Beets and Goat Cheese with Pasta or Cabbage Noodles

The pickings at the farmer’s market are slim this time of year but the root vegetables and squash are still available. There are always beets available, but every time I look at a beet, I think about the work it takes to peel them, the mess they make, and the time they take to cook. I also only know a couple of ways to eat them. Tonight I found a new way to cook them: Spaghetti with Beets and Goat Cheese. It’s a new variation on the usual old beet & goat cheese salad.

I wish I had found some miraculous solution to how much work it takes to cook beets, but I did not. My beets were a little soft from being in the fridge so thankfully they were easy to peel. Shredding them was not fun but at least there wasn’t too many to do, and it made them cook very quickly. The recipe called for 10 ounces of goat cheese (!) but seriously, I used half the amount and it tasted just fine. What’s neat about adding lemon juice is that it mimics the sour taste of cheese, so you’re kind of faking the flavor of cheese without having to add a ton. If you are trying to eat low fat or stretch your budget, try adding lemon juice or mustard to recipes that involve melty cheese sauce.

Brian got the original beet pasta recipe. Doesn’t it look wild?

beetpasta1

I made a version for myself with cabbage noodles. It looks more like zombie guts but it was still yummy.

beetpasta2

I’ve been eating a lot of cabbage lately – it’s plentiful at the farmer’s market even in February, keeps for a long time in the fridge, has a lot of savory flavor, and fills you up. The best thing is to eat cabbage with a delicious meat like corned beef or ham but I can’t do that every day so I’ve been making a lot of cabbage “noodles” for easy dinners. Cabbage noodles are so much more satisfying and filling than zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

To make cabbage noodles: Cut the cabbage in half, then slice into thin strips. Then saute or lightly steam until the shreds are soft. Since cabbages are usually so large, you can make a lot at once and use it throughout the week.

The day before I made this beet dish, I topped the noodles with marinara sauce and “meatballs” made out of lentils. Other things I’ve done with cabbage noodles: baked with eggs and parmesan for “spaghetti pie“, made Asian-ish sesame peanut noodles, and subbed for noodles in a cheesey casserole.

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