Monday, September 12, 2011

Super phat beets!

So, I've gotten off wheat, and this makes meal planning a bit more ... different. I think I'm dealing with it admirably, as i cook often and well. I think it must be harder for people to go wheat free if they don't cook at all. those people might end up eating even more processed foods, simply from a lack of knowledge.

I have purchased a few products, but they're so expensive that I'm really just inclined to make my own. I recently had success, making my own wheat free pizza, and it was quite tasty. I didn't need to do a thousand experiments, or purchase a special pizza mix. I also didn't spread mine with a spatula (seriously? you're spreading your dough out instead of making a real dough?). Anyhow, I also didn't make mine vegan or covered in gross frozen spinach. What it is it with people who are wheatards? Why is the only pizza flavor we can think of spinach? Frozen spinach is super gross, and you should never, EVER consider it.

Being the little gardener that I am, I have about a thousand green tomatoes, along with a whole ton of ripe ones. I grew several varieties of heirlooms, purple something or other, a big orange boom or such, several red types, green when ripe (so hard to tell!) really the point is, I have tomatoes coming out of my various ears. I decided that I would try fried green tomatoes, and they're SO GOOD! Amazing, why haven't I been eating these all along?

I've been pan frying mine with just a little cooking spray, and really the best directions I've got are to do it like meat: flour, egg, crumbs. I did some up for lunch with Bob's Red Mill GF flour mix (I know I did just say I don't want mixes, but this isn't really a mix, just a flour blend. We all know how I feel about specialty flours. mmmm. specialty flours), along with finely ground corn meal... fabulous. I think the trick is to brown them well and then bake them a little, I just popped mine into the toaster oven for 10 minutes. Oh, you must season your crumbs well; I suggest cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic and grated Romano cheese.

The whole lunch of my day centered around one of my favorite veggies to grow and then eat: beets. So amazing, cooked, raw, roasted, steamed, added to roast potatoes, in soup. This is my own new invention: grated beet salad. I did this initially because I wanted to make coleslaw and was low on cabbage and had a thousand beets, it works really well. I think you could use any dressing you like, but the balsamic is a favorite of mine.

So the whole lunch was a couple of large beautiful orange tomato slices, one fried green tomato with sour supreme dippy sauce (no, I'm not going to tell you how to mix garlic and sour cream together), and grated beet salad. I will tell you how to make this, but only so that you'll have the confidence to strike out on your own and make a make your own weird grated veggie salad.

Grated Beet Salad with Balsamic Reduction Dressing


1 largish medium beet, or a few small ones - grated
3 organic scallions - sliced on the bias
some balsamic vinegar
honey or agave syrup
1 Tbs. organic olive oil - good quality
salt, pepper
a small knob of goat cheese
Thin cucumber slices


Grate the beets into a small bowl, add the white part of the onion to the beets, reserving the green for garnish. In a pan heat the balsamic vinegar with a little salt and some honey or agave, it works best to make a lot of this at once, so however much you want. Reduce by half on simmer. Add some pepper. Whisk over ice to cool and beat in a little olive oil, just about a Tbs per 1/4 cup reduction. Pour a little of the dressing over the beets and onions. Arrange the cucumbers on a plate and placed the beets on top. Put the goat cheese on the salad and garnish with green onions. Serve with fried green onions and a dippy sauce.

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