Hello everyone again!  After a long hiatus (yet again) I am back with what I can assure you will be an exciting summer.  And by exciting I mean completely different, sometimes smelly but always beautiful.

Image

This summer I pulled a Michael Pollan and decided to work on organic farm.  I have been talking about how important it is to support small organic farms so I felt that this summer, when I had three months of nothing, why not actually see and understand how small organic farms are run and how we as a country can support these farms now and make them a bigger resource in the future.

Image

I have been at the farm for 5 days now.  It is awesome, amazing experience, however, it is hard!  My body is not used to shoveling dirt, bending over to plant for hours and wheeling what feels like pounds and pounds of compost up and down hills.  After the first day I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it the whole summer, but five days in, here I am still kicking (we shall see how my attitude changes over the next couple of months…).

And on top of the pure physical difficulty of farming, there is without a doubt a mental challenge.  You must always be mindful when you are planting to water, compost, dig deep enough, handle the plant carefully, cover with remay, water, water, water.  I think after a while I will have more of a handle on the whole ordeal, but for right now I am always thinking, trying to remember the exact instructions, follow the movements demonstrated.  The more I think about it the more it reminds me of ballet, or simply a dance.  There is this repetition in farming, that follows a beat.  The more precise the movements, the less effort needed creating a more beautiful product.  And as with ballet, to reach that point much practice is needed and the more corrections the better.

So yes, maybe I am romanticizing farming by comparing it to ballet, but ballet is extremely romanticized so maybe I am not…

Image

Image

Enough of poetics, let me introduce you to the farm!

Image

Gorgeous down rolling hills this farm is complete with a flower, herb and two main gardens growing everything from broccoli, potatoes, spinach, peas, dried beans, pumpkins, tomatillos and much more.  They use black plastic (which I laid yesterday) to cover their rows, killing weeds and protecting the soil and often cover their rows with remay, a light white netting used to keep away plant eating bugs.  We use compost from the pile outside the barn, or a turkey farm down the road, to nourish the plants. Nothing like sticking your bare hand into a bucket full of fermented poop.

Image

Compost pile out behind the barn.

In addition to all the vegetables the farm grows they have a barn with chickens, pigs, turkey, rooster, oxen, sheep, a duck, horse rabbits and a cat.  Feeding all the animals and cleaning the barn is a much more fun and much harder than it sounds.  Sometimes the sheep won’t cooperate when you are trying to take them out, the horns on the ox get a little too close for comfort or the duck starts chasing you biting your leg for seemingly no reason (other than maybe he wants attention…).  But at the same time then you get to know these animals.  You get to pet them and get a sense for their personalities.

Image

Tom or Jerry…I am not sure.

For example there is Jerry, the turkey.  He will follow you and just kinda walk around (most of the time walking right on top of the flowers you just planted) supervising the whole situation.  He would never (as far as I know) hurt you, just a funny, friendly, attention needy turkey.  And then there is Tom, another turkey, but Tom is not as gentle (from what I hear).  

But all of the animals, as crazy as they are make the whole experience so much more interesting and fun.

Image

I got this guy to thank for waking up on time every morning!

Image

This is the steer. All I do with the steer is clean up their poop, which is quite a task…

Image

This is Lady Bug. She is very old, but still kicking! She can’t eat hay anymore so we feed her alfalfa cubes.

One thing New York City is great for is all the cool people you are surrounded by.  Not only the famous people, but just like minded people who are interested in changing the world just as much as you are.

But the famous people are cool too.

These last two Tuesdays I have seen first Michael Pollan, and second Mark Bittman talk.  The only two times I have ever gotten excited about Tuesdays.

Image

Micheal Pollan spoke about his new book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. The premise of his speech, and his book which I’m loving (as I love all Michael Pollan’s books) is that cooking gives us control over what we eat, and therefore control over our bodies and our health.  We have been outsourcing out cooking to companies who add detrimental sugars, fats and salts which have widened our waistbands and increased our healthcare costs.

ImageImageImage

Michael Pollan repeated, the most important thing we can do to improve our health is start cooking.  No wonder why I like his books so much 🙂

Ok so Mark Bittman spoke today at Long Island University, as a part of a fundraiser for the Brooklyn Food Coalition.  It is a really cool and awesome coalition in the food movement, making some progressive movements in schools and communities alike.  Check out their website here.

Image

Bittman talked about our failing food system, a lengthy discussion for sure, but one which must be had. I can’t get into it now since I am procrastinating writing my research paper at the moment, but if you want to know more pick up Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food or Bittman’s book, Food Matters at the library.

I really enjoyed seeing how many people are not only worried about this (the failing health of our food system) but are taking steps to change it.  I hope I can join them soon.

Image

So here is to two great Tuesdays.  More in depth articles about both Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman’s speech will be posted on nyuspoon.com in the near future. (a new magazine at NYU about food on which I happen to be a staff writer, which is also probably why I have neglected my duties here).

Image

There is nothing much better than sitting down to a cappuccino and croissant at a local homey bakery.  The fresh scent of baking bread peaks through the rich coffee aroma, which lingers on my coat, and in my hair for hours.  Yet, of all the scents that surround me in New York City, from cigarette smoke to subway stench, the bakery scent is surely welcomed, especially lingering as the most delicious perfume money can’t buy.

Image

I can’t help being poetic when talking about croissants.  They are poetic in themselves, with each layer individually delicate creating a perfectly flaky crust that pairs so well with a dab of jam.  Ok I will stop now.  But mmm croissants, yum.

Image

So, as are most things that I do, this attempt was inspired by Julia Child.  As croissants are the quintessential French baked good, and Julia Child is the quintessential a purveyor of all things French in America, it follows that I would run into a recipe or two directly transcribed from Child’s antiquated cooking show, “The French Chef.”  So after watching Julia Child mix, knead, and roll out the dough over and over I felt I was ready.  With a clean counter, ingredients at hand and the I-pad propped up, Part 1 of the episode on croissants began playing.  

Image

Now I am no Julia Child.  I stopped every time she moved and rewound it and then watched again, confident I was doing something wrong.  I clicked the screen of the I-pad so many times a crust of dough formed, assuring me that was where the pause button was even though I could not see it through the screen.  I hope I didn’t screw up the I-pad too bad…

But this was the first time that I have actually tried to follow a cooking video and I think it was a success. Good experiment.

Image

So my New Years Resolution this year was to write a post once a week.  March and I have already failed…(actually it was February when I failed, but now it’s March, oh and it’s spring yay!) But it wasn’t because I just got lazy or tired of it, no not at all!  I just had/have too much going on. I talked about getting enough sleep in my last post (which I then subsequently stayed up nights in a row studying and waking up early to go to practice…), and in this post I would like to talk about overall treating ourselves well (which may include a croissant once in a while 🙂

Image

This semester started off like whirlwind.  There was no easy introduction or period of getting to know you games, it was down to business, staring off running, figuratively and literally.  And all of a sudden I was not only a part of but fond myself in charge of, it felt like, at least a million and two things.  I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and I was not about to stop.  I ended up getting sick, and because I told myself I had no time to sit down and take a nap, or rest and take a day off, I pushed through it and ended up getting more sick.  That process continued and I feel I am just now (currently on Spring Break) recovering from it.  Being like that, doing too much and being constantly overwhelmed not only tires you out physically but it definitely did a number on me emotionally.  And when I realized that I knew it was time for me to really begin treating myself right.

Image

And I am working on it, giving myself appropriate amounts of time to rest and relax, eating some crispy croissants and figuring out what I really love and what really makes me happy and then doing that.  That’s my goal, I will see how it pans out, but it is exciting right now, I feel as if I am molding a new healthier, brighter me.

Ok well this post has been all about me, which I guess all of my posts are, but anyways so lets get away from me, back to the food, the French food, shall I say. Yummy croissants, recipe here, eat em up yo.

Image

Croissants

Ingredients

  • 1 package, active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F is optimal)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 2 Tbs canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  •  3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled

Directions

  1. Mix the first four ingredients together and let sit
  2. Mix the last five ingredients together in a separate bowl
  3. Make sure the yeast mixture has begun to foam, if it has add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture
  4. Incorporate the yeast mixture into the dough and then pour out on your working surface and begin kneading the dough.**
  5. Knead for 3 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to your hands, then place in a clean bowl, cut two slits in the dough, cover with plastic and let rise for about one and a half hours.
  6. After it has doubled in bulk, punch it down, fold it a few times and place it back in the bowl, recover and place in the fridge for a half an hour
  7. After the dough has chilled place it on a floured surface and roll it out until it is a circle about 9 inches in diameter.
  8. Take the butter from the fridge and begin to pound it down with the roller, once it has become slightly malleable, spread it out using the heel of your hand releasing any lumps.
  9. Gather the butter into a mass and place it at the center of the dough and then bring the edges of the dough to meet in the center completely covering the butter
  10. Roll out the dough until it is about 15 inches long and 5 inches wide.  Then fold the dough in thirds, turn it 90 degrees and roll it out again and fold it again.  Do one more of these turns before wrapping it in wax paper and letting it rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours
  11. Repeat this rolling, turning and resting process two more times
  12. After it has rested after its third turn, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out again until it is 15 inches long and 5 inches wide
  13. Cut the dough (with a pizza cutter) in half, put one half in the fridge
  14. Roll the dough out until it is about 10 inches long and then cut it into thirds.
  15. Take one third and roll it into a square shape and then using the pizza cutter, cut diagonally into a triangle shape.
  16. Roll the triangles from right triangles into equilateral triangles as best you can and then roll them up, wide end first and place on buttered baking sheet
  17. Repeat with other half
  18. Let rise, uncovered for 4 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator
  19. After dough has risen preheat the oven to 475 degrees F
  20. Prepare egg wash by whisking one egg and 1 tsp of water together
  21. Spread egg wash over each croissant and place in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the crust

Notes

ENJOY!

Image

Yeah Ok guys I am not even going to pretend, this attempt at a scrumptious, healthy pot pie failed in about every step of the way.  But I think I know why I failed.  No sleep = bad results.  We all need rest, which is something I learned this week.  

I have trouble knowing when to slow down. I was denying that I was sick, although my stomach was aching, my head pounding and the bags under my eyes were growing. I can’t be sick, I can’t miss class or practice, I need to go to that meeting, I need to roast this chicken for my blog! I kept telling myself I was fine, that I was getting better as I rushed through the subway to get to my job on time (during which I fell flat on my face, splaying my phone across the platform, forced to adorn some authentic ripped blood-stained pants to work).

Image

Image

Finally when Friday rolled around, I couldn’t take it any longer.  The pounding in my head, the constant nausea and pains.  I ended up in the health center.  They sent me home with a prescription for, can you imagine, rest.  Rest is a part of our health, in fact a very important part of our health.  Without rest our bodies can’t become restored and rejuvenated.  Our sicknesses linger, and sooner or later a small virus becomes a big problem.  

So I listened to the doctor, went back to my dorm and cuddled up in my bed and watched about every documentary on the US agriculture known to Hulu.  And now, guess what I’m better.  I am so focused on my health when it comes to eating healthily and exercising, yet when it comes to rest I fend it off like it is for wimps. Rest is something that I am working to integrate into my health regimen, because it is just as important as diet and exercise in life.

Image

So I made this during that crazy wreck and as a result it was somewhat of a crazy wreck itself.  Which is pretty disappointing because I was so excited about it.  I got the chicken from my local farmer’s market.  All sustainably and mindfully raised.  I was using my vegetables from the last CSA drop off.  This was the ideal meal (I think Michael Pollan would be proud), yet in reality it failed big-time.

First off, I didn’t defrost the chicken fully before cooking it so although my meat thermometer read 170 degrees Fahrenheit on the outside, (the temperature which poultry must be cooked to) when I got to carving it, the inside was still red, barely cooked, ugh gross! Second, the crust was I think the least appetizing thing I have had in a while.  It was thick and dry yet mushy and tasted like nothing.  Honestly after taking the pictures I threw it out. 

Image

So on account of that I am not going to give you guys the recipe because I don’t want you all to gag upon tasting such a travesty, instead I am going to give you the recipe for Julia Child’s Roast Chicken.  Something I hope to try soon, when I am well, with a completely defrosted chicken.

Julia Child’s Roast Chicken 

adapted from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2-4 pound Chicken*
  • Lemon, thinly sliced
  • Onion, small
  • Celery leaves, handful
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Wash the chicken rapidly in hot water and dry thoroughly
  3. Season the inside cavity with salt, pepper, lemon slices, small onion and celery leaves
  4. Salt the outside of the chicken and rub the butter all over
  5. Place on a wire rack in a roasting pan, and put in oven for 15 minutes
  6. Take out after initial browning and reduce heat to 350 degrees F
  7. Baste with accumulated pan juices** and put back in oven
  8. Continue basting every 8-10 minutes until done, you will probably have to do this at least 5-6 times before chicken is done***

Notes

  • *Try to get one at your farmer’s market or a local farm or farm stand
  • **Baste means just use a big spoon to spoon up the liquid in the pan and pour it over the chicken.  All that juice that has fallen has delicious flavor that we want on the chicken.
  • ***Your meat thermometer should read 170 degrees F when chicken in done. Make sure to stick it all the way deep in the meat so you won’t end up with soggy uncooked chicken like me.
  • Here is a link to a video of Julia Child’s Roast Chicken for more information and a good time.

So remember take it easy, breathe some, put your feet up and relax, it’s good for you and me!

 

 

Image

Markets…just the word makes me smile.  Markets; indoor, outdoor, farmers, artisan even non-food markets like hand crafted and antique markets have a certain draw for me.  But what is it exactly about these markets that make it worth it for me to pay $12 for a small block of cheese or $10 for an artisan loaf.  Is it the pretty displays, the hoards of other people who seemingly adore markets just as much as I do or is it something else?

 Image

Is it the fact that you can talk and converse with the very people who handled the cow from which the milk in your ice cream came from, or that each stand sells its own singular specialty item, whether it be cured meats, fresh loaves, picked veggies or jarred jams they stay with what they know best.  They have worked at their trade specifically and have perfected it.  This is why I pay those extra dollars for that hand knit scarf or real pumpkin butter.

Image

Wall in Ronnybrook Farm Dairy where customers, young and old, give thanks to the farmers in forms of pictures and letters for their thoughtful products.

 

Unlike in grocery stores nothing is mass-produced at a market.  There is little to no machine processing involvement and no extra corn sweeteners or soybean oils.  You can talk to the people behind the counter and ask them whether they used chemicals in their growing of the kale or if they put preservatives in their jellies.  These farmers will most likely know all these facts and would surely love to talk about it, as it is their life.  The people behind the meat, cheese, milk, eggs counters at your local grocery store most likely won’t even know where the products originated, much less know the conditions in which they were grown.

 Image

So this week I went to the Chelsea Market in New York for the first time and I bet you can imagine how excited I was.  I went on a dreary, rain filled day, and I was feeling the drousiness come until I entered this awesome market.  It might as well had been my birthday and Christmas all in one.  The fresh pastas of all colors and types, the friendly bakers and the chelloist who set the tone for my experience led me away from the drousy day into a new place surrounded by interesting smells.

 Image

So the first place I stopped by was a place where they make all of their own pastas.  They have everything from squid ink linguini to chocolate ravioli (filled with a chocolate hazelnut filling…I could not believe it, all of my favorite things in one small beautiful package).  They also have a small menu of special take away dishes including Butternut squash ravioli with butter and pistachios and an insalate (salad) of spinach and radicchio with sunchokes (my new favorite thing), parmigiano reggiano and walnuts. Yum.

Image

Visit their blog to meet the family and the cows at http://ronnybrookfarmdairy.wordpress.com.

Next, I saw a familiar logo, a stamped cow surrounded by the title, Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, thats where I get my milk from at the local farmer’s market.  This local dairy farm ran out of Andcramdale, New York supplies milk to markets all over Manhattan and markets throughout New York State.  On site in Chelsea Market they don’t only supply their fresh milk and dairy products but also serve breakfast to customers.  When I asked the guy behind the counter about Ronnybrook Farms he could not have been more enthusiastic.  He told me about the difference between the milk in these glass jars and the milk you find in a grocery store.  It makes all the difference.  Then he scooped me up a sample of his favorite flavor of Ronnybrook’s ice cream, blueberry, and I was sold.  This ice cream had a smoothness that I had never experienced from any other ice cream before.  The rich flavor and creamy texture was to die for.  He was right, when you use real milk from local cows the product just becomes that much better, so stop by and try some blueberry ice cream for yourself and on your way out grab a jug of their milk, you will be happy you did.

Image

Next, I came upon what seemed like a small warehouse, but upon further sight I realized this was the inner makings of a bakery.  Large rounds of dough filled tables as bakers broke them down into individuals loafs.  This was Sarabeth’s.  The walls to their warehouse bakery are completely glass, inviting people to come and watch them prepare their goods all from scratch.  I stayed, long past my welcome, and watched as they kneaded, cut and formed their dough into individual rounds.  And the smell from inside the store was delicious.  Unlike the smell pumped through the vents at Starbucks or Subway, this scent is is subtle yet sweet. It reminds me of waking up christmas morning to a fresh stack of pancakes, or french toast caramelizing in the oven.  And the best part was that I saw Sarabeth!  She was back there working alongside her co-workers, kneading, preparing and baking the doughs.  Again this is all a reminder of the connectedness of markets.  Sarabeth is not just a name, she is a real person and you can actually watch her prepare your food.  Along with breads and pastries, Sarabeth also sells jams, everything from their famous orange apricot marmalade to strawberry kiwi ginger jam.  Pick up a jar and slather it on a fresh croissant, you will never return to store bought, I promise.

Image

On my way out I stopped by Dickson’s Farmstand Meats.  Ever since learning about the US’s system of meat production I have vowed to only eat meat that has been sustainably and responsibly raised.  Being a college student that is hard found in my day to day selections which is why I am always drawn to meat farm stands.  I asked the man behind the counter about the specifics of how this meat was raised and he informed me that the cows are all raised on pastures.  Fed grass from the time of birth and let free to roam.  He did tell me that they often put their cows on a diet of organic grain the last 90 days of their life.  He referred to this is grain-finished meat.  However, he said they also sell grass-fed and finished cows, meaning cows that are only fed grass their entire life.  What makes me most happy about this counter is that thought is put into the cattle here.  These people are thoughtful when it comes to the raising of their meat which means more nutrients for the cows and in turn for us the consumers.  It is a healthy, happy cycle that I am happy to be a part of.

Image

There are so many great places in Chelsea Market.  There is a restaurant called the Green Table that provides ready-made, completely local and sustainable meals for workers on the go.  There is a cheese shop that supplies artisan cheeses from around the US.  Ask them about their organic selection!  There is an italian market, many gelato spots, bakeries and even Food Network Chef Morimoto’s Restaurant all in this one block in NYC.

Image

So all in all this place rocks.  I will definitely be making my way back to say hi to my dairy farmer friend and pick up another jar of that jam.  And if you live around Chelsea I suggest you go too!  Maybe I’ll see you there!

 

 

Image

What’s a “taurine” you may ask…good question!  I just made it up, I thought it sounded good, sounds fancy, maybe French…Well looked it up on Google and here is what I found, “Taurine is…a major constituent of bile” (wikipedia). Ha.

But no worries, there is no bile in this Tauriné (like that fancy e).  The only thing hidden in this beauty is a wonderful combination of sweet and salty that leaves your taste buds craving more.  The deep sweetness of the roasted beets with the crisp saltiness from the goat cheese and the nutty taste and texture from the pistachios really combines beautifully.

Image

I actually got this beet in my second pick-up of the CSA!  The color is just fantastic, so bright and pink, I could hardly resist carving it into a heart, and in perfect time for Valentine’s Day!  I got a bunch of root vegetables and almost three pounds of black beans! That is without a doubt my favorite part.  A lady at the CSA suggested making black bean brownies, and a man was talking about a black bean hummus recipe which sounded stellar.  So prepare yourselves cuz some black beanness is coming your way.

Image

So I am currently in the application process for an internal transfer into the school for nutrition studies here at NYU.  A question in the application asks what exactly I want to do with a major in the field of nutrition ,which started me thinking. I had a vague idea, yet I was not exactly sure, so I began researching, just looking around the interwebs for ideas of what you can do with a nutrition major. 

Ok so somewhat naturally I started with the United States Department of Agriculture, as they promote health and nutrition through their dietary guidelines and the everchanging food pyramid. So yes the USDA, which also is supposedly meant to organize and support farming (which goes hand in hand with nutrition) in the United States is run by Tom Vilsack, a politician from Iowa.  Hmm I began, why is a politician running the United States’ most prominent farming/nutrition based organization.  I dug deeper to find that Vilsack has no background in agriculture.  He is a straight up career politician (actually funny enough in his biography it states that the reason he was chosen for the head of the department of agriculture was because he was a politician in a state with a lot of agriculture…is that really adequate qualifications?).

 Image

And when I thought about it and researched it more and more I realized that his inexperience is evident, not only in his outrageous policies but how they are affecting America, and Americans!  Not only is he a supporter of factory farms and genetically modified crops but he endorses the two associations most responsible for the increasing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in America.  The first organization Vislack endorses is the Corn Refiners Association (CRA).  This association is responsible for the mass production of high fructose corn syrup and corn oil.  Interestingly enough though the CRA defends itself by quoting that high fructose corn syrup is “natural.”  Natural really?  The genetically modified corn that is crammed into an acre of land, sprayed with chemicals and then processed by machines to a point where no resemblance of the original plant is evident.  I’m not sure what stretch of the mind would refer to that process as natural.

 Image

And secondly Vislack endorses the National Grain Feed Association.  This association is involved in the production of grain to feed cattle.  Cows are meant to eat grass not grain!  Eating grain not only makes the cows sick, but makes them gain an exorbitant amount of weight in a small amount of time. These cows in the factory farms that are eating this grain, which is making them sick, are not moving around or exercising so most of this weight they are putting on is fat.  And that is what is being sold in the supermarkets across America.  A pound of ground beef? More like a pound of sickly fat. (Also Vislack endorses the use of pink slime in our ground beef so it more like a pound of sickly fat with a side of pink slime, yum)

 

So basically Vislack is endorsing the two worst health offenders of the American diet while proclaiming that he is providing “a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people” (USDA Biographies).   It is all a hoax.  But what does he know anyways, he was never a farmer, all he knows is politics, well politics and money.  And this is one thing that is wrong with the US government.  We need people who are professionals, who understand the dealings, who we can trust, rather than politicians who only know to disagree with their opponents and take money from the large corporations who support them and in return run the government.  

Image

This distortion of the USDA is having direct impacts on America’s health.  We see the affects everyday in the rise of diabetes and heart attacks. More than one third of the US adult population is obese and every third child is overweight or obese. The evidence is right there before us.  The politicians are claiming they are representing the people but we see right here in this small study that I found quite the opposite, they are making us sick, literally.

So yes I am going to do something about that. With or without a major in Nutrition I am going to do something about that, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Well that was quite a dousey. But back to the sweet and salty Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Taurine.  I hope you enjoy.

Roasted Beet and Pistachio Goat Cheese Taurine

Image

Ingredients

  • 1 large beet, washed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 log of Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of roasted, salted, unshelled pistachios*, chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Place the beet, skin on, on a sheet of tin foil
  3. Drizzle the olive oil all over the skin and sprinkle a touch of salt then wrap in the foil and place in the oven for about and hour
  4. While the beet is roasting, combine the goat cheese, chopped pistachios, thyme and rosemary until all the ingredients are equally spread throughout the mixture
  5. Once the beet has finished roasting remove tin foil and using a paper towel rub the edges of the beet to remove the skin
  6. Cut beet in thin slices
  7. Place one slice of the beet on the bottom and place a thin layer of the goat cheese mixture on top, then repeat until the last slice of beet has been laid on top.

Notes

  • *If you can’t find unshelled pistachios, just get shelled ones and un-shell them.  It’s not too bad and if one or two accidentally fall in your mouth during the process then thats ok 🙂
  • So I just read that you can actually roast the goat these mixture which sounds incredible!  Just heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the goat cheese mixture on a parchment paper lined baking tray for about 10-12 minutes, or until it begins to get bubbly.  If you want to do this before you put the mixture on the beets or put the whole thing in the oven after you made it so it gets all gooey, or if you just wanna eat the melted cheese plain…i don’t judge. Soo good smothered on a delicious slice of toasted whole-wheat, rye, sourdough bread from balthazaar bakery on Spring St.
  • Oh and Happy Valentines Day!  This is certainly a treat that your hubby would be impressed by although it really is not that hard.  And it is really good for you.  The dark colors in the beets are oozing with antioxidants and nutrients that are body will be craving after all those chocolates from all of our multiple lovers (or mom).

Image

 

But anyways there beautiful and delicious and I hope you have an amazing Valentine’s Day!

 

Image

I’m not gonna lie, I did not expect these to turn out as well as they did.  The way the sugars in the root vegetables caramelize when you roast them is delicious.  They become entirely different tastes.  The harsh bitterness of the radish melts to a golden brown sweetness, the light sweetness of the beet explodes into an almost guilty seeming pleasure.  No worries though, guilt is not something you should worry about when eating these beauties.

Image

So this idea for roasted root vegetable chips all began with my refrigerator drawer full of slightly dangerous looking vegetables which I had received from my first CSA (community supported agriculture) delivery earlier this month.  I was so excited to for the CSA delivery having all these ideas in my head of what it would be like but then once I collected all my strange looking vegetables and got home I realized what am I going to do with these?  After ignoring them for too long I decided it was time to bring out the beasts.

Image

And little did I know, the little beasts hiding in my refrigerator were beautiful, sweet chips waiting to be roasted to crispy deliciousness.  It was a discovery up there with Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America.  And the best part is how simple it really is.  All the ingredients you have in your cupboard all you need is to hit up the closest farmer’s market or co-op and pick out all the ugly looking hairy, strange root vegetables you can find, slice em up thin and crisp them into delicacy.

Image

Ok quickly I am going to talk about CSAs and what they are all about for any of you who don’t know (I had never heard about them before just a few months ago!).  So a CSA, which again stands for community supported agriculture, is a way for farmers to directly connect to consumers.  The consumers pay a one time price, which supports the farm from which the consumer will receive fresh produce from the farm in return for the consumers support.  This could be a weekly, or a monthly delivery depending on the agreement between the farmer and the consumer.  CSAs are an amazing way to eat locally, seasonally and affordably.  I still have a drawer full of vegetables from a delivery in mid January, and since they are all winter vegetables they are holding up beautifully.  If you are interested in supporting sustainable living, local farms and experimenting with new, crazy foods I really suggest looking up where there is a CSA around you! Click on this link to look up CSAs across America, I wonder if they have these in other countries??

But back to the recipe!  Yummy roasted root veggie crisps just for you!

Roasted Root Vegetable Chips

Image

Ingredients

  • 2 fingerling potatoes, washed
  • 1 beet, washed and peeled
  • 1 radish, washed
  • 1 carrot, washed and peeled
  • 1 turnip, washed and peeled
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F
  2. Slice all vegetables into very thin (1/8 inch) slices*
  3. Place beets and potatoes on one baking tray (lined with parchment paper if you have it) and all the rest of the veggies (carrots, turnip and radish) on another
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper, toss to cover all the vegetables
  5. Place both sheet pans in the oven, the tray with the carrots, turnips and radish should take about 45 minutes and the tray with the potatoes and beets no more than an hour.  Check regularly to ensure they are not burning

Notes

  • *Ok so you can use a mandolin for this step, yet, due to my recent mandolin injury I still can’t look at the tool without getting queasy. Knifes for me.  There were no mandolins used in the making of these chips.
  • When you take the chips out of the oven you may want to lay them on a paper towel to let the excess oil slide off of them. (I know we only used 2 Tbs of oil and there is excess, these are so much better than any fried chip!)
  • These are great by themselves or could be paired with some hummus (see my three homemade hummus recipes here!), or as a dramatic topping on a squash soup or an open faced sandwich (shout out to all you aspiring great chefs).

Well keep exploring and don’t let any of those beasts of root veggies scare you!