In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beets for dessert!

My kids are, shall we say, rather "skeptical" of red beets. Something about that bright red color of borscht makes them uneasy. Until recently, the only dish they like is when I roast them (I cut them up and coat w/ oil & a wee bit of maple syrup before baking).

But today, I surprised them with a new recipe, and they barely believed me when told that they were eating their BEETS!!! My husband nearly dropped his fork... but our daughter did reassure him that mommy was pureeing a bunch of beets earlier in the day. It really does not taste beety at all -- just a very nice moist rich chocolate cake. TRY IT.

Red Devil Chocolate Cake (with a secret ingredient)
The recipe is originally from Moosewood Cookbook of Desserts, and was on the list from our CSA, Glacier Grist # 64)

14 oz beets (called for roasted, I boiled mine)
1/2 c water (I needed more like 1 c)
2 eggs
1.5 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 c oil (can reduce by half)
1/2 t salt
1.5 c flour (I used 2 c)
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 t baking soda

1. Grease and flour pans (I used 2 8-inch round pans), and preheat oven to 350.
2. Puree the boiled or roasted beets with water -- I'm guessing mine came to somewhere around 3 cups, and I was worried it was too much! That's why I ended up using a little more flour.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar and remaining wet ingredients, incl. beet puree, then fold in the dry ingredients.
4. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 30-45 min, until toothpick comes out clean.
5. After cooling, you can frost cake, or dust w/ powdered sugar.
I served it with whipped cream and strawberries. Yummy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Home-made Granola Recipe

Back in my granola days, I used to make my own.
More recently, Eldest introduced granola-making to the younger crowd. Now that she's hiking the PCT (see Borealkraut post here), she needs lots of horsefeed to keep those calories burning, so she requested we send her some home-made granola, and provided this recipe from someone named Joe. content="Microsoft Word 2008">

In a large bowl, mix the following. Joe triples this recipe by measuring with a 4-cup scooper and mixing in a 5-gallon paint bucket, then eating from a trough with yogurt and powdered milk.


  • 9 scoops old-fashioned rolled oats (equal to all other ingredients)
  • 1 ½ scoops wheat (or oat) bran
  • 1 ½ scoops sesame seeds (½ ground in blender)
  • 1 ½ scoops sunflower seeds (cooked or uncooked)
  • 1 scoop sliced almonds
  • ½ scoop flax seed ground in blender
  • 1 ½ scoop dates

Note: If you want raisins in the granola, add them after it is cooked.

Stir the dry ingredients together with your hands. Then pour in:

  • 1 ¼ scoop oil

Stir the oil in well (with your hands), working the oil through all the oat mix. Then add and do the same with:

  • 1 ½ scoop honey

Work this in until all the lumps are gone.

Spread foil on two cookie sheets and grease them with Pam or oil. Spread the raw granola in the pans, no more than 1-inch deep. Cook at 325┬║F for 15 minutes (set a timer) or until the edges of the granola in the bottom pan begin to get slightly brown. If this takes much more than 15 minutes, turn up the heat in your oven a bit, but keep in mind that the honey makes the granola burn easily when the temperature is too high.

After 15 minutes, switch the pans on the oven racks, one to the top, one to the bottom, so both brown evenly. (You only want a very light browning for most of the granola.) Cook for another 15 minutes (30 minutes total).

Immediately after removing the granola from the oven, use a spatula to scrape it into a big container or bowl to cool. When it is cool, cover it tightly and store at room temperature.


Now to this week's variation, which I shall call

ALASKAN GRANOLA FOR THE MOJAVE DESERT

my "scoop" was sized 1/4 cup -- I'm starting small since my oats are running low...


2 1/4 c rolled oats

1/4 c sesame seeds

1 T ground flax seed

1/2 c sliced almonds

1/2 c dried blueberries

1 T finely chopped candied orange peel


Test eaters at Borealkitchen generally prefer their granola without fruit, but otherwise approved.

Future variations might include:

ginger?

coconut


Menu for last week of April

CSA box this week brings:
Alaskan white potatoes | Alaskan beets | Alaskan carrots,
certified organic d’anjou pears | certified organic choice navel oranges | certified organic kiwi fruit | certified organic asparagus | certified organic Romaine lettuce | certified organic cabbage raab | certified organic collard greens | certified organic mustard greens


First of all, I gotta do something with those beets -- still have some from last box!
Borscht is not exactly welcomed with open arms around here, but last week's Glacier Grist (#64) has an intriguing recipe for a red devil chocolate cake using red beets as the secret ingredient!

The greens is what I usually use up first, and our favorite application is Flanks and Greens,a cajun recipe, but this week I'm trying some different recipes.

Sunday: Jambulaya w/ spicy brats and shrimp, green salad
Monday: carrot-tahini soup (GG#64), Bubble and Squeak (GG#2), green salad
Tues: Indian Lamb and pea curry w/ brown rice
Wed: White Bean soup with collard greens, German pancakes w/ strawberries
Thursday: Salmon baked en papillote, potatoes & artichoke gratin (GG#63), asparagus
Friday: Pasta or Pizza
Saturday: Nature Center Auction & Dinner
Sunday: Pasta w/ Raab, red peppers, etc