Friday, September 24, 2010

Update to Banana Bread Post....

This recipe does not make a great zucchini bread. The sweetness of the bananas helped to make the banana bread so great. I will be working on a zucchini bread recipe since I bought a few huge zucchini's at the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago and have bags of frozen shredded zucchini!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soaked Banana Bread

Soaked Banana Bread  

3 cups freshly ground spelt, kamut, or whole wheat flour
2 cups buttermilk, kefir or yogurt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup melted butter
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped crispy pecans

Soak flour in buttermilk, kefir or yogurt in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours – bread will rise better if soaked for 24 hours. Those with milk allergies may use 2 cups filtered water plus 2 tablespoons whey, lemon juice or vinegar in place of undiluted buttermilk.

Blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into a well-buttered and floured loaf pan (preferably stoneware). Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Notes:
I wish I could remember where I found this recipe to give the appropriate credit but when I go searching for it again I find a lot of blogs promoting this recipe.  I think it is a recipe from Sally Fallon's book: Nourishing Traditions.

I used the wheat flour, rice milk and vinegar, coconut oil, no pecans, a bit of cinnamon, and I used my tin pans.  I guess I should have just used my recipe but with something like this I like to throw the original out there with my changes for comparison.  The bread was delicious and I plan on following the same recipe but using zucchini this week. **(This recipe does not make a great zucchini bread. The sweetness of the bananas helped to make the banana bread so great. I will be working on a zucchini bread recipe since I bought a few huge zucchini's at the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago and have bags of frozen shredded zucchini!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Challenge

As you can tell by the lack of posts my little challenge kept me busy.  I didn't do as well as I hoped but I learned a lot.  Here are some things I learned, am going to change, etc.

: : We like natural peanut butter and I want a better stash on hand.  I can make endless things with this stuff.  Time to start stocking up on it!

: : We are starting a Friday Pizza night.  I grew up having Pizza Hut every Friday night (especially during football season).  I loved this tradition and love the fact of having one meal set and planned each week.  The Pizza choices will be different each week.  Sometimes delivery, homemade, tortilla pizzas, english muffin pizzas, and even dessert ones.  I will keep you posted on this.

: : I love my storage of grains.  Love love love it!!  Now, unfortunately, it is time to restock.  At least now I know what I use the most of.  We are set on Hard Red Wheat (for a couple of years at least) and short grain brown rice.  We need more soft white wheat, oats, steel cut oats, and brown basmati rice.  I would love to get some of these canned but for now I plan on buying 25 lb. bags and then putting in my 5 gal. buckets that I keep in my pantry.  We go through it so fast it is so much cheaper to do it that way.

: : Crackers-- although they aren't soaked or homemade they are a great staple to have around.  We had peanut butter and jelly cracker sandwiches, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and pickles on crackers, etc. when we ran out of bread.  Very handy.

: : It is nice that we don't use so much dairy anymore.  I bought two small blocks of  raw cheese at the farmers market almost two weekends ago and we still have a tiny bit left.  We also use rice milk and have a stock of that.

: : Saturday mornings will be our cereal mornings (unless daddy has that morning off which is unlikely).  We usually have hot breakfasts throughout the week so cereal is a real treat for my kids.  I need to replenish my stock since we used a lot of what we had for breakfasts and treats.

: : My recipe for faux kettle corn is a perfect and easy thing to have on hand.  My kids (and neighbors) love this treat/snack and I feel so good that I know they are getting something good for them while they are thinking it is a treat.  

: : Fruits and greens are easy to stock up on for smoothies.  The freezer is my friend and I am grateful for our stand up freezer in the garage.

: : You have to take the time to be prepared but it is very worth it.  I hope I can make better progress next time I challenge myself.  I am thinking December may be a good time to do it- and that will leave some extra money for Christmas.  We shall see.

New stuff to come soon- once my two toddlers stop teething. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our daily smoothies in pictures...

4 cups of water, 2-3 large carrots peeled and cut, 1/4 lemon (peel and all)
Fill with greens (spinach and kale that I keep in the freezer), top off with about a cup or more of mixed berries, and a sprinkle of stevia if you like (my kids don't like it too sweet).  Then press whole juice or whatever speed on your blender that will gives you the hardest mixing.
add about 8 frozen strawberries and 1 frozen banana press the smoothie button (I usually have to do the smoothie cycle twice).
And this is what you get... two recommended servings of green smoothie.  No matter how many times I think I am doing the exact same thing my smoothies always come out a little different.  Nevertheless, we love our daily green smoothies and adding the carrot has helped mild out the green ("dirt" as some would put it) taste.

Psst... my husband has been drinking these for about 3 months now so I must be doing something right.

Measurements may need to be adjusted according to size of blender. Let me know if you have questions about that.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sloppy Joe's in a Bowl

I have never had a traditional Sloppy Joe.  It is well known that I am not much of a red meat kind of person.  I do try to get some in here and there because I believe that a good quality, grass fed, beef is good for you but sometimes I just can't hack it.  I have had this recipe (and the ingredients) for quite some time now.  My husband made mention a while back of wanting Sloppy Joe's- he doesn't remember so it very well could have been a joke but I went on a little search.  I was pleasantly surprised when one of the blogs I frequent had a recipe for "The Healthy $1 menu- Sloppy Joe's in a Bowl".  Perfect- low cost- not the traditional canned stuff or whatever it is- and looking over the recipe it looked like I would maybe even like it. 

And... it was good.  My whole family liked it.  It was nice to have something a little different- give my hubby a little old time taste- and now my kids and I can say we have had Sloppy Joe's well, kind of.

Sloppy Joe’s In A Bowl
    2 cups dry brown basmati rice
    2 cups clean water plus 4 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
    2 cups stock
    2 pounds grass-fed ground beef (or ground buffalo)
    1 onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, diced
    3/4 cup filtered water
    1 can tomato paste
    2 teaspoons sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons raw honey
    garnishes: sliced olives, thinly sliced or diced onions, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, and/or homemade cultured dairy, chopped cilantro, shredded raw cheese
In a 2 to 3 quart pot, soak the rice in the 2 cups of water and raw apple cider vinegar overnight. The next day, add the 2 cups stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all liquid is absorbed and grains are fluffy and tender. This will be about a half hour if the grains have soaked overnight. Remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

While rice is cooking, put the ground beef in a 4 to 6 quart stock pot. Over medium heat, brown the beef. Add onions and garlic. Saute until soft. In a 4 cup measuring cup, whisk together: water, tomato paste, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and honey. Add sauce mixture to meat. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Fill bowls with rice, then meat sauce, then desired garnishes. The picture shows a Sloppy Joe’s bowl garnished with diced shredded homemade goat cheese, diced onions, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of sour cream.

Recipe Notes:
My garnishes of choice were tomatoes, lettuce, and a light sprinkle of the cheese.  It added a light freshness.  The rice was delicious!!!  I am actually going to start soaking some just to have on hand plain.  We have been eating the short brown lately and this was a nice treat- so don't skimp out on the basmati...  If you are local Dixie Nutrition sales this in bulk that way you can just get the two cups to try or buy lots more (I suggest lots more if you eat a lot of rice!).