Friday, August 3, 2012

New Recipes from This Week

I'm trying the "eating clean" approach.  I know that realistically this isn't going to happen 100% of the time.  I want to be able to go out to eat with my husband without worrying about all the ingredients of food.  I'm a stay at home mom so I figured that it should be pretty easy to follow the clean eating principles.  In a nutshell, clean eating is food that comes from the ground or has a mother.  No processed foods.  If you want to learn more about eating clean, check out "Eating Clean for Dummies."

Moving on...

Here are some recipes I tried or kind of made up this week:

Whole Grain Toast with Soft Cheese Spread and Raspberries (from "Master Your Metabolism" by Jillian Michaels)

Serves 1

1/2 ounce of part skim ricotta cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1 slice whole-grain bread
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 teaspoon of honey

Mix ricotta, yogurt, and pepper.  Toast the bread and let it cool slightly.  Spread the yogurt mixture on the toast.  Place the raspberries in a single layer over mixture and smash down with a fork.  Serve

(*Note:  I've done this with just the yogurt and without the ricotta before and it is still good)

Oatmeal-Apple Balls

1/4 cup instant oatmeal
1 tablespoon boiled or roasted quinoa
1/6 apple, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon honey

Mix all ingredients and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Makes three.  The nice thing about these balls is that you could use really anything in them such as protein powder, raisins, chia seeds, dark chocolate chips, etc.

Lentil Soup  adapted from

3 full size carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can of canned tomatoes, drained or two small, diced tomatoes
1 pound of lentils, uncooked
2 quarts of chicken broth
cumin to taste
salt to taste
olive oil

Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a pot.  Put in onions, carrots, and celery and cook on medium heat until onions are see-through. Add in remaining ingredients; stir.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook on low until lentils are the desired softness (about 35-40 minutes).  Put in blender and food processor until you have your preferred consistency.  Serve.

(*This makes a pretty large amount.  It fed Brian and I three times.  Whatever you don't eat the first time, you can even freeze for another time.  You could even make this up just to freeze to have on hand for a quick dinner.)

Whole Wheat Bread takes 2 days to make.  makes one loaf
(I just copied and pasted the recipe from the internet and it is obviously not American, but if I can figure it out, so can you!)

Day 1: Soaker and biga, 20 minutes set up and mix, overnight autolyze.
Day 2: 2 hours dechill biga, 12-15 mins mixing, 2-3 hoiurs fermentation, shaping, proofing: 40 – 60 mins baking.
1 3/4 cups (226g) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon (4g) salt
3/4 cup+ 2 tablespoons (198 ml) milk, buttermilk, yogurt, or soymilk

1. Mix all of the soaker ingredients together in a bowl for about 1 minute, until all the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough.
2. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (if it will be more than 24 hours, place the soaker in the refrigerator, it will be good for up to 3 days, Remove it 2 hours before mixing the final dough to take off the chill).
1 ¾ Cups (227g) whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon (1g) instant yeast
¾ cup (170ml) filtered spring water, at room temperature (21c)

1. Mix all of the biga ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. Using wet hands, knead dough in the bowl for 2 minutes to be sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated. The dough should feel very tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead it with wet hands for 1 minute. The dough will become smoother but still be tacky.
2. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days
3. About 2 hours before mixing the final dough, remove the biga from the refrigerator to take off the chill. It will risen slightly but need not have risen significantly in order to use it in the final dough.

429g soaker (all of the above)
398g biga (all ov the above)
7 tablespoons (56.5g) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon (5g) salt
2 ¼ teaspoons (7g) instant yeast
2 ¼ tablespoons (42.5g) honey or sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter, melted or vegetable oil

1. Using a metal pastry scraper (or blunt knife), chop the soaker and the biga into 12 smaller pieces each (sprinkle some of the extra flour over the pre-dough to keep the pieces from sticking back to each other).
2. If mixing by hand, combine the soaker and biga pieces in a bowl with all the other ingredients except the extra flour and stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands until all of the ingredients are evenly integrated and distributed into the dough. It should be soft and slightly sticky; if not, add more flour or water as needed. If using a stand mixer, put the pre-dough pieces and all of the other ingredients except the extra flour into the mixer with the paddle attachment (preferable) or dough hook. Mix on slow speed for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together into a ball. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, occasionally scraping down the bowl, for 2-3 minutes, until the pre-doughs become cohesive and assimilated into each other. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.
3. Dust a work surface with flour, then toss the dough in the flour to coat. Knead by hand for 3-4 minutes, incorporating only as much extra flour as needed, until the dough feels soft and tacky, but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.
4. Resume kneading the dough for 1 minute to strengthen the gluten and make any final flour or water adjustments. The dough should have strength and pass the windowpane test, yet still feel soft, supple and very tacky. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it is about 1 ½ times its original size.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into either a loaf pan shape. Place the dough in a greased 4 x 8 ½ inch bread pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (I put the pan into big plastic bag), and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it about 1 ½ times its original size.
6. Preheat the oven to 218c (425). Reduce temperature to 177c (350) and bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the loaf is rich brown on all sides, sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.
7. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow it to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

***NOTE:  This bread is dense.

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