Since last year, I’ve taken advantage of Ohio State’s Best Food Forward program.
Best Food Forward is a group on campus that buys fresh, local produce at bulk rates and sells it to members of the Ohio State community at a lower cost than they would get at a supermarket. It’s been a great way for me to eat healthy, fresh food while living off-campus and not spend a ton of money. Since Best Food Forward doesn’t always know what produce will be available from their suppliers, I don’t always know what fruits and vegetables I’ll be getting until a few days before. This is usually not a problem for me, as I am comfortable cooking with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, and carrots. However, at their most recent bulk buy last week, their cooking bag (what off-campus students generally get) included turnips and beets. I enjoy both of those veggies, but I’m not exactly adept at cooking them. This called for getting creative (and some quick Googling).
I found out that one great way to cook beets was to cut them into wedges, drizzle some oil and spices, and roast them in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Armed with that knowledge, I set out to my kitchen and tried it out for myself. I had enough beets and carrots to make it twice, which gave me a second chance to cook the vegetables for a little longer and add some more spices. Lemon pepper seasoning and a dash of chili powder made a big difference.
I really don’t get enough reddish purple in my diet anyway.
My second recipe was a little more elaborate. I’m well-known in my house for having several boxes of pierogies in the freezer at all times. I usually steam some broccoli and cauliflower when I’m having them, but now, I had an opportunity to go in a different direction. I sliced up my carrots, beets, and turnips, then sauteed them in a big skillet along with the pierogies. It took a little while to strategize how I was going to time it so that everything was cooked to perfection, but the end result was delicious! And, like my roasted vegetables, it was good for two meals.
A meal this fancy calls for glass dinnerware.
After all this, I still had some turnips and beets to use, and I had a great idea. Growing up, I always liked pickling cucumbers with my dad and siblings. I had a jar of pickles I got from the store and I put the last of my Best Food Forward bag in there. I’m looking forward to enjoying my homemade pickled vegetables, and I’m so glad that I found new foods that I can cook with!