Archive for November, 2009

Carob Kefir Smoothie

November 16, 2009

Now that my kefir is established, I wanted to try it in a smoothie. The natural sweetness of carob and banana provide enough sweetness for this, so you don’t need to add any sweeteners.

1 cup kefir
1 ripe banana (if frozen then your smoothie will come out more frosty, but you can use a fresh one if you need to)
1 Tbsp carob powder
5-6 ice cubes

Blend ingredients together. Enjoy!

Tuesday Twister – 11/10/09

November 10, 2009

I decided to participate in GNOWFGLINS Tuesday Twister blog carnival this week, because there are a lot of fun things going on in my kitchen this week. i feel like I was cooking all weekend. My camera is not behaving so I don’t have good pictures right now.

Wardeh sent me some goat kefir grains, so I have been having fun getting goat’s milk kefir going. I made some kefir pancakes, but they weren’t soaked because I didn’t plan ahead, so I’m going to try making soaked kefir pancakes later. I also made some soaked-grain “cornbread”.

Even though we’ve been having some warm weather here, I seem to be in soup mode. I made pumpkin soup, white bean and kale soup, and beef stew.

I also did a lot of appetizer cooking & baking this weekend: I had a friend’s birthday party and a church celebration to bring food too, so I used up some things I had around the house (cooked chick peas, a zucchini, swiss chard from the farmer’s market) and made hummus, zucchini & onion pakoras, swiss chard and feta egg squares, pumpkin cupcakes with carob frosting, and carob chip cookies.

Go see the Tuesday Twister at Wardeh’s blog for more kitchen fun!

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cornbread

November 10, 2009

I have been corn-free for about a year, and one of the things I really miss is cornbread. I came up with this recipe and it is reminscent of a nice buttermilk cornbread, and it is made with soaked grains so it’s easier to digest. It was a hit with my family.

1 cup kefir (we used goat’s milk)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup millet flour
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Celtic sea salt

The night before, mix the two flours, oil, syrup, and kefir in a ceramic bowl, and let sit covered. In the morning, beat the eggs and add them to the soaked grain mixture, then add the baking powder and salt.

Put into a greased square 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Bake it at 350 for 25-35 minutes (the smaller pan will yield taller bread, but will take longer to bake).

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 11/09/09

November 9, 2009

I almost never do meal planning for the weekend, since I usually do my shopping on Saturday and then decide there what I will make, so sometimes I like to share what I did the weekend before.

Sunday I made pumpkin soup, flax bread (I made it without sweetener; my husband thought it tasted like cardboard, but I was happy to have bread of some type), and hard-boiled eggs. When we have a soup without much protein, I like to serve it with eggs to get a little more protein and fat so everyone feels satisfied.

Monday – White Bean & Kale Minestrone

Tuesday – Crockpot Beef Stew

Wedneday – Curried Chicken

Thursday – Turkey Chili Mac

Friday – Something with ground lamb; not sure what spicing I will do; sauteed spinach

Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Walnuts

November 9, 2009

This is based on a recipe in Jacques Pépin’s Fast Food My Way. It is a great quick meal. We always have chicken stock and cooked pumpkin in the freezer (in the autumn I buy pumpkins and roast them and save the pulp in the freezer). Tonight I was able to throw together dinner in around a half hour after getting home from an event at church, even with the stock and the pumpkin still being in the freezer (they just take a little longer to cook).

If you have crispy walnuts, then use them. In a pinch (less healthy), you can toast walnuts with a little salt and cayenne in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes.

1 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked pumpkin (15 oz can)
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
(pinch saffron, if you have it and want to splurge. We didn’t do this, but after tasting the soup, we thought it would be excellent in there)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil

Cook celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until soft but not brown. Add chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for about 6-8 minutes, then add the pumpkin. Bring to a boil again and boil for 5 minutes (if pumpkin is frozen, wait until it’s thawed and cook for 5 additional minutes). Puree soup in a blender or food processor and return to heat. Add butter or coconut oil and heat until melted and incorporated. Top with the crispy walnuts (about 5 per bowl).

Book Review: Fast Food My Way

November 9, 2009

I recently heard Jacques Pépin on the radio, talking about his new cookbook, More Fast Food My Way. I thought, this sounds like a great idea: a French chef who wrote two books on cooking quickly. As a working mom with special dietary needs, I love the idea of fast meals that don’t involved processed foods. (Note: some of these books do include processed foods for the sake of speed, especially the new one, but it’s mostly for desserts).

These cookbooks are more “mainstream” than the ones I have been focusing on; I have been reading a lot of cookbooks based on special diets or “traditional foods” (ala Weston Price) or allergy/gluten-free cooking. Many of the recipes have wheat and/or dairy, so they are just out, but Fast Food My Way has a lot of recipes without all of those things, or that can have substitutions. Some recipes are still a little complex (too many ingredients to want to deal with after working all day), but many of them just sound great, such as:

Chicken Tonnato (chicken breasts with anchovy and tuna)

Chicken on mashed cauliflower with red hot salsa (great for those of us who can’t have potatoes!)

Codfish in walnut-cilantro sauce

Glazed salmon in mirin

Bean puree with anchovies

Pumpkin soup with toasted walnuts (this one was excellent, although I changed it up a bit; even my husband liked it)

I think this would be a great addition to the home cookbook library, and would make an excellent holiday gift! I prefer this one to the newer one, although the newer one has some gems as well; but if you just want to get one book, this is the one to pick.

Great Series on Low Budget Traditional Foods

November 7, 2009

The Nourished Kitchen has a great series on eating well on a very low budget. Check it out! I may be seeing if I can do some meal plans based on her weeks with substitutes and still keep the cost low.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Breakfasts for Blood Type O Diet

November 5, 2009

My naturopath has me trying the Blood Type Diet. My standard breakfast food in the path has been oats, which is an avoid on this diet. I am having to get creative with ideas for acceptable breakfasts. The O blood type has a lot of similarities to the Paleo diet and the GAPS diet, although you don’t have to be completely grain-free, just wheat & oat free.

Here are some things that I came up with. I’d love any more ideas.

Spelt musli (I bought some in Iceland, but you could make your own with spelt flakes)

Spelt “cornflakes”

Nut butter muffins (grain free)

Nut butter & banana pancakes (grain free) (I can’t have peanuts on the O diet so I would sub some other nut butter).

Wheat free muffins

Mini Broccoli/Chard/Kale Frittatas

Grain Free Granola (three recipes: Grain Free Foodie’s Yummy Granola, Organic & Thrifty’s Grain Free Granola using soaked crispy nuts, and Elana’s Pantry Granola) – leaving out coconut and sunflower seeds

Quinoa Porridge

Rice Porridge

Crunchy Buckwheat Cereal

Carob Buckwheat Pancakes

Grain-free Primal Apple Cardamom Popovers

Italian Sausage Pasta with Vegetables

November 3, 2009

12-16 oz. Italian chicken or turkey sausage, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 package frozen mixed vegetables (some kind of broccoli/carrot blend: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or broccoli, carrots, snap peas, etc.)
16 oz can tomato suace
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 package Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano

While water is boiling, cook sausage in a skillet in olive oil. When sausage is browned, add onion and green pepper; cook until it softens slightly and onion begins to brown. Add tomato sauce. Rinse can with water and add that to the pan. Add spices and cook over medium-low heat while pasta cooks. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain but leave some water in the pot. Return pasta to pot with frozen vegetables; put lid on pot and let the hot water steam the veggies. When veggies are steamed, drain the pasta and veggies and add to sauce/sausage mixture.

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 11/2/2009

November 2, 2009

I have to figure out some kind of appetizer to bring to a church function on Sunday afternoon. Any ideas for a non-dairy, non-wheat, no-corn appetizer that average people will enjoy and is inexpensive?

Monday – Icelandic Meat Soup (leftover from Saturday, the best way to have it)

Tuesday – Italian Sausage Pasta and Vegetables

Wednesday – Homemade “Takeout” Chinese food: Sesame Chicken & Broccoli, Shrimp Fried Rice

Thursday – Curried Chickpeas and Vegetables

Friday – Pizza (one regular, one with a zucchini crust)