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mel and ligda’s healthy black beans

May 6, 2018

thanks mel, for sharing your family’s black bean recipe!

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soak black beans overnight.

add beans and fresh water to a pot on low heat, or a slow cooker.

in a blender, add one green bell pepper, a half of an onion, a bunch of cilantro, and a bunch of parsley.

when blended, add to beans, with salt and pepper.

the longer it simmers, the better. like a black bean soup when first cooked, but beans freeze well to be eaten later with cilantro rice.

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thanks so much to mel for sharing their venezuelan mom ligda’s black bean recipe! ❤

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healthy arugula and sunflower seed vegan sandwich spread

May 3, 2018

i have been on a sandwich kick lately, since i have been baking bread for the first time in a while.

i tried this recipe from leanjumpstart for a cress and sunflower seed sandwich spread.

the recipe calls for:
a splash of water
about a cup of sunflower seeds
a tablespoon of lemon juice
a “bed” of cress
pepper to taste

mixed in a blender and ready to eat.

my recipe:
i added a cup of sunflower seeds, a splash of water, and a ton of lemon juice. then i added a few handfuls of locally grown arugula, because there was no cress at the co-op.

things it’s been amazing in so far:
– tastes like pesto when added to tomato sauce
– tastes creamy on a sandwich with tomatoes and goat cheese and a little mayo-based sandwich spread (mayo, fresh lemon juice, steak seasoning, roasted garlic, a splash of worcestershire, and horseradish mustard) and it was great
– tastes like sour pine nuts mixed into hummus or used as a dip

on its own, it tastes like sour sunflower butter, so it seems like a great way for vegans and athletes and dieters to get some extra protein and a nice kick of sour flavor.

ideas i had for it?
– sandwich spread with roasted red peppers
– caprese sandwich with tomatoes and basil, or goat cheese
– spread on bread with sharp cheddar for grilled cheese
– scooped onto a salad in clumps, like vegan ricotta, on a salad with nuts and dried fruit
– creamed up and added to coconut vegan yogurt, it would make an unbelievable vegan dipping sauce for spicy vegetables
– as a savory note added to some vegan sauce

if you want the world’s creamiest texture you may need an expensive (or at least effective) blender, but a used cheap blender makes a nice texture, partially crunchy and partially creamy, thicker than thick store-bought hummus, which some might find meaty and fun and others might find annoying and seedy. for a vegan sandwich i think the texture it adds is really interesting. i like it. i like it a lot more than i thought i would, and i have been putting it in everything.

as a meat eater i think it would go great with chicken salad with spinach, green apple, and dill on a sweet whole wheat bread.

thanks to leanjumpstart: simply clean eating habits to get in shape for your recipe “garden cress sunflower seeds spread”

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lemon muffins

April 30, 2018

this is my new go-to recipe to bake little cakes to celebrate for a picky crowd. check out the original on the blog “my recipe confessions”.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk (I used home-cultured kefir)

1/2 cup of sour cream

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tsp. of fresh ginger, minced

Zest of 2 lemons ( about 2 tbsps.)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

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mix flour, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. set aside.

in a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

beat in the eggs one at a time.

add the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger, and lemon zest.

mix half of the flour into the butter mixture. add buttermilk/kefir. add remaining flour and mix only until flour disappears.

pour mixture into greased cupcake trays for small cakes, or a bundt pan for a big cake.

bake at 325 for about 25 minutes for muffins, about 70 minutes for a cake, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without crumbs.

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made these for my last day of poetry workshop, as a treat. they came out great. they came up when i searched for a “lemon bread recipe,” but it’s definitely more like cake. i added extra zest, which is inadvisable – they were super sour, but definitely still great. everyone loved them. i recommend a dark colored muffin tin, because the caramelized sides were much crispier in that pan than in the light colored pan, and those crispy edges were the best part. fill up the tins three-quarters full. lemon muffins – easy way to impress.

thanks to my recipe confessions for this recipe for “italian lemon pound cake”

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baked brown bread

April 26, 2018

another gem from the Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads! he says this is just the same as boston brown bread, but baked instead of steamed in a coffee can.

1/2 cup yellow or white cornmeal
1.5 c all purpose flour
1 cup each rye and whole wheat flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (note: do not use this much if using a sweetened molasses)
1 cup molasses
2 t each baking soda and salt
2 c buttermilk, or homemade kefir, or milk thickened with lemon juice
1 c broken walnuts

9″ or larger dutch oven or equivalent covered casserole, greased

to a large bowl, add the cornmeal, rye, whole wheat, and all purpose flours. add brown sugar, molasses, baking soda, and salt. pour in buttermilk and mix well. stir in walnuts.

pour mixture into dutch oven. cover. DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN. when dutch oven is inside your cold oven, turn it on to 350 and bake for about an hour. test for doneness like brownies: stick a toothpick or wood skewer into the middle and if crumbs cling to the toothpick, cook the bread longer.

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from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads

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wow! not sure how this would taste without the weird local sorghum molasses i used, which is heavily sweetened (but was the only choice of molasses under $8 at the co-op, haha). if you are using some molasses like this, cut down on the sugar by quite a bit. this came out as sweet as banana bread. the rye flour and whole wheat flour are almost undetectable – at least, when masked by that much sugar. this recipe makes one giant loaf of beautiful brown bread. i’ll cut this loaf in half next time because it was enough to eat every day for a week and still give half away. everyone who tried it loved it. if you don’t feel like steaming your bread in a coffee can, and you have a big dutch oven, and you want something almost like banana bread but not quite, give this a try!

next time, i will
– add the whole cup of walnuts
– cut the recipe in half
– cut down the brown sugar or use unsweetened molasses

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english oatmeal bread

April 23, 2018

thanks so much to Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads – my new favorite bread book! if you have a favorite bread book, leave it in the comments!

2 cups rolled oats / oatmeal
2 cups milk
1 package yeast
2 T butter, room temperature
2 t salt
1 c whole wheat flour
2 c bread flour or unbleached flour
1 egg, beaten, mixed with 1 T water

(this makes 2 loaves; cut in half for one loaf)

soak oatmeal in milk for 2 hours

stir yeast into oatmeal mixture, add butter, salt, and whole wheat flour. beat by hand 100 strokes or in an electric mixer at medium speed. add 1/2 c white flour and continue beating for two minutes.

stir in balance of flour, 1/2 c at a time. the dough will be a rough, shaggy mass that cleans the sides of the bowl. if it is slack and moist, and sticks to the fingers, sprinkle with a little extra flour. (NOT TOO MUCH – I ADDED TOO MUCH!)

knead 8 mins. “occasionally change the kneading rhythm by raising the dough above the table and crashing it down hard against the surface. wham!

place dough in mixing bowl and pat with buttered fingers to keep the surface from crusting. cover the bowl and rise to twice its original size, about 1.5 hours. or poke – dent remains when dough is risen.

punch down, shape into two loaves. second rise: til doubled, about 45 minutes.

brush tops with egg wash and/or sprinkle with oats on top.

preheat oven to 400 20 mins before baking

bake in the hot oven 30 mins, reduce heat to 350, and continue baking another 20 to 30 minutes

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thanks again to Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads for this great recipe – i really recommend this book for anyone who wants three hundred new recipes to try!

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i made every possible user error with this bread. my yeast was dead, so it didn’t rise, and i added way too much flour to the dough. it was still edible despite its outerworldly denseness, so i’m definitely going to give this another shot with some living yeast soon.

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latkes

April 21, 2018

Found my old recipe journal. This one said only, “latkes: 2 eggs, 1 small onion, 1.5 lb. veggies –> 3 potatoes: 1 onion: 1 egg: 2 T. flour”

I’m going to try to interpret that into a recipe here….

1. Grate 3 potatoes (or a combination of beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips.. for a total of 1.5 lbs)
2. Make your least favorite person grate one small onion, or half a large onion, because it will burn their eyes.
3. SQUEEZE the mixture and discard the liquid. This will make a much better texture in your latke.
4. Combine these in a large bowl with an egg, 2 T. flour (all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mixes are fine,) and a lot of salt and pepper.
5. Heat canola or vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Smash latkes thin in the pan so they cook all the way through. Flip when you notice a little brown crust. If they stick, let them sit longer, or turn the heat up a bit.

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This is my classic, go-to latke recipe. I don’t make them a lot anymore, because they’re more effort than crunchy-top bleu cheese mashed potatoes or kartoffelsalat. But there’s something really special about a good potato pancake. If this is too basic for you, or not fun enough to say, try zachary’s falafelatke, a chickpea and potato pancake with a very fun name.

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springtime niçoise style salad

April 14, 2018

niçoise salad is amazing and versatile. ever tried it with asparagus? i can’t get fresh green beans in april, so i made an asparagus niçoise style salad for the spring.

the best part is, none of these ingredients are necessary. any leftover vegetables would be great in here. swap out whatever you have or don’t have, and build your dream salad. it’s a great way to use leftover boiled potatoes.

– 1 bunch asparagus
– medium-boiled eggs (the internet said 7 minutes for medium-boiled eggs. but they came out soft-boiled. delicious but not the same.)
– diced artichoke hearts
– chopped olives (use what you have in the house; they don’t have to be nicoise olives)
– leftover boiled potatoes (i used purple fleshed potatoes that were on sale at the co-op and they were beautiful contrasted with the bright green asparagus and bright yellow yolks)
– (optional: tuna or anchovies, if you eat fish)

dressing:
dijon mustard
apple cider vinegar
a few pinches of minced onions or garlic
any fresh herb you have in the house
pinch of salt and pepper

roast asparagus in olive oil on 425 until it cooked but still crunchy, just eight minutes or so

cut everything into bite-sized chunks, like for potato salad or egg salad, top with vinaigrette, and serve.

don’t be constrained by this recipe. get creative! next time, i’d love to add some radishes for crunch. epicurious says to add raw red and yellow bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, and tons of parsley. david lebovitz uses fresh cucumbers, fresh fava beans, fresh basil, and a half a head of lettuce. others call for capers, celery, salmon and sugar, baby beets….

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recipe modified from all the recipes cited above, created by friedsig, and, mostly inspired by this bon apetit recipe that planted itself into my subconscious

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artichokes and asparagus are two of my favorite foods. here you can eat them at the same time!

it’s nice to have a new quick lunch for the week with just a little weekend meal prep. if you make the vinaigrette and roast the asparagus and boil the potatoes and eggs on a weekend, you can construct this salad in five minutes. also, a great seasonal salad: use tomatoes and cucumbers in an august salad, and asparagus and radishes in an april salad. it’s also nice to have a unifying theme, and feel like, “i am eating nicoise salad,” and not, “i am eating this hastily assembled pile of leftovers”