was in two parts: one half influenced by the greens, and the other by the root.

Part 1:

    Beet Green Seitan Open-Faced Fiesta Sandwich

Process: I put some broth in a pan and let beet greens and onions cook down, with a pinch of salt. A few minutes before it was ready to come off the stove, I added the seitan, and then a quick pat of butter. I toasted a piece of Wegman’s fresh store-made multi-grain hearty bread and used it as a base on which to celebrate the fiesta (aka food which hangs over the edges of the bread in a casual, party-like gleeful mess.)

Eating it: This was done with a fork and knife, by slicing the thick toasty bread with its vegetable toppings and enjoying the contrast in crispy vs. delicate textures on the plate.

Part 2:

    Something Like Borscht

A rainy day calls for soup, doesn’t it? I was wanting some Borscht like I used to enjoy at B & H Restaurant, a hole-in-the wall kind of comfort food ‘greasy spoon’ eatery near Tompkins Square Park. I remember going there some time maybe 4 years ago and having the most memorable soup ever. I mean, this was Borscht. The hot steaming hearty soup was like some kind of priceless inter-generational gem with a recipe passed from one side of the world to another; the chunks of veggies were tender, but not mushy, and the broth satisfied some full-palate taste yearning that I didn’t even know I had, until after it had been satisfied.

Unfortunately, most of the recipes I located for Borscht contained some form of tomatoes. Tomatoes don’t work so well for my stomach. So I decided that if I was omitting such a major component of most of these recipes, I may as well just go totally wild and make up my own thing.

Process: I chopped up the following vegetables: 2 potatoes, 1 onion, 4 small beets, 1 carrot, and 1/4 of a green cabbage. I put a liquid mixture in the pot of equal parts free-range chicken broth and water. I added a bit of salt and pepper and even a little non-dairy creamer.

Eating it: This soup was fairly mild, and alas, it couldn’t compare to the Borscht archetype as above. Nevertheless, a nice warm dish for an early autumn evening.

So, here’s a quandary perhaps you could help me solve. This is on the topic of using the whole vegetable. I’ve heard that you could eat the tops of carrots, and I have a whole bunch of organic carrots with beautiful green tops. However, I’m afraid to eat the tops…EDIT INSERTED HERE: Quandary solved. Reading this article submitted by Momsy has made me decide to NOT partake of the carrot tops. I’d like to stay on the safe side 🙂

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Spelt Kohlrabi Empanadas & A Dilled Side

This evening I took an excursion into the unknown.

Taking a cue from an ethnic classic, I crafted some empanadas.

These were not standard empanadas. There was a twist. A dough pocket overhaul, so to speak. A transformation performed thanks to farm fresh vegetables and the ancient grain of spelt.

The empanada idea originated as I was googling recipes, trying to determine what interesting thing I could do to spice up the kohlrabi I received in my CSA this week. I was lucky to find the recipe featured here. I took a cue from this recipe to make my own crust.

I made some other substitutions and alterations, as needed…

First, I started off with roasting 2 small acorn squashes in the oven. As they were baking, I chopped up a plateful of veggies.

One onion, cloves from a small head of garlic, a large kohlrabi bulb, and three small radishes.

I then made the dough.

2.5 cups of spelt flour and a pinch of salt briefly whirred in the food processor. Following this, I added .75 cup of Earth Balance spread (my substitution), which I whirred until it appeared in pea-sized chunks (as in the above link.) Then, I poured in some cold water. I took the dough out of the processor, and shaped it into a ball.

Meanwhile, I poured some broth in a pan, and poured in the chopped vegetables. I let them cook down a bit and added some salt, pepper, tumeric and cinnamon. (Again, some adjustments from the above link.) The acorn squash was ready at this time, so I gingerly chopped it up (Hot from the oven, beware.) I tossed the squash in the pan and also added some nutmeg.

Now, it was time for the fun. Time to fill the pliable spelt fun-dough with veg filling. I formed rough circles out of the flattened dough and put the hot filling in the middle. I sealed up the edges of the sticky dough by hand.

The closed pockets then went onto a coconut oil greased casserole dish. I drizzled a mixture of arrowroot powder and water on top, to try and make a sort of glaze. (Not sure this step actually did anything. You could omit this arrowroot step, I’m sure.)

The empanadas took 30 minutes to bake, in an oven heated to 350. Meanwhile, I had loads of extra filling, waiting in the pan. What to do?

Make a side, perchance?

It worked out well. I turned up the heat on the pan, again, and added a few handfuls of fresh dill, and a few pats of butter. Mixing took place.

Finally, this:

A trio of flavors, moving in gradation from the dense & delicious savory pocket, to the tangy dilled side, to a tender simple salad of local lettuce.

What’s your favorite trio of flavors?