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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Bonus veggie haul

I took it easy and stayed home this weekend which meant a special trip to the Saturday farmer’s market. I love Saturday markets but I never get to go because I go to my mom’s every other weekend, and when I am home I usually try to work an overtime shift. I went a little veggie crazy, considering I just picked up a share a few days before.

farmers market haul

I bought:

  • broccoli
  • radishes, too pretty to pass up
  • rainbow chard
  • apples, which I already made into apple butter
  • apples to make apple cake
  • carrots for snacking
  • sweet potatoes
  • leeks

One of our goals has been to keep cut up celery & carrots in the fridge for snacking to keep from unhealthy things. It’s also helpful having them ready to throw in my lunch bag. I will pack them with two tablespoons of hummus or one tablespoon of almond butter and I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. Knowing that I have those to eat has surprisingly cut down on my afternoon junk-seeking. It’s been maybe 3 or 4 weeks straight of having the veggie snacks and I’m surprised it’s lasted this long. I’m not turning orange yet either. What other vegetables can you use?

P.S. Five days until half marathon #3! I had an awesome run today and did a “Magic Mile” test and got my best non-race mile time! Finally got under 11 minutes. Now I just have to take it easy for my last couple workouts until Sunday.

 

Lentil Tacos

I wanted to give these lentil tacos their own post. This recipe checks off a lot of boxes: cheap, filling, low calorie/low fat, vegetarian/vegan.

This is the original recipe. I think I found it on a meal plan in one of my fitness mags. Look at that calorie count! You can eat 3-4 tacos for dinner and be stuffed. I doubled the recipe and made a few changes to boost the flavor and cut back on sodium. I also hate the taste of nonfat sour cream so I used yogurt instead. Here is my version. The calorie count should be mostly the same; not enough to really make a difference.

low fat lentil tacos

Lentil Tacos

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups dried lentils, rinsed

1 tablespoon chili powder (salt free)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

3 dried chipotle chiles, chopped

5 cups water

1/2 tsp salt or two bouillon cubes

1 cup plain yogurt

1 lime – zested and juiced

small soft corn tortillas

Heat up the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic. Add the lentils and spices and let it cook for a couple minutes until the lentils look dry. Add the chiles, water, and salt. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer it until the lentils are soft. It will take close to an hour. Stir it every once in a while too. Salt to taste at the end but I’m trying to be more conscious about the amount of sodium I’m eating, so I did not add any extra. While the lentils are cooking, make the lime yogurt. Just stir together the lime zest, juice, and yogurt. Each taco gets 1/4 cup of lentils and a tablespoon of yogurt.

I made the recipe cheaper by using water instead of broth, yogurt instead of sour cream, soft corn tortillas instead of crunchy, and dried chiles instead of chile in adobo. All of these changes also reduced the amount of sodium. If you want to make it vegan, obviously just leave out the yogurt and check your tortillas to make sure there’s no lard. It is definitely going into my regular rotation and I did not mind eating it for dinner 3 nights in a row.

Farmshare Week 16

This week might be our biggest haul of the season. Of course it would happen on a day I was walking he and my hands were full. I’m so glad the farmer had eggs again.
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There was:

  • Lemongrass (what the heck do I do with all of this?)
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Beets
  • Pattypan squash
  • Lettuce mix
  • Peppers
  • Eggs (extra purchase)

The tomatoes have already been sauced so that I can make stuffed peppers for a family dinner. I have so many peppers! I hope no one minds they will be 5 different varieties of peppers.

Other things I made this week…

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Farmshare Week 15 and Preparing for winter

Week 15!! That means we only have three weeks left. You’ll see me counting down until the last week because it makes me so sad.

week155

These veggies seemed especially bright, beautiful, and dense. We have:

  • rainbow chard
  • lettuce mix
  • tons of basil
  • eggplant
  • peppers – literally six kinds
  • one radish
  • tomatillos
  • pattypan squash
  • heirloom tomatoes

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