Friday, March 3, 2017

Sour Dough Bread

I recently listened to the audiobook, "How to Bake a Perfect Life" by Barbara O' Neal and wrote down one of the recipes she shares for starter.  The book just makes you want to bake bread like crazy.
I have been watching over this new starter for a week now and today is the day for making some bread.
Sour Dough Bread made with flaxseed meal and whole wheat

This recipe doesn't turn out like a dense brick!!!

Ramona's Starter (altered slightly to what I had in the pantry which wasn't the rye flour called for).
2 cups potato water
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup "Better For Bread" white flour
2 teaspoons yeast
Large jar and cheese cloth with a rubber band to keep it in place.

Place starter ingredients into large jar and stir to combine, let sit at room temperature for about 4 days or until it smells nice and sour.  Add 1/4 cup each whole wheat flour and tap water every other day and stir.  (After the 4th day I kept this in the refrigerator except for when I added the new flour and water, after which I left it on the counter for a few hours.)

Today I had enough to try and make a loaf of sour dough bread.  I have used the "No-Knead" bread recipe with great success in the past, but I have never been able to turn it into a whole grain bread that isn't the consistency of a brick.  I thought using a real sour dough starter might help—and it did.

My recipe for Sour Dough Bread:

2 cups bread flour ("Better For Bread")
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, plus enough for proper dough consistency
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon sweetener, such as raw sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
     Toss the dry ingredients together and then add the wet:
1 cup sour dough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water with 2 teaspoons yeast stirred into it
1/4 cup beer

Stir it all together until it forms a nice, sticky ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled.  I have found that leaving the dough very wet results in a much better texture and softness to the final loaf.
Place an oiled sheet of parchment into a medium sized skillet and punch dough down, shape into loaf and place it in the paper lined skillet on top of your stove.  Let rest until doubled in size, then make a slit in the top of the loaf and dust with flour.
While the bread is rising, place a large iron dutch oven (or iron camping pot with lid) into the oven and heat to a temperature of 500 degrees f.  Let the oven and pot get up to this temperature for 30 minutes.
When the loaf looks like it is doubled, open the hot oven, remove the lid and use the paper to transfer the dough to inside the dutch oven.  Put the lid back on, shut the oven door.  Set the timer for 30 minutes and turn the oven temperature down to 400 degrees f.
When the timer goes off, remove the lid and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.

Cool loaf on wire rack before cutting.  Good luck with that.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wheat Berry and Garbanzo Bean Salad


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cans garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped fine
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 large kale leave, sliced in thin ribbons
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest from
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon basil paste, or 1/4 fresh bunch chopped
  • several grinds of black pepper
Prepare wheat berries by simmering in the water and salt until tender. This could take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 1/2 hours. Drain and cool to room temperature. 
Prepare dressing by combining lemon juice with oil drizzle while whisking in small bowl or measuring cup.
Place all ingredients in large bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Makes about 8 cups of salad.  Will keep in refrigerator for 2 days.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sour Cream Enchiladas, only not. PBNAF

I love sour cream enchiladas and so I set out to make a recipe that is very low fat and vegan for heart-health.  This is my favorite enchilada recipe and the one most closely resembling sour cream chicken enchiladas.

Stir together and set aside (this represents what would have been the "meat":
1 cup soy curls (break into small pieces) soaked in 1 tsp. "not-chicken" bouillon and 1 cup hot water

Combine white layer and set aside:
2 cups chopped celery sautéed in mushroom broth over high heat for 1 min.
(Note:  this is an easy recipe to sneak extra veggies into such as broccoli or spinach so add some to the white layer or between layers if your kids won't eat them otherwise)
2 teaspoons cumin
dash pepper flakes
1 package soft silken tofu
1 can (4 oz) mild green chilies (double this if you really like green chilies)
1/2 cup Tofutti Non-Dairy Sour Cream
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Combine red layer and set aside:
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
The soy curls, now softened.

2 large cans enchilada sauce or make your own from scratch
Corn tortillas
1/4 cup soy or rice cheddar cheese shreds (optional)

Pour 1/4" layer of enchilada sauce in bottom of a deep 9x13"pan.
Layer tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan.
Spread 1/2 red mixture
Another layer of tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce
Spread all the white mixture.
Another layer of tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce
Spread remaining ted mixture.
Pour any leftover enchilada sauce over the top (You probably won't have any left.  No worries)
Spread soy cheese shreds over top.
Bake 350 f. for about 45 minutes or until bubbly hot.

Sour Cream Enchiladas made without dairy, meat or oil.


If you aren't allergic to onions, feel free to add them in with the celery.

Meatloaf for the plant-based diet, no added fat

Low Fat Meat-less Meatloaf
or "Have I died and gone to heaven? Loaf"

The first step is to turn on the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Okay, you are on your way to bliss so hum a little tune.

Combine:

1/2 cup boiling water with
1/2 cup dry TVP granules, or beef flavored TSP and set aside while you get everything else going.

In a food processor, combine the following:

1/2 box firm silken tofu
1/2 cup walnuts 
1/4 cup flaxseed meal 
1 VeganEgg (2 tbsp powder plus 1/2 cup cold water, blended)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon paste, or "not-beef" flavor
2 tablespoons fresh parsley—don't skip this!

1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce—don't skip this
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pour into very large bowl along with:

1/2 cup chopped celery 
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup finely sliced or shredded carrot
1 cup of dry breadcrumbs (if you are out, put three slices of whole grain bread through the food processor and use that instead, or oatmeal or soda cracker crumbs)

3/4 cup vital wheat gluten (this will act like the glue that hold it together and provides support so you can slice the loaf)

Roll up your sleeves and stir it all together (don't forget the TVP—I can't tell you how many times I forget that….) Knead for a couple of minutes to get the gluten forming.
Form into a loaf shape and place in one large or two medium sized bread pans (lightly spray-oiled).



Brush the top with the super-fantastic-extra-special red sauce (really, don't skip this part):

8 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar or date sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Bake for  75 minutes, remove from oven and let sit for 30 minutes before devouring.  If you want it done quicker, use two smaller pans. If baking as two medium loaves adjust the time down to an hour.



I like to serve it with potato slices (un-fried in the oven with herbs and pepper on a non-stick baking sheet).
And definitely serve it with more sauce on the side.
Don't forget the spinach salad.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vegan Cornbread, no added fat



Vegan Cornbread for the plant-based diet
Nearly fat free cornbread recipe without dairy, eggs and oil.  Re-posting in anticipation of Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing.
9x9 square pan, 400 degrees f for 35 minutes
Combine dry ingredients and set aside:
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (do not substitute plain whole wheat flour or it will turn out flat and dense)
3 tablespoons date sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp chives
1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika

1/2 tsp thyme

Combine wet ingredients:
3/4 cup rice or almond milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon Egg substitute mixed with 
3 Tbsp water (whip until frothy)
1/4 cup pumpkin, pureed

Add wet ingredients to dry all at once and stir just until combined and pour into pan.  Dust the top with more paprika.
Bake 30 minutes.  This is ideal for making corn bread stuffing.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pomander Balls or Chocolate Orange Truffle Cookies for the Holidays

Chocolate Orange Truffle Cookies, enlightened a bit

When I was a child one of the Christmas cookies my Mom would make each year was something she called, "Pomander Balls", a no-bake cookie made from crushed Nilla Wafers and melted chocolate chips together with sugar and orange extract.  The recipe has since been a favorite of most of our extended family and especially of my husband and daughter.

This is my version of Pomander Balls, which I respectfully re-name "Chocolate Orange Truffle Cookies" since they aren't exactly the same.

In a food processor combine all the ingredients:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 cup ground walnuts
2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
1 box cookies such as Nilla Wafers
1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips, melted

Blend everything together and shape into balls about the size of a walnut or about 3/4" diameter.  Roll in crumbs such as cookie crumbs or nuts.
Store for up to 4 weeks in airtight container in refrigerator.  If they seem dry, occasionally sprinkle with more Grand Marnier as they mature.
Good luck having any at Christmas unless you hide them.

Note:  The goal is to have a crumb mixture that holds together when squeezed so you may have to bump up the moisture by adding more of any or all of the wet ingredients.  Today I had to add a lot more moisture because the air is so dry. Makes about 32 cookies.  (Hard to tell since someone kept snitching as I was making.)



Jewell's Rum Christmas Fruitcake

Christmas Fruitcake made without eggs and butter!

Jewell's Rum Christmas Fruitcake  

First, place all fruit into large bowl and cover with alcohol such as rum or bourban, or use one cup of rum and toss every so often.  Let soak for several hours or overnight.
Keep in mind you can use whatever dried fruits and nuts you prefer.  This is what I am using this year:

2 cups dried bing cherries
5 oz. sweetened dried cranberries
6 oz. sliced dried apples
6 oz. dried papaya, cut into 1/2" chunks
3/4 cup dried dates coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dried pineapple cut into 1/2" chunks
1 cup pecans coarsely chopped
1 cup macadamia nuts coarsely chopped
1 cup raw cashews coarsely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup rum or bourban

Fruit and nuts soaking in rum
For batter:


3/4 cup granulated sugarCREAM
3/4cup brown sugarTOGETHER
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/4 cupflaxseed meal
8eggs substitute  (VeganEgg works well)
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cupplain soy yogurt or vegan s. creamWET
1/2 cuppineapple juice or orange juiceINGREDIENTS
1 tsp
2 tsp
1 tsp
almond extract
vanilla extract
balsamic vinegar
4 cupscake flour
2 cupsunbleached flour (not bread flour)
2 tspbaking powder
2 tspbaking soda
1 1/4 tspsaltDRY
2 tspcinnamonINGREDIENTS
3/4 tspcloves
2 tspmace
1 tspnutmeg








Makes 6 or 7 small to medium loaves, bake 1 hour at 325° or convection 300°.
Line 7 medium size loaf pans with heavy brown paper or parchment, grease and flour.  Set aside. Alternate method:  use spray oil and flour on non-stick pans.
In large measuring cup, combine applesauce, pineapple juice, almond extract, yogurt and any rum that can be drained off fruit. Set aside.
In large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Set aside.
In larger mixing bowl beat vegan butter until soft and add sugars, continue beating for 1 minute.  Add egg substitute (dry powder and water mixed according to package directions) and continue beating for 30 seconds. Add small amounts of wet and dry ingredients alternating until all flour mixture and applesauce mixture has been combined with butter/sugar mixture.
Fold all fruit and nuts into batter.  Spoon gently into prepared loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 1 hours. Loaves should be golden brown and have pulled away from sides of pans.
Keep cooled cakes wrapped in cheesecloth or cotton flour sack towel soaked in your favorite rum or brandy for a few weeks before Christmas.

Once you have a good base recipe for the cake part, you can use whatever dried fruit and nuts you prefer. Just don't use candied fruit—I think that is what gives fruitcake such a bad reputation.

7 medium size fruitcakes cooling on wire rack
At the last minute before baking we decided to top them off with maraschino cherries

Soak towel in rum and store in airtight container or gallon ziplock bag until Christmas/New Years.

Test piece, guess who sacrificed himself as general taster?