Quinoa and Beet Wraps

30 Jun

002

My food intake has been uncharacteristically indulgent the past couple of weeks. I kicked it off with my very favorite beef tartar at The Greenhouse Tavern with my dad, followed by a gorgeous sushi boat at Pacific East with my in-laws and sister-in-law that evening. The next day, we went over my in-laws house for some of my mother-in-law’s homemade gravy (this one made with San Marzano tomatoes and deliciously tender meatballs – yum). Saturday we went back to the in-laws for her homemade bean burritos and summer corn. Then, on Sunday, we bid my sister-in-law farewell with a decadent stop at Li Wah for some dim sum, where I really outdid myself in eating just one more bite of everything.

So. I’m not just bragging about all of the awesome things I ate. Okay, yeah, I’m sort of bragging, but I only brought it up because after all of that, I needed something healthy. But it couldn’t be a ho-hum dish, because after all that rockin’ flavor day after day, my palate might have shriveled up and died in protest if I ate something boring for the first time in days and days.

This fit the bill perfectly. Beautiful sweet beets, nutritious and savory sauteed beet greens, salty feta, tangy-sweet apple cider vinegar, slightly crunchy and nutty quinoa, and the heat of crushed red pepper flakes wrapped up in a soft tortilla … it’s really a winning combination. Not that my crappy picture-taking demonstrates it, but this dish is also beautiful. The bright red beets look like little jewels, staining the quinoa a slightly red hue, set off by the emerald green beet greens and bright white flashes of the feta and tortilla. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as as the mouth. It also makes for killer leftovers – both reheated and room temperature. I made one room temperature and one reheated tortilla for lunch today and liked both equally.

Quinoa and Beet Wraps

Slow cooker roasted beets:

2 medium beets with greens attached

4 tbs. olive oil

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare beets by cutting off greens (reserve greens – see below), leaving about 1/4″-1/2″ of stem, and scrubbing clean. Place each beet on a square of tinfoil about 6″ x 6″, or large enough to encase the beet. Drizzle each beet with 1-2 tbs. of olive oil, and season generously with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Close each tinfoil packet and twist shut. Place beets in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

When beets are easily pierced through with a knife, remove from slow cooker. Remove from tinfoil packets and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel beets using a vegetable peeler or edge of a spoon. Cut off about 1/4″ of rooted end and top. Dice into 3/4″ squares and set aside.

Veggie wraps:

5 tortillas

Slow cooker beets (see above)

Beet greens (reserved from above)

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

3 tbs. olive oil

3 tbs. apple cider vinegar

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup feta, finely chopped

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Add quinoa and water to a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. When the quinoa comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is cooked through. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste (start with a small amount of each, especially crushed red pepper, because you will be adding seasoning in each layer). Saute onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds.

Add beet greens. Season again with a small amount of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until beet greens begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add reserved beets from above and saute about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar, cooking until only about 1 tbs. remains. Finally, add quinoa and feta and saute another 1-2 minutes until all ingredients are heated through and vinegar is absorbed. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Set aside, covered, to maintain warm temperature.

Heat tortillas in a large saute pan or in the microwave for 45 seconds. Spoon about 1/3 cup of seasoning into the center of tortilla and roll into burrito form.

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Three

29 Jun

004

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Three

The fact that I’m a day late in posting this doesn’t mean I’m not excited about our CSA share this week. We received a head of lettuce, a bunch of Swiss chard, a bunch of kale, beets with greens on, a zucchini, a cucumber, a large bunch of basil, a tomato, a pint of cherry tomatoes, and a bunch of garlic scapes. Yum! So much variety and interesting ways to use everything.

A nice kale salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and a garlic scape dressing is in the works for tonight, as well as some garlic and garlic scape mashed potatoes. A pesto is definitely going to be on the menu this week, as well. Most everything from last week has been used up, so I’m pretty proud of our CSA progress so far.

Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard with Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

22 Jun

004

This was a decadent tasting but relatively healthy lunch that I enjoyed immensely. The creamy polenta works well with the texture of the Swiss chard stems. The tangy flavor of the goat cheese compliments the slightly sweet, slightly acidic flavor of the balsamic. Both are balanced out by a generous helping of spicy crushed red pepper flakes and a healthy dose of garlic. As an added bonus, this dish is really pretty thanks to the colorful Swiss chard stems and bright green leaves. If you wanted to make this more substantial, a poached egg on top would be a welcome addition to the flavor party.

Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard with Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta:

3 cups water

1 cup polenta

3 tbs. goat cheese

1/2 cup milk

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Whisk in polenta, and reduce heat to medium low. Whisking frequently, cook until polenta is cooked through and most of the water is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Add goat cheese and milk and whisk to combine. Cook another 5 minutes until milk is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard:

1 bunch Swiss chard

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium spring onion, chopped

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. butter

2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare the Swiss chard for cooking by cutting off the tough ends of the stems. Line up the ends of the stems of the Swiss chard and cut every 2-3″ width wide. Set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add Swiss chard and saute, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add crushed red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar. Cook another 30 seconds to one minute, until balsamic is mostly evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve Swiss chard over cooked polenta.

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Two

21 Jun

007

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Two

In this week’s share, we received (from left to right) – strawberries, scallions, kohlrabi, collard greens, Swiss chard, beets, lettuce, and a cucumber.

With last week’s share, Zak made a lovely Nicoise Salad, which used lots of lettuce and an onion from the CSA. I made garlic sauteed Swiss chard with creamy goat cheese polenta that used all of the Swiss chard. I will be posting both recipes in the next couple of days. We still had some lettuce left over, as well as the kale and an onion. Everything else got used up.

My super-awesome sister in law is in town, so we’re headed over to my in-laws for dinner tonight and Zak is chopping up a big salad that features a lot of CSA ingredients. I’m most excited this week for all of the greens – I’m looking forward to making a big mess of sauteed chard, beet tops, kale (from last week), and collard greens, probably with some lemon juice and garlic. I plan to mix some of it with quinoa and make a healthy wrap for lunches.

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week One

14 Jun

002

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week One

After weeks of eager anticipation on my part, the first week of the Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA is finally upon us. We chose a medium sized share this year, and I am really looking forward to many weeks of farm fresh produce.

This week, we received two heads of lettuce, Swiss chard, a tomato, Red Russian kale (I think), three spring onions, and a pint of strawberries.

On the menu for tonight is a Nicoise salad to use up the lettuce, the tomato, and some of the onion. I’m looking forward to eating the strawberries as a healthy snack, and plan to make a garlic-y saute of the Swiss chard – perhaps over some polenta. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the kale, yet, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

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