Friday, February 17, 2017

Sweet Potato Veggie Oven Bake - Recipe

     Roasting vegetables in the oven is an easy way to make a great tasting side dish.  I like to add other veggies to my roasted potatoes.  Here I use onions and peppers.  Coated with turmeric and rock salt they are tossed with olive oil.  I use my hands and dig in to make sure that all is covered, so they don't dry out in the oven.  Sweet potatoes caramelize so nicely in the oven too!

Raw veggies.

Sweet Potato Veggie Oven Bake

(Serves 6-8)

4 Sweet Potato
2 Medium Onions
1 Green Pepper
Freshly Grated Rock Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Turmeric
1/4 c. Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Slice the sweet potatoes with their skins on into crescent shapes.  Roughly slice the onions and green pepper.  Place the potatoes, onions, and pepper in a shallow baking pan.  Grate rock salt over the vegetables to taste.  Add turmeric and olive oil to the vegetables and toss together so the oil covers the vegetables well.  Bake in the oven until the vegetables are soft and begin to caramelize (start checking in 30 minutes).  Turn the vegetables over with a spatula if not done and continue roasting till desired doneness.

Roasted Veggies.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pumpkin Waffles - Whole Grain with Orange Maple Syrup - Recipe

     I have a fondness for pumpkin waffles and have developed a few ways to prepare them.  This one uses oat and brown rice flour and is covered in an orange maple syrup.  Sometimes I replace the milk with goat kefir and water for a sourdough-like tangy effect.  Both ways are delicious and we love making them for Sunday brunch with bacon or a fast dinner served with leftover pot roast or chicken.

Pumpkin Waffles - Whole Grain with Orange Maple Syrup

(Makes 10 (4 x 4-inch) Waffle Squares)

For the Waffles

1 c. Oat Flour
1 1/2 c. Brown Rice Flour
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 c. Organic Canned Pumpkin
2 c. Whole Milk or (1 1/2 c. Goat Kefir and 3/4 c. Water)
1/2 c. Olive Oil
2 Eggs
2 T. Maple Syrup

For the Orange Maple Syrup

1 c. Maple Syrup
1 Grated Organic Orange Peel

For the Waffles:

Whisk together oat flour, rice flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.  In another bowl, mix together pumpkin, milk, olive oil, eggs, and maple syrup.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until incorporated.  Pour batter into a waffle iron per your manufacturers instructions.

For the Orange Maple Syrup

In a sauce pan, warm the maple syrup and orange peel until it begins to simmer.  Turn off heat and let it sit for 15 minutes to steep.  If you like, you may strain the syrup in a fine meshed sieve or keep the orange peel in the syrup.  Serve in a small creamer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ginger Chicken - Recipe

     Ginger is a nice flavor to add to your roast chicken pieces.  This is a quick dish that has a sweet ginger flavor with sliced onions.  I like to make this one on a week night when I don't want to fuss much, yet want to dress up my chicken a little bit!
     I used an organic coconut palm sugar that is an unrefined brown sugar made from drying the sweet nectar from the tropical coconut palm tree flower in a large open kettle drum.  No, I didn't do all that.  Wholesome Sweeteners did.  It is a one for one trade for brown sugar.

Ginger Chicken

(Serves 8)

2 Chicken Breasts
5 Chicken Legs
8 Chicken Thighs
2 Medium Yellow Onions sliced
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 T. Fresh Ginger grated
1/3 c. Olive Oil
3 T. Organic Coconut Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the chicken and onions in a large baking dish.  In a small bowl mix together salt, ginger, olive oil, and coconut palm sugar.  Pour over chicken and onions and use your fingers to cover evenly.  Place pan in the oven and roast uncovered for 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and roast 30 minutes more until the pieces are 170 degrees  Fahrenheit in their centers.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Coconut Chocolate Ganache - Recipe

      Typically a ganache is made from chocolate and cream.  I found it is just as wonderful made with chocolate and a full fat coconut milk.  The recipe below is simple and can be used to cover or fill cakes, tarts, cupcakes, or anything where you want to use a ganache.

     You can control the sweetness of the ganache by choosing different kinds of chocolate.  A milk chocolate is sweeter than a dark.  I use dark chocolate chips with 69% cacao.

Coconut Chocolate Ganache

(Frosts 2 9-inch Cake Rounds)

14 oz. Dark Chocolate Chips
13 1/2 oz. Can Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk

Place chocolate in a mixing bowl.  Heat coconut milk in a sauce pan on medium low heat just until the first simmering bubbles appear.  Immediately pour over chocolate.  The heat will melt the chocolate.  Whisk till smooth and shiny.  Let cool to lukewarm.  Spread on cake rounds.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rustic Date Bread Pudding - Recipe

     This is a rustic date bread pudding that is made in a terrine or bread pan.  It is simple, sweetened with dates and brown sugar and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Rustic Date Bread Pudding

(Serves 6)

4 c. Bread Cubes from a Partial Whole Wheat Loaf or Rustic Bread
2 c. Milk
1 T. Butter
2 Eggs beaten with a fork
10 Dates pitted and chopped
1/4 c. Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a bread pan (4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch) or terrine (mine is 11 1/2 x 3 1/4 inch).  Place cubes in a large bowl.  Heat milk and butter over low heat until butter is melted.  Pour over bread and soak 3 minutes.  Add eggs and mix gently.  Add the rest of the ingredients and gently mix.  Pour into an uncovered terrine or bread pan and bake for 1 hour.  The center internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  The top will look brown.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Chocolate Steamed Pudding with Montmorency Cherry Sauce - Recipe

     What is a chocolate steamed pudding?  It is a moist chocolate cake that has been steamed in a covered pudding mold in simmering water instead of baked in an oven.  The slow steaming method gives it a unique moist, rich texture that only a steamed pudding seems to have.  Christmas plum pudding is not the only thing you can do with your steamed pudding molds.  Oh no, there is lots more fun you can have with them!

     I serve this pudding with Montmorency Cherry Sauce whose tartness contrasts nicely with the sweet chocolate.

Chocolate Steamed Pudding with Montmorency Cherry Sauce

Handy equipment:
7 cup Steamed Pudding Mold with Lid
Pasta Pot with Holed Insert

For the Pudding

9 oz. Chocolate Chips
6 T. Goat Butter or Cow Butter
4 Eggs
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/3 c. Oat Flour
1 tsp. Rum or Brandy

For the Montmorency Cherry Sauce

2 c. Frozen Montmorency Cherries
1/2 c. plus 1 T. Rum divided
1/4 c. plus 2 T. Superfine Sugar
1 T. Tapioca Starch

For the Pudding
Melt chocolate and butter together on low in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Remove from heat and cool.  Place eggs and sugar in a mixer and beat 2 minutes on high until frothy.  In a  separate bowl whisk together the salt and oat flour.

Gently stir the rum and flour mixture into the eggs and sugar.  Gently stir in the chocolate.

Grease a 7 cup steamed pudding mold with a cover.  

Pour enough water into a pasta pot with a holed insert in place to come 3/4 up the side of the pudding mold.  Bring water to a simmer.

Place batter into the mold and seal with its cover, then place in water and simmer for 2 hours until at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.  The top should not look wet, and the pudding will start to separate from the sides a little.  Add hot water to the pot carefully without pouring directly on mold to maintain water level.  Do not cover the pasta pot.

In the meantime make the cherry sauce.  Combine the cherries, 1/2 c. rum, and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.  In a small bowl, mix together 1 T. Rum and the tapioca starch.  Add rum and tapioca a little at a time to the sauce stirring quickly.  Simmer until thickened and the liquid is no longer cloudy.  You probably won't need to use all the thickener.  Remove the sauce to a serving bowl.

When the pudding is done, let it rest in the mold, uncovered, for 12 minutes, then unmold onto a cooling rack.  Serve with the cherry sauce.

Bottom part of mold greased.

Montmorency Cherry Sauce in a gravy boat.

Chocolate Steamed Pudding on a serving platter.

Just for Fun

Below is my family's hard sauce bowl.  I don't know how old it is.  Hard sauce is used to hold, well, hard sauce and other sauces usually served over desserts.  Yes, they made a dish just for hard sauce once upon a time.  Hard sauce accompanies Plum Pudding, another steamed pudding traditionally served at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years.  It came with a little glass ladle that I thought would work great for this cherry sauce, and since it goes with a steamed pudding, it was the perfect serving dish.

Montmorency Cherry Sauce in my hard sauce serving bowl. 

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Whole Grain Pizza Dough with Sprouted Wheat - For Flat or Stuffed Pizza - Recipe

      This whole grain pizza dough recipe will make 2 flat pizzas or 1 stuffed pizza.  Stuffed pizza will bake longer, but it is definitely worth it.  Trust me, I am from Chicago.  Think of it as an actual pizza pie.  I put the cheese on the bottom crust first, then the sausage, onion, mushrooms, etc..  Placing the cheese on the bottom helps protect the crust from getting too moist.

     Then after placing the top crust, I partially bake it in the oven for 10 minutes before adding the sauce.  This will allow the top crust to bake without getting soggy.  If you don't do this step, you will have raw dough on the top.  Some restaurants don't take the time and serve it that way.  People actually think they are eating a layer of cheese, because it is soft and stretchy.  I did not want to eat all that raw dough, so I added this little trick of the trade.  Now you add the sauce and finish baking.  What comes out is pizza heaven.

      I used sprouted wheat here to make the dough more bio-available.  Sprouting breaks down the grains due to enzymes once it is sprouted.  Nutrients are more easily absorbed into our bodies as a result.  Warning: People should still avoid all wheat if they are sensitive or allergic though.

     I find that the sprouted grain produces a product that tastes less harsh than plain whole grain, personally.

Whole Grain Pizza Dough with Sprouted Wheat

(Makes 2 (12-inch) or 1 Stuffed (10-inch) Pizzas)

1 1/4 c. lukewarm water
2 tsp. Yeast
2 c. Sprouted Wheat Flour
1/2 c. Tapioca Flour
1 c. Oat Flour
1 tsp. Salt
2 T. Olive Oil


(amounts for 1 stuffed pizza, double for 2 flat pizzas)

Pizza Sauce Recipe
8 oz. Cooked Sausage casing removed and sliced
1 Onion sliced and sautéed 
4 oz. Mushrooms sliced and sautéed
8 oz. Grated Mozzarella Cheese

Optional Toppings

Cooked Kielbasa
Canned Pineapple drained
Cooked Ham
Cooked Roast Beef
Artichoke Hearts
Jarlsburg Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes drained and sliced added to pizza sauce

Dissolve yeast in water.  Let it sit 5 minutes.  In another bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk together.  Place the yeast/water mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Add the oil, then the flour.  Using a mixer with a dough hook, mix and knead till smooth and elastic.  The dough should cleanly pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Add more sprouted wheat flour if you need to, a little at a time.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit  For 2 (12-inch) flat pizzas or one (10-inch) stuffed pizza, roll out 2 dough circles to 14 inches.  They shrink back a bit.

For 2 flat pizzas, place dough on greased flat pizza pans.
Spoon on the sauce, then place on the toppings.  Add cheese.  Cook for 15 minutes and check to see if bottom is golden and cheese is starting to brown.


For one stuffed pizza, place one dough circle in a greased (10-inch) pan with sides (1 1/2-inches) high.  Sprinkle cheese on first.  Then place cooked meat such as sausage or roast beef, sautéed onions and mushrooms, or other sautéed vegetables in the pan.  Sautéing helps keep the crust from getting soggy.

Roll out a second dough circle and lay over the toppings.  I tuck the edges under and squeeze slightly to make a rim for the pizza pie.  Poke a couple holes in the top with a sharp knife to let out steam.  Place in the oven for 10 minutes with NO sauce on.  Then take the pizza out of the oven, spoon the sauce on top and place back into the oven for another 20-25 minutes.  Loosely cover with foil towards the end to prevent burning if necessary.  Check to see if the sides are turning golden.  When done, take the pizza out of the oven and rest for 2 minutes before removing from the pan with a metal spatula and place on a cooling rack until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, transfer to a cutting board and cut wedges.


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