Parsnip & Garlic Chive Home Fries

by Amanda Paa on May 24, 2014

Parsnip Homefries // heartbeet kitchenThese aren’t the home fries that are your hangover cure from the local greasy spoon. These are the home fries that cure your hunger from hustling through the market, navigating around strollers and avoiding some nasty road rage in the free parking lot. You know what I’m talking about.

parsnip & garlic chive homefries | heartbeet kitchenI love seeing plants go through different stages of their life cycle. Right now the garlic chives, ramps and spring onions are abundant, and in a few weeks their next stages will appear in the form of green garlic, groovy garlic scapes, shallots and leeks will start to appear.

Parsnips have stages too, getting better and better with time. They truly are a slow food – slow to seed, slow to grow, but worth the wait. After the first frost in fall, their starches start to convert to sugar. You’ll see them in many winter root vegetable dishes, adding a savory sweetness. They can be left in the ground all winter long and when they are dug up in spring, my oh my are they sweet when roasted.

parsnip & garlic chive homefries | heartbeet kitchenCue these Parsnip & Garlic Chive Home Fries.

This might sound strange, but a deep inhale of garlic chives in the spring is as invigorating for me as that of an inhale of daffodils. Yes, food dork, I know. But it’s true! They’re the perfect match for the sweet caramelized parsnips. And those brown crispy edges? Dang….so good, a result of roasting instead of frying, which keeps this side dish on the healthier side too.

I love how the chives are fresh, grassy and garlicky without the harshness of raw garlic cloves. You can use both white and green parts, much like ramps. I used one spring onion for garnish too. Their flavor is much milder than a fully grown onion, and the more green the better, right?

parsnip & garlic chive homefries | heartbeet kitchenThese home fries are great on their own, but add a poached egg and a side of thick cut bacon and you’ll be thinking you should start your own market fresh hipster brunch spot. Just make sure you’ve got PBR in a can if you decide to do that.

Parsnip & Garlic Chive Home Fries

serves 2-3

1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into dices (about 3 cups diced)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons minced garlic chives
1 spring onion, thinly sliced, crosswise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread parsnips equally onto two baking sheets so that they are not touching each other. Drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a crack of fresh ground pepper. Bake both pans for 12 minutes, then stir and bake for additional 20 minutes, until parsnips are tender and golden brown.

Remove from oven and stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, chives and most of the onion, leaving about a tablespoon for garnish. Add to plate and garnish with remaining onion.

Add a poached egg and a side of bacon for a smashing breakfast.

parsnip & garlic chive homefries | heartbeet kitchen

6 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Breakfast, Market Talk, Recipe Box, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian

Gluten-Free Raspberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

by Amanda Paa on May 21, 2014

raspberry rhubarb hand pies {gluten-free} | heartbeet kitchenThe first rhubarb dessert of the season definitely signals the start of spring for a Minnesota girl. Jams, crisps, buckles and bars — so many recipes I’d love to try, so little time. I’ve also vowed to use this vegetable that’s usually referred to as a fruit in more savory dishes this year, but not before I made these gluten-free Raspberry Rhubarb Hand pies.

Pie isn’t usually my first choice when I’m making something sweet, mostly because I want something I can indulge in without a long wait. But today was different. I was in one of those, “I’ve got plenty of time to dilly dally with a fun project” moods.

rhubarb raspberry hand pies // heartbeet kitchenAnd to tell you the truth, once the pastry is chilled and rolled out, it really doesn’t take that long for these hot pockets to meet your mouth.

I added just a smidge of polenta (cornmeal) to a pretty standard pie crust recipe because I love the slight crunch and sweetness it gives to baked goods (just as I did with this Upside-Down Strawberry Rhubarb Cake). Plus it adds a beautiful golden hue once finished, and with a glossing from a farm-fresh egg, these little hand pies shine and glisten.

I was so so happy with how buttery, flaky and delicate the gluten-free crust turned out to be. I’ve learned the key is to not overwork the dough. You want to see lumps of butter when you roll it out, really!

rhubarb raspberry hand pies {gluten-free}The filling is basically a roasted jam of glorious fruit – diced young rhubarb picked from our tiny backyard and a few raspberries for color. You’ll find that the amount of sugar needed varies depending on how tart your rhubarb is. A short blast from the oven helps soften the fruit and concentrate the natural sugars, so I found I only needed about 1/4 cup of added sweetener for this batch.

gluten-free raspberry rhubarb hand pies | heartbeet kitchenI also realized that this is a perfect dessert for taking to parties because no forks or knives are needed, there’s no glass pie plate to drop as you’re walking in, and zero clean-up.

I mean, what’s better than a portable packet of spring’s natural beauty queen?

Gluten-Free Raspberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

makes 8 hand pies
adapted from the lovely London Bakes

130 grams Cup4Cup gluten-free flour (or your favorite gluten-free flour mix)
20 grams polenta (cornmeal)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
2 to 3 tablespoons ice cold water

6 ounces of rhubarb, about 3 large stalks, diced
1/3 cup raspberries (mostly used for the color)
1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste, depending on how tart your rhubarb is)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
zest of one lemon

1 egg, beaten (for washing & sealing)

To make the pastry, put the flour, polenta, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times to start breaking up the butter, then process for about 15 seconds, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and there are pea-sized lumps of butter.

Add the water and greek yogurt, pulsing until the mixture just starts to clump together, adding an additional tablespoon of water at a time if needed. As long as it sticks together when you use your hands to squeeze it into a ball, you’re set. You don’t want to overprocess, there should still be flecks of butter showing.

Flatten the dough and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for about an hour until just firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the dough is chilling, make the filling by putting the rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest and cornstarch in a roasting dish and mixing. Bake for about for about 15 minutes until the rhubarb has softened and shrunk a bit. Remove and mash the raspberries so that the color fully distributes. Taste and stir in a little more sugar if needed. Set aside.

When the dough has chilled, roll it out on a well-floured surface or parchment paper until it’s about 3mm thick. Chill the flattened dough for another half an hour or so.

Remove the dough from the fridge and using pizza cutter, cut out squares about 2 ½ inches wide by 4 inches long. Place a spoonful of the filling on one square, brush the edges with beaten egg and place another square over top, pinching the dough around the jam and sides to seal. Cut a vent in each pie and freeze for about 40 minutes, until firm.

Return oven to 350 degrees. Remove pies from freezer and brush each with the beaten egg, then bake on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

raspberry rhubarb hand pies {gluten free} | heartbeet kitchen

9 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Recipe Box, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Sweets

A Beehive Cake for a Bittersweet Celebration

by Amanda Paa on May 15, 2014

beehive cake // heartbeet kitchenToday’s post is bittersweet. It’s easy to leave a job when you aren’t crazy about what you do or your co-workers are the farthest thing from people you’d hang out with on a regular basis. But when you absolutely love coming to work every day and the people around you are positive, uplifting and hardworking souls, it’s “cry as you leave the building” hard. And then it’s hard when it’s you making your coffee at home instead of the Starbucks barista at 9th & Nicollet, who automatically hands you the soy milk with your “1-inch of room” dark roast. Then you just drown your sorrows with coffee and scraps of this surprise-inside Beehive Cake for breakfast.

Yes, I’m moving on from the great Target Cartwheel team I was part of for nearly two years to dive into an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up, one that bridges my two passions, food and social marketing. I will be working behind the social scenes of one of my favorite gluten-free cereal brands (!), as well as some digital strategy behind new products & innovations within this area. I’m very excited for what the future holds.

Beehive Cake // heartbeet kitchenIn celebration and gratitude for the wonderful memories and knowledge I will take with me, there was no other choice than to bake a cake. I’ve been wanting to “cook-the-book” since the day I got my hands on my super talented friend Amanda’s new “Surprise-Inside Cake” book. Her creations are seriously amazing, just check some of these out! The photography of the cakes, which was done by Susan Powers, is enough to make you start drooling the minute you open the book.

Surprise-Insides Cakes by Amanda RettkeMy sights were set on the Surprise-Inside Zebra Cake. I knew I would have my work cut out for me to make this work as a gluten-free cake, but I was up for the challenge. With this particular design you bake three cakes, 2 white and 1 chocolate. You  create cones from the white, which are built up & stacked with layers of chocolate so that snazzy zebra stripes are found on the inside and covered with her recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting. Hands down the best damn buttercream I’ve ever had.

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15 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Cooking Techniques, Recipe Box, Seasonal, Sweets

Black Rice Salad with Avocado & Spring VegetablesHope you all had a great weekend! Popping in to bring you this Black Rice Salad with Spring Vegetables & Avocado, which was part of the Naturally Gluten-Free Spring Brunch segment I did on Twin Cities Live. Due to the preparation that goes along with getting ready for the show, I didn’t have time to take any pictures. With its bright colors from the radishes, purple cabbage, asparagus and avocado, a recipe alone just didn’t do it justice. I happily made it again so you could see this spring beauty.

Originally I used wild rice, but I stumbled upon this whole grain Japonica blend of black and red mahogony rice and decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did, for a few reasons.

Black Rice Salad with Avocado & Spring VegetablesSince these are short & medium grained rices, they cook within 40 minutes and hold a slight chew to them, perfect for salads like this one. And then there’s the flavor. The black rice from this heirloom blend reminds me of hazelnuts and brings umami, similar to mushrooms. The mahagony rice not only adds a lovely pink hue, but is slightly sweet and almost tastes like it’s been roasted.

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10 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Recipe Box, Salad, Spring, Summer

Smitten with Squash // written by Amanda Paa

Pinch me. It’s starting to become real.

Smitten with Squash is now available for pre-order! When my editor emailed me the links to see it live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I went through a whole world of emotions in about 9.2 seconds. Joyful, grateful, shocked, and even a little scared. But most of all I’m tingly excited to share my passion for all things squash with you.

In addition to giving you new ideas for well-known varieties like zucchini, butternut and acorn, I wanted this book to be a useful resource & guide for your trip to the farmer’s market. There are probably other varieties that catch your eye as you stroll down the aisles, but you pass them by, not quite sure what their names are or what to do with them.

Some shockingly beautiful on the outside, others a little “Beauty and the Beast” like, but underneath their skin lies a world of possibilities. From savory to sweet and cuisines of all kinds, this family of vegetables is truly amazing. 

Garam Masala Dusted Pattypan Squash with Crispy ChickpeasWhen talking to others as I was writing the book, I found that many were intimidated by the preparation of winter squash, as they can be quite awkward and sometimes a bear to crack open. With that in mind, I spent lots of time experimenting to make this easier and safer. In the book you’ll find plenty of tips and tricks for becoming a jedi master of cutting & peeling squash.

Similar to my blog, the 85 recipes are a little bit of everything from small bites & snacks, main dishes (with plenty of meatless options), side dishes, fresh salads and sweet treats, all with a focus on real food that tastes really good.  I also added a “One Easy Dish” recipe for each variety with minimal ingredients and instructions for making something totally delicious that lets the flavors and texture of the squash shine. Oh, and all of the recipes are either naturally gluten-free or have slight adaptations to make them this way, even the baked goods.

I’m anxiously waiting for all sorts of delicate, fresh summer squash to appear so I can make a few of the dishes from the book like Garam Masala Dusted Pattypans with Crispy Chickpeas (above) and these Fluffy Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes, moist and filled with shreds of yellow squash!

Pancakes from Smitten with Squash // heartbeet kitchenI have so many people to thank for making this book happen, the overwhelming support and enthusiasm has been amazing. I couldn’t have done it without your presence.

So from the bottom of my heart, big hugs and love to all. I hope you enjoy the book and have all sorts of delicious fun with squash!

And even better, if you pre-order the book right now it’s about $4 less than retail price. It will be shipped out on July 14th when it’s officially on bookstands. Here are the links to pre-order the book:

Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

16 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Favorite Things, Featured Recipes, Recipe Box, Seasonal