Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Bran" Muffins

So, friends: what do you think about this Paleo eating trend?  I cut pasta and bread out of my meals for a few months this year (except when I was really craving it), and I noticed a significant difference in how I looked and felt.  But who knows if it was really that that made the difference.  Thoughts?

Anyway, while in that phase, I found some good and not-so-good recipes that don't have gluten or are very low-carb or even "paleo", and here is one of them.  It somehow does have the flavor and texture of a bran muffin.  My Costco sells blanched almond flour, and I think you can order from costco.com, if you're interested.  In some recipes it tastes very much of marzipan, which I hate, but in this recipe the other flavors mask it.  I have tweaked the recipe, but the original is here.

Bran Muffins

  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup  flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 dates
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, flax meal, baking soda and salt
  2. In a vitamix blend dates, eggs, oil and water on high speed until very smooth
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry, then stir in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins
  4. Spoon batter into lined muffin pan; muffins will puff only slightly
  5. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes
  6. Cool and serve

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kale, Barley, Butternut Squash Soup

Just tried this the other day.  From a website that looks like it might have some gems.  This was super simple and tasty. 

  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 6-8 cups vegetable (or chicken stock)
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (about ½”)
  • 3-4 large kale leaves, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a 3 quart pot. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onions softens and starts to turn golden. Add the barley, stir constantly and cook until golden brown. Add the stock, cover, and lower heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. Remove lid and add the butternut squash. Continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is just barely tender. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve piping hot.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Simplest. Smoothie. Ever.

My aunt Allison shared this recipe with me when she was here, and it's so quick, simple, and delicious. If you want a quick afternoon treat, try this out - You really need a good blender to blend up all the ice.

one banana
one cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
one cup of ice

Blend it up.

And that's IT. So easy, and so yummy. You can also add some chocolate syrup or peanut butter if you want to spice things up.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quinoa with Black Beans, Corn and Tomatoes

I had forgotten about this until a few weeks ago when I was looking for something new to add to the rotation.  This is a great recipe because many of the ingredients sit int he pantry, so as long as you have onions, garlic and cilantro, you're good to go.  Enjoy!

Quinoa with Stewed Tomatoes

olive oil
dash cumin (optional)
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 c quinoa, rinsed
2.5 c chicken or vegetable broth
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can corn
1 15 oz. can black beans
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro, torn
lime and avocado for serving

Heat oil in medium saucepan or large saute pan.  Add cumin and stir briefly.  Saute onion with a pinch of salt until translucent, then add garlic until just fragrant.  Add rinsed quinoa and stir until coated.  Add broth and tomatoes.  Increase heat to high until mixture bubbles, and turn heat down to medium to simmer.  After 10-15 minutes, or when most of the liquid has been absorbed and the outer part of the quinoa is pulling away from the inner part, add the corn, black beans and cilantro.  Mix together and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Enjoy with sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I *heart* ricotta

I made a bunch of pasta the other night and was planning on putting some sauce on it I had in the fridge, only to discover the sauce went bad. So, I bridged out, and the results were satisfying. I had some pesto that I had made the week before, some greens that needed to get used, and some ricotta that I had bought for baking something. Yum.

Nothing very complex or ground-breaking about this recipe, which is why I like it.

whole wheat penne pasta
handful of arugula
pesto to taste (I used the homemade kind I posted the recipe for here awhile ago)
sauteed or steamed veggie (I used broccoli the first time and zucchini the next, I preferred the broccoli)
few dollops of ricotta cheese

I made enough for the next day, it was good cold too! I have a sneaking suspicion ricotta can make anything taste better.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Grains Galore!

As we cleared out our pantry before our move, I had to get creative about what to do with the random grains hiding in there.  Or rather, the internet helped me figure out what to do, and this was one of the successful recipes.  Jonathan loved it, so that means it actually tastes good, as opposed to my thinking it tastes good because I know it's good for me.  This is from 101cookbooks.  It's amazing how the onions just disappear into a delicious background for the risotto; I had no idea that would happen.  You really only have to slice them.

Farro and Millet Risotto

3/4 cup / / 5 oz / 150 g uncooked millet
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 55 g unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g semi-pearled farro
roughly 7 cups / 1.6 l good-tasting vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
2 big handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan

It works best to cook the millet and farro separately here. Start by adding the millet to a small thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Toast it, stirring constantly, until the millet is golden and fragrant - just a few minutes. Add 1 3/4 cup / 475 ml water, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and a couple generous pinches of salt. Stir, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the grains are cooked and free of liquid. Taste, and if they need more time, cook for a few minutes more, then remove from heat, and leave covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and set aside.
In the meantime, get the farro started in a separate large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining oil, butter, onions and a big pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the farro and cook for a couple minutes before adding 2 cups of the broth. Cook, stirring, until the farro has absorbed most of the liquid before adding another cup. Keep adding stock in increments like this until the farro is cooked through - it takes some time. Once it's cooked, stir in half the millet. Add more broth if needed, the risotto should be loose. Decide whether or not you want to add the remaining millet - it's a personal preference really. The millet makes the risotto take on a more porridge-like texture. Now stir in most of the Parmesan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add more broth if needed - again, you want the texture to be loose and creamy. A spoon should not be able to stand up straight in the risotto.
Serve hot, in bowls topped with the remaining Parmesan, and whatever else you like. In this instance I added some leftover roasted delicata squash {not pictured), a drizzle of curried brown butter, and chopped chives. But some toasted nut oil and chopped herbs might be a nice alternative, or even a swirl of harissa and toasted almonds....
Serves 6-8.
Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 30 min
Sarah's note: I roasted cubed butternut squash and put it on the risotto, and it was amazing.  I will definitely make it again.  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Israeli Couscous Salad

Well, it's certainly been awhile since I've posted any recipes on here. I blame pregnancy for all of it - mostly for making me want to eat food that doesn't really belong here. The past month or so, though, I've been feeling great, and back to eating good food (for the most part).

I threw this salad together and thought it was pretty successful. This one is fully spouse-approved - Alan loved it and wants to make it all the time now. You can of course try your own variations of what you want to put in. I just threw in whatever seemed to make sense. I'm sorry I don't have a picture... it got eaten too quickly.

Mostly this was inspired by me wanting to try out a new grain. Yes, we get pretty adventurous in our house. I love Israeli couscous - the only warning I'll give is that it really doesn't plump up much when you cook it, so unlike rice or quinoa you have to use more than you think you would need. If it's a small heap in the bottom of the pan, it will be barely larger small heap once it's done cooking.


2-3 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
2 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth
2 T olive oil

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced toasted almonds
1 cup feta cheese
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped basil
olive oil
lemon juice
*optional - 1 cup cooked quinoa

Saute the couscous in the olive oil until it gets toasted, then pour in the water or broth and let it simmer. Check it when all the liquid is absorbed - if it's not cooked through, pour on a little more and let it cook off. Once the couscous is cooked, pour it in a fine mesh colander and pour cold water over it until it's cool.

Combine it with all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. I use a good amount of lemon juice and salt. I like to add some quinoa in too if I have some just for the different texture.