Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beets and Borscht and Broth

Apperantly, I have a thing for Eastern European cooking this month, first with the cabbage rolls and now with a Borscht.

A Borscht is a stew/soup with beets and/or tomatoes as the primary ingredients (thanks Wikipedia!). I bought some beets last week and some leftover cabbage and with googling those key words I found the Borscht recipe from Canadian Living. (Note that I didn't use bones and chuck steak, I used a hunk of beef with the bone in, and it did the trick).

I have a little crush on beets...they are beetutiful (heehee). I mean just look at this wonderful color!

Notice my fingers...beets get everywhere. 
They have the most sugar of any vegetable, so they should be used sparingly, but they are still better than a chocolate bar! Reminder that they make awesome brownies!

So today I got the groceries for the week, came home and starting my afternoon in the kitchen. I was boiling the beef, and preparing the veggies, and I realized that since I was already cutting up stuff, might as well do some prep work for the week, and cut up EVERYTHING! And then when I was cutting up everything and making a bunch of scrapes I was like, I should make veggie broth. So an afternoon in the kitchen was how I spend my day!

This little colorful container was all the stuff for the borscht: potatoes, beets, carrots, onions and celery. So colorful!
Ignore the broccoli, it is a lurker and doesn't belong in the Borscht
Once the meet was done cooking, I added all of it to the broth, and waited patiently to add the cabbage, the diced tomatoes, and the garlic.

Meanwhile I chopped and washed all of this:
Beets, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Broccoli, Celery, and Carrots Oh MY!
And with all of the scraps (peelings, choppings, a few real pieces) I created a ridiculous amount of pink veggie broth. 

Have you ever seen pink veggie broth?? Me neither... apparently a tiny bit of beets can make anything PINK!!
That was after one batch of scraps. I had 4 batches. That is a heck of a lot of broth. And what am I doing with all this broth?? Being clever!
Muffin Tins!!
I decided to freeze it in muffin tins (which is about 1/2 cup per tin) so I have single servings ready to go for whenever I need it. Problem though, I only have two tin pans, and I have about 10 liters of broth. So right now I have two bowls full of broth sitting in my fridge, and one just about frozen. It's hard making large batches of things with a condo sized fridge and freezer. Once one batch of tins is done I am going to put it into freezer bags, and freeze the next batch in the tins...long process for sure.

Best part was for 10L of broth it was basically FREE!!! I used scraps and water I would normally throw out! So if I do the math, organic, low sodium veggie broth is around 5 bucks (high guess) for a liter...meaning I saved $50! Crazy!!!! (Not that I normally buy the organic low sodium veggie broth so it is much better for my health than the no-name normal chicken broth)

And finally after all this chopping, and boiling, and freezing, and stiring, I had supper! 
Hiya Borscht
As colorful as it was it needed some more flavor, I would at least add 5 more cloves of garlic, but I also love garlic. If I was a good chef I would also add fresh dill and not dried stuff, but I am a cheap-o!

What a productive afternoon! Now I have EVERYTHING ready for the week! 

And as an added food bonus this week, I have a friend staying with us until Wednesday, and she is making us Chinese food in return for us giving her a place to stay! Fair trade for sure!!! 

Happy Sunday everyone! Mondays may suck, but at least going into them with all veggies chopped is a good thing!

Anyone had borscht before?? What is your favorite veggie and why??

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