Dec 28, 2011

Dutch Baby Pancakes

2 c freshly ground spelt, kamut or whole wheat flour (I use a 5-7 grain mixture)
2 c buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt
8 eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1 t sea salt
1 c filtered water
6-8 T butter
pinch of nutmeg and/or cinnamon (optional)

Soak flour in buttermilk (I make my own buttermilk using a good quality plain yoghurt and pure water (about 50/50 ratio)).  Leave this mixture in a bowl with a dish towel over the top and in a warm place for 12-24 hours.  The longer you leave it, the more sour it becomes so I prefer 12 hours because I haven't acquired the taste of sourdough completely yet.  This soaking of the flour will make it a lot easier for your body to digest the whole grains...yeah!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Beat eggs for several minutes.  Add flour mixture, vanilla, water, and salt and process another minute.  Get 2 13x9 inch pans (I use glass) and 1 9x9 inch pans ready and cut/distribute the butter between all 3 dishes.  Place all 3 pans in the oven to melt the butter and when the butter starts to sizzle and the dishes are heated well, pull them out.  Pour the batter in the hot pans and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  I like to turn the temperature down to 375 after putting them in so the edges don't brown as much. 

After they are done, I often sprinkle them with a cinnamon/sugar mixture and serve them with fresh berries and a little pure maple syrup.  YUMMMMM........... 

Dec 23, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

1 bag fresh cranberries (approx. 4 cups)
1 orange (peeled, segmented)
1 sm. apple (cored, sliced
3/4-1 cup sugar

Blend in a food processor or heavy duty blender until smooth.  Adjust amount of sugar to your liking.
Serve with your turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!

Dec 21, 2011

Zuppa Toscana

This recipe is similar to the Olive Garden soup, but I've tweaked it a little...

1 lb. Italian sausage
1 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 slices bacon
1 onion, diced
1 T. minced garlic
2-3 stalks celery (optional)
8 cups chicken broth
1 can white beans (2 cups cooked dried beans)
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cups milk (or 1 cup cream for thicker)
1/4 bunch kale leaves (or spinach)
salt to taste, if desired
  1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain,  but reserve 2 T drippings. Stir in the onions, garlic and celery with the drippings; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pwhite beans and carrots and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the milk and cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the kale or spinach into the soup just before serving.               

*The original called for potatoes, but I prefer the change with beans and carrots. But this recipe is super flexible. It's mostly the bacon and sausage flavors that make the soup. Someone said they just add in milk with cornstarch for thickness, but I don't mind it thin. As long as you eat it with our good artisan bread!

Simple Wassail

4 c water (or to taste)
2 sticks cinnamon
2-4 cloves
1 orange, sliced
46 oz. apple juice
optional: splash of cranberry juice (or handful of cranberries)

Throw everything in the crockpot and simmer for a few hours.

This is GREAT for the holidays and simple...makes your house smell wonderful!

Dec 12, 2011

New Foods Adventures: Pumpkin & Seeds

Ok, so this might not exactly be "new," persay. But, maybe you don't have it very often or don't have it fresh. Well, I recently looked up pumpkin seed vitamin properties because I have some, but haven't been eating them much. And wow! They're full of goodness. So here's some info on Pumpkin and it's seeds....

Pumpkin Nutrients
Pumpkins on the whole are very high in potassium, and have good amounts of beta carotene and vitamin C. They are also a good source of calcium and fibre. It also has vitamin E, vitamin A, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein.

Pumpkin seeds are one of nature's almost perfect foods. They are a natural source of beneficial constituents such as carbohydrates, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K. They also have the minerals calcium, potassium, niacin, and phosphorous.

Snacking on ¼-1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds can deliver the nutrients mentioned at the outset of this article, as well as calcium, vitamin K, protein and important omega-3 fatty acids. Just one serving gives you almost half the recommended daily amounts of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, vitamin K, and zinc. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and monounsaturated fats.
 Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw, baked, roasted or toasted (with a little salt).

Preparing and Eating Pumpkin
If you're not use to having cooked, fresh pumpkin, just cut the top off and scoop out seeds, then replace the top back on and put it in the oven for about 1 hour on 400 or so (depends on size). When it's cooked through, pull it out. (careful, it drips and sags, so put a tray under). Then I scoop out the inside and mash it up. You can put it in ice cube trays and then pop the frozen cubes into a bag to use later. I use them in sauces, brownies, bread, pancakes, soups, etc.--and for baby food. Or instead of mashing, cut into cubes and throw into chili or curry. Tip: large pumpkins are really wet and not as well flavored, so either use small pumpkins for baking, or be prepared to cut back on some of the other liquids. And 1 can of pumpkin is about equal to 2 or 2 1/2 c. pumpkin. You can substitute pumpkin for many things (like the fat in baked goods). Have fun with it.

You can buy a bag of pumpkin seeds at health/nutrition stores (don't buy the expensive name brand fancy bag stuff). Throw them in your granola or ganola bars or chop up and throw in a topping or on a salad.

Try Some Recipes
Spinach Feta Stuffed Pumpkins
Pimpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin Spice Cookies

*info from articlesbase

Dec 7, 2011

Stuffed Onions

4 lg. onions2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
1/4 c crispy pine nuts (soaked and toasted as noted below**)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

*soak pine nuts in filtered water with a little sea salt for 7 hours, drain in a colander and put on cookie sheet to bake in a warm oven-no hotter than 150 degrees for 24 hours or in a dehydrator till completely dry. Store the rest in an airtight container

Cut onions in half along the equator and remove all layers inside except the last 2.  Brush the inside of each onion half with a butter and place them on a buttered glass casserole dish ready to fill.  You can cut the very bottom of them to help them stand.

Chop the onion taken from the centers and saute in olive oil until tender.  Add rice, pine nuts, oregano, cheese and parsley and mix well.  Remove from heat, stir in the egg and season to taste.  Fill the onion shells with the stuffing.  Add a little water to the baking pan and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. 

This dish (taken from the book, Nourishing Traditions), goes very well with fish and some green sauteed vegetables! 

from charise