Archive | September, 2010

Blackberry Yogurt Muffins

27 Sep

Ingredients:  Spelt flour, unbleached flour, flax seeds, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, organic cane sugar, honey, butter, plain yogurt, vanilla, fresh blackberries, and applesauce.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1½ cups spelt flour, 1½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour, two tablespoons of flax seeds, three tablespoons of old fashioned rolled oats, two teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of nutmeg.

In another bowl, whisk together half a cup of organic cane sugar, half a cup of honey, half a cup of melted butter, one egg, 1¼ cup of plain yogurt, one teaspoon of vanilla, a quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce, and one to two cups of fresh blackberries. I stir the blackberries in at the very end so that there are whole berries still intact.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin cups with non stick cooking spray. Fill each cup two-thirds full. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow them to cool for at least five minutes before removing from the tin.

Experiment: Try using a flavored yogurt and omitting the honey. Add nuts or a mix of other berries. Try adding minced lemon or orange rind for zest. Use cinnamon instead of nutmeg.  Sprinkle tops with raw sugar before baking for a special, sweet touch.

Pork Fried Rice

20 Sep

Ingredients: Basmati brown rice, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, soy, honey, lime, ketchup, fish sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, barbecued pork, egg, scallions, and sesame seeds.

Cook the rice ahead of time and then let it cool to, at most. room temperature.

The ratio for cooking the rice is two parts water to one part rice. In a medium size soup pan, I like to sauté the rice in a bit of coconut oil before adding the water. Add warm water and let it come to a boil with the rice. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a tight lid. One cup of rice takes about 20 to 25 minutes.

For the sauce, stir together a quarter cup of soy sauce, a tablespoon of honey, juice from half a lime, one teaspoon ketchup or hot red chili sauce, half teaspoon fish sauce, and one tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar. Set this aside. (If you are making a large amount you may want to double the amount of sauce.)

In a heated wok, stir fry one chopped onion and six cloves of chopped garlic in about a tablespoon of oil for several minutes. Then add three chopped carrots, and three chopped celery stalks. Stir fry until the vegetables just begin to soften. Then remove them from the wok.

Add another teaspoon of oil and stir fry six eggs with a teaspoon of soy sauce. When they’re done, set them aside.

Now turn the heat up on the wok and add another teaspoon of oil. Start with two to four cups of cooked cold or room temperature Basmati brown rice. Stir fry the rice for about five minutes tossing it often so as not to burn. Then add in the vegetables and eggs and cook for another few minutes. Now slowly add the sauce and cook it for another several minutes so the sauce is worked through it all. Lastly, add about half a pound of Chinese style barbecued pork, three chopped scallions, and a tablespoon of sesame seeds.

This is very hearty, tasty, and can stand alone. But you could also serve it with Asian Coleslaw on the side.

Experiment: Try using other vegetables: Peppers, snap peas, string beans, asparagus, etc. Spice up the sauce with red chili oil, Chinese mustard, or spicy black bean paste. Try serving it with Savory Cilantro Sauce. It’s so yummy with it!

Banana Bread Pudding (Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free)

13 Sep

Ingredients: Ground pressed raw almond pulp (leftover from when you made Almond Milk), bananas, applesauce, butter, honey, oats, walnuts, eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, dates, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, puree one frozen banana and one fresh banana, ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce, two eggs, one can coconut milk, one teaspoon vanilla, half cup honey, and half cup softened butter. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Then, again using the food processor, chop twelve dried dates and ⅔ cup walnuts. Pour this into another mixing bowl and stir in two pinches of salt, one teaspoon ground cinnamon, one teaspoon baking soda, half teaspoon baking powder, and three cups raw pressed almond pulp until well combined.

Next, combine the liquid mixture with the dry mixture into one bowl and stir until it is smooth. It should look similar to cake batter.

Lastly, pour it into a greased nine by thirteen cake pan and bake on the middle rack in your oven for 35 minutes on 375 degrees and then another twenty minutes, turning the oven down to 325 degrees. Let it cool completely before cutting into it and dishing up.

This dessert makes the kitchen smell heavenly! It’s delicious served at room temperature or slightly warm. You can put ice cream on top or a dollop of yogurt. Store it in your refrigerator and then try a piece cold. It’s good that way too!

Experiment: Try adding raisins, carob chips, or chocolate chips.

Almond Milk

13 Sep

Ingredients: Almonds and water.

Four cups raw almonds will yield about ¾ of a gallon of almond milk.

First, soak four cups of raw almonds overnight by placing them in a bowl with just enough water to cover them. If you soak them for less time they will be more difficult to peel.

Next is the laborious part. Remove the skin from each and every almond. You should be able to easily pinch the almond out of its skin. Once they are all peeled, rinse them well until the water is no longer milky looking.

Now, using a blender, add three cups of water and one cup of peeled almonds and quickly puree it.

Then, using a cheesecloth or something similar, strain the liquid from the almond pulp.

Make sure that you are able to squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible.

The pulp should be very dry once you’ve extracted the milk.

Repeat the last two steps until you’ve used all the peeled almonds.

Experiment: If you like, you can sweeten the almond milk with a bit of honey, sugar, Splenda, molasses, agave nectar, or other sweetener. Try adding a touch of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, or almond flavored extract.

Chicken Pesto Focaccia Topped With Bruschetta

6 Sep

Ingredients: Boneless skinless chicken, onion, garlic, fresh pesto sauce, focaccia bread, olive oil, coarse salt, fresh bruschetta, parmesan, and mozzarella.

This yummy, all inclusive meal, takes a bit of time to make. But if you space things out, it isn’t bad. The pesto sauce and bruschetta can be made in advance.

Start by hollowing out a loaf of focaccia bread, leaving the outer rim intact. You can keep the inside bread for home made croutons later if you like. Next, brush olive oil around the inside and outer rim and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Bake the bread at 400 degrees for about six to eight minutes.

While the bread is in the oven, heat a deep skillet on medium high and sauté half an onion and four cloves of chopped fresh garlic in a small amount of olive oil. When they start to soften add one to two pounds of thawed boneless, skinless chicken. Once the pink is gone from the outside, pour pesto sauce over the chicken and simmer covered for about twelve minutes.

In the baked focaccia shell, sprinkle half a cup of mozzarella cheese into the bottom and then fill it with the pesto chicken. Sprinkle half a cup of grated parmesan on top of the chicken and then put it back in the oven to melt the cheese for about ten more minutes.

Lastly, spoon the bruschetta over the top.

Experiment: You could come up with many variations of this dish, stuffing the focaccia with most anything: Caramelized onion, butternut squash, bacon and goat cheese.  Roasted peppers, zucchini and smoked Italian sausage with shaved parmesan.  Roasted seasonal vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and smoked gouda cheese.  Hmmm…  What else?