Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Frugal Failure

I've talked often about how my menu plan is basically to rotate through the healthier options for most of the week with the occasional higher calorie (nuts) / lesser healthy (red meat) option once every week or two. A protein, a green veg, a red veg and fruit for dessert is the goal I set for dinner; pasta, rice and potatoes are included occasionally, when my imagination runs out of other ideas. 

I used to use a recipe for peanut sauce with pasta as my go-to option when 'nuts' rolled around but then I discovered how delicious homemade pesto could be. I read somewhere that you didn't have to use basil and pine nuts but could use a whole range of green herbs or red veg as the basis and quite a few different nuts or seeds for the other main component.

However, carrot greens (which I'd grown from carrot tops in saucers, trimmed and frozen) don't work for this. And I've finally got it through my head that Bill really doesn't care for Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately this particular recipe called for quite a bit. I've been reading labels at the grocery and I notice that commercial pesto seems to have other kinds of cheese, eg pecorino.

After I realised how bitter my pesto was I added some tomato paste and sugar to dilute the flavour; I even threw in some lemon juice. But there is a point where you don't want to throw more ingredients in after bad. Bless him, he ate what was put in front of him, I didn't think it was awful, but it wasn't very nice either. I have no trouble throwing my carrot tops straight into the compost bin these days.

On the other hand, Bill started a new experiment which is kind of fun! Can't wait to see how big these will get, and beet greens are definitely more edible than carrot greens! But I'm still not likely to make pesto with them...


Gam Kau said...

We've been eating a steady diet of roasted veg plus some type of protein. Fairly healthy as well as versatile. On occasion we throw in some refined carbs (pasta/rice) just to keep things from getting too boring. Haven't tried carrot tops though! I have always found carrots with the tops on to look very pleasing.

Shelley said...

Yes, I think the same about beetroot: much nicer looking with the greens still attached (and they are highly edible). My carrots come clipped, however, and the greens were what I grew in the same manner as Bill is trying with the beets. A little might work for topping a salad, but carrot greens are off my food list for the winter.

D A Wolf said...

We're pretty (dark, leafy) salad-oriented and veggie oriented around here, but also a fair amount of fish and LOTS of homemade (usually veggie) soups.

I crave red meat (once a week works) - and like it for the B-12 and iron - but you've reminded me of the many ways to prepare pasta (which I always forget about), including with pesto sauce (which I've never made myself).

I am in awe that you are growing your own greens from carrot tops!