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Day 17: Shop the co-op!

Today’s breakfast was slightly different than the past few days:

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Chia pet cereal for breakfast. And it’s mighty good. And even though I’m all about quantity, a single serving of this is amazingly filling. Trust me; I was majorly skeptical, but pleasantly surprised.

Lunch:

day16souplun

I was invited to lunch and presented with a gorgeous salad (oops, no photo), and this soup. Unfortunately, this photo is a bowl of the soup I reheated post-lunch, and the reheated version isn’t nearly as vibrant as the original product. The recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors cookbook, and I believe this is the recipe. I was lucky enough to take some of this soup home and promptly heated up a bowl, added a spoonful of red quinoa (since it I needed to use it up), and enjoyed it with some Mary’s Gone Crackers. They were $1.50 at the co-op. Oh yeah; MAKE THIS SOUP.

Let’s shop:

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day16veg

I could spend hours photographing kale. It is that beautiful. It looks like arctic green ruffles. Am I the only one who admires kale?

day16shopp

day16shop2

Dinner:

day16dinner

‘Tortilla Casserole’ from Sundays at Moosewood. I found the recipe here. I always change it around a bit; my favorite way to bake it is either in an iron skillet, or a ceramic tart pan. Sometimes I use salsa, this time I used farmer’s market heirloom tomatoes. I change around the cheese choices a bit as well; this time it was Asiago.

Tortilla Casserole
from Sundays at Moosewood

1 medium onion, chopped ½ pint heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced 1/3 c grated Parmesan
¾ t dried oregano s & p to taste
3 T veg oil 10 6” corn tortillas
3 medium tomatoes, chopped ½ c grated Monterey Jack cheese

in a large skillet, satue onion, garlic, and oregano in oil for 5-10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Stir in chopped tomatoes, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and juicy.
Cut tortillas into 1/2” wide strips and stir into the vegetable mixture with the cream, Parmesan, and s&p.
Bake, uncovered, at 375F in a buttered 1 qt. casserole for 30 min. Top with grated Mont’y Jack and return to oven until cheese is totally melted.

(Source)

Cookies, sugarful

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These are based on the this recipe that is apparently from ‘Paradise Bakery’. All I can say is that they are absolutely full of sugar and refined ‘goodness’. I halved the recipe and used all butter in place of the shortening. I also usually used nearly 1.5 times++ the amount of flour. I’ve tried these with various flour mixes, and the main difference is that I usually have to use a slightly different amount. I haven’t finalized the recipe, but it’s a good one to experiment with. The other reason I use so much more flour is because I like to roll them out. This time I used about 1/2 brown sugar for a more golden color. But a few of these and you are over the edge, sugar-wise, they are white-carb-full!

Day 16: An ode to leftovers.

It started out as usual, with breakfast:

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These were left over from yesterday.

Post-Breakfast Snack:

day15icecrea

More banana soft-serve ice cream (from Choosing Raw)! This time with a few frozen blackberries, since blackberry ice cream is one of my all-time favorites. This time, I had frozen slightly overripe bananas, whereas the previous times I’d used barely/just ripe bananas. The overripe bananas were sweeter, but also had a very strong banana flavor; the barely/just ripe bananas accepted other flavors more willingly. Since I am not (generally) a big banana fan, I’m going to stick with using less ripe bananas. Still, a total hit. For all the info on how to make this, check here.

Leftover Lunch:

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Slightly out of focus, though no less delicious, leftovers from yesterday’s red lentil dal + red quinoa. Plus, I added part of a baked potato for variety.

And now, I’ll introduce you to some flops:

day15donut

Baked donuts gone wrong!

They weren’t horrendous, but they were unfixable. They smelled like soft pretzels, and the centers were gum, despite varying the rise/bake times. Interesting, but at the end I was -not- left with a plate of donuts. Next time, right?

Zucchini chips gone mediocre:

day16sn

Really, it must be me; these sound like a perfect way to use zucchini. For whatever reason, I had trouble getting them crisp, but not burned. I wasn’t sure how thinly to slice them, so I tried a few different thicknesses (ok, three pans’ worth). They are so close to being good, but somehow fall short. However, I know someone else will like them, and perhaps they will let me know what obvious mistake I am making? The recipe is from ‘The Thrive Diet’, check out the recipe here, on Google Books.

Leftover dinner:

day16din

Leftover vegetable pie, from yesterday. I am glad this is a leftover-eating-house because it’s super nice to make a dinner that will last for two nights. It means more free time in the kitchen, to, you know, make baked donut flops!

Dessert, anyone?

day15pie

More blueberry mini pie, from, you guessed it, yesterday.

I owe it all to you, leftovers.

Day 15: Pie.

Apparently, a vicious theme has erupted in our house: pie.

More on that, later.

Breakfast:

day15brek

Yes, more breakfast cookies, too. Themes abound. But after an early morning grocery run, where I saw these (‘Erin’s Breakfast Cookies’, essentially a big oatmeal based ‘health’ cookie.) I realized that I must come home and whip up another batch.

Again, this is just a play on the ‘classic’ peanut butter cookie recipe of 1 cup peanut butter/1 cup sugar/1 egg, with a few variations. I’ve been doing half batches as well…And cutting down the sugar immensely. These were composed of the following:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons GF oat flour
  • 2 tablespooons rice bran
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch salt + baking soda
  • 1 egg

For other appearances of these cookies, check here and here. I didn’t like today’s trial very well, as the coconut flour seemed overpowering.

Post-Breakfast Hunger:

day15sna

More chia cereal, a few ‘Thin Mints’, and some almonds. What a whimsical little mix, but I ate what I was craving, which isn’t always, conventional, to say the least.

Lunch:

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Red lentil dal, English muffin ‘naan’, and red quinoa.

The dal comes from Jack Bishop’s ‘A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen’. Because I’ve changed the recipe a bit, I’ll post it below. The original is available here, on Google Books. Dal’s are great because you can make a big batch in a relatively short amount of time, they can be eaten a multitude of ways, and freeze well.

Red Lentil Dal (Derived from Jack Bishop)

  • 1 1/4 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (optional)
  • Boil together the lentils, water, and turmeric. Once boiling, lower heat, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes, until lentils have fallen apart. Stir a few times to ensure that lentils don’t burn. In a skillet or small pan, heat canola oil and butter. Add spices and garlic and cook until mustard and cumin seeds pop, 1-2 minutes. Stir the spice mixture into the lentils, tasting and adjusting salt/spices as needed. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

    This dal is great along with tortillas, bread/rolls, rice or any grain, with potato, cauliflower, peas, and green beans. It is super versatile.

    Once I tried red quinoa, I knew there was no going back. If you haven’t been thrilled with quinoa, the red is definitely worth a try. There is no bitter taste. Even after rinsing, I find that ivory quinoa still has a slight bitterness to it, but not this red.

    Farmer’s Market Loot:

    day15market

    Not much, but the first heirloom tomatoes of the year! Plus, more beloved zucchini, and some free-range eggs.

    High time for pie…

    day15bbpie

    I used this crust recipe, and made a vegetable pot pie, and the humble blueberry pie above. I really stretched the crust and got a double 9-inch crust, a double 6-inch crust, a double 4 inch crust, and a single 4 inch crust. I don’t recommend cutting it so close, but for whatever reason it worked. I usually get at least 1.5 times the yield from pie crust recipes. Perhaps I roll the dough too thin?

    Anyway, this was just a little blueberry pie to use up three-quarters of a pint of blueberries. It was pretty off-the-top of my head, based on other fruit pies I’ve made….three-quarters’ pint of blueberries, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons corn starch, 1/4-ish cup sugar, and a tablespoon or so of butter. It worked well!

    day15din

    Vegetable ‘pot pie’, which I’ve been making for the past couple of years, without changing much. Interested in the recipe? I’ll post it tomorrow…but it is definitely worth it, and surprisingly simple. Let’s face it, this pie is essentially a ‘casserole’, and accordingly simple. Plus, even though it’s encased in a buttery crust, it is full of vegetables. And a small salad on the side nicely rounds out the meal.

    Don't forget the birdy!

    Don't forget the bird!

    At the bottom of my handwritten pie recipe, I wrote ‘Don’t forget the bird!’, which baffled me as I read it…And then I remembered the pie bird. Whew.