Saturday, May 18, 2013

Prep Day: Beets, Turnips, Pasta Salad

      I had to wait until I found a day by myself to work on this week's box of vegetables. I have been cooking all week long with the crock pot and hopingfor the best, but I didn't want to mess up the fresh fish, so I actually put it in the freezer for later. Later is tonight! But I have a lot of vegies to process: beets to roast, a pasta salad to make, turnips to do something with?, and lots and lots of fruit. One of our friends even gave us some peaches, so now there is that. When I really got overwhelmed with the strawberries, I just froze some. At least I can make smoothies with them. That reminds me, I need to get back into my smoothie kick. I think I will start today with a yogurt-banana-peanut butter-spinach smoothie. That should get our motors running and send Lee out to work with a protein spike. 
     After he left, I immediately trimmed and washed the beets and put them in a foil packet with olive oil and salt and put them into the oven for an hour. I decided to keep the beet greens this time, so I trimmed off the stalks and gave them a good rinse. I found a recipe for a beet green gratin, but I will need some mushrooms and ricotta cheese from the market. That may be a Monday night dish. I peeled and diced up three carrots and three turnips for a Glazed Turnip and Carrot recipe I want to make tonight. They went into a plastic baggie for now. 
      I am also taking a pasta salad to a birthday dinner on Sunday, so I start a pot of water boiling for the pasta and cut up some beautiful SLO Veg carrots and zucchini to go into it. I had seen a pasta salad recipe called "BLT Pasta Salad" and I had a few pieces of bacon left, so that seemed like a good place to start. I think I will add in spinach instead of lettuce, and use canned stewed tomatoes instead of fresh because I like the juice it creates. So I cook the bacon in the microwave on a paper towel lined plate for 4 minutes and chop up some spinach. The bacon and the spinach go into separate baggies because I will want to mix those in at the last minute, probably after I get to the party.
      I started by refering to this recipe, but since I already had some Ranch dressing mixed up, I used that. 

BLT Pasta Salad
1 box rotini spirals
1 can sliced black olives
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/4 c red onions, chopped
1 can stewed Italian tomates
1/2 Ranch dressing
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
5 strips bacon, crisp
one small bunch fresh spinach or lettuce, sliced into strips

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, drain and rinse. Mixed together pasta with Ranch dressing and olive oil. Add in tomatoes, olives, carrots, onion and zucchini. Then mix in seasonings and cheese. Refrigerate one to 12 hours. Just before serving, mix in crumbled bacon and spinach. Add more Ranch dressing if necessary.


So I roasted my beets for another salad, and I want to try this recipe very soon before my beet greens wilt.


Another recipe I will try tonight when I fry the fish:  This one is from the SLO Veg recipe file.

Glazed Carrots and Turnips 

Yield: 4-6 Servings  Level:  Easy  Cook Time: 30 Min

3/4 pound turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces 
3/4 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces 
2 teaspoons unsalted butter 
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Put the vegetables in a skillet just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add enough water so that it comes halfway up their sides along with the butter and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover the vegetables with a round of parchment paper just large enough to fit the inside diameter of the pan, or with a lid set ajar. Simmer the vegetables until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cover and raise the heat to high. Toss the vegetables frequently in the pan, as the liquid evaporates to a shiny smooth glaze. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.  


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