Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

Before we begin, a warning to you: don’t tell me that there is sugar in molasses.  I refuse to listen to you.  I will not read the molasses label, or check my common sense.  This bread is necessary for sugar-free January. 

Moving on.  I made this bread on Saturday, and it was gone in 24 hours, with only Megan and I eating it.  The second time I made it, it was gone in about 20 hours.  It’s slightly sweet and, surprisingly, best plain.  I tried it with butter and cream cheese, and I just preferred it solo (update: the second time I made it, I liked it with butter).  It has a dense crumb and hearty but soft texture.  Serve it warm, and your soul will be happy.  And 6 ingredients – only six, people!

Mixing the molasses with yogurt - isn't it pretty?

Before baking - it will seem very dry, but don't worry.  It will all work out!


This bread doesn’t use yeast or rising time, and it acts more like a sweet bread than a “regular” bread.  The dough was very dry, probably because I used plain yogurt instead of buttermilk (it was approved in the recipe, I promise!), and so I added a few tablespoons of plain milk.  But enough dry details.  You need to go make this bread, right now.  I’m serious.  See you on the other side.

Whole Wheat Molasses Bread
Recipe from Joy the Baker

1 2/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (I used the yogurt + 2 Tbs. milk)
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup molasses

Preheat oven to 325 and grease a loaf pan.  Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then mix together.  The batter will be very thick.

Scoop batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.  The loaf will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Serve bread warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Excuse me, I think I'm going to go make some right now.  Too delicious!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Garlic broth and poached eggs

This soup was originally called garlic soup with poached eggs.  But that sounds much more substantial than it actually is, so I decided to change the name.  It's very good for those days when you want to fill up on veggies  or bread but get something warm and protein-rich in your dinner (am I the only one who has those days?  Oh well).  In spite of the name, it is not super-garlicky, and won't leave you with really bad breath.  It's essentially just a broth in which you poach an egg.  A very nice broth, to be sure, but what I've gained from the recipe is more along the lines of a method, rather than a very distinct and irreplaceable broth.  For instance, if short on time I would consider making regular broth from a cube and then poaching an egg in it.  It wouldn't be as delicious, but it would still be good (as well as very cheap).

The egg just beginning to cook...

What's really nice about this recipe is that you can use however much you want at a time to make your soup fresh.  Just pour one serving's worth of broth into a pan and poach an egg in it (or however many servings you're making at the time), then store the rest in the refrigerator or even freezer for later use.


Garlic Broth with Poached Eggs
Adapted from The Wednesday Chef
3 servings

1 quart (4 cups) water
1/2 head of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled (not minced!)
1+ tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. dried sage
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1 small bay leaf
2 parsley sprigs (or a couple of teaspoons of dried parsley)
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
3 eggs
Grated parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish (optional)

In a saucepan combine garlic, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, and olive oil. Add water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain (I used my sifter; make sure it's fine, even cheesecloth), pressing on the garlic to release as much flavor as possible.

For immediate use: to make one serving, put 1 1/3 cups broth into a very small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer (small bubbles starting to show on the bottom) and carefully break an egg directly into the broth.  Poach until the egg white is just set, about 1 1/2 minutes (the egg will continue to cook).  With a slotted spoon, transfer the egg to the serving dish and pour the broth over it.  Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.

The rest of the broth can be used immediately, refrigerated, or frozen.  You could change up the ratios, adding more eggs per serving of soup; it's just a matter of personal preference.  You can also prepare multiple eggs in multiple servings of soup at the same time; just use a larger saucepan as you poach.  Enjoy!

In spite of my lack of obvious enthusiasm above, I really enjoyed the broth, and would encourage you to try it :)  Recipe for the carrots coming up soon!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Healthy chocolate pudding

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Megan and I are going sugar-free this lovely January.  As such, I have had the occasional chocolate craving, which is troublesome as most chocolate has sugar (surprise!)

On Saturday, I needed some chocolate.  I had this recipe, some bananas, a frozen avocado, and honey.  Perfect.   By the way, you can freeze avocado.  If you don’t add lemon or lime juice, it will go brown, but that’s kind of what you want in this recipe anyways, so stock up next time you see a sale on avocadoes!

If you don’t want to make this recipe just for fun, or just because it’s delicious, consider the amount of potassium.  If I’d known about this stuff in high school, I would have taken it to every water polo tournament and swim meet.  And it would’ve been an object of jealousy for everyone else on my team.

Healthy Chocolate Pudding
Makes 2 servings

1 medium avocado
1 medium banana
2 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Combine all in a blender (or use your handheld blender) and blend it together.  Chill and serve.  Feel healthy and full of potassium.

Sidenote: you could also freeze this as little fudge bars, or put them in a tart crust and top them with something.  It's all up to your imagination!

Cabbage and Potato Gratin

So, assuming that you were cool enough to make the cabbage soup I posted yesterday, you may have half a head of leftover cabbage.  Hey, me too!!  We have so much in common. 

 I don’t really have that many cabbage recipes – borscht and cabbage soup are about the extent, although I really have to try making wontons one of these days.  Instead of letting another head of cabbage rot in my fridge (ew), I looked up recipes on my favorite cooking blogs and found something pretty wonderful.  You can tell it’s wonderful because I ate all four servings for dinner in one night.

Mmmm, yummy.  And no, the pan isn't dirty, just old. :)

The original recipe calls for ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese.  I used sharp cheddar, and it just didn’t taste cheesy enough, so I’ll leave the recipe as is with the parmesan.  If you make it with any other kind of cheese and it is especially delicious, let me know. 

Cabbage and potato Gratin
Adapted from biggirlssmallkitchen
2-4 servings

2 cups potatoes, sliced (1 large Russet, or 2 medium/small Yukon Gold)
1 cup milk (low-fat works fine)
2 Tbs. chicken stock
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. butter
1 small onion, diced thinly
2 cups green cabbage, sliced into bite-sized pieces (a bit less than ½ of a cabbage)
¾ tsp. salt, divided
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce
Paprika for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 400.  Grease a loaf pan or 4 individual ramekins.  Heat the oil and butter in a pan over medium heat.  Add the cabbage, onions, and ¼ tsp. of the salt.

Meanwhile, combine potatoes, milk, stock, and another ¼ tsp. of salt in a small pot.  Over medium heat, bring it to a simmer.  Let simmer for five minutes (while cabbage is cooking).  Remove from heat, pour in a few dashes of hot sauce, and pour into the pan (or a large bowl, if you’re using ramekins). 

When cabbage and onion are slightly browned and softened, add them to the potato mixture in the pan.  Sprinkle in ¼ cup of the cheese and the last ¼ tsp. of salt; stir.  Scatter the remaining ¼ cup of cheese on top, then dust with paprika and pepper. 

Bake for about 45 minutes (for the pan; less for the ramekins), until the top potatoes are dark brown and edges are crispy.  Enjoy!

Cabbage Soup

No, wait!!  Don't run away because of the title!  It's good, I promise!  Okay, okay, maybe I'll just keep this one for my personal recipe file, if you're too wimpy to try it.  I may serve it the next time I cook for you, though.  It's really, really, really good.  Especially with parmesan cheese on top.  Yummm....

Please forgive the photo.  I should not have served it in a yellow bowl, but I love my little yellow bowls and just couldn't help it.  Don't worry, it's good.  Further supporting my hypothesis that ugly food is yummy food.

Cabbage Soup
From 101cookbooks
3-4 servings

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 LARGE pinch of salt (although you can adjust it at the end of cooking...)
1 large russet potato, sliced thinly and then cut into 3/4-inch squares (you can really do any shape you like, but it has a great texture this way)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
5 cups chicken stock
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat the olive oil in your soup pan. Add in salt and potato; cover and cook until the potato is tender and starting to get golden, about 5 min.  Add onion and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add stock and beans and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the cabbage and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until it's softened to your liking.  Adjust the salt and pepper.  You MUST have enough salt, or you won't have the exceptionally delicious taste you're looking for. Serve warm sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Really, it's better than it looks.  I promise.  Would I lie to you?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

So, as you may have noticed, I've been on an unannounced blogging hiatus for the past three weeks.  Sorry...   I just got so distracted, with Christmas, family time, New Years, coming back to school, discovering hp fanfic....  Whoa, what??

Anyways, as it is past the holidays anyways, I will save those recipes for later on in this month, or maybe even next month.  In the meantime, I would like to announce Soup week, as I have been eating soup almost continuously for the past two weeks.  Also, it's healthy, fast, and warm.  Mmmmm.

So, I don't have any pictures of this first recipe I'm going to show you.  Please just trust me that it's delicious.  It has a rather rustic/sophisticated look to it, and strangely enough, that doesn't seem like an oxymoron when you see it.  This soup is amazingly delicious, and I would highly encourage you to go make it... right now!  I'm just going to go thaw the leftovers from the freezer...

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup
From joythebaker (aka Joy the soup-maker)

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced or shredded (I keep mine shredded in the freezer for convenience)
3/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
3/4 lb. (1 large bunch +) kale, tough stems removed and chopped (1-2 inch squares worked)
1 1/2 lb. (2 medium) yams, peeled and diced to 3/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) chicken broth
1+ tsp. broth
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup rice (uncooked) + 1/2 tsp. salt + 2 cups water

Start by combining your rice, water, and salt (from the bottom row of ingredients) in a small pot.  Cover and set on very low heat.  Check after twenty minutes; if there are dimples on top and the rice is the correct texture when you bite into it, remove from heat.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large soup pan over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, ~5 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, and crushed red pepper.  Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add sweet potato chunks and stir; add broth and bring to a simmer.  Add kale (it will seem like a lot), and submerge it.  Cook for about 20 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour in coconut milk and reheat (don't let it boil!).  Add rice and stir.  Enjoy!