that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘beets’

Hello Fresh: We’ve got a first timer here

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 9, 2015

Hello Fresh salmon ingredientsI am now obsessed with Hello Fresh, the weekly food box delivery service. My first order arrived last night, and I couldn’t wait to get cooking. This is the first time I’ve used a service like this, and I was super impressed. The Hello Fresh website was easy to use, and the meal selections were available a few weeks in advance, allowing me to order based on my tastes and my schedule. The giant box showed up on my doorstep on time, full of ice packs and fresh ingredients. Also, props to the the packaging designers, because everything was straight up adorable. (The soy sauce packets were little fish!)

I chose to make the fish meal first, assuming it would not stay fresh in my fridge as long as the others. (You can obviously freeze the ingredients upon receipt if your original cooking plans go awry.) I think I’ve come a long way in my culinary pursuits over the years, and I’ve cranked out some pretty good food (alongside some very sad, traumatic missteps), but the end result of this box was as close to “restaurant” as I’ve come. The fish was cooked to perfection with a nice crispy skin, and it paired nicely with the earthy beets. (Not to mention purple is my favorite color — and rarely present in my meals — so I got some food nerd fun plating the beets and the red onions.) I was a big fan of the “salsa” of beets, red onion, fresh dill and horseradish, and the side of farro added a nutty crunch.

Hello Fresh pan-seard salmon beets herbed salsa

Because I spend hours scanning circulars, scrolling through Pinterest and writing meal plans in my ladybug notebook, I wasn’t sure a meal delivery service like this would be “my thing,” but I really enjoyed this experience. Financially, it equates to a week of groceries for meals of this quality, but it also cuts down on waste. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lifted an unidentifiable baggie of vegetables from my crisper drawer, and thought, “Well there goes $3…” or let a $6-jar of something grow mold because I broke the seal to use 2 tablespoons of whatever it contained and let it sit on my refrigerator door for two years.) The weekly menu-selection process allows you to be adventurous, opting for dishes and/or ingredients you wouldn’t otherwise pick. It also makes a great date night activity that your culinarily challenged significant other pretty much can’t screw up.

If you are interested in trying out Hello Fresh, let me know and I can send you an invite email that will get you $40 off your first box (which means you’re getting six meals for $20-something — it’s a steal!), or use my referral code 7Y9WGA.


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how grating

Posted by culinaryneophyte on April 15, 2013

I need to invest in a nice grater. I recently set out to grate three beets with my craptastic grater, got 3/4 of the way through the first one and gave up. Luckily, that was more than enough to feed myself, but it lent itself pretty poorly to a 1/3 yield of the recipe I was making. Boy, were my arms sore. I think I know now how Robert Irvine got those guns.

Those beautiful beets made their way into some quinoa, beet and chickpea burgers — an awesome vegetarian dinner or leftover lunch to take the work. There are a lot of steps in making these, but the payoff is worth it. It’s a healthy, low-cal, vibrant meal. Just make sure you’re wearing old clothes whilst grating the beets because they spray and stain. Sounds like a personal problem.

beet quinoa burger

Adapted from Bojon Gourmet
Makes three large patties
♦1/3 can chickpeas, drained
1/4 c. raw quinoa 
1 beet, grated
1/2 tbs. olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tbs. cider vinegar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 egg (eyeball it)
1/4 c. quick oats

For serving
Multigrain English muffins (or buns of your choice)
Alfalfa sprouts
Burger fixings (tomato, mustard, etc.)

The original recipe says to cook chickpeas, but recommended 30 minutes, which was too long for my lack of patience, so I went raw with the chickpeas. If you’d prefer they be cooked: Cover chickpeas in medium saucepan with 3 inches of water, bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Add 1/2 tsp salt. Simmer for 30 minutes and remove from heat. Allow to cool in water.

Rinse quinoa in mesh strainer. Add quinoa and 1/2 c. water to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until water has been absorbed (10-15 minutes). Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and cover until you’re ready to use.

Peel beet with potato peeler, then grate. Heat teaspoon of oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender (5 minutes). Add garlic, pinch of salt and beets. Stir, then cover until beet is tender (5 minutes). Remove from heat and add vinegar.

In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, quinoa and beet mixture and mash until combined. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, egg, oats and 1/4 tsp. of salt. Divide the mixture into rounds (I got three out of it, but you might get more or less depending on the size of the bun you’re looking to match.) Heat oil over medium heat, add burgers and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. If the burger browns too quickly, reduce heat. Serve on bread and with toppings.

Calories? 260 calories include multigrain English muffin
Total time?
 35 minutes simultaneous prep and cook
Cost? $1 beet, $1.25 chickpeas, $5 quinoa (use only a fraction), $2 English muffins, $1.50 avocado
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out 10. My favorite part of this meal was the color (and the fact that it looked like raw meat on my burger – probably freaked out my coworkers). The flavor wasn’t as powerful as I hoped, so don’t skimp on the lemon. I added avocado and sprouts (not pictured) to mine, and it made for a filling, low-calorie meal. If you’re a meaty burger fan, I wouldn’t recommend these; but if you’re big on veggie burgers and clean eating, they can’t be beet. (Sorry.)

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