Sunday, April 14, 2019

Having Good Wholesome Fun with Apple Carrot Muffins

There's no denying my senior friends love to have fun, and after a noon water aerobics class, they're ready to eat.  These pretty "carrot" treat bags filled with a zipper bag of mini-muffins might do the trick and bring a smile.  They are 100% whole wheat, have 1/2 the sugar as the original recipe, with extra virgin olive oil as the fat.  Here's how I made them:

Apple Carrot Mini Muffins

(Makes 72)

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Shred peeled carrots and cored apples (with peel) in a food processor.  Squeeze out excess moisture.  (I place the shredded carrots and apples on clean absorbent towels, roll them up and squeeze to remove the moisture).  
1 cup shredded carrots (took 3 medium)
4 cups shredded apples (took 4 medium apples)

In bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs until starting to froth.  Add sugar and honey and beat slightly.
8 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey

Add apples, carrots and oil to mixing bowl and beat slightly.
1 cup olive oil

Add dry ingredients to bowl, mixing only until combined.

Drop by 1 tablespoon scoops into mini muffin pans greased with olive oil spray.  Bake at 375F. for 12-14 minutes.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Picnic Launch 2019

Friday's Stuffed Flank Teriyaki leftovers transformed into a perfect spring picnic entree Sunday.  Today's picnic menu included:
Beef Teriyaki Soup
Onion Bread
Pear Cobbler 

The Stuffed Flank Steak Teriyaki is a family favorite.  I cut a pocket in the flank and stuff with a rice and vegetable filling prior to baking.  The meal features two whole grains (brown and wild rice) with carrots and mushrooms.

Stuffed Flank Steak Teriyaki

(Serves 6)

Cut pocket in flank steak.  Combine soy sauce, oil, molasses, mustard, gingerroot and garlic.  Place meat in shallow dish;  pour marinade into pocket and over meat.  Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
1-1 1/2 pound beef flank steak
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced

In a saucepan, combine water, rice, carrot, mushrooms and parsley.  Bring to a boil.  Cover; reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes.  
1 cup water
2 tablespoon wild rice
6 tablespoon brown rice
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup mushroom, chopped
2 tablespoon parsley, snipped
1/4 cup onion, diced

Drain meat, reserving marinade.  Stir 1/4 cup marinade into rice mixture.  Place flank steak in a foil lined baking dish.  Fill steak pocket with rice mixture.  Pour rest of marinade over steak.  Cover entire pan with foil.  Bake in 350 F. oven for 2 hours, turning steak over after 1 hour.

With an electric knife, slice meat across the grain.  Serve with juices.

The onion bread recipe makes 2-8 inch round breads.  To make the individual bread rounds, I portioned 1/4 cup scoops of dough into rounds and baked on a hot stone.  The recipe makes 10 individual rolls.

Onion Bread

(Makes two 9-inch rounds)

Mix dry ingredients in mixer bowl.  Heat water to 115 F.  With dough hook in place, gradually add water to dry ingredients in bowl.
1 cup warm water 
2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour.
Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Beat 2 minutes at low speed.

Gradually add remaining flour, kneading with electric mixer on a low speed.  Mix until dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
Turn dough into a bowl sprayed with Pam.  Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Divide in 2 pieces.  Pat each piece into a 9-inch cake pan sprayed with Pam.

Melt buttery spread.  Brush on top of each dough round.  Pat diced onion into tops of dough.  Sprinkle with salt and paprika.
3 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2/3 cup onion, diced
Dash salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Bake at 450F 20 minutes.

Our picnic today was at Watters Smith State Park near Lost Creek, West Virginia.  They added several new picnic tables to ring in the new season.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Cookbook Review: Gluten-free Instant Pot

The recipes include a nice variety of whole grains and protein foods (meat, poultry & seafood) and some vegetables (though not a lot).  The recipes taste good, the appearance of the finished products were "fair".  I am now convinced-there are some items better baked in the oven or on stove top.  (Meatballs and grits, for example).  And the overall timeliness of foods cooked in the "instant" pot are average and do not always take less time.

Millet cooks fine in the instant-pot.  The Greek Millet Salad is pictured above.  (Though millet cooks is the same amount of time on stove-top.

I enjoyed the Maple Millet Porridge (pictured above).

The grits mixed in a dish and lowered into the pot did not work, yet the seafood tomato mixture in this Shrimp and Grits recipe was very tasty.  (I'll stick with cooking grits on the stove-top).

The recipe for the Teriyaki Meatballs was very tasty.  I cut the soy sauce, salt, sugar and honey back as the original recipe contained more than the recommended amounts of sodium and added sugar for adults.  

The Beef Sorghum recipe worked just fine. It's good to encourage this whole grain in lieu of gluten containing grains or refined pastas used in many other recipes.

Finally, I did not like how the recipes were often printed on the front and back of the pages in the cookbook which meant turning the pages while hands were busy preparing the product.

For recipe ideas and finding new whole grains-this is a good reference.

Thank you Quarto Group for the complimentary review copy.  The above post and pictures are my own.  I received no other compensation for this review, other than the pleasure of an enjoyable read and eating experience!

The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook

Revised & Expanded
The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook, Revised & Expanded (Harvard Common Press / March 26, 2019 / US $24.99) brings you 100 creative and colorful ways to cook gluten-free meals with a maximum of speed, convenience, nutrition, and flavor. the millions of people who, by doctor's orders or by choice, must exclude or limit gluten in their diets, finding Instant Pot recipes has been a huge challenge. This timely book, now in an expanded edition with 50 new recipes and color photographs, solves the problem. Its recipes focus on dishes that are the most problematic for gluten-sensitive cooks, such as main-course dinners that typically have a grain component, as well as breakfasts and desserts, which also usually have wheat or gluten. In their place, The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook offers up tasty and creative gluten-free alternatives that cook up fast and delectably in the pressure cooker. Everyone in the household will love these dishes, even those who are not eating gluten-free.

From hearty breakfast dishes like Creamy Poblano Frittata or Caribbean Breakfast Burritos, through substantial and warming soups like a Creamy and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup or a Pumpkin Black Bean Chili, and crowd-pleasing dinner dishes like Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast, Gluten-Free Lasagna with Meat Sauce, and Pork Tenderloin Marsala with Wheat-Free Pasta, these are spectacular recipes that cook up lightning-fast in the electric pressure cooker.

The Instant Pot and its cousins are also surprisingly powerful tools for making desserts, and the offerings here—all completely gluten-free—including Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding, New York Style Cheesecake, Double Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake, and a scrumptious Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake.
Jane Bonacci is the founder and author of The Heritage Cook food blog and coauthor of The Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook. She is an expert in gluten-free baking and cooking, as well as a professional food writer and recipe developer, editor, and tester. She lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sara De Leeuw is a culinary instructor, professional recipe tester/developer, and a freelance writer. She is the founder of the food blog My Imperfect Kitchen, where she shares that while life isn’t perfect, it should always be delicious! When not in the kitchen, Sara teaches private cooking classes and hosts live public cooking demos. She lives with her husband near Los Angeles, California.
The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook, Revised & Expanded 
By Jane Bonaci & Sara De Leeuw
Publishing: March 26, 2019 | ISBN: 9781558329522
$24.99 US · $32.99 CAN · 224 pages · Trade/Paperback
Harvard Common Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group