Sunday, November 6, 2011

Soft Pretzels

This was so fun to make with my kids!

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt


Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer Frozen Fruit Cocktail

At the same activity they made this yummy frozen fruit treat. The said it tastes really good in the winter time when summer fruit isn't available.

12 oz. can frozen orange juice reconstituted
1-2 cans pineapple tidbits with juice
2 mangoes, cubed
2 cantaloupe, in small pieces or balled
1 bunch seedless grapes
1 bunch Bing cherries
1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries
Watermelon, cubed or balled
Fresh sliced peaches

Mix thoroughly with orange juice. Ladle into freezer containers making sure to leave 1/2 to 3/4 inch head space to allow freezing expansion. Serve partially frozen in cups as is.

Double Apples Breakfast Sauce

1 cup apple sauce
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
dash of salt 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves

Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until thick and syrupy. (Stir continually to prevent scorching.)

Appletts (Apple Candy)

They mad these at an activity in Relief Society about preserving food. These were good. Enjoy!

2 Tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 Cup apple sauce (cold)
3/4 Cup apple sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup broken walnuts
1 Tablespoon vanilla
powdered sugar for coating

Soak gelatin in cold applesauce for 10 minutes. Combine 3/4 cup applesauce with sugar and boil for 10 minutes. Add gelatin and applesauce mixture and boil about five to seven minutes more stirring so as not to burn. Remove from heat and add walnuts and vanilla. Pour into slightly greased 4"x8" pan. Set in refrigerator to cool, cut into squares and roll in powdered sugar. Keeps well in a cool place.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cheesy Kale Chips

My whole family loved these. I couldn't believe how E loved them too. I finally found a way to get toddlers to eats greens!

(Makes: It doesn’t matter because you’ll eat them all in one day anyways)

1 bunch curly kale
1 cup cashews (soaked for a couple hours)
1 red bell pepper, deseeded
Juice of half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

Remove the toughest parts of the kale stems (save them for a green smoothie, green juice, or add them to a stir-fry!), and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.

Whenever I’m working with leafy greens – especially for this recipe, where I want the pieces of kale to be as dry as possible so that the coating will stick as well as possible – I find it easier to cut or rip up the leaves first, and wash them afterward by submerging them in a bowl of water. Then I swish them around with my hands a little so any debris can float to the top, drain them, and dry them in a salad spinner!

Place kale pieces in a large bowl (you want enough room so that you can mix the coating in later without having to deal with leaves falling out of the bowl!)

To make the cheesy coating: combine soaked cashews, bell pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast (nooch), and sea salt in a blender or food processor (a high-speed blender like the Vitamix is best), and run for a minute or two until smooth.

Add the cheesy coating to your bowl of kale and massage it in with your hands. Don’t worry too much about uneven distribution, as the big globs taste delicious in the final product!

For raw kale chips (my method of choice, as they will retain the nutrients and enzymes of all the healthful ingredients!): place on dehydrator screens and dehydrate at 115 degrees until crispy. The time will vary, but make sure ALL the moisture is gone and they are genuinely crunchy.

Alternatively (if you don’t have a dehydrator), spread kale pieces on parchment paper on baking trays, and bake at 200 degrees until crispy, about 45 minutes (but again, all that matters is that they MUST be crunchy).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Roasted Veggie Pesto Pizza

Mom had another recipe for a pizza while we were there. This is the basic recipe from memory:

Roast your veggies with a little olive oil and rosemary. Veggies used were: red pepper, green pepper, red onion, mushrooms. While roasting these, make your pesto sauce of choice.

Spread the pesto sauce on pizza crust of choice, add mozarella if desired, then top with roasted veggies. Yummm!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fast Easy Dinner Ideas

Some times I think I spend way too much time in the kitchen cooking. I discovered this fact, this vacation. I'm writing down some easy meal ideas here so I don't forget what they are. If you have any other ideas, edit the post and add them! I'm trying to reduce the time I do the three C's: cooking, cleaning and chauffering.

From my friend Ginger:
cook some quinoa add the mango salsa from Costco to your liking and serve with sides.
enchiladas with cooked veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, corn) with hummus on the inside and salsa on top

From Lisa:
Ramen noodles and tons of veggies.

From Kissy:
Rice with pico de gallo, corn and bean

From Mom:
Baked potato bar
Chinese Sunday

Any more ideas?

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Here's another yummy soup Mom made for us. Don't forget the lemon. It's essential!

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cubed butternut squash (we used sweet potatoes)
1-15 oz. can garbanzo beans (kidneys were good too)
1 can (14-1/2) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 medium red potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and into 1-inch cubes
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 small zucchini, cubed
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

In a Dutch oven, saute onion in oil and butter until tender. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon stick and chili powder; saute 2 minutes longer. Stir in the broth, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, lemon and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and squash are almost tender. Add zucchini; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard cinnamon stick and lemon slices. Stir in cilantro.

Thai Peanut Noodles

Mom made this for my family and it was a hit!!!!!! We think it's from Light and Tasty magazine.

8 oz Udon or linguine noodles
1/2 cup broth
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1-2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce (this is really hot, be careful, I wouldn't add for kids at all)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
chopped green onions
chopped cilantro
chopped peanuts
2 limes, cut into quarters

Cook noodles in salted water according to package instructions.

While noodles cook, combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in small sauce-pan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat.

Toss cooked noodles with sauce and divide among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and garnish each serving with 2 lime quarters. Before eating, squeeze lime juice over noodles and stir to combine.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Twice-cooked Refried Beans

At the suggestion of my friend, Sheralie, I decide to make my own refried beans.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they are super easy and much much much tastier, and healthier then Old Elpaso Refried Beans from Costco.  I use refried beans at least once each week.  I add them as a layer in quesadillas for my nine-year-olds lunch.  After making this unscientific recipe, I think I'll make them even more because they make an excellent side dish or chip dip.

Pinto Beans, 1 regular grocery-store sized bag
Bay Leaves
Vegetable Broth, Butter, Coconut Oil, Corn Oil, or Canola Oil
One gigantic onion (softball sized), chopped
Salt, to taste

Pour pinto beans into the crock pot and soak overnight.  In the morning, dump the soak water, and put new water back in so that the water level is at least 1.5 inches over the beans.  Add Bay Leaves (I used 8). Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, or so.

After the beans are cooked to nice and mushy, put your oil/broth of choice in a big sauce pot, along with your gigantic onion and cook until soft.  Add cumin to taste, around 2 tablespoons.  Using a slotted spoon, move your mushy beans into the pot with the onions.  Stir like crazy.  You may need to mash, but I didn't, stirring blended the beans to the perfect creamy texture.  Add salt, to taste.  Yum!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup sucanat
1 tablespoon flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3 oz. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend first 5 ingredients. Add the chocolate.
Drop in balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

I love these cookies. I also make them with peanut butter, which I actually like better, but both are good. I also prefer them straight from the freezer! The batch doesn't make too many, so I would recommend doubling. Also, you might not need that much sucanat. They would still be good with less sugar. the original recipes call for an egg instead of flax. The flax works awesome though.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chocolate Date Peppermint Shake and Ice Cream

2 cups milk beverage of choice
1 large or 2 small ripe frozen bananas
5-6 medjool
4-5 ice cubes
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. peppermint extract

The Shake:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, about 60-90 seonds.

The Ice Cream:

Follow shake directions and then pour into ice cube trays. Send them through a champion juicer. Add another banana and omit ice cubes for a creamier texture and add another date. Try it will frozen banana ice cream.

Or try it with orange extract or anything other extract. Try freezing coconut milk and running it through the juicer.

From Recipes for Health Bliss

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Manzana Chili Verde

1 lb baby Yukon golds or other thick skinned potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used four medium/small potatoes)
2 T vegetable oil
1 lg yellow onion, cut into small dice
3 jalapeños, seeded and sliced thinly
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces (I used bell peppers)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano - I used regular and have no idea what makes the Mexican kind so special)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup dry white wine (I used white wine vinegar)
1 lb tomatillos (about 10 small to medium ones, I used 8 lg ones)
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, quartered, and sliced thinly
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus extra for garnish (I used green onions)
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans, such as navy or cannellini, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 c)
Juice of 1 lime
Avocado slices for garnish

Place the chopped pototoes in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let boil, covered, for a little less than 20 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside. Of course, you should be preparing everything else while it is boiling.

Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté for 1 more minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the white wine and tomatillos, raise the heat a bit to let the wine reduce and tomatillos release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the apples, vegetable broth, scallions, and 1/2 cup of cilantro. lower the heat to simmer (medium-low), cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to partially puree everything. If you don't have one, then let the mixture cool slightly and transfer to a blender or food processor; pulse until just slightly chunky. Don't forget that if you are using a blender you need to be careful not to have a steam explosion, so pulse quickly and then lift the lid to let steam escape, then pulse again and repeat.

Taste for sweetness/tartness. Tomatillos are sometimes bitter; if that is the case, add a teaspoon or two of sugar and that should level things out. Add the cooked potatoes and the beans, and simmer for a few more minutes, until everything is heated through. Add the remaining cilantro and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls, garnish with avocado and scallions, and serve.

My tomatillos were sweet, so I didn't need to add the sugar and my fingers are burning because of the jalapeño seeds I scooped out (I saw some jalapeño gloves at the Panhandler last time I was there....maybe a worthwhile investment....). I made cornbread to accompany it. It's a really tasty Sunday Chili!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sometimes you just need pizza...

Actually, my family likes to eat pizza at least once a week.  Since we have this "need," I decided I'd better figure out how to make a healthy pizza, and today I finally nailed it.  It was nutritious and completely delicious.  The recipe is copied from this blog.

Makes about 4 small 8" or two to three larger size pizza.

500 gm (1.1 lb) [about 4 cups] whole wheat, spelt or unbleached white flour
Kefir-sourdough starter
1 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water

Mix well with a strong wooden spoon, ladle or clean bare hands. If the dough is too thick (firm and not sticky), add a small amount of warm water and mix for 2 minutes until the dough is moist and sticky with elasticity. The dough should stick to the fingers when touched and should stretch quite easily (it should be wetter than conventional dough).

For the next step, to stop the dough from sticking to your hands. Wet fingers and palm of hands with olive oil. Pinch off 1/4 of the dough. Make a round ball by rolling the dough in your hands. Place dough in a pre-greased cast iron skillet or pizza pan (OR what I used... big cookie sheet). Press the dough with fingers and stretch an even layer over the bottom of the pan right up to the edges. Form a thickness of no more than about 3/4" thickness. Do this with the rest of the dough in other pans.

(NOTE: I used the whole dough for my pizza in a big cookie sheet. Worked great!)

You can add your toppings on the crust and then let it rise OR you can let it rise than put your toppings on. I put my toppings on after I let it rise, but I don't think one way is better than the other. After you put your toppings on make sure you drizzle olive oil (about 2 Tbsp) over everything, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

Place in a warm spot and leave to rise for about 2 to 6 hours (8 hours is best) until the base almost doubles in height. Bake in a hot oven set to 450 F and bake for 15-20 minutes. To determine if the pizza is ready, lift an edge of the pizza to reveal the base. It should be golden brown.

Our family (except for Bardo) enjoyed sweet onions, red peppers, sliced roma tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and fresh basil.  I sprinkled soy cheese on 3/4 of it and just a little feta on the other 1/4.  The crust turned out amazing using the kefir start I started growing last week.  I'm now a believer in kefir, especially since I can make it with soy milk.  Next time I will put the crust on parchment paper for easier clean-up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thick and Hearty Split Pea Soup

this is an amazing soup I found on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 cups dried split peas, checked carefully for debris and rinsed
6-8 cups water
2 medium potatoes, coarsely chopped
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lightly spray the bottom of a pressure cooker or Dutch oven with canola oil. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan often, until they begin to caramelize. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the peas to the pot. If you’re using a pressure cooker, add 6 cups of water; forregular cooking, add 8 cups water. Stir in the potatoes, bay leaf, celery seed, basil, and thyme.
For pressure cooking: Seal the cooker and bring to high pressure. Lower heat and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. If beans are not completely cooked, cover loosely and cook (without pressure) until they reach the desired tenderness.
For regular cooking: Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over very low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until peas are soft and disintegrate when stirred.
Add the liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. Check the seasoning and add more herbs if necessary. Cook several minutes uncovered to thicken (or add water to thin). Serve with warm whole-grain bread.
Makes about 8 servings, and tastes even better the next day!

Makes about 8 servings, and tastes even better the next day!
Per serving: 216 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (2% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 565mg Sodium; 15g Fiber.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins

(makes 12 muffins)
  • 1.5 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 C cane sugar
  • 1/3 C finely ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C pureed butternut squash (canned or fresh)
  • 1/2 C raisins (or chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 C skim milk
  • 2 small very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350.
1) In two separate bowls, mix dry, then wet, and then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until the mixture is uniform-ish.
2) Spoon the mixture into a non-stick (or sprayed with PAM) muffin tray. Don’t forget to sprinkle some raw oats on top to make ‘em look pretty!
3) Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes. Fork check to make sure they are done.

My notes:  I used half an avocado instead of the second banana, wheat germ instead of flax meal, and squirted a little bit of agave into the wet ingredients, and of course used soy milk, oh, and I put vanilla in the wet ingredients, too.  I used the white sugar, but I think I'll just use a few dates next time because they were a teensy bit too sweet.  We put this in the dinosaur pan the Warlock's mom gave our family for Christmas.  They were a huge hit.  This recipe is from this website.