I have to say, I have no idea what I would do without my food processor and all these veggies. Now my food processor is nothing exciting or fancy: it’s a basic Black and Decker model that I’ve had since 2000. I even thought about replacing it, but I didn’t see anything that was so much better that I felt the need to spend money on a new one.
Still, this old one is getting a workout. Today, alone, I used it four times! I’ve used it more since starting the farm share than the past ten years combined. Once you start using it, I guess you realize it can be very useful. So, here follows the four uses for today.
Use 1: Red Velvet Cupcakes, with BeetsHere I was, with all these beets and getting ready to go on vacation. What to do with six beets and all their greens? The greens were easy: I froze them. (Wash the leaves, boil the leaves for a minute, stick in ice water, squeeze the water out, stick them in a plastic bag, freeze.) I figured I’d take some beets and roast them for everyone but this morning, I had an idea. (The idea still leaves me with four beets, so I can still roast them.)
My husband loves red velvet cake. For his birthday, he asked for such a cake. I was shocked to find out how much red food coloring was needed for this! I made the cake, but learned later on that making it with beet juice is an alternative. We remarked on that and wondered how that would be … and then completely forgot about it. Until today, that is, when I remembered that tomorrow is Father’s Day. Why not give this a try? After all, worst thing is I’m out a little flour, eggs, sugar and a beet or two, right?
There were plenty of recipes to start from, but I went with this one, with some changes, so I’ve put my version of the recipe below:
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (not dutch processed or dark)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 to 2 cups beet puree (from raw beetroot, I used 2 beets)
- 2 tbsp. white vinegar
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
At this point, get your kid to try the batter, since they looked at you like you were nuts for suggesting making this with beets. They will change their minds, I promise.
Add the milk and the yogurt and mix briefly, then the vinegar and the lemon juice and again puree briefly. Then, mix the dry ingredients (everything not mixed) together and add the wet ingredients, mix together until combined. Put in cupcake tins (and we used paper liners) and bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes. We went with 25.
Then you frost them with better frosting than I made. I was too lazy to go back to the store for confectioner’s. Take my advice: go back to the store.
Husband didn’t care. He LOVED them. He had two for dessert, after having one for dessert at lunch.
Use 2: Zucchini Muffins
Yes, I made even more of these, I know. BUT, I list again to say that instead of mixing it all by hand after I shredded the zucchini, I tossed all the wet ingredients in the food processor and that helped shred the zucchini even more.
Use 3: Collard and Basil Spanakopita
I had more collards as well as some basil and a bunch of fillo dough that needed to be used, so I make my Greek Chard pie, except I put it in big triangles and made it with collards.
- 1 bunch of collards, washed and trimmed
- 1 bunch of basil, washed (I’d say this was about a cup of basil)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 ounces of feta (or, what I had left in the fridge)
- Fillo dough
Blanche the collards by putting them in boiling water for a minute, then transferring them to a bowl of ice water. Squeeze out water and set aside.
Saute the onion and garlic in some oil (per my friend Amanda, I went with grapeseed oil.) Add the collards and saute for another minute or two.
Put the eggs and the cheese in the food processor and mix. Add the onion collard mixture along with the basil and mix until well chopped.
Unfold your fillo dough and cut it in half lengthwise. Take a sheet and brush with oil (or butter, or a mixture) and put another sheet on top, also brush with oil. Place a couple of tablespoons of the mixture and fold up like a paper football. Brush shut with oil, as well as the whole outside and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until you’ve used up the mixture or the fillo. In my case, I ran out of fillo, so I put the rest of the mixture in a ramekin and baked it. Bake these for about 15-20 minutes at 375.
Then I froze ’em.
Use 4: No Bake Brownies
I’ve made these before, but they are now perfected, so I’ll put what I do now here:
- Put one cup of almonds in the food processor, along with a tablespoon or two of water. Grind these.
- Add 1/3 cup of cocoa and about a teaspoon of maple syrup. Mix further.
- Add 15 pitted dates and grind until it balls up, but before you burn up your food processor, unless you want an excuse to buy a new one.
- Pinch off small pieces and roll in coconut.
Green beans: these suckers were purple. I boiled them for 5 minutes and they quickly turned green. I drained, added olive oil, dill, smoked paprika and garlic salt.
Potatoes: the skins on these potatoes just fell off when we scrubbed them, so we didn’t bother peeling them. I boiled for 7 minutes, then sauteed them in a little garlic salt, rosemary and smoked paprika.
And carrot top pesto, which I used on the salmon. Surprise! The husband liked this too.
- Carrot tops
Thinking of making zucchini boats when I get back.