Good Work, Maria! (S1:E11 of Good Work New York Vlogcast)
On Good Work New York we're experimenting with some unrecipes from local author, artist, and activist, Maria Reidelbach's upcoming cookbook. We join Tara from Ulster CCE to test out Maria's formulas that are designed to help reduce food waste by including a variety of substitutable ingredients so you use what you have on hand.
Learn more about Maria: MariaReidelbach.com.
Charlie: Hi there, Charlie here. Communications Manager for Cornell Cooperative Extension and this is my pet project Good Work New York. A podcast where we're talking about all the good work that happens here in Rockland, the Hudson Valley, and New York State. Today with me I have the beautiful miss Tara. Miss Tara -if you remember- is our friend from Ulster County CCE and today we're actually ironically here in Orange County CCE's demo kitchen. Neither of our offices have a kitchen that's up to snuff to what we were doing today so they were gracious enough to let us use their space, and we thank them very much. Miss Tara, tell us what we're doing today.
Tara: Sure, so today we are testing out a few different recipes from our new collaborative project. It's a cookbook with author and local graphic designer Maria Reidelbach. You may know her from her first cookbook "Stick to Local." She also did those great and adventure maps with stickers around the Hudson Valley. This cookbook focuses on reducing our carbon footprint through the food we eat, by reducing food waste, and using what's on hand in your pantry and refrigerator.
Charlie: That's great and from what I understand these recipes sound tasty and we'll find out if they are tasty, right?
Tara: That's right. The point of this activity is to taste test the recipes and provide feedback for her. This project is collaborative. We started a cookbook club where people can gather and give feedback on the recipes. We'll taste tested and help develop this cookbook.
Charlie: That's great. So let's get started.
Tara: All right, so the first recipe we're starting with is the fruit crisp. I'm calling it a recipe, but really she calls them formulas because she gives us food groups to choose from as we build up these recipes. Really you're just using what's on hand. For the fruit crisp obviously our base is a fruit, and for this activity we've chosen peaches. And that we're just gonna dump right into the bottom of the tray.
Charlie: Just dump them in?
Tara: Just dump them in.
Tara: We're using six cups of sliced peaches. They're peeled. And the next category is choosing your flour. You can choose whole-wheat. An alternative. We have unbleached organic flour and we're going to dump that into the bowl. We're also using a half cup of rolled oats so we're just going to mix this together.
Charlie: And you can use any kind of flour. Almond flour, chickpea flour, whatever is your preference - or necessity if you have an allergy.
Tara: Okay so we're also gonna dump in a little bit of cinnamon. If you want to sprinkle some of that on there. As well as some nuts. in this case we're using walnuts. Chopped walnuts.
Charlie: Walnuts, coming in!
Tara: Okay so the next step of the recipe is mixing up your sweetener and the butter or oil- whichever you choose to use. For the sweetener, you can use honey, maple syrup, and in this case we use brown sugar.
Charlie: So we've got the butter and the brown sugar in here. And it's nice and mixed up. What's next?
Tara: Once that's combined, we're going to mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. I'm really thankful that Charlie's here with me because you told me about he's a pretty good baker. I on the other hand am not. So at least I know I have someone helping me if it comes out it wasn't user error.
Charlie: Neither of us are the strongest cooks, so the baking recipe I have. The other ones we'll find out.
Tara: So once this is combined, it can be a little chunky because of the butter. That's okay. We're basically just gonna dump it right on top of the peaches and throw it in the oven. I'm already noticing I've used too big of a pan. The recipe calls for a 9 by 13 inch pan. I thought this was a 9 by 13 inch pan, but maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. We'll find out.
Charlie: Whatever happens happens. We're just here for the ride. Alright. So that's it. We're just going to put it in the oven, and bake it. It's set to 450.
Tara: So preheat your ovens to 450 which we've already done, thankfully.
Charlie: The golden rule of baking is wait until it's golden brown on the edges. And that's about it. You're gonna wait until the middle bubbles a little bit. That's when you want to the center will just be bubbling the fruit juice up hopefully. Maybe not for ours but if yours should do that. And then you want to let it rest before you serve it you can serve it warm, or you can hold it and serve it later. But warm is always best. Especially if you have ice cream.
Tara: So we are moving on the next recipe is an egg frittata. It's a really simple, delicious recipe that you can put together, and eat for breakfast. You can eat it for lunch. You can even eat it for dinner. So the first thing we're going to do is start to heat up the pan with a little bit of oil.
Charlie: A little bit of oil and turn our burner. On low? On medium?
Tara: Medium heat. So it says add oil to a hot medium sized pan and add onion or garlic to start sauteing so we can do that. And then the next category is to choose some vegetables that you're gonna add to your frittata. So we chose some tomatoes and broccoli. I thought that would taste really good basically we just bought one broccoli head and cut it up and I have some chopped tomatoes or recipe that we're doing later so we can use the leftovers from those tomatoes, reducing our food waste. So as the pan heats up and as the onions start to saute, we can mix up the eggs. For this recipe we're using four eggs, which serves one or two people. But you can always increase the recipe depending on how many people you're serving. I brought an extra egg just in case I cracked when I'm on the way, but since it made it, I'm just going to use five.
Charlie: That works especially since you just lost some. Shot it all over the place.
Tara: I'm trying.
Charlie: That's all we can ask, that you try.
Tara: And then just add a little bit of salt and pepper to your eggs. All right so it's gonna take a little bit of time for the veggies to cook and while we wait we're gonna start on the next recipe.
Charlie: What do we have next?
Tara: Next recipe we have is the hearty green salad. So there are two leafy green categories in this formula. The first is a hearty leaf and the second is a tender leaf. There are many to choose from in each category. For this instance, we used cabbage as our hearty leaf, and then for our tender leaf we chose spinach. So we're basically just going to combine the two lettuces -or leafy greens I should say. And then it says choose one to two cups of fruits and/or vegetables. So we are going to use our yellow pepper and carrots. And we're basically just tossing it together.
Charlie: This is easy! Just throwing it in a bowl.
Tara: The next category is a protein. She lists out on each recipe a bunch of different options that you can use. Whether it's beans, cheese. In this case we're using hard-boiled eggs. And then in the last category are tender herbs. If you like herbs, you can add them in. We for this one we don't have any, but there's also whole grains that you can add. So we have some slivered almonds that we're gonna fit in here. And it calls for about a half a cup. The hearty green salad recipe includes a recipe for a homemade salad dressing, and I just have one in a container that we brought to throw on top. But it's pretty basic oil vinegar salt pepper. I personally like adding a little bit of mustard but something to you or you want to do it. And that's it! All right. We're going to put this to the side. So our vegetables in the frittata are still cooking, so we're just gonna move on to the next recipe which is a salsa.
Charlie: Now salsa is really great because it's actually really simple to make but everyone thinks it's really complicated and if you make homemade salsa people will just flip.
Tara: It is really easy what I like about this recipe is you don't have to get nitty-gritty with your chopping. It's kind of nice to have chunky vegetables in there so it's really pretty simple. The base of our salsa is chopped tomatoes. We bought organic chopped tomatoes in a can so we didn't even have to do any chopping, which is really easy. But of course at your local farmers market you can pick up tomatoes all summer basically. And that's the point is to use what recipes. So we're going to start with the chopped tomatoes and then we're going to add some hot pepper. Which we have chopped up I chose an Anaheim pepper. I don't know if I've never had an Anaheim pepper so we'll see how this goes. I think we're ready to add the broccoli.
Charlie: So we're bouncing back and forth but that's how it works in a kitchen.
Tara: And I wanted to use some of these tomatoes. And I got a pepper in there.
Charlie: That's ok. So as you can see it's really easy, if you have a ton of tomatoes leftover from something or you were going to make something with tomatoes and chose not to - you can use whatever you have and multiple recipes in this book. So you really get to make your waste-stream almost nothing.
Tara: And I know a lot of extension offices teach canning courses, which is really great too. You can learn how to can your fresh produce throughout the year, and basically open a can and use these tomatoes and variety of these recipes which is really great. So in also calls for some fruit. And we're actually going to use the peaches that we have left over from the fruit crisp. We chopped them up and we're going to add those right in here. And then some herbs. We have cilantro. We're going to throw that in. Just a little bit. What do you think of cilantro? Do you like cilantro?
Charlie: In moderation. That's fine. I'm not one of the cilantro is soap tasty people.
Tara: Okay and then we're gonna add a little bit of lime juice. To brighten up the flavor. And salt. Let me make sure I didn't miss anything. Oh and the last ingredient- I think is very important- onion. It calls for one small onion. Actually I think this looks really good. Here is our chunky salsa!
Charlie: Nice and chunky!
Tara: How are our-
Charlie: Frittata vegetables? They're looking good.
Tara: They're getting there. Alright, I think we're ready for the eggs. So again I think I used a pan that was too big. It's gonna be more like scrambled eggs and vegetables, but that's ok.
Charlie: While our fruit crisp is cooking and while our frittata is cooking we're going to take a little bit of a break, but it'll only be a few minutes seconds to you so hold on we'll be right back.
Charlie: Okay we're back and ready to do the taste test. Now we've learned some lessons today. One lesson is that we needed to recruit one of our nutrition educators to better prepare these recipes. Not that they're that complicated. I think we're just a little especially inept when it comes to this matter. But we gave it our all, and we're gonna see how we did. So let us begin.
Tara: Should we start like it's a four course meal and start with salad or the salsa first? Have an hors d'oeuvre?
Charlie: Why not?
Tara: Alright, the salsa. Let's start there.
Charlie: So we're trying our salsa.
Tara: Actually I think that's really good and I grabbed a peach in there.
Tara: It's awesome
Charlie: A good balance of sweet and a little bit of that spice and tang.
Tara: The chunks are good. It's really good.
Charlie: And I think if we had fresh tomato, it would have been even better.
Tara: I agree. Fresh tomatoes would have a difference.
Charlie: But the canned tomato isn't terrible.
Both: Okay, salad.
Tara: I mean... I think it's good. I think maybe I could have chose more flavorful vegetables.
Charlie: I think we have a lot of cabbage and spinach. Even though they have their own flavor, when they're fresh they're not as bursting of flavor. So it has a good salad taste to it but it's not like I salad that that I'll remember for the rest of my life.
Tara: Yeah the fruit or the vegetables and the nuts that we add on top, I could have just added more of those. I think. But it's still a good salad.
Charlie: Okay. Main course? Frittata.
Charlie: Here we go. Is it a frittata or a 'frit-notta'? It's good.
Charlie: It's okay. It's not poisonous.
Tara: It is good. So what happened was... we used entirely too big of a pan, and start to burn a little bit because-
Charlie: Just a little.
Tara: Yeah but Charlie did an awesome job of keeping the sides rolled in and made a pan frittata miraculously. So I think overall actually it's good. It's missing a little brightness. There's something in there that- The tomato. Fresh tomato would have made the difference.
Charlie: The canned tomato has a much more rich flavor and not as much of a crispness to it with the texture too.
Tara: Yeah and maybe like a cheese woud have helped too.
Charlie: Yeah I mean there's always room for cheese.
Tara: Always room for cheese. okay now dessert we've got our apple or peach crisp again a little bit of a user error. I used probably pan three times as big as we should've so...
Charlie: -You live and you learn.
Tara: And how could you go wrong with a fruit crisp? We'll find out. I like that.
Charlie: That's good.
Tara: That's really good.
Charlie: And considering and was just like literally thrown together.
Tara: Actually all these recipes I feel like we just threw it in the bowl, in the oven, threw it in a pan.
Charlie: They're all very simple very easy and I mean- We thought we did terrible, but they all tasted fine.
Tara: It all tastes really good. Presentation? Definitely we need to work on that, Charlie.
Charlie: But you know, I think it was a good experience. I think the formula idea is really innovative and really useful. Especially when you have a variety of whatever is left in your kitchen and you don't know what to do with it, now you can kind of follow these recipe formulas choices and put something together that isn't bad even if you think you should.
Tara: Yeah that's nice as we have a variety of dishes here and we've been able to use the leftovers from one and the other, and it works really. They're all pretty tasty. I'm excited to try it again with different ingredients and see what happens.
Charlie: That's one of the great things too is that it's one recipe book but with the formulas the recipe combinations are almost endless.
Charlie: So you might not ever make the same peach crisp twice. Okay that was our episode thank you for watching. I thank miss Tara for coming on and joining our little experiment. Our kitchen experiment thing. We'll be back next week with another episode of Good Work New York, and that's some good work New York! Bye!
Last updated December 13, 2019