Monday, September 23, 2013

Whole Wheat Beer Bread with a Bread Machine

This bread is great out of the oven, but also works well as a standard bread for toast or sandwiches.  You can't really taste the beer, but I think it helped it rise. I didn't find it as dense as other whole wheat breads I've made in the past. I'd definitely make it again. If you want to make it into rolls instead, cut and shape the dough into 16 equal pieces, and bake at 400F for about 25 minutes. 

Whole Wheat Beer Bread with a Bread Machine
adapted from this recipe

1 bottle room temp Guinness Black Lager 
1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C light spelt flour
2 tsp yeast

1. Place ingredients in bread maker in order listed, and choose dough setting. Start machine. 
2. Once cycle is complete, turn dough out onto a floured surface and shape dough into a ball. Cut dough into two equal parts.  
3. Line a 9 by 9 inch pan with parchment paper. 
4. Shape dough into two oblong rolls that will fit next to each other in pan. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. 
5. Preheat the oven to 425F. 
6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 40 minutes. It should sound hallow when tapped. 
7. Allow to cool slightly if you can wait. Then cut yourself a piece and enjoy it slathered with melted butter ( or something healthier if you are so inclined:)

Nutritional Information per thick slice (8 slices per loaf):

cal 140
fat 2.2 g
sat fat 0.8g
carbs 23.6g
fiber 3g
sugar 1.2g
protein 4.7g

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Protein Boosted Potato Leek Soup topped with Roasted Seeds

There is nothing like a hearty bowl of soup to get rid of the chills. Although I hate to say it, I think that soup season is upon us. The nights have been really cool, and its only a matter of time before the pumpkins are out and the scent of burning wood fills the air. Don't skip the seeds for this recipe. They add a nice crunch and flavor which should not be missed.

Protein Boosted Potato Leek Soup Topped with Roasted Seeds
makes approximately 5 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil or butter (or a mixture of the two)
1 bunch leeks
3 C vegetable broth
1 C water
2 1/2 C diced new potatoes
1/2 C quinoa
1 C rinsed and drained cooked chickpeas
1 C almond milk ( or milk of choice)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 C unsalted pumpkin seeds

1. Clean the leeks and cut off the green tops. Slice the bottoms.  
2. Place the vegetable broth, water and green tops of leeks in a large saucepan and heat to a simmer. I didn't want to waste the tops of the leeks and thought this would be a good way to get some of their flavour. Continue to simmer until you are finished step 3. 
3. Heat the oil and/or butter in a frying pan and saute the light green/white parts of the leeks until softened. Remove from heat. 
4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leeks\ tops from the saucepan. Add the potatoes, quinoa, chickpeas, and half of the leek bottoms to the saucepan, and keep at a low simmer until the potatoes and quinoa are cooked (15-20 minutes). 
5.While soup is simmering, roast seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes. Check the seeds frequently to ensure that they don't burn. 
6. Remove the soup from heat, and using a hand blender, puree the soup. Stir in the almond milk and the rest of the leeks and return to heat. If you prefer a thinner consistency, you can add more milk or water at this time. 
7. Serve the soup hot, topped with roasted seeds. 

Approximate nutritional information for 1 C

cal 350
fat 15 g
     Sat fat 1.4g
carbs 45.8g
     fiber 6.9g
     sugar 3.5g
protein 10.3g

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Soft Molasses Buckwheat Cookies

You know how there are some flavors that are "adult" in nature? To me, one of those flavors is molasses, even though its sweet and sugary. It makes me think of baked beans, molasses cookies, or molasses spread over hot biscuits - all foods I associate with my grandparents. 

I don't think I ever baked molasses cookies before last week, but its one of those things I've been meaning to do. I found a recipe that was hand written in an old book, so I figured it must be good. I just swapped a few ingredients to make it my own. I decided to swap the all purpose flour for buckwheat which worked out beautifully. I think the fine consistency of the buckwheat made the cookies even softer. I was lucky it worked because if it didn't, I would have been stuck with 70 cookies I didn't like. I froze most of them, and they froze well and defrost easily.  I feel like they should be enjoyed in the afternoon with a hot cup of orange pekoe tea - just like at Grammy's. You can take them out of the freezer when your friends and family arrive they'll be ready to enjoy with your tea as soon as it steeps.

Soft Molasses Buckwheat Cookies

3 1/2 C Buckwheat Flour
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C molasses
3/4 C butter softened
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C hot brewed coffee

1. Combine first 5 ingredients, and mix well. Add the molasses, butter, and egg and mix until evenly combined.
2. Stir baking soda into the the hot coffee, then add to the dough. Beat until blended.
3. Drop by the tablespoonful onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
4. Cook in oven preheated to 350F for 10-12 minutes on top rack.

Makes 60-70 cookies.

Approximate Nutritional Information per cookie ( for 70 cookies)

cal : 54
fat : 2.2g
   sat fat 1.3g
protein 0.9g
carbs: 8g
     fiber 1.1g

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Grilled Vegetable Salsa

This corn salsa is a nice addition to fish tacos. It's very fresh tasting so it doesn't over power a light fish and the charred BBQ flavour really adds some depth. It would be prettier if you use a red pepper rather than orange.

Grilled Vegetable Salsa

2 large Cobs of Sweet Corn
1 Tbsp butter
1 pepper
1 avocado
1 onion ( I used yellow, but red would be prettier)
Juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
1 large handful of fresh cilantro chopped

1. Husk the corn, and spread with butter to prevent it sticking to the grill.
2. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. I didn't remove the seed, and it began to crack in the heat.
3. Slice the onion.
4. Preheat the grill and place the pepper and corn directly on the grill.
5. Put the onions and avocado in a tin pie plate or on some aluminum foil and place on the grill.
6. Grill the vegetables until they have a nice charred look, turning every few minutes. Remove each vegetable as it is done.
7. Remove corn kernels from the cob, and chop all the vegetables. Place all vegetables in a bowl and stir in juice, cilantro and salt and pepper. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to absorb flavors.
8. Serve as a side dish, as an appetizer with chips, or as a topping for fajitas/tacos.

Approximate Nutritional Information per serving for 4 servings:

calories: 216
fat: 13g
saturated fat: 4g
carbs: 26g
fiber: 7g
protein: 3g