Monthly Archives: July 2011

Beet and Greens Wrap

Katie:  This weekend, I was confronted with something I hadn’t experienced in a long time:  having to cook only for myself.  While I always like the feeling of being able to cook for others and share a meal, I decided to use this as an opportunity to make something different that others might not appreciate as much as me!

I went to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning, which was filled with stands of fresh, locally-grown produce.  I chose some beets, which looked really good.  Since I had a leftover tortilla at home, I decided to make a wrap, adapted from this recipe for Beet and Greens Quesadillas.  I really liked the combination of vegetables and spices, and the feta cheese was the perfect addition!  I even had enough filling left over to use for another meal.

Beets and Greens Wrap

makes 2 wraps

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-size onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 unpeeled beet, sliced very thinly
  • 2-3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 bunch of beet greens, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tortillas
  • a handful of feta cheese

1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet at medium-high heat.  Add the onion and beet, and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add the water, greens, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt, and stir until the ingredients are well distributed. Add a little more water if necessary.  Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and all the water has evaporated.

3.  Warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds and top with the vegetable filling.  Sprinkle with feta cheese, roll up, and serve.  Enjoy!


Grilled Vegetables with Tzatziki

Matthew:  After eating at some Mediterranean restaurants in Madison lately, I thought that I should try making tzatziki. I found this recipe and bought some Greek yogurt at the co-op.  The first time I made it, I only used one cucumber.  It was good, but a little too thick to use as salad dressing.  This time around, I used two cucumbers and it was a good consistency.  I didn’t have any fresh dill, so I put in dried dill and that seemed fine.  I was going to bring the tzatziki to Concert on the Square to go with crudités, but since the concert was cancelled because of weather, I was left with a giant bowl of tzatziki.  I decided to turn to my CSA box for inspiration and thought grilling some vegetables would be nice.  I used my George Foreman Grill (thanks to the Helgerson family!) and it actually worked really well for the vegetables.  Just before eating, I threw the pita on to toast it and then added the toppings.  This was a really good dinner.  I used eggplant, zucchini, and green beans with a little raw cucumber and the combination of vegetables, toasted pita, and garlicky tzatziki was delicious.  I’m sure it would be good with many different kinds of vegetables or with a giant lamb leg on a spit if you happen to have that lying around.

Carrot Cake Bites

Katie:  If you’re in the mood for something yummy and sweet, but don’t feel like spending a lot of time or heating up the kitchen with baking, these are the perfect treat.  They’re simple, easy to make, and delicious!  I followed this recipe for No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cake Bites from Loves Veggies and Yoga.  You just combine oatmeal, carrots, dates, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a food processor, and then mix that mixture with some reserved oatmeal and raisins.  I followed the recipe as written, except for toasting the reserved oats in a pan to enhance their flavor.

These tasted really great and were so simple to make.  It’s like eating cookie dough and isn’t even that unhealthy (as long as you don’t eat them all at once!).  A good treat that I will definitely make again!

Hot Fudge Sauce

Matthew:  Now that the heat wave is over, I can once again turn on my oven and stove without worrying about spontaneously combusting my apartment.  My first order of business was to make hot fudge sauce that I need for an ice cream pie that I’ll be making soon.  I’ve never made hot fudge sauce before, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy and seemingly foolproof it was to make.  I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen that makes about 2 1/2 cups.  I flavored my hot fudge sauce with a little Frangelico.  After making it, I decided that I had some extra hot fudge, so I made an emergency run for vanilla ice cream.  Now that I know how good and easy homemade hot fudge is, I’ll probably make it more often.

Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli

Katie:  After using fresh corn in soups and salads this summer, I was curious to try using it in a different type of dish.  I found this recipe from Cooking Light for Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli, which sounded really good.  Roasting the tomatoes took awhile, and the kitchen got pretty warm cooking the fritters, but they turned out great!  They consisted of a corn fritter seasoned with green onions, topped with an oven-roasted tomato, a piece of spinach (instead of the arugula recommended in the recipe), repeated layers of these toppings, topped with a piece of prosciutto and a little dollop of lime aioli (mayonnaise/lime sauce).  The combination of flavors that the layers provided worked well together.  I made the fritters a little larger than recommended, so that they were filling enough for a meal.  These could be served for dinner with soup or salad (we had them with Fresh Pea Soup), as a fancy appetizer, or as part of a brunch buffet.

Cooking the corn fritters

Beginning the layers

Adding the final touch



Strawberry Cardamom Crumb Cake

Matthew:  I was recently looking around in Penzeys Spices at all the interesting spices and seasonings and I decided, on a whim, to buy some cardamom.  I had never baked or cooked with it before, but I remembered seeing recipes that called for it.  Luckily, I was able to find some really ripe strawberries at the Middleton Farmer’s Market too so that I could make this strawberry cardamom crumb cake.  I purchased cardamom seeds already taken out of the pod, but I still needed to grind them for the recipe with my mortar and pestle.  The cake itself was really easy to make and turned out really well.   The aromatic quality of the cardamom paired nicely with the fresh, sweet flavor of the strawberries.  I’ll definitely be looking for more recipes that I can use cardamom in.