Archive for the ‘2011’ Category
I’m not the biggest pancake fan in the world, but I woke up with a craving for banana walnut pancakes. I suppose I was thinking of the pancakes at the Cup & Sauce in Portland, Oregon – even though they’re made with real flour. It’s been ages since I had a flap jack. Even more challenging than the gluten free aspect of these tasty rounds, is the fact that I made them dairy free. I used organic low-fat coconut milk instead of milk or water.
Fear not Dear Feedbag Reader, these aren’t tasteless hippie frisbees. These delicate perfect rounds are loaded with tiny banana and walnut bits in almost every bite. They’re made perfect with a little smart balance spread and a smatter of maple syrup.
This recipe makes enough pancake batter to feed your friends. If you’re not feeding a crowd, get an empty yogurt container to put the extra in the fridge. I’m even thinking about using the left over batter for muffins.
- 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
Wet Ingredients & Extras:
- 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
- 1 banana, diced
- 1/2 cup of apple sauce
- 2 cups of organic low-fat coconut milk (or 1 cup regular milk, one cup water)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or raw agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 or 2 dashes of cinnamon
Combine the dry ingredients first – mixing well before integrating the wet ingredients, bananas, and nuts.
I used a non-stick pan and I’d recommend it. A nicely greased up iron skillet would work just fine too. Get your pan greased up, heated up on medium heat, and ready for a ladle full of this delicious batter. When little bubbles start forming on top of your pancake, it’s probably time to flip that bad boy over. I’d say I found a 1.5 – 2 minute interval for each side made the perfect pancake.
These gluten free flap jacks are better when they’re hot off the press.
Serving Suggestion: Top with a little smart balance spread and some warm maple syrup for a delicious breakfast treat.
Going to school full time and working at a school makes meal planning difficult. Commuting to and from school for graduate school and student teaching makes meal planning essential. I always make my lunch in the morning or the night before. I don’t have time to leave school for a quick fix meal on the go during lunch time, so packing good food is important. I’ve noticed that on days that I go running, that my energy is pretty low after a full day of student teaching.
Have you guys seen the price of wheat free products? They’re ridiculous! Seriously, I can’t rationalize (or afford) paying seven dollars for a box of lame bars or cereal. I’m stubborn and I love whole foods. Which means that my life is a little more difficult, but often a lot more delicious.
I think these little granola bars are the perfect after school snack for days when I’m training for my first 10K run. I’m happy to report that this last week I was doing four mile runs!
My inspiration for these bars came from a recipe via All Recipes that I modified to suit my tastes and wheat free ways.
Don’t forget to cut these bad boys after letting them sit for a couple of minutes! If you don’t cut them into long rectangles, they’ll turn into one giant rad granola bar of goodness.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
- 1 teaspoon of nutmet
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF flour
- 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/4 cup of dried apricots, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (I used olive oil to grease my pan).
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, spices, gluten free flour, raisins, apricots, pecans, walnuts and salt.
- Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients: pour in the maple syrup, apple sauce, beaten egg, oil and vanilla.
- Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges.
- Cool for 2 – 4 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm.
- Don’t let these bad boys cool to much before cutting.
Variations on a theme & serving suggestions: These granola bars are versatile, allowing for different ingredients. Imagine if you will peanut butter & chocolate chip granola bars, dried cherry & almond granola bars, or banana & walnut granola bars. All totally possible by tweaking a few things with this recipe.
These bars are so decadent you could serve them as a desert with a little scoop of sorbet or ice cream. Instant win!
Puréed acorn squash, beet, & leek soup.
In the soup world, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The cooks, who make the soup; and consumers, who eat the soup. These are their stories:
This is the time of year to harvest all your hard work in the garden. Not only am I an avid soup eater, I also love to cook using fresh ingredients obtained from our garden. I had some success on our garden this year, with enough greens and snap peas to last us through the summer. We have been enjoying fresh salads consisting of cabbage, Kale, and carrots this fall. Some of the less successful crops this season were the leeks, broccoli, and potatoes. I read that it’s best to plant leeks indoors in the early spring and then transplant as soon as the soil can be worked. I think next year I’ll take this advice more to heart.
My biggest disappointment was my potato crop. Potatoes grow great in Alaska. I’ve usually had good luck when it comes to potatoes. This year I think I didn’t plant them deep enough. This resulted in smaller and not as many spuds. So I have been thinking about what to do with my failed crops. I hate to waste anything so Kim suggested I make a potato leek soup. I thought this was a great idea and decided to expand on it.
This last Saturday I was balls deep in a Law and Order marathon when I got the sudden urge to make some soup. I had a bunch of little leeks, beets, and carrots that I managed to salvage from the garden. These would form the base of my soup. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough potatoes for the potato leek soup that I was craving. I realized I needed something else to make the soup magical. I put some pants on, loaded up the old pom-chi, and headed to the local store.
I ran the gauntlet that we call Foodland, avoiding eye contact with people so I didn’t have to do the dreaded stop and chat. It was during one of these moments that I spotted what I knew would be perfect. Squash!
It’s fall after all. What better way to warm the soul than a hearty cup of squash soup? I carefully picked through the many varieties of squash and stumbled across an orange acorn squash. Just like the Dude, I knew this squash would tie the soup together. I rushed home to begin preparation. The first thing to do when preparing a squash for soup is to cut the ends off and remove the peel using a vegetable peeler. Then carefully cut squash lengthwise and remove middle part making sure to save the seeds for a healthy snack later. Once the squash is de-turded you can begin to make the soup.
-2 tablespoons butter of olive oil
-1 leek chopped into fine pieces
-1 small beet diced
-1 diced carrot
-1 diced celery
-2 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks
-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-3 cloves garlic
-2 sprigs fresh thyme
-Pinch of nutmeg
-1/4 cup fresh basil
-1/2 cup coconut milk
-Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Begin by heating the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until softened, about five minutes or so should do the trick. Then stir in the beets, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, thyme, basil, nutmeg, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until squash is softened about ½ the episode of a Law and Order should do the trick.
2. Once the squash is done remove the pot from heat and discard thyme sprigs and puree soup with an emersion blender, food processor or any old kind of blender. If the soup is too thick, you can always add more stock until you get the desired consistency.
3. Next you add the coconut milk and bring back to a brief simmer and then remove and add salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy your soup with some warm bread and a nice fresh garden salad. I would also recommend this soup on a cold wet fall afternoon while in the midst of a Law and Order Bender. Garnish with fresh basil & enjoy!
Autumn is beginning the ever too quick fast forward in Juneau. The leaves are falling, if not fallen. The chill of winter lingers in the sharp morning air. It’s time to get the house ready for winter: fill the oil tank up, get the flannel duvet out, and cook comfort food.
After over five months, I’m still entirely gluten free. I’ve also miraculously stayed off the coffee. I haven’t fallen into the sweet embrace of cheese again. In fact, the only dairy in my diet is organic low-fat yogurt. What may be the biggest surprise is that I’ve started running. I started the Couch to 5K app on my smart phone a little over nine weeks ago. Yesterday, without being chased by bear, I ran 3.5 miles on my own accord. It’s a little weird to write in my food blog about how much I look forward to running now.
This meal was inspired by a hungry trip to the grocery store after my run yesterday. The trail I ran in the valley is close to a nice market with fresh-ish vegetables and “ethnic” food. In Juneau, Alaska “ethnic” food means in most grocery stores, a single aisle filled with a league of all nations hit list of foods. These ethnic foods may include: curry, Asian noodles, Latin American hot sauce, couscous, hummus, tea, and maybe the odd can of dolmas.
- 1 package of wild yam or rice noodles
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 bunch of green onions, white part finely chopped with green tops reserved for garnish
- 7 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 block of extra firm tofu cubed, to garnish
- 1/2 can of coconut milk
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon of Madras (yellow) curry
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
- sriracha sauce to taste, to finish
- heat a sauce pan of water to boil and cook wild yam or rice noodles for specified time
- in a sauté pan, heat olive oil
- add chopped white part of green onions, shallot, and garlic
- season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and turmeric and cook 3-5 minutes
- add chopped mushrooms, orange pepper, add yellow curry powder, cook another 3 minutes or so
- when noodles are finished cooking, drain (don’t rinse)
- slowly add noodles to large sauté pan with tongs
- add 1/2 can of coconut milk, add a bit more sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- toss noodles and veggies with tongs and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
- plate in a shallow bowl
- garnish with tofu and green part of onions
- add sriracha to your taste
If you don’t have a nut allergy chopped peanuts might also serve as garnish. Fresh cilantro and lemon grass would also work well with this dish. Unfortunately, the market I went to was out of all herbs other than parsley.
Pair this dish with a Czech Pilsner or a Japanese Kirin brew in a tall cold glass for delicious beer fun time!
Grilling season may have come and gone for many of my fellow Alaskan friends. It’s pouring down rain today in Juneau and it doesn’t feel like it’s letting up any time soon. This post may be a little tardy in that regard. For folks living the dream down south, or brave enough to bust out the grill under the cover of driveway or porch, this post is for you.
Some time back, between beginning my Master’s program and working almost full time, our friend Amanda made these delicious foil packs of sweet potatoes and I’ve been meaning to blog about them. It’s a simple enough recipe that requires few ingredients and only 20 or so minutes of grilling time.
- 2 to 3 sweet potatoes (or yams if you prefer)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of cumin
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Make fun little foil packets for your sweet potatoes, folding the edges as shown in the photo above
- Peel & cube your sweet potatoes and group them in a large bowl
- Add olive oil, cumin, sea salt, & pepper and toss potatoes
- Add a reasonable amount of potatoes to each foil wrapper (you’ll probably have about 4 foil packets)
- Poke holes using a fork on the tops of the foil wrappers
- Throw the foil packets on top of the grill, turning a few times, for around 20 minutes
These cumin grilled sweet potatoes are dreamy with grilled chicken, veggie burgers, or vegetable skewers. Happy Eating!
Our garden has been amazing this year – we finally built PVC coverings around our three raised beds. When I say “we” built, I mean Matty built. This is a small garden basket full of haul from this past weekend. We’ve had fresh greens, kale, and sweet peas in our salads for around four weeks now. It’s a blessing to have such an awesome man in my life that can build, grow, and fish.
The other day Matt took his new salmon rod out and caught four pink salmon off the docks near the salmon hatchery in town. Pinks or humpy salmon aren’t considered the best of the best here in Alaska. King salmon, or even white king might be more sought after types of salmon. Honestly, there’s nothing better than pretty much any kind of fresh caught salmon, drizzled in olive oil and grilled up. In abundance, pink salmon is great smoked, or home canned with a pressure cooker.
I’m so busy with school and work right now that most nights I haven’t had much time to cook let alone blog. We were both so tired the other night when I took these garden haul photos. I’ll try to get creative this week, while I have a little time off and make something delicious to write about. I’d like to make some dolmas or some gluten-free Greek food (is that possible)?
I’d love more than anything to some how get out fishing and bring home a big halibut to keep us eating well all winter. My favorite thing in the world right now is smoked halibut, seriously.
I’m just happy to report that operation growing and harvesting our own food is going super well this summer. Here’s another photo of our garden bounty! And yes, miraculously that is an onion ->
Even though I’m still off the hard stuff (gluten, sugar, most dairy). I still occasionally bust out some goodness for friends and co-workers. One of my co-workers told a story about being a little kid and asking for a lemon cake with mint frosting. Her parents tried to explain that it might not be the best tasting thing in the world and ended up making her two cakes for her birthday. One cake was lemon cake with a lemon buttercream frosting and the other was a chocolate cake with mint frosting. I made these mint frosted chocolate cupcakes for my friend’s baby shower last month.
A warning when using peppermint extract: the stuff is strong! Seriously a drop or maybe two will do – mix and taste the frosting to make sure it’s not too strong. I made the mistake of using a quarter teaspoon on this batch and the frosting tasted a little too toothpaste-like. Otherwise these cupcakes were full of awesome.
I have to give a shout-out to All Recipes for the simple chocolate cupcake recipe.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well.
- Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Frost when cool.
Mint Buttercream Frosting:
(Thanks to Big Oven!)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks)
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup of buttermilk
- 1 or 2 little dashes of natural peppermint extract
- a couple of dashes of good old fashion green food coloring
- Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
- Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, food coloring, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.
- Add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency.
Cashews are glorious. Lately my salads have felt a little empty without the sweet comfort of feta cheese. Yes, I’m still on the feta wagon. It’s kind of a miracle, but honestly I feel so much better without the dairy overload. Plus, nuts are good for your heart health – seriously. Check out this article about good fats, omega 3 fatty acids, heart health, and cholesterol via The Mayo Clinic.
Even old Dr. Weil lauds the radness of nuts. Dude, eats a handful a day – the key being moderation in all things, including moderation.
So here’s the run down of these honey roasted nuggets of goodness ->
- 1 1/2 cups of raw cashews (or the nut of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 to 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- heat olive oil & honey in an iron skillet (or whatever other pan you have) on medium heat
- add your nuts, sea salt, pepper & cayenne pepper
- stir well integrating all of the oil, honey, and spice
- cook for around 7-10 minutes stirring consistently, until nuts are covered and deliciously roasted
Serving Suggestion: Put these bad boys out for guests to snack on before dinner, add them to your salad, bring them to work for a healthy snack on the go. You cannot lose at life with these cashews, they’re delicious.
Yesterday was the last day of the 28 day cleanse. Here’s a photo of all the lovely cleanse gals! I’m glad to say that we were able to get together a few days before the cleanse ended and share a delicious meal together.
We had fresh spring king salmon that QBP brought, T. made cashews roasted in a balsamic vinegar reduction with celtic sea salt, Kathy made glorious vegetable skewers and mocktails which I can’t even begin to describe: because they were so good.
Here’s a look at what the spread looked like:
Oh, and we had some smoked salmon that Kathy and Trevor caught, which was of course delicious. I made an interesting quinoa dish with watercress, basil, mint, roasted cashews, and dried cherries. The whole meal worked out so well. The best part of dinner was sitting down with three amazing women who had been going through the same spring cleanse and talking. Everyone’s experience was different but there were similarities in the way that we felt, reacted, and approached the whole darn thing.
I’m not sure I would have made it through the cleanse without being able to talk to my cleanse pals and compare notes. I discovered things like coconut water, soaking nuts over night to make my own nut milk, chia seeds, and more. When the cleansin’ got tough my cleanse pals were there to encourage me to keep going and that made all the difference in the world.
I’m suppose to be gradually reintroducing foods now the that cleanse is complete. I’m thinking I may avoid coffee completely. We’ll see how I hold up but I honestly feel better without it. I’m also holding out on wheat and most dairy products. I feel great right now and I don’t want to mess with a good thing. I learned so much about the way that I eat and how foods effect my body, moods, energy, etc.
Another look at Kathy’s delicious mocktail: 1 lemon juiced, 1 lime juiced, a few springs of fresh basil, a little coconut water, some ice: blender = magic!
Dear Reader, if you’re still reading – I promise that Feedbag will get going back with the recipes and good times. This spring has been hectic but amazing. Summer feels like it’s going to be a good time to get creative in the kitchen and on the grill.
To all my cleanse gal pals: thank you! You’re all amazing women and I was honored to cleanse up the spring with you. ♥