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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pear oatmeal muffins

Pear oatmeal muffins

I was standing in my kitchen tonight, and looking around for ideas.  I came up with the idea that a nice muffin would be easy enough to make.  I could eat these for breakfast, or a snack at night.  Now, you do use brown sugar.  You can sub for whatever you use, just keep in mind, you are not eating the whole recipe (I hope anyways) and so the sugar is distributed and this is a treat, not a meal. (again, I hope)

Here is the ingredients and instructions.
Preheat oven to 375*.

Mix together 2 flax eggs and let sit for 5 min. (flax egg= 2 tablespoons ground flax and 6 tablespoons warm water.  Mix together and let sit)

Ingredients 
Dry
2c whole wheat pastry flour
2c oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 

Wet
1/2c unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2-3/4 cup plant milk (unsweetened)
2 flax eggs
1c brown sugar (if you use liquid sweetener, you may need to increase the flour up to 1/4c to compensate for the extra liquid)
2 bartlett pears, peeled and seeded.  Chop into small chunks, should total about 2 cups when all cut up.  A little more or less will not hurt.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Make sure they are mixed well.  Make a well in the middle, and add all the wet ingredients.  Mix everything together with a wooden spoon,  until it is all smooth. (well, as smooth as you can with oatmeal)
In a muffin pan lined with muffin/cupcake paper, distribute the mix.  I put a large ice cream scoop in each one.  I ended up with 15 muffins. 
I have some course brown sugar, and I sprinkled it on each muffin and some oats.
Place in oven and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Take out of oven and put on cooling rack.  
Let cool until you can touch and enjoy.  Store in an airtight container and enjoy.

When it is all mixed well, 


  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Klunker's green curry paste

Klunker's green curry paste

I have become hopelessly addicted to curries lately.  I cannot get enough of it.  Green, red, Japanese, doesn't matter, I love it all.  I love making my Japanese curry from scratch.  The recipe is here for that.  But I keep buying these little jars of green curry paste from the store.  WHY?  Is it really that hard to make my own?  Well, I had to find out. (The answer is no, it is not hard at all)
From start to finish it took me about 15 minutes.  That was prep and all.  So now, I have this huge bowl of beautiful green curry, and it can be frozen!!!
So here are the ingredients.  Now, the list is long, but the ingredients are easy, and not huge amounts.  It makes a lot of curry too, so you will have a lot to use.

Ingredients:
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 four inch pieces of lemon grass (you will peel the first few layers until you have the tender part, you will only use the bottom 4 inches of the lemon grass)
1 bunch of cilantro, stems and all
2 Anaheim peppers, stems taken off and roughly chopped
4 sirrono peppers, stems taken off and roughly chopped
2 tsp. miso paste
1 two inch nob of turmeric, peeled (or you can use powder if you cant find fresh, then add about 1 full teaspoon)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated 
5 cloves garlic, peeled
peel of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black peppercorn
2 tsp. cumin seed
2 tsp. coriander seed
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons water
The very first thing to do is heat a small pan, over medium heat.  Add the cumin seed, the coriander seed and the peppercorns.  Toast for about 5 minutes, moving the pan all the time.  Take off heat, and add to a coffee grinder and grind into a powder.
Now, in a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients.  Just shove them all in there.  Pour in the water and juice and spices too.  It will fit, just push it down.  
Turn the machine on and blend for a good 5 minutes.  You want to really break everything down good.  Stop from time to time and scrape the sides down, and blend some more.
THAT IS IT!  Now use in your favorite curry recipe, and store the rest in the fridge for a week, or freeze for up to 2 months.
I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I did. :) 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Easy GF rice noodles

Easy GF rice noodles

Well, the title says it all.  I was looking for a simple recipe for rice noodles that I could make at home, that were chewy and delicate.   I am not on any type of gluten free program, but I know many who are, so I wanted to make a recipe that everyone could enjoy.  
I used white rice flour, because that is what I like.  I cannot tell you if brown rice flour would work, but it is worth a try.  If it doesn't, well, there you go. ;)  I would imagine this would work with a few other GF types of flours, it is really just a case of exploring.
For this recipe though, it is white rice flour.  
** Just a side note here.  These are fresh rice noodles, and they will be delicate.  They also will start to break up in soups if you leave them for a long time.  So add them last and be delicate **  

Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour (for chewier texture, use sweet rice flour)
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp. salt

That is all!!!

In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch and salt.  Mix well with your hands or a whisk.
Add the boiling water, and start to mix with a spoon.


The texture will be dry and crumbly, but keep mixing until it is like the above picture.


Now get in there with your hands.  Start to knead it.  It will be a little warm, and a little sticky, but keep going.  You want to knead for about 5-7 minutes, until it is very smooth and all the flour is incorporated.  Then form into a ball.


Place in the middle of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.


Let sit for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, dust your working area with rice flour and start to knead again.  You want to knead for about 10 minutes.  It will still be a bit sticky, but keep going.  Knead away!!  Then, lift up the ball and dust liberally the work surface.  With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle.  You want it to be fairly thin (about the thickness of a good fettuccine noodle)


Now, with a pizza cutter or a good knife, slice the dough into noodles.  Don't worry about perfection, they are homemade!


Let them rest for a few minutes.  While they are resting, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a little salt to the water if you want.
When the water starts to boil, add the noodles.  Treat them with kindness, they can break easy.  Boil for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are all floating.
Remove to a colander and rinse well with cold water.  I like to put into a bowl with icy cold water.  
Drain well and use right away.  
If you are using in soup, add last, right before serving.  If you are doing a stir fry or adding sauce, be gentle and most of all, ENJOY!!!















Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sambal Goreng Tempeh



Sambal Goreng Tempeh

Here is the original recipe that I used as a base.  
http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/sambal-goreng-tempe-fried-tempeh-in-tomato-sambal



I was so thrilled when my friend Ellen requested a new recipe.  I have been on an Asian kick lately, and so anything I can make Asian, well, I jump all over it.   I love spicy food too,  So this was just a good marriage in my book.  
I have only used tempeh two other times, and I was not a fan of it.  It had a nasty bitter taste. But I thought I would give it one more try.  I went on Youtube to see if I could find some secret to getting rid of that nasty, bitter taste.  Also the fall apart texture was not too appetizing to me.  I found out that if you boil the tempeh for 10 minutes, then let it soak in the same water for 5 minutes, the bitter goes away and the texture softens.  All of a sudden I was left with a delightful, nutty and delicious tempeh.  
The original recipe is above, and all credit for the recipe goes there.  I adjusted some things to make it compliant to my way of eating.
Here are the ingredients as I used them. 

Ingredients:

   
1/2 tsp. white miso (this replaces the shrimp paste)
3-5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek (chili paste)
1 red Thai pepper, stemmed and chopped small
1 large roma tomato, chopped 
2 tsp. sweet soy sauce (found in the Asian section of the store)
1 8oz. block of tempeh (the recipe calls for a pound, but I wanted more sauce to tempeh ratio, double the other ingredients if you want more tempeh)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4c chickpea liquid (aquafaba)
Cooked rice to serve on the side


First thing we will do is address the tempeh.
 It comes in many shapes and sizes.  The one I get looks like the above.
Bring a large pot of water (about 8 cups) to a simmer on the stove.
 Add 1 tsp. salt to the water.  When it comes to a simmer, add the block of tempeh.  
 Simmer for 10 minutes, and cut the heat.  Let soak for another 5 minutes.  Then remove from the water and drain.  Cut into bite sized pieces (see the ingredients picture to get an idea)
Place a large, nonstick pan on the stove.  Turn it to medium heat, and let it heat up.  
Add the tempeh slices in one layer. 
 Allow to brown on the first side.  This took about 13 minutes for me.  Then, with a small spatula, turn the pieces.
 Brown on the second side for the same amount of time.  When they are all nice and brown, remove from the pan and onto a plate.  Set aside.
To the hot pan, add the garlic and tomatoes.
 Saute for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down.  Add the sambal, the chopped pepper, miso paste, salt and aquafaba.
Stir well, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium low, and add the sweet soy sauce.
Stir well, and add the tempeh back in.  Stir very carefully so all the pieces are covered well.  Let cook for 5 minutes, to heat the tempeh through.

 Serve right away with a side of rice.
 Garnish with sliced green onions.


I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I did.
Thanks again Ellen for this recipe idea.

 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

3 mushroom stir fry with udon noodles

3 mushroom stir fry with udon noodles

This recipe started out as a quick fix for lunch and my dinner at work.  I had no intentions of posting the recipe.  But, as I ate it, and saw that others were interested, I decided that I would add this to my recipes on my blog.
It comes together quickly, and it has amazing flavor.  The key here is to prep all the ingredients before you start, and then it will go very smooth.

Here are the ingredients before cooking.

Ingredients:

1 cup cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
1 cup of bunapi mushrooms (found at most Asian markets) trimmed and separated 
1 cup large trumpet mushroom (again, found at most Asian markets) sliced thin (matchsticks)
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced
4 oz. of extra firm tofu (I used pre-baked) sliced into bite sized pieces (upper right corner on the above picture)
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 servings of udon noodles, precooked and rinsed in cold water

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (hot chili paste)
2 tablespoons thick soy sauce (found at Asian markets) if you cannot find, use regular soy
2 tablespoons mirin 
1 tsp. maple syrup or brown sugar
Mix together and set aside.

In a wok or large, nonstick saute pan, over medium high heat, add the shallots and garlic.  Saute, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Add the carrots and green onion.  Saute for another 2 minutes, stirring the whole time.  
Next, add your mushrooms and tofu.  Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are wilted.
Add your sauce at this point, and stir in well.  Add the precooked noodles and stir until well combines.  
THAT IS IT!
Garnish with the cilantro and serve hot.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Gnocchi with creamy alfredo sauce


Gnocchi with creamy alfredo sauce

Welcome to the new year.  It is hard to believe it is 2016 already.  My dad used to tell me when I was younger that "time goes faster and faster the older you get".  Well, I am really starting to believe it.  It seems like we just get started and it's over.
I decided that I would start something new on my blog.  I have well over 100 recipes on here, and so I am going to start slowing down just a bit.  I am going to start posting one recipe every Sunday.  It will be a recipe that requires a little more time.  A recipe that would be great for a Sunday dinner, or a special occasion.  Maybe just a day that you have a little more time.  
On this way of eating, we all have busy lives, and so we want to cook fast and easy.  Sometimes that is a baked potato and mustard, or maybe rice and beans.  All good choices, fast and easy during the week is perfect.  But we can sometimes slow down on the weekend. I know that Sunday's are my first day of work, so Saturday is my prep day, and the day I can take a little more time.
This recipe is great for that kind of meal.  It makes a whole bunch, so you will have leftovers, and that is a plus, and if you have a big family, well, they will be fed well.  The recipe is pretty simple, and I have included a lot of pictures to walk you through it.
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did.  My kids and wife like it too, and that is a great thing.
I want to apologize ahead of time, I have not tried this with whole wheat flour or gluten free. If you try it though, please let me know, and I will update the recipe giving you full credit. :) 

For the gnocchi

2 large russet potatoes, boiled, baked or steamed, and peeled.  (do this before you start the recipe)
2 cups + 2 tablespoons for dusting, unbleached flour
1/2-1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. baking powder



For the alfredo sauce

12 oz. frozen or fresh cauliflower
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (optional)
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 cup unflavored plant milk
1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas or any light color bean)

Lets make the sauce first.  It can sit to the side until ready for use.


In a medium saucepan, combine the cauliflower, garlic (leave whole) and water.  Set on the stove and bring to a boil.
When it boils, cover and reduce heat to medium high.  Let boil/steam for 10 minutes or until very tender.
When it is nice and soft, drain and let sit for a few minutes to let all the moisture steam off.
While that is sitting, add the rest of the ingredients into a blender. (milk, aquafaba, spices, nutritional yeast) 
Then add the cauliflower and garlic. Blend on high for 1 minute, or until very smooth.
You can just leave in the blender at this point and put to the side.
Lets make some gnocchi to put this sauce on.

Hopefully you have already cooked your potatoes and skinned them. :)  If not, you'll need to do that.
If you have a potato ricer (and if you do, you'll know what that is) use it to mash your potatoes into a large bowl.  If not, you can use the back of a fork to mash them down until they are smooth.
Then, add your 2 cups flour, salt and baking powder.
With the back of a spatula, or even your hands, start to cut the flour into the potato.  I do this until it is the size of a small pea.  Then, with your hands, gently start to knead the mix until it forms a ball.  Try your best not to compress the dough too much, but you want it to stick together.  When you have the ball of dough nice and firm, set aside and let sit for 5 minutes.
While it is sitting, use your other flour (the two tablespoons) and dust a cookie sheet and your counter where you will be working.
Place your dough in the center of the work area, and cut into 4 pieces.
Work with one piece at a time, and cover the rest.
Roll each piece into a long rope.  It should be about 1/2 inch thick or so.  Cut the rope in half in the middle.
Cut each 1/2 rope.  I do about 1/2 inch thick. (you are going to do this will all the 4 pieces)
Then, turn the sliced pieces on their sides.
Using a fork, dip the fork tines into the flour,
and gently press down on the pieces.  Don't push too hard, just enough to put a groove into them.
Then, move on to the next one.  Repeat this process until they are all done.  
Then put onto your floured cookie sheet.  Do this until you have used all the dough.  
Now, let them sit for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
While they are sitting, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  When it comes to a boil, add a little salt to flavor the water and reduce the heat to medium high, so it is not a hard boil.

Add the gnocchi gently to the water.  It will stop the boil, but just keep adding.  I was able to boil the whole amount, but I had a big pot.  You can do this in two batches though.  
When you put the last gnocchi in, and the water has started to boil again, set your timer for 3 minutes.  
When 3 minutes is up, remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and into a colander.  Let drain for about a minute.
Now, you get to finally add some sauce!
So, in a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the alfredo sauce.  Heat up until hot.
Add the drained gnocchi to the sauce, and gently stir around.  Heat through for about a minute or two.
Serve right away!  
Some variations for this recipe:
Grilled mushrooms, added the same time as the gnocchi to the sauce.  
Marinara sauce with white beans.  This was super good too.

You can freeze the gnocchi, just place them on the cookie sheet as above, but instead of boiling, put cookie sheet in freezer for about an hour.  Then take the frozen gnocchi and put into zip bags and then boil at another date. 
If you do them from frozen, increase the cooking time to 5 minutes. :)
I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as my family and I did.  A little labor, but well worth the effort.