Potato Eggplant Pancakes Recipe – Meatless Monday

Yesterday, I made some fantastic yummy potato eggplant pancakes for dinner. I don’t always go meatless on Meatless Monday, but we do try to eat meatless one or two dinners per week.

The main flavor in these pancakes was obviously potato, I purposely used less eggplant because DH isn’t a fan. I wanted to ease him into it. Next time, I will include more eggplant – maybe two smaller ones. I love using the smaller sized ones because there are virtually no seeds, and the peel is tender.

These pancakes are really a snap to cook, because the vegetables are roasted ahead of time. Roasted vegetables bring such a wonderful flavor and you can substitute different vegetables in many combinations. Carrots, potatoes, onions. Or how about zucchini, leeks, cauliflower. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients for Potato Eggplant Pancakes

4-5 small/medium potatoes, quartered
1 small eggplant, halved
1 onion, quartered
olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Optional-coconut oil or more olive oil for pan frying (not deep frying)

  1. In baking dish, arrange potatoes, eggplant and onions together and drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt & freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Roast vegetables in 350F oven. I like a lower heat, because I have a smaller countertop sized convection oven. It heats up quickly. Others roast vegetables at 400F. Choice is yours!
  3. Once vegetables are fork tender, allow to cool for a few minutes, then pour them into food processor. Pulse a few times, then process until fairly chopped and combined.
  4. Transfer veggies into large bowl, add eggs and flour, and mix until combined.
  5. Using a cast iron pan (or if you prefer non-stick), pour 1 tsp coconut oil and allow to heat. Spoon pancake mixture into pan. I like making two smaller pancakes. You can make one larger pancake.
  6. Add 1 tsp oil for each batch. You also might need to wipe out pan if necessary.
  7. Serve with salad. 2-3 small pancakes for each person, with leftovers for lunch next day!

These pancakes really were delicious, and DH thought so too, despite that dreaded eggplant was a hidden ingredient! I will for sure make them again!

Swiss Chard Ricotta Egg Pie (Frittata) Recipe

I found an inspiring recipe over on Kalyn’s Kitchen for ; I had some yummy swiss chard greens from this week’s CSA share, and I knew it would be a great substitution for the kale.

swiss chard ricotta egg pie

Recipe Ingredients

1 large bunch of swiss chard or other hearty greens (kale, spinach, arugula, turnip/radish greens, etc)
8 oz fresh ricotta cheese – I used whole milk ricotta, but to save calories, part skim might be preferred.
1 – 2 oz grated cheese – cheddar, Parmesan, Pecorino, whatever you have on hand.
1 cup eggs, beaten. I used 5 extra large eggs, but the original recipe called for 6 large
kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Recipe Instructions:

2-4 servings depending on how hungry you are! We turned what was originally thought to be four into just two servings for us.

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Wash swiss chard leaves, pull/cut off ribs, then coarsely chop and quickly steam in a shallow saucepan or fry pan. About 1-3 minutes.
  3. Use a little coconut or olive oil to grease the bottom and sides of a baking dish. I used a large round quiche pan. Kalyn’s original recipe suggested to use a spring form pan. Any type of glass or ceramic baking dish would be fine.
  4. Line bottom of baking dish with steamed swiss chard or greens.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, grated cheese, and salt/pepper.
  6. In separate bowl, beat eggs, then blend into the cheese mixture. It’s lumpy, so don’t be alarmed.
  7. Pour egg/cheese mixture over swiss chard greens in baking dish.
  8. Bake for about 20-40 minutes, maybe longer depending on the depth of your pie. The original recipe called for 40 minutes, but her pie was much thicker.
  9. Allow to cool and enjoy! Serve with a small salad or even veggie soup. Great for Meatless Mondays!

Recipe Notes:

  • Farm fresh ricotta is always the best choice before a grocery brand. It tastes like cream! I like Maplebrook Farms from Vermont…they also make fresh mozzarella cheese.
  • We also received 2 very small corn on the cob in the CSA share this week. I figured instead of boiling them, I’d add some freshly cut corn off the cob. Well, because there was such a small amount, the corn really didn’t add anything special to the dish, so I left it out of my recipe here.
  • I would have loved to add a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg into the cheese mixture, but since my microplane grater/zester had soft cheese all over it, I couldn’t grate the nutmeg. Next time, I’ll grate the nutmeg first.
  • Leeks and tomatoes would also make a great addition! Hmm, like sliced tomatoes placed on top before baking! Yum.

swiss chard ricotta egg pie

Nutritional Data

Use the nutritional data as a guide; the info is not absolute, your results might vary considerably depending on the total weight of the finished dish.

Calories: 456
Fat: 33.6g
Saturated: 17g
Polyunsaturated: 2g
Monounsaturated: 9g
Trans: 0
Cholesterol: 591.7mg
Sodium: 716.7mg
Potassium: 532mg
Total Carbs: 7g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 1.7g
Protein: 33.5g
Vit A: 76%
Vit C: 13%
Calcium: 44.4%
Iron: 20%

Recipe: Homemade Low Sugar Granola with Oats, Pecans, & Coconut

homemade granola-low sugar

I made a batch of homemade lower sugar granola for my dad for Father’s Day, based on a recipe I found for “Sugar Free Granola” on allRecipes.com – it’s not necessarily “sugar free” but her recipe contains no added refined sugars. The granola did get sweetness from dates and apple juice. I do not drink juice anymore, so I decided to improvise and substitute 1 Tbsp agave nectar.

So, anyway, it was delicious, and I’ve been wanting to make a batch for us, so this afternoon, I did! I am looking forward to adding it to plain yogurt!

Keep in mind, this granola is not very sweet at all. (see below for approximate nutritional data) If you are used to highly sweetened foods, then it might not be for you! LOL.

Ingredients for Homemade Lower Sugar Granola with Oats, Pecans, Coconut

1 cup chopped pitted dates (about 20 deglet dates) – 150 grams
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut butter – I use the Artisana brand
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
1-1/2 cups rolled oats – 150 grams
1/2 cup shredded coconut – 50 grams
3/4 (approx) cup chopped pecans – 100 grams
1/2 cup ground flax seed – 50 grams – I use Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
1/2 cup sunflower seeds – 75 grams
1 tsp cinnamon

Recipe Notes:

  • if you do not have coconut butter, you might follow the original recipe and add the 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice, or you can also add oil. A nut oil or fruity olive oil would be nice.
  • When I made it for my dad, I also added raisins and unsweetened dried cherries. I left them out of this version, but they can easily be added after the granola cools. It’s probably not a great idea to include them before baking, as they can dry out and harden.

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat oven for 350F
  2. In small saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine the dates and water, and cook until they become pasty and thick, about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir often so they don’t burn. If the dates get too hot, lower the heat.
  3. Once the mixture is just finished, stir in the coconut butter and agave nectar. Keep on very low heat (or turn off the stove) and stir until well melted and blended.
  4. Then add the tsp of almond extract (optional) to the date mixture
  5. While dates are cooking, mix up the rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  6. Spread the oat nut mixture onto a large baking sheet and bake for about 7-10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  7. Once toasted, pour the oat nut mixture back into the large bowl and gently blend in the date glaze. Mix until it’s well combined. If there are dry patches, add a teenie bit of water.
  8. Return the granola back to the baking pan and bake for another 20 minutes or so. Make sure to keep turning/stirring the granola so it browns evenly, and watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.
  9. Remove from oven and allow the pan to cool on a rack. Stir occasionally to cool. Once cooled, the granola will harden slightly.
  10. Store in airtight container. I am not sure if this granola with it’s lower sugar content will keep as long as conventional granola, so if long term storage is needed, then freezing might be a better option.

ENJOY!

Nutritional Data

Based on 23 servings of 1 oz each – approx 1/3 cup

1 oz of homemade granola-low sugar

(Use the nutritional data as a guide; the info is not absolute, your results might vary considerably depending on the total weight of the finished product)

Calories: 136
Total Fat: 9g
Saturated: 3g (from healthy coconut fat)
Polyunsaturated: 1.6g
Monounsaturated: 2g
Trans: 0
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 1.6mg
Potassium: 12.4mg
Carbs: 12.4g
Fiber: 3.3g
Sugar: 5.5g
Protein: 3g
Vit A: 0
Vit C: 0
Calcium: 1.7%
Iron: 5.3%

1 oz of homemade granola-low sugar

Spicy Fennel Tomato Soup Recipe

bowl of spicy fennel onion tomato soup for dinner

I’ve borrowed the new Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook from the library – “My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness“.

I started reading and was immediately intrigued by the recipe on page 58 – “White Bean Soup: Two Ways” – I had a fennel bulb in my crisper drawer and was stumped on how I was going to cook it. So many other fennel soup recipes called for multiple bulbs, but this recipe only needed one fennel bulb!

I made a lot of alterations to the ingredients, but next time I’ll definitely stick closer to the original recipe and include the beans so it’ll be a complete meal! But I did really like my addition of both canned and sun-dried tomatoes.

If you’d like to take a gander at Gwyneth’s original recipe, it’s available at various locations online.

The soup is just as delicious in its original chunky form:
chunky spicy fennel onion tomato soup-before blending

Or you can blend it with an immersion blender
spicy fennel onion tomato soup-after blending

I had purchased Applegate Farms turkey franks as training treats for the dogs, and since I only had a can of baked beans, they were a perfect combination with the soup.
along with the soup, I made franks and beans

Recipe: Spicy Fennel Onion Tomato Soup

Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (or olive oil)
1 bulb fennel, chopped
3 smaller “spring” onions or 1 large regular onion, chopped. (Leeks work well too!)
1 carrot, chopped
cayenne chile powder or flakes to taste – I used just a pinch, and it added a perfect spice undertone.
5 pieces of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
Small can of unsalted diced tomatoes – about 1 1/2 cups
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 cups water
Optional: 1/4 tsp of tumeric and/or paprika spices.

Directions

  1. Heat large soup pot over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, then fennel, onions, and carrot. Turn heat down to low, and cook until softened, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Once the vegetables become soft and sweet, add a few Tbsp of water and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the rest of the water, plus the chile, tomatoes, salt & pepper, then simmer on very low for about 30-40 minutes (I used a gas diffuser to really reduce the stove heat)
  4. Once the soup is finished, you can leave it chunky or use an immersion blender to puree to your preferred consistency.

Nutritional Data

Use the nutritional data as a guide; the info is not absolute, your results might vary considerably depending on your ingredients. I left out the sodium data since it can vary so much.

Calories: 124
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated: 4g (from the coconut oil)
Cholesterol: 0
Carbs: 17g
Fiber: 5g
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 3g
Vit A: 68%
Vit C: 65%
Calcium: 9%
Iron: 12%

This soup tasted awesome the next day for lunch! Oh I love this soup!
leftover fennel onion tomato soup for lunch the next day

UPDATE 2011-05-11: Made the soup again tonight, adding freshly made (dried) navy beans. I baked a couple of Whole Foods chicken sausages to slice into our bowls of soup; paired with a large salad of baby greens, this was a perfect dinner. Really low calorie too!

A few days ago, I made a batch, but added too many potatoes, and they overpowered the soup’s flavor. Potatoes are a great addition, but only when you add one or two at the most!

Meatless Monday: Cabbage Mango Salad with Caramelized Onion Crostini

I sometimes find Meatless Monday dinners are more delicious than meals with meat! Tonight, was one of those nights.

I made a big batch of cabbage mango salad with roasted pumpkin seeds along with scrumptious yummy caramelized onion crostini.

I love cabbage! In the cooler months, I always try to keep it in the fridge for salads. It’s inexpensive (so much less than lettuce, when it’s out of season) and it’s packed with nutrients, especially cancer fighting anti-oxidents & anti-inflammatory properties.

Mango was on sale this week at Whole Foods, and I still had one left this afternoon, so I googled cabbage mango salad, and found that they do pair well together! You wouldn’t think it, would you?

Here’s my recipe:

Cabbage Mango Salad

cabbage mango salad with roasted pumpkin seeds and onions

Mix the following ingredients together in a large bowl:

  • 1/2 head of Cabbage, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 Mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 Onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin, or other favorite nut or seed
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

I made enough for our dinner plus lunch tomorrow, along with probably another

Caramelized Onion Crostini

caramelized onion crostini with cheddar & roasted garlic.

First caramelize the onions. It takes about 20-30 minutes. You might end up with extra onions; they are still tasty as leftovers. Add to other recipes like tomato sauce, brown rice, or soups.

  1. Starting on medium heat, add 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil and 2-3 thinly sliced onions to heated saute pan.
  2. Stirring occasionally, let the onions brown a bit; turn down the stove temp to low, and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  3. When onions are golden brown and yummy, splash on 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. If bottom of pan is crusty and browned, add a touch of wine or water, and scrape up the bits at the bottom of the pan.

Time for the crostini.

  1. Toast a few slices of whole grain bread in the oven.
  2. Once toasted, remove the bread, and top with your favorites. I smeared on a few cloves of roasted garlic, then topped with an aged Grafton Village cheddar cheese and a scoop of caramelized onion.
  3. Put bread back in oven and broil for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.

Once summer arrives, sliced fresh tomatoes make a wonderful addition, as do sliced olives and chopped basil leaves. I also love to experiment with other cheeses like Pecorino, Manchego, fresh Ricotta, and Mozzarella.

Enjoy! I thoroughly did!

Healthy Whole Wheat, Barley, Coconut Milk Pancakes

UPDATED: 2011-05-15 (see below for banana pancakes variation)
It’s always comforting to have pancakes on Sunday morning! I whipped up a batch of batter using whole wheat & barley flours, So Delicious coconut milk, and olive oil, and while I washed weekend dishes, my lovely DH cooked the pancakes!

He made 5 large pancakes. They’re very hearty and healthy, but not something I’d make every day. 1 and 1/2 pancakes filled me up, while DH ate 2 and 1/2 pancakes. I’m happy to have one left over for tomorrow’s breakfast.

whole wheat, barley, coconut milk & olive oil pancakes

I was inspired by a white flour pancake recipe I found at All Recipes, Here’s my healthy whole grain version:

Whole Grain Healthy Pancakes Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I love using King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup barley flour (or any other whole grain flour, a little cornmeal tastes yummy too)
  • 3.5 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sucanat sugar (or plain sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk (or almond milk, or dairy milk if that is what you like – you can also mix the milk with a little water)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 2 Tbsp olive oil

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Whisk all dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, salt, sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Using a large glass measuring cup, measure the coconut milk, then mix in whole egg and olive oil.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and mix until just combined. It’s a thick batter. If you like a thinner batter, add more coconut milk.
  4. This is the only time I recommend using a non-stick pan, just because it’s a lot easier and there’s no need for additional oil. Cook pancakes to your desired size and shape. As I said, we made a total of 5 large ones, but you might like smaller or thinner pancakes.

Enjoy!

I ate them with my fingers, dipping pancake pieces into a small bowl of real maple syrup!

Nutritional Data

Makes 5 pancakes / One serving = 1 pancake

Use the nutritional data as a guide; the info is not absolute, your results might vary considerably depending on the total weight of the finished dish.

Calories: 237
Total Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 3g (saturated fat from vegetable sources is not the same as animal fat sources)
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat: 6.5g
Trans: 0
Cholesterol: 42mg
Sodium: 551mg
Potassium: 79mg
Carbs: 27g
Fiber: 4g
Sugar: 2g
Protein: 6g
Vitamin A: 4%
Calcium: 28%
Iron: 22%

UPDATE: 2011-03-20: Made pancakes again this morning. It’s becoming a nice tradition! I added a little bit of cornmeal to the barley flour, and instead of the non-stick pan, DH used our cast iron, with about 1 tsp of coconut oil. I don’t know if it was the added corn or the cast iron (or both) but these pancakes ROCKED! They had a slight crispy coating (which is probably from the cast iron) and I didn’t even need syrup. I ate them straight! They were delicious!

UPDATE: 2011-05-15: Made banana pancakes this morning in the cast iron. Yum. Tweaked the ingredients a little bit. Since I added 2 medium bananas (1 cup), I left out the sugar. I had previously noticed a slight ‘metallic’ taste so today, I tried reducing the baking powder to 2.5 tsp and the pancakes were equally light and fluffy. I also reduced the oil to 2 Tbsp.

Recipe: Whole Wheat Rye Sesame Muffins

whole wheat rye sesame muffins

I haven’t been inspired (or had the time) to make any muffins or quick breads for months. But I’ve been craving desserts, so tonight, I decided to take to heart Michael Pollan’s Food Rule #39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

Which muffin recipe to make? I thought about peanut butter chocolate chip, blueberry, and oat raisin, but decided I’d like to try something new.

I searched through my Evernote recipes and found a lovely sesame seed muffin recipe. I loved that the recipe included a good amount of sesame seeds, but I wanted more whole grains, so I adapted it to my needs.

Here’s my modifications:

Healthy Low Sugar Whole Wheat Rye Sesame Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup rye flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp (approx) freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup milk (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, but almond milk would also work very well, as well as plain yogurt)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff, not imitation)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat & rye flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and sesame seeds.
  3. Whisk oil and egg together in a small glass bowl or large glass measuring cup until slightly frothy
  4. Mix in molasses, milk, and vanilla.
  5. Pour wet mixture into dry flour bowl and stir to combine. Try not to over mix.
  6. Scoop into 12 muffin tins lined with paper and bake for 14-20 minutes.

whole wheat rye sesame muffins

Notes:

  • The mixture is firm, so it’s easy to pile the batter high in the tin.
  • I think I’ll add more spice next time. The cinnamon and nutmeg was fine, but I think it needs more ginger and maybe even a bit of anise or fennel seed.
  • It was easy to scoop the batter into tins using my Oxo Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop.
  • I slightly over-cooked the muffins, so next time I’ll bake for only 14 minutes. I bake in a counter-top convection oven.
  • These muffins are not sweet, so more sweetener can be added if that is what you like. We plan on topping with a dollop of jelly for tomorrow’s breakfast!
  • Raisins would be a great addition, as would some dark chocolate chips (leave out the spices).
  • The sesame seeds are yummy! I might increase the amount added next time. They add a touch of chewy sweetness to the muffin.

Nutritional Data

Each muffin is approximately 2 oz.

Calories: 165
Total Fat: 8.3g
Saturated: 1.7g
Polyunsaturated: .5g
Monounsaturated: 3.2g
Cholesterol: 16.3mg
Sodium: 225mg
Potassium: 53mg
Total Carbs: 17g
Fiber: 2.7g
Sugars: 4g
Calcium: 13.5%
Iron: 12.5%

Use the nutritional data as a guide; the info is not absolute, your results might vary considerably depending on the total weight of the finished dish.

UPDATE: For breakfast, we ended up melting some organic whipped butter on top of a sliced muffin. It was yummy. I’ll definitely add a bit more sweetener next time, or possibly some sweeter mix-ins like raisins or chocolate chunks, along with a bit more sesame seeds.

butter topped whole wheat rye sesame muffins

Experiment: Whole Wheat, Cornmeal, Barley Sesame Seed Bread

whole wheat bread made with cornmeal and barley with sesame seeds

I love experimenting with cold fermentation for developing flavorful bread dough. I started a new (for me) bread experiment yesterday, based on the technique of Peter Reinhart’s book “Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor“. In the book, Peter advises to mix both a mash and a biga, refrigerate for at least 12 hours, then mix up a new dough with the two plus a small amount of ingredients.

I decided that I would try mixing one biga mash together with no sugar, oil, salt and just a touch of instant yeast, refrigerate for a day, then mix up a new dough using the biga mash with new flour and ingredients.

The result was a fair success! A yummy fluffy high rising whole grain bread. I love a hearty dense loaf, but sometimes you just want bread to be light and airy!

I still need to work on this technique though, although the taste is fantastic, the “crumb” is usually too crumbly and the top crust pulls away. By the time I get to the middle/end of the loaf, it’s usually difficult to slice thinly. I think it might be an issue of not shaping my loaf properly, or it could be over-proofing (final rise). I don’t think it’s an issue of too much milk and/or oil but maybe my dough needs more water. It’s also possible that I am not kneading long enough, but that seems hard to believe since I’m using a machine for the final dough. I’ll have to do some additional reading on the Fresh Loaf web site, and maybe re-read Peter’s book. There is still so much to learn!

whole wheat bread made with cornmeal and barley with sesame seeds

Anyway, here is my process.

Biga Soaker – Day One

It only take a few minutes to mix up the biga soaker dough.

Note: I use the West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker for all kneading.

Biga Soaker Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk product. I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, but I have used almond milk in previous recipes.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 oz whole grain flour = I used 1.5 oz cornmeal and 2.5 oz barley flour
  • 8 oz King Arthur white whole wheat flour, (for a total of 12 oz for ALL flours)
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast

NO salt, oil, sugar just yet

Bread Machine Biga Directions:

It’s possible to process the bread dough using the “dough” setting, but you should NOT allow it to rise the bread. Shut off the machine after the kneading process finishes, and remove the dough before the warm rise step.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Machine knead for about 10 minutes
  2. Stop the bread maker for an autolyse rest for 20-30 minutes. During this resting time, leave the dough in the bread machine pan.
  3. Re-start the machine and knead again for 10 minutes
  4. After 10 minutes, shut off machine again, and allow a short rest of 2-3 minutes before transferring the dough (using wet hands) to a bowl.
  5. Cover bowl and keep in fridge for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.

Bread Baking Day:

Take the dough out of fridge, allow to warm up for at least two hours.
Chop up dough into several smaller pieces, using pastry scraper or sharp knife.
In bread machine pan, add dough pieces with the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 oz white flour
  • 2 Tbsp sucanat sugar
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 tsp instant yeast
  • Optional seeds or nuts (1/4 cup)

Baking Day Directions

  1. Using the bread maker dough setting, combine all ingredients in bread maker and allow the machine to do it’s thing including the rise.
  2. When machine is finished, wet hands, and pull dough out of the pan.
  3. Gently form into loaf shape and place into loaf pan (lined with parchment paper)- this is where I might be going wrong. I think I am not shaping the loaf correctly.
  4. Allow to proof for 30-60 minutes
  5. In preheated 375F oven, bake for 30 minutes
  6. Or until internal temperature of bread reaches 190F
  7. Remove from loaf pan and allow to cool for at least an hour.

Makes one 30 oz loaf (after baking and cooling) – even better, it’ll also make two smaller loaves too!

whole wheat bread made with cornmeal and barley with sesame seeds

Nutritional Data:

Calories: 97
Total Fat: 3.5g
Saturated: 1g
Monounsaturated: 1g
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 13.5mg
Potassium: 14mg
Carbs: 14g
Fiber: 1.5g
Sugar: 1.5g
Protein: 3g
Calcium: 1.5%
Iron: 5%

Yummy Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Found an interesting recipe from Jamie Oliver’s book “Cook With Jamie” for “Incredible Boiled Butternut Squash with Squash Seed and Parmesan Pangrattato”. The recipe suggested mixing fried butternut squash seeds with bread crumbs, and parmasan cheese. It got me thinking about roasting squash seeds. I never thought about roasting anything but pumpkin seeds, and it’s not something that I’ve ever done personally.

So, of course I googled, and I found a roasted butternut squash seeds recipe online at Simple Daily Recipes. On her blog, Jill insisted that roasted butternut squash seeds taste so much better than pumpkin seeds! The one or two occasions that I’ve eaten roasted pumpkin seeds, I found them to be chewy, and too “seedy”. Not sure if they weren’t roasted enough, or if that is really how they are supposed to be. But I was now intrigued and inspired to try roasting butternut squash seeds!

Tonight, as I started scooping seeds from a butternut squash for dinner, I had a conversation in my head. I thought okay, I really should save these seeds to roast them. I hesitated, nah, I’ll try it next time. No, don’t wait, winter vegetable season will be ending soon, just get a bowl and save them……so that is what I did.

It was fairly easy to scoop the seeds away from that stringy stuff, and I saved them in a small bowl, leaving them on my counter to wait until I had time to clean them.

Jill’s recipe was super easy, she actually referred to her roasted pumpkin seeds recipe, but suggested to lower the temp to 300°

So, here’s exactly what I did:

  1. After scooping out the seeds from the squash, I rinsed them under cold water using a colander, then transferred them to a flat dish to dry a little. My squash was very small, so there wasn’t a whole lot of seeds.
  2. I placed a piece of parchment paper on a small aluminum baking tray and dumped the seeds onto the tray. I let them sit while we had dinner, so they’d dry out a little bit more on their own.
  3. Jill suggested to salt the heck out of them, so I did.
  4. Then I put them in a hot 350° oven (which was on from cooking dinner), lowering the temp to about 300°. I roasted for a little over 10 minutes, then poured them into a small dish.

My notes:

  1. I wasn’t sure how the extra orange stringy stuff would be, so I tried to get it all off the seeds. I should have read the comments posted to Jill’s blog, as one person suggested to keep the gunky stuff on, as it gave more flavor.
  2. I used way too much salt. Next time, I will definitely use a lot less. I will also experiment with other toppings like a bit of brown sugar (sucanat) and cinnamon. I’m also thinking that a little melted chocolate on top might work too. Oh the possibilities are endless!
  3. Jill’s blog commenters, also suggested roasting spaghetti squash seeds too, so that will be something I’ll try soon!

Bottom line, roasted butternut squash seeds are fantastic! Reminded me of popcorn that is “half popped” – Crunchy and flavorful, with just enough chew. It doesn’t taste like you’re eating unhulled seeds like with pumpkin. I ate the whole bowl! I was bummed there was such a small amount, I wanted more!

One Day Cooking For Meals All Week

My days are getting longer at work, and then with afternoon errands, it’s been so stressful worrying about finding time for healthy weekday cooking. So, I took a tip from Rachael Ray’s new show, Week in a Day and decided that I would try cooking a bunch recipes on the weekend, making it easier to put together meals during busier days during the week. Plus, I need to fill our new chest freezer with some goodies!

So, today I set the oven on 300° and started cooking:

St Louis Style Pork Ribs

I rubbed some Arizona Dreaming seasoning from Penzey’s Spices on a rack of St Louis style pork ribs and slow cooked them on a roasting pan with rack. Thankfully, I applied a layer of aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan so clean up was a breeze!

They cooked for about 4 hours (300°), and then I raised the oven temp to about 375° to crisp them for a few minutes. Delicious and so easy.

Chuck Beef Roast

Next, I sliced all the outer fat off of a small one pound chuck beef roast (looked like a steak) and cut it into two pieces. In one of my smaller 2 quart cast iron covered pots, I browned each piece separately, then deglazed the bottom of the pan with a little bit of Merlot wine. I added both pieces of beef back into the pot, and covered with large chunks of onion, then poured some additional wine over the top. I let it slow cook (300°) for about 4 hours. I didn’t peek inside the pot, I just kept it covered and left it alone.

We ended up having it for our dinner tonight, and it was scrumptious. Tender and flavorful. Chuck rocks I tell you!!! It’s one of the best cuts of beef, it’s cheap and the flavor is outstanding! And so simple! I didn’t even have to add one smidgen of salt, pepper, spice or herb to the pot, and it develops into lusciousness. Just take the time to brown the meat first, deglaze, then add wine!

Chicken Drumsticks

On the stove, I browned 8 chicken drumsticks (two batches of 4 drums each) with some olive oil in my 4 quart cast iron pot. The chicken was reserved on a plate, while I started sauteing chopped onion, carrot, and some leftover purple cabbage. I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out the new bottle of three acre kitchen Balsamic Marinade I just bought from Whole Foods, so I poured a couple of tablespoons in, and deglazed the pan; it bubbled and reduced very quickly. Then I deglazed again with some Merlot wine, then added the chicken back into the pot, and poured more wine.

I placed the covered pot into the oven (300°) and cooked for hmm, I think it was about 2 hours or so. The chicken was falling off the bone, and I tasted a couple of tiny bits, and it was delicious. I completely cooled the chicken, vegetables, and sauce in a separate bowl, and then transferred into a large freezer bag to freeze for a later date.

Ground Beef and Leek Chili

On the stovetop, I browned a 1/3 pound of grass fed beef in my other 2 quart cast iron pot (I love my 2 quart pots, and I highly recommend this size for smaller 2-3 person families), then added in a couple of chopped leeks. Cooked down for a few minutes, then added poblano peppers (frozen from summer veggies), cranberry beans (also frozen from summer), fresh parsley, a carton of Pomi strained tomatoes and lots of spices and herbs.

That was also put into the oven along side the 4 qt pot with drumsticks, 2 quart pot with beef. The roaster with the ribs was on the bottom oven rack. It all just fit! Phew!

It cooked for about 1.5 hours or so, and then I cooled the chili completely; I transferred most of it into a quart sized freezer bag to freeze for a later date. I kept a portion in the fridge, enough for tomorrow’s lunch for either my husband or myself.

Transitional Whole Wheat Bread

I started my soaker and biga for a loaf of bread yesterday, following the transitional wheat bread recipe from Peter Reinhart. I removed the biga from the fridge this morning, and once all the pots were in the oven, it was perfect timing to start creating the final dough.

By the time the chili and chicken drumsticks were done baking, my dough had risen, was proofed and was ready to be baked, so I temporarily increased the oven temp to 350° and the loaf went into the oven.

40 minutes later, it was baked and I lowered the temp back down to 300° for the beef and pork ribs to finish.

Salad Greens

I was thrilled to find some local organic red and green leaf lettuce at Whole Foods at a bargain price of only 1.29/lb. I picked up 3 heads! The total cost was about $2.50, which equaled to one small head of green leaf from California.

I washed, spun dried, and bagged all of it, so now I have enough lettuce for a few dinner and lunch salads for the week.

Accomplishment

Once everything was done cooking, I poured a cup of jasmine brown rice with 2 cups of water into one of the 2 qt cast iron pots, and in an hour or so, we were ready to eat tonight’s meal.

I think it’ll get even easier next time. I will be able to coordinate a little better, multi-tasking a bit more. But I feel so accomplished knowing that a big portion of the cooking for this week is done!

There is a portion of beef left over along with 2 servings of brown rice, so I have a plan to either make tomato beef sauce (with rice or pasta) or possibly some beef stew with rice, leeks and kale. I think I’ll probably go for the soup.

As for the rest of the week, we have pork ribs, chicken (enough for at least two meals), and chili. I have some beets in the fridge, and they will roast nicely with potatoes and/or a butternut squash. I think we’ll be good to go!