Monday, December 30, 2019

Rachael's Cauliflower Feta Soup

This Rachael Ray soup recipe is a simple and delicious way to use that white head of "cabbage with a college education". The soup has just 5 ingredients and takes less than 45 minutes to prepare. It's a good source of calcium and Vitamin C. The pomegranate arils are a festive "extra" though quite tasty even when heated in the soup.

Cauliflower Feta Soup

(4 servings: about 1 cup each) 

Over medium heat, saute cauliflower and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cloves garlic

Add stock.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 20 minutes.
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock

Stir feta into soup.
1 1/4 cups reduced fat feta cheese
Puree soup in blender, 2 cups at a time.  Remove center of blender lid to blend.  Cover lid with a clean cloth to prevent splashes.

If desired, garnish with pomegranate seeds
Pomegranate arils

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Power Cooker Brazilian Beans & Brown Rice

It's already a powerful combination of fiber rich and anti-inflammatory foods. Cooking this recipe in a multi-functioning pressure cooker saves time and equipment. In just a little over an hour, the vegetables were sauteed, beans and rice cooked and sauce infused into the flavorful meal combo. Here's how I did it:

Brazilian Beans with Brown Rice

Serves 4

Saute peppers, celery, carrots, onion and garlic in olive oil 5 minutes.
1/4 cup sweet red and orange peppers, seeded and diced
1/4 cup celery with leaves, diced
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoon onion, diced
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

Add spices. Stir and cook 1 minute. Cancel saute function.
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon coriander

Add beans, brown rice, broth and bay leaf. Lock lid on cooker. Cook at medium pressure for 30 minutes. Release pressure and remove lid.
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1/2 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup brown rice
1 bay leaf

Remove bay leaf. Stir in molasses, tomatoes, paste, juice and apricots. Heat and stir (I chose the saute function for 5 minutes).
2 tablespoon tomato paste
4 teaspoon black strap molasses
1/3 cup diced tomatoes in juice
3 tablespoon orange juice
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced

Friday, December 6, 2019

Baking with Sourdough Starters and Sprouted Wheat

At the Food and Nutrition Conference 2019, research was presented on the impact of wheat sensitivity in modern wheat. In Dr. Lisa Kissing Kucek's paper evidence is presented that demonstrates germination and fermentation can effectively alter some immunioreactive components. While I do not have any food sensitivities, I continually experiment with many whole grains, grinding my grains-many from local farmers-in my counter top flour mill and experimenting with methods of preparation.

For nearly half a year, I create a baked product with my sourdough rye starter weekly.  That's my sourdough apple pie pictured above. 

This week I sprouted wheat berries and ground them into flour. While I am very concerned about damage to my counter top flour mill (the instruction book clearly states do no place wet grains into the mill), I first contacted the mill maker.  They replied to just let the grain start to sprout.  Do not let the sprouts get large and green.  

To sprout, I placed the berries in a canning jar, poured warm water over and soaked for 8-12 hours. The next day, I cut a piece of cheesecloth to cover the mouth of the jar. Then I secured that cheesecloth with a jar lid band and poured the water out through the cheesecloth.   Then I inverted the jar, covered it, storing another 8-12 hours at room temperature. I filled with warm water, emptied it and inverted the jar just until it started to sprout. That process only took 2 days. 

These pictures are from my mung bean sprouting days, but the method is similar:

Pour warm water over. Soak for 8-12 hours.
Cut a piece of cheesecloth to cover the mouth of the jar. Secure with a jar lid band. After seeds have soaked for 8-10 hours, pour water out through the cheesecloth. 
3 times a day, pour room temperature water over the beans.
Shake beans in water. Drain water through the cheesecloth top.
 Invert the jar to thoroughly drain the water.
Cover the upright jar and store at room temperature.
Small white sprouts grew in just 2 days.  At that point I dehydrated the beans in my counter top dehydrator for 6 hours. Because the beans would have fell through the spaces on the trays, I first covered the trays with cheesecloth.  My convection oven has a dehydrating function, but it is too hot at 150 F.  I ground the sprouted beans in my counter top flour mill after they cooled slightly.They smelled heavenly!
Here's what I made with the sprouted berries:

Sprouted Wheat Pumpkin & Gingerbread

(Serves 16)

In bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs and brown sugar while gathering other ingredients.
2 eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spice.
1 1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Mix pumpkin, applesauce, ginger and oil.  Alternately add to mixing bowl with dry ingredients. Mix only until combined.
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (my home canned applesauce has cinnamon and nutmeg)
2 ounce olive oil
1/4 cup candied ginger, minced (here's the link for my candied farm fresh ginger)

Pour batter into loaf pan greased with olive oil spray.

Bake at 350F for 40 minutes until pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on rack 10 minutes.  Invert pan, removing loaf and allow to cool before slicing.