Saturday, April 14

Preserving Produce

Once again, a trifecta of recipes.  I had some "last legs" produce to use, so I got busy using it.  :o)

Recipe #1: Plum Jam

Sarah and I made plum jam with some of the leftover plums from school this past fall, and it was super easy and oh so good!  So, when Kevin's roomate had a bunch of plums that were past the point of eating, but not quite bad, I gladly rescued them from their journey to the trashcan and turned them into jam.  :o)

Oh, and no pectin required for this jam.  :o) 

So,  it's pretty simple.  It's a 2:1:1 ratio.   So 2 cups of chopped plums to 1 cup of sugar to 1 T of lemon juice.  Most recipes I've seen take off the skin, but well, that's a lot more work, and I LOVE the color of the jam when you leave the skins on.  :o)

I guesstimated that I had about 6 cups of chopped plums.

So I added just under 3 cups of sugar.  

I mixed the sugar in with the plums stirred, then added the lime juice (yeah, I didn't have lemon).  I let it simmer on low, stirring rather frequently (but not consistently like I [technically] should have been).  I think I let it simmer for at least an hour.  Pretty much you just want to make sure that it has condensed down enough so that you don't have a chunky syrup, but rather a jam.  :o)

I was TIRED, so I waited to can it until the next day.  :o)   These are my new itty bitty Mason jars.  I love Mason jars.  Use them for EVERYTHING.  

I put some of this jam in with my oatmeal for breakfast on the run (in a mason jar of course!).  It was deeeeeeeeelicious!  In my oatmeal was: regular ol' oats, diced prunes, chopped walnuts, vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, and a dollop of plum jam! :o)   It's perfect to just grab the jar in the morning and add some hot water when I get to work.

Recipe #2: Parsnip & Quinoa Cookies

I got my Full Circle produce box on Wednesday afternoon, and had two HUGE parsnips (seriously, I've never seen them that chunky!) in my order.  Knowing that the produce from Full Circle doesn't have much of a shelf life, I knew I needed to use them pretty quickly.  I LOVE parsnips.  One of my favorite root veggies.  I was interested in doing something different than mashing, roasting, or sauteing them, so I went to my go to recipe search engine, Pinterest!  I found this recipe, and was rather intrigued.  I halved it (because I don't need to eat a full batch of cookies by myself, which is exactly what would happen...) and tweaked it just a wee bit. 

  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened 
  • a bit more than 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. allspice
  • 1/8 t. pumpkin pie spice (I just thought it needed a bit more spice, so I added a few dashes)
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk (see my substitute below)
  • 1/2 c. grated parsnip

The How To:

Preheat over to 350*F

I suggest cooking your quinoa first since it takes 30 minutes.  :o)

Grate your parsnip.  I used my nifty little cheese grater from Ikea.  One of my best under $5 investments.

Add all dry ingredients (with the exception of the brown sugar and parsnip) and mix together.

In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, butter, and egg.  Supposedly you should mix the butter and sugar first so it's nice and fluffy, THEN add the egg.  Well, I forgot and just added it all at once.  Oh well!

So about the buttermilk...   I don't think I've ever had buttermilk in my fridge.  I found a few different substitutions online, and decided to try the 3 parts milk to 1 part yogurt.  I used soy milk and Greek yogurt because that is what I had.  I added a smidgen of lime juice too.

Slowly but surely, add your dry ingredients.  Mix mix mix!  Then add in your buttermilk.

Then stir in (I used a fork) your parsnip.

 I made little guys, so when I ate three I wouldn't feel like such an oinker.  ;o)

And here they are, baked, 12 minutes later!  They kind of remind me of fluffier oatmeal cookies.

Now for the frosting.  Nummmmmmmmmm!

The recipe I found had a delicious looking maple glaze, but I have REALLY been wanting to try a goat cheese frosting...  I am, perhaps, obsessed with goat cheese.  Being able to get 21 oz of goat cheese at Costco for less than $7 has not helped my obsession...

So, Instead of the maple glaze I made a goat cheese frosting.

  • 2.5 oz goat cheese
  • 2 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
  • 1/2 T butter
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Next time, I think I'll add a bit more goat cheese, and less cream cheese.

It's good, but I think I'd like it to be goat-ier.  :o)  Maybe it's just a personal preference thing though.  I decided that maple wouldn't be a bad thing to add, so I added some as an afterthought. 

Deeeeee-licious!  The quinoa add a nice subtle crunch.  I like that its a heartier cookie and isn't overly sweet or greasy.  I will definitely be making these again!

Recipe #3: Chard Chips

Gosh, this is becoming a long post.  Probably would have been a better idea to do three separate posts.  Meh, oh well.

So, again, Full Circle produce doesn't last too long by the time it gets up here.  I had a Groupon for Full Circle, and although the idea is neat, it's a bit pricey for produce that doesn't last long.  In this week's box was rainbow chard.  I was SO excited to get it because in my mind, it was going to look like this:

Oh and I was going to photograph it like nuts.

But instead, I ended up with this:

Already wilty!  Boo hiss!   So, I cut out the stems, then cut the chard leaves into strips.

Next, I drizzled a wee bit of olive oil, a couple twists of sea salt, then mixed it up in a bowl.

 Laid them out in a single layer and cooked them for 20'ish minutes @ 300*F

Then munched on them while I was making the parsnip cookies.  I think I liked the kale chips I've made better, but still not bad!  Great healthy alternative if you're craving something crunchy and salty.

I realized I hadn't eaten yet, so I reheated some lingcod (baked and crusted with breadcrumbs, parm, sage, and oregano - random spices, I know, but they worked) and used up the extra quinoa by mixing it in with crumbled chard chips, and the rest of the parsnip (sauteed) from the recipes I made.  BIG lunch, but yummy, and a good use of leftovers.  :o)

Have you seen a lingcod?  They are delicious.


They are NOT pretty!


And I'll leave you with that lovely image.  :o)

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