Saturday, January 31, 2009

Garbanzo Nuts

I like garbanzo beans, so when I came across the recipe for garbanzo nuts I thought I would give it a try. I thought they would be similar to corn nuts, but they aren't as hard, and some of the insides are still a little chewy. I'm still not exactly sure what I think of them.... they may have just needed more salt.

Garbanzo Nuts

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
non-stick cooking spray, olive oil, or butter (so the seasoning sticks)
your choice of seasoning.....

I used old bay(I couldn't find my seasoning salt, and thought this might be similar)
smoked paprika

i've seen cumin, soy sauce, cayenne, all sorts of seasoning, so play around with it!

Preheat oven to 400.
Place patted dry beans in roasting pan
Spray with olive oil or cooking spray
Season however you want
Place in oven, and shake the pan to move the beans around every 10-15 minutes, until crunchy and light brown. This should take about 45 minutes.
Remove and enjoy warm, or mine stayed good in a tupperware container.

Crock Pot Brunswick Stew- Kristin Style

We like Brunswick Stew- there is a BBQ restaurant here called Smokey Bones that makes a good one with bits of all their smoked meats. After reading a lot of different recipes, I've come up with my own..... not as traditional with okra and lima beans, or lots of smoked meats... and have cooked it in the crockpot. I tend to do this a lot when working with my crockpot nowadays (just throw some stuff in there and call it something clever!) Here is my version:

K-Style Brunswick Stew (in the Crock Pot

5 slices Bacon, crisped and chopped
1 Cup Cubed Ham (I may use a ham shank next time)
1 Lb. Chicken Breast, cut into small pieces
1 medium size Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
2 Carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of Celery, finely chopped
3-4 smallish Red Potatoes, cubed
1 can Corn, with liquid (will use creamed corn next time)
1 15 oz. can Stewed Tomatoes
8 oz. Tomato Sauce
2 Cups Chicken Broth
3 Tbs. BBQ Spice Rub
1 Tsp. Worcestshire Sauce
4-5 drops Tabasco Sauce
1 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard
3-4 Tbsp. BBQ Sauce
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Oregano
1/2 Tsp. Sage
2 Bay Leaves
Fresh Ground Pepper

Throw everything in the Pot, cook on high for a couple of hours, then low until ready to serve (about 8 hrs total) Beware: when throwing things in the pot- it tends to make a lot!! But when I crockpot I like to make enough for a couple of meals. I love the way the house smells all day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wheat Berry Sprouts

I started sprouting wheat berries on monday. I soaked them overnight on sunday and rinsed them monday morning. I will continue to rinse them morning and night (two-three times a day is good). Here are my wheat berry sprouts after 1 1/2 days of sprouting!

Meat Sauce and what to do with it!

This recipe is for an "all purpose meat sauce" that can be used in several different recipes. or as taco filling, filling on baked potatoes, sloppy joes, etc. It is from the Feb '09 issue of Rachael Ray magazine. I will be using it in 2 of her recipes included in the issue, and then freezing some because it made so much! I did change a couple of things...

Meat Sauce

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup chopped Pancetta (I used about a 1/3 lb package of pre-sliced and chopped it up)
1 Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, finely chopped
2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Shallot, chopped
2 Lbs. Ground Beef
1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine
28 oz. Tomato Puree (or sauce)
Salt and Pepper

1. Heat the olive oil over med-low heat and add pancetta and cooked until fat is rendered. (about 5 minutes) increase heat to medium, add onion, carrot, celery, and shallot, and cook stirring occasionally until softened about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.
(she had you add the beef to the vegetables to cook it, but i decided to take the vegetables out and set them aside, cook the beef, and then add the vegetables back in.)
2. So cook the beef either way. stir in the wine and cook until the liquid is cooked off, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce , 1 cup of water, and season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer. partially cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for the last 30 minutes, until thickened, about 2 hours. season with more salt and pepper if needed.

We really liked the sauce, I just need to remember to half her recipes for my family!

That night i used the meat sauce to make her white bean stew- very good. I did adjust the portions a bit, so I will write my version of the recipe!

White Bean Stew
4 medium sized red potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
4 small bratwurst
1 15 oz can great northern beans
2 cups meat sauce
1 cup chicken broth
3 tsp herbes de provence
salt and pepper

bring the potatoes to a boil in a pot with enough water to cover them by an inch, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes (until fork tender) drain. My brats were not cooked so i boiled them for about 10 minutes, and then cut them into rounds, and then browned them. In the same pot, add all ingredients, and bring to a simmer, cooking until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

This is the second recipe i will be using the meat sauce for, i thought i should add it to the same post, and will be making it tonight:

Beef and Feta Pasta Bake

1 lb cavatappi or elbow pasta (i'm using a vegetable rotini, and the box is only 12 oz)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbs flour
2 cups milk heated
3/4 lb feta
3 cups meat sauce
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350
Cook pasta until al dente, drain.
in a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat, whisk in flour for 2 min. increase heat to medium, whisk in hot milk and cook whisking until thickened about 5 minutes. Stir in feta.
In a large bowl, combine meat sauce, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, and half the pasta. In another bowl stir remaining pasta with feta sauce. transfer meaty pasta to a 9 by 13 baking dish, and top with feta pasta. bake until golden about 30 minutes.

This seems like a take on lasagna....but sounded good to all of us!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (Alton Brown's)

We had Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast this morning! I watched the episode of Good Eats in which he made them a while back and finally gave them a try myself! Link to his original recipe Food Network
I made half of his recipe, and do not own a stand mixer yet, so used the hand mixer and then the food processor- which actually works pretty well to mix up dough! My halved recipe version follows:

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

2 egg yolks at room temperature
1/2 whole egg room temperature (kind of hard to do...)
1/8 cup sugar
3 ozs buttermilk
1/2 pkg instant dry yeast
3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter melted

1/8 cup cream cheese softened
1 1/2 tbsp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Add yeast to 1/8 cup of warm water (100-115 degrees) with 1 tsp. of sugar set aside
2. Whisk eggs, sugar, melted butter, and buttermilk until well mixed.
3. Add 1 cup of flour
4. Transfer to food processor (or use your stand mixer with dough hook) add 1 more cup of flour, and pulse until all flour is mixed in and dough is a moist ball that is not sticky. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a couple minutes. lightly oil a bowl, transfer dough to it, lightly oil top of dough, cover, and let double in volume (this took about 2 1/2 hrs.)

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside

Butter a glass baking dish. turn dough onto lightly floured surface, and shape dough into a rectangle, roll out. brush dough with melted butter, and sprinkle filling over dough, lightly pressing it into the dough. Firmly pinch the seam, and cut into 1 1/2 inch rolls (should make six, but mine made 8) arrange rolls in dish, and cover with plastic wrap. refrigerate overnight or up to 16 hours.

In the morning, place rolls in the oven turned OFF. fill a shallow pan with boiling water under the rolls, and let rolls rise for 30 minutes.

Remove rolls and water, and preheat oven to 350.
Bake rolls for about 30 minutes, until they are golden brown (Alton wants the interior temperature to be 190.)

While rolls are cooling, mix cream cheese until creamy. add the milk and mix until combined, then add your sugar and mix. Drizzle over your rolls and serve.

These were yummy, although I prefer a bit more cinnamon sugar filling, and may add some vanilla extract next time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fruit Roll-ups

I made fruit roll-ups yesterday. These actually have fruit in them (unlike their storebought cousins...) They turned out pretty good, except a little sticky, probably could have dried them out a little more, but I needed my oven for something else...
After reading a lot of recipes, they were all pretty much the same:

Fruit Roll Ups

2 Cups Fruit Puree (from fresh, frozen or canned)
Lemon Juice
Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) if desired
Vanilla (of desired)

1. Heat oven to 150.
2. Puree your fruit (if it has lots of seeds, like the frozen bag of mixed berries that I used did, you can put it through a mesh strainer, to get some of them out) add honey, lemon juice (to prevent browning) sugar as needed, and any spices or extracts you want. If using fresh fruit you may need to add a little water.
3. Bring this mixture to a boil, and then simmer until very thick, as thick as you can get it. (took me about 45 minutes) stir occasionally.
4. Pour onto a silicone mat if you have one (or you could use heat resistant plastic wrap) and spread very thin- about 1/8 inch evenly.
5. Put in oven and let dry out, with the oven cracked atleast 2 inches. You need room for steam to escape! your fruit roll up should be still pliable but not sticky. This took me about 7 hours. Let cool and cut into shapes, or rolls, roll up in plastic wrap and store in airtight container.

I'm going to experiment with these with different fruits, and possibly toppings like coconut.

Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Fruit

I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found at Noshtopia
Here is my version:

Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Fruit

1 1/4 Cups cooked Quinoa (I used Red Inca to give it some color)
3/4 Cup cooked Amaranth
1/2 Cup cooked Millet

Information on cooking whole grains can be found at Whole Grains Council

2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Cups Vanilla Hemp Milk
3 Tbsp. Agave Nectar (you could also use honey)
2 Tbsp. Brown Rice Syrup (a nice substitute for corn syrup or sugar... but is not quite as sweet)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Fresh Fruit ( I used Bananas and Blueberries)

1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Melt butter, brown rice syrup, and agave nectar (microwave or saucepan)
3. Combine melted butter, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, hemp milk, cinnamon, & vanilla, mix
4. Add quinoa, amaranth, and millet
5. Place in baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. (my oven is off, so I had to bake mine longer....I took it out after 35 minutes, removed the foil, and baked for another 20).

Cool, and put in dessert dishes if serving for dessert, and top with a drizzle of agave nectar and fresh fruit before serving. Another great way is warm with a drizzle of heavy cream and fresh fruit.

We ate this for breakfast, a great way to start out your day, with whole grains, fiber and lots of protein. Yum!

I don't know how to put pictures on the computer yet, but when I figure it out (hopefully soon) I will start posting pictures.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome and Sprouts

hello! welcome to my blog. my focus is going to be food- and my biggest goal for the year is to incorporate as many raw foods and whole grains into my families diet! i am a stay at home mom who has started going a little bit stir crazy- and have really taken on cooking and experimenting. hope you enjoy!

yesterday i started sprouting some lentils- i really enjoy sprouts, and at 3-4 dollars a pack- i figured i could just learn how to do it myself. i am going to try to sprout all types of different grains and legumes, but started with lentils.

you will need a jar (i used a canning jar with the open lid) and a piece of cheesecloth or some breathable plastic mesh (i ended up using an old pair of nylons)

measure out your grain or seed (about 3 tablespoons)
rinse your grain/seed/legume well until the water runs clear.
soak your grain for the appropriate time
here is some examples i found at Living Foods


Amaranth/Quinoa- soak 2-4 hrs, sprouts in 1-1.5 days (quinoa sprouts in as little as 12 hrs)
Barley/Millet/Oats (whole oats only)/Rye/Wheat- soak 8-14 hrs, sprouts in 1.25-1.5 days
Buckwheat- soak 15-20 mins, sprouts in 1-1.5 days
Corn- field corn/popcorn- soak 8-14 hrs, sprouts in 1.5-2+ days
Rice (only brown unprocessed rice such as basmati (white/wild/standard long grain won't sprout)- soak 12-18 hrs, sprouts in 1+ days


Alfalfa- soak 4-14 hrs, sprouts in 1-1.5 days

Garbanzo- soak 12-14 hrs, sprouts in 1.5+ days
Lentils (brown or green, not split)- soak 8-14 hrs, sprouts in 1 day
Mung Bean- soak 8-14 hrs, sprouts in 18 hrs
Peas- blackeye or field (not split)- soak 12-14 hrs, sprouts in 1-1.5 days

you can also sprout almonds, mustard, fenugreek, pumpkin, radish, sesame, sunflower, etc.

rinse your soaked seeds until water is clear, and put back in jar, and then rinse twice a day
your sprouts should be ready in 3-5 days, keep the refrigerated!

i am excited to expirament with this- and my older son thinks its pretty cool (although he probably won't eat them!)