Author Archives: Megan

Green Garlic Sandwich Spread

I almost feel silly giving a recipe for this, and in fact, it’s not much of a recipe other than the list of ingredients. But truthfully, I’m not sure how many people look at vegetables and wonder what happens when you shove them under a stick blender.

The result of my curiosity was a pungent neon puree that is great for topping burgers, falafel, or tofu. Mix it with some sour cream or cream cheese for a dip, or thin it out more for a salad dressing. You just might want to keep some mints on hand.

Green Garlic spread

Green Garlic Sandwich Spread

1 bunch green garlic (or green onions), roots trimmed off
Olive oil
Lemon juice

Slice garlic or onions into large pieces. Using a blender, stick blender, or food processor, blitz garlic until chopped. Add olive oil and lemon juice, a little at a time, until you get the flavor and consistency you like. Once fully blended, salt to taste. Eat and don’t breathe on anyone.

Lasts about a week in the fridge.

Easy Pickled Daikon & Carrots

Daikon and Carrots

If you’re a fan of Portlandia you’ll know the joke behind pickling, but pickling really is an easy way to transform food and extend its life in your kitchen. Daikon in particular is wonderful pickled, as anyone who is a fan of banh mi sandwiches can attest to.

This recipe made exactly one pint jar, which in my mind is the perfect amount for fridge pickles, especially if you are unsure about what you’re doing or the flavors of the end result. You can omit the spices if you’d like, but be sure to not reduce the vinegar. By the way, I find pickling works best if you use a wide-mouth jar, but regular jars work fine too, and you can even use a Tupperware if you don’t have jars on hand.

Pickled Daikon and Carrot
makes 1 pint jar

1 pound total daikon and carrot
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger (or use fresh grated if you have it!)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Peel daikon and carrot and slice into thin rounds. Place in a fine sieve or colander set over a bowl, and sprinkle salt over vegetables. Stir to coat, and let sit for at least 20 minutes while the salt draws excess water out. (This will speed up the pickling process.)
Mix together the rest of the ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Pack vegetables tightly into a clean jar, and pour liquid over the top, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar. Place lid and ring on jar and store in the fridge. Let ferment for at least 4 hours before eating, but preferably overnight.

Note: You might have liquid left over, but don’t worry about it. As long as your veggies are covered they should be fine.

Greens Soup

Recently on the radio I heard cookbook author Anna Thomas talking about soup, and approximately five seconds after she described her Green Soup, I wanted it. It’s the perfect time of year for greens and onions (the other main ingredient in the soup), and utilizing them both in a soup sounded like a perfect way to spend a slightly chilly afternoon. Not that it is chilly in Austin these days, but those greens won’t eat themselves!

Greens soup

It’s not exactly photogenic, but trust me on this one. A great thing about this soup is that you can use virtually any kind of green you might have on hand, because even the most bitter greens will be balanced by the sweetness of the caramelized onions. I like the tang brought in by the yogurt, though you can certainly leave that out if you prefer. Serve with pita chips or wonton crisps for a bit of crunch.

Greens Soup
adapted from Anna Thomas
serves 8

Olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
4 cups vegetable stock
3-4 bunches assorted greens, such as mustard, komatsuna, mizuna, beet greens, kale, or chard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a swirl of olive oil over medium. Add onions mushrooms and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions take on a nice brown color, approximately 30 minutes.
Add stock and increase heat to just bubbling. Wash and chop greens and add to the soup. Reduce heat to medium and cover soup. Let cook until greens have wilted, about 10 minutes.
Puree soup and return to heat. Stir in paprika, yogurt, and lemon juice, then season to taste. Alternatively, you can leave the yogurt out until just before serving, and then add a swirl into individual bowls.

Brussels Sprouts Pizza

When Brussels sprouts are on a pizza, you can have Brussels sprouts any time!

Ever since I was introduced to roasted Brussels sprouts a few years ago I’ve looked forward to their season, and I even have a couple of slowly growing plants in my raised bed garden. It’s never been a problem finishing a pint, but I still love to try out new combinations.

Admittedly, this pizza requires a bit more work than the standard pepperoni pie, but I think it’s worth it. I didn’t designate what kind of cheese to use for this pizza, although I used smoked mozzarella on mine. I asked my Twitter followers for cheese recommendations based on the other pizza toppings, and I received at least ten different suggestions – so I have a feeling you can’t go much wrong when it comes to the cheese on this pizza.

Brussels sprouts pizza

Brussels Sprouts Pizza

1 pizza dough of your choice
1 small onion
8 ounces Brussels sprouts
1-2 slices thick-cut bacon
1 pear
Olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, make sure it is in the oven while preheating – you want it nice and hot!
Slice onion in half and then into long strips, and cook over medium-low to low in a small saucepan, stirring often. You want them to be nicely browned, but not completely caramelized (remember, they will cook more in the oven).
In a frying pan, cook bacon until crispy. Meanwhile, trim ends off Brussels sprouts and then slice lengthwise into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on the size of the sprout. Once the bacon has cooked, remove it to drain on a paper towel, and add sprouts to the bacon fat. Cook 2-3 minutes, until sprouts are bright green. Remove from heat.
Peel and core pear, then slice thinly.
Roll out pizza dough. Add a light drizzle of olive oil to the top of the dough, being careful to not get too close to the edge (if oil leaks off pizza, it might burn on your pizza stove and make your fire alarm go off).
Arrange pear slices on dough, then scatter sprouts, bacon, and onions on top. Sprinkle on shredded cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until crust has browned. Let cool on pizza stone for 5 minutes before cutting.

Beet Brownies

Now that it is beet season again, I’m more determined to if not like the darn things by themselves, to at least find ways of incorporating them into foods I do enjoy. And, of course, I enjoy chocolate. What food blogger doesn’t like chocolate, right?

Beet brownies aren’t a new thing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be proud of them. Plus, these are gluten-free, so I know I can feed them to my friends without having to worry about dietary issues. I’ve found that garbanzo bean flour to be really reliable for me in the gluten-free department – it has worked well for cornbread, cookies, and now brownies. These did end up a little more cakey than I had expected, so if you like a more fudgey brownie, use a bit less flour.

beet brownie

You’ll notice that I included gram measurements for the chickpea flour and cocoa. This is due to differing scoop methods – I’ve been burned in the past with recipes that only list a cup measurement, so I have decided to be more precise when it comes to my flour measurements on posts. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, they are extremely affordable and perhaps the best tool you’ll add to your arsenal.

Beet Brownies
serves 15

250 g / 9 ounces beets
1 packet (2 tablets) Taza Mexican chocolate (or 3 ounces 70% chocolate)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (70 g) garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Trim long roots and greens from beets and clean off any dirt. Dice them into quarters (or smaller, depending on the size of your beets) and set in a pot of water to boil. Boil until easily pierced by a fork, approximately 30 minutes. Drain and let cool until they are comfortably handled.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate in the microwaves at 30-second intervals. Whisk until smooth and completely melted. Set aside. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, and set aside.
Once the beets have cooled, the peels should slip off easily. Place peeled beets in blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together beets, chocolate, and sugar. Beat in the eggs, and add the vanilla. Stir until smooth.
Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and stir until well-incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool as much as possible before cutting. Great the first day, better the second.

Glazed Turnips

It’s the second week of January – have you given up your resolutions yet? I’m grateful that Greenling makes it so easy to keep up with the healthy eating portion of my goals. (Too bad they can’t exercise for me!) With all the fresh veggies we’re getting, it’s hard to not eat healthy!

Glazed turnips

I have to admit that last year I tried to cook with the turnips that came in our boxes, and whatever I did to them did not make me quick to return them to my mouth. But with the new year and my new determination to waste less food, I knew something had to be done.

I’ve done this glazing technique with carrots and tofu, so I thought it was worth trying out. The turnips stay just firm enough, and don’t get overly sweet – the presence of turnipness doesn’t get lost. Best of all, they take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Try variations by adding other root vegetables, such as beets, and swapping out the sage for other fresh herbs like thyme, or even a sprinkling of dried herbs de Provence.

Glazed Turnips
serves 4

2 large turnips (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Peel turnips and dice into 1-inch chunks. Arrange turnips in a single layer in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Pour in water, and scatter butter and brown sugar over the top. Cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove lid and continue to cook until liquid is evaporated, stirring to keep turnips from sticking. Once liquid is evaporated, salt to taste, and put turnips on serving dish. Sprinkle sage over the top and serve.

Kale Berry Smoothie

I used to be afraid of kale. I definitely used to be afraid of the idea of putting greens in drinks. I like green foods, but there is just something about green liquids that make me want to run in the other direction.

It’s a good thing I changed my mind about kale. It’s not just fantastically healthful; it’s extremely versatile. I eat it in everything now, from soups to pasta to simply sauteed for a side dish. And even, yes, in smoothies.

kale berry smoothie

As you can see, these smoothies aren’t green, which helps get my entire family past the weird factor and on their way to drinking up a treat. But don’t be fooled – each smoothie has two cups of raw kale, giving you lots of potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. Plus, the sweetness comes from the fruit, not from the added sugar many smoothie businesses sneak in.

A kale berry smoothie a day keeps the doctor away? Well, it couldn’t hurt.

Kale Berry Smoothie
serves 1

1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 cups torn raw kale
1 cup cold water

Layer ingredients in a blender and blitz for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Enjoy and conquer the world.