Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ranch recipes: Beep noodles

I will admit it. Mac and cheese is hands down my favorite comfort food. Not the orange stuff in the box (though I did put in my time with the blue box growing up) but real, homemade cheesy goodness. Though I cannot foresee ever tiring of such a delicious treat, sometimes it is nice to mix things up. Hence the following recipe for what we call "Beep Noodles" aka Cheesy Beet Pasta.

OK a word about beets or "beeps" if the very word sends shivers to your soul. These root vegetables related to spinach and chard don't have many friends in the food world. I think many people have had bad experiences with beets (especially pickled beets) including Nathan but beets are a great vegetable. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals (including fiber, folate which is important in pregnancy and contain compounds that may be helpful in preventing certain types of cancer like colon and stomach cancer) and because they are naturally sweet it means they they don't taste too vegetable-y making them a great vegetable for kids and finicky eaters.

This recipe starts with a basic mac and cheese recipe: cook pasta toss with butter, milk, cheese and spices but the addition of boiled or steamed beets at the end results in an amazing presentation that even kids are excited about eating.


Ok, are you ready to give beets a try? Even you, oh friend of ours that doesn't eat vegetables? It is really good I promise. Don't worry, if you can't get up the courage yourself I will make it for your November visit. Nom!

Beep Noodles
Remember to season to taste, measurements are approximate

- 2 medium beets, tops removed, peeled and chopped small (they stain FYI, wear gloves unless you want purple fingernails)
- Macaroni or some kind of swirly/squiggily pasta
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 c milk
- 1-1.5 cups shredded cheese (cheddar is good, smoked or sharp or a creamy Jack)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3/4 tsp mustard powder (or 1-2 Tbsp prepared dijon)
- 2 cloves garlic
- chopped basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Steam or boil beets until tender (10-15 minutes). If you are boiling the beets, adding a little lemon juice or white vinegar (1-2 Tbsp) to the water will prevent the beets from bleeding. Once fork tender, drain beets, mash roughly with a fork and set aside.

2. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and return to pot on stove. Turn burner to low and add butter, milk and cheese. Stir constantly until cheese begins to melt and sauce thickens, clinging to the noodles. Add salt, pepper, mustard, garlic and beets. Stir to combine, season to taste and serve. Beep noodles make a beautiful side dish  or you could add cubed chicken or sausage for a casserole type meal. Cheers!

1 comment:

Adam said...

You should write a cookbook!

Just intersperse your recipes with farm goings-on and have nathan illustrate!

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