Becoming Vegetarian: Beets!

CSA Share Week 2:  beets, spinach, garlic scapes, softneck garlic, rhubarb, red kidney beans, cilantro, snow peas, spring onions, eggs

Recipes:  rhubarb muffins, rhubarb margarita, ensalada rusa (beets, potatoes, cilantro, eggs), beet-dyed yarn, snow peas/scapes/garlic/spring onions stir fry, red bean curry with greens (heirloom Mexican red beans, beet greens, spinach, garlic, spring onions)

Who knew beets and rhubarb could be so versatile?

I have never cooked with rhubarb, but since I gave away our rhubarb share last week, I thought I should at least try doing something with the rhubarb share I got yesterday.  So, first thing this morning, I made whole wheat rhubarb muffins (based on a recipe found here).  I substituted whole wheat flour for the all-purpose and halved the amount of sugar, and the muffins were still delicious!  On a roll, I made rhubarb syrup out of the rest of the bag, and an hour ago DH made me a rhubarb cocktail (because somewhere in the world, it was happy hour) with vodka and fresh strawberries.  I saved the pulp for the Teenager, who mixed it in with her morning oatmeal and claimed that it was really good;  having given up sugared oatmeal, I think she is willing to try anything to liven up an otherwise dull breakfast!  I suppose I am a rhubarb convert now; after all, if you can make a drink out of it . . . .

Clearly I had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning, so I moved on to the small bundle of beets.  I don’t like beets — just do not like the taste, the texture, or the earthy smell.  But, I found a cooked salad recipe, ensalada rusa — a Latin American version of the Russian original — and thought that it sounded palatable: it is essentially a potato salad with boiled beets, hard-boiled eggs, mixed with vegan mayonnaise and topped with some chopped cilantro.  DH and I agree that it was surprisingly good (though an odd shade of pink), but we also agree that we are probably going to give away next week’s beet share.

I had all that lovely red beet cooking water left, though — surely there must be something I could do with it?  Years ago, before I knew what “superwash” meant, I bought a bag of white superwash merino yarn from a sales bin.  I never liked that yarn, but didn’t know that it was because of the superwash process that the merino did not feel like “merino” to me.  Anyway, I have been slowly using it over the years for doing provisional cast on, and this morning I thought I would give dyeing a go:

Dyeing yarn in beet juice

The surprise was the final result, a lovely, muted orangy-peachy color:

Beet-dyed yarn, drying in the breeze

I have no plans for the yarn, but that’s OK.

Next up, doing something with the snow peas and beet greens!  Who knew CSA shares could be so exciting 🙂

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