Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bread and Other Awesomeness

This was an awesome food week!

We started out with some Brown Rice Cereal with Raspberry Coulis. Sounds fance, doesn't it?

It's just leftover short brown rice with some almond milk, agave nectar and pureed fresh raspberries. But it was soooooo good! And a great way to use up leftover rice. Here's a link to a general recipe if you want proportions, etc.

Dinner #1!
I also tackled one of my fears this week - barbecuing pizza. It just always sounded so weird - like why doesn't the dough fall through the cracks?! I just didn't get it. Until I watched this Everyday Dish episode and was shown the light!
We made 2 smallish pizzas - one (pictured) was topped with leftover pesto, leftover grilled portabello mushrooms, sliced tofurkey sausages and fresh garlic. The other was similar but used marinara sauce. They were awesome! I will definitely BBQ pizza again in the future. A great way to enjoy pizza in the summer.

A note on pizza dough: I have been cutting out all the white flour in recipes in a test run of Chile's Discretionary Eating Challenge - and it's been going well so far. Which is why I made this ALL whole wheat flour pizza dough! I basically just replaced the white flour with half bread flour (locally bought when we lived in Michigan!) and some whole wheat pastry flour. I also added a tablespoon or so of vital wheat gluten, but otherwise I just followed a regular old pizza dough recipe with great results. Try it!

And a little dessert...
I also made a batch of Snickerdoodles (from La Dolce Vegan) using all whole-wheat pastry flour. Straight out of the oven they tasted a little wheaty, but the next day I really don't think you could tell a difference at all.

Another dinner - asian style!

Another fabulous stir fry using up bits from our CSA box and farmer's market purchases. This one utilized fresh peas (shelled myself, woo!), piopinno mushrooms, green onions, garlic, ginger, broccoli, fresh noodles and our favorite of all time local Small Planet Garlic & Herb Tofu. A little bragg's and sesame oil and we were good to go.

Dinner #3! Mexican-asian-italian fusion!
So another one of my own challenges to myself is to start utilizing the dry beans we have on hand. They are just so much cheaper than canned, and we are a bean loving family. So I made a batch of adzuki beans, but I seem to always mess them up. I didn't soak them this time (because I read adzuki's don't need to be soaked) but I overcooked them. It was like bean mush; the beans pretty much lost all their integrity. They tasted fine but it annoyed my sense of aesthetics. Grr.

Anyway, I warmed them up later with some sesame oil, braggs, garlic, green onion, and then added julienned chard to wilt at the end. Served over brown basmati rice (which I also kind of messed up. I blame the toddler for this one though!) and topped with chopped fresh cilantro. On the side is a green salad and...

Foccacia! Woo-hoo!!!! I love foccacia and I think I've only made it once before a LONG time ago. It's basically souped-up pizza dough, so I felt pretty comfortable. Again, I used a combo of whole wheat pastry and bread flour with some additional vital wheat gluten and it turned out great. I topped it with fresh rosemary, olive oil and salt, YUM!

Dinner #4: Awesome McAwesome-son!
So I still had the baby fennel problem to deal with. I knew there was a recipe I had made before that called for it (but I had always subbed onions, never being much of a fennel buyer). I found it, switched it up some, and therefore feel ok publishing it here. This recipe is based on one from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet by Didi Emmons.

Isareali Couscous Stew of Joy

1 C Israeli couscous (uncooked)
3 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced in half moons
6-7 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 C julienned chard leaves
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, liquid reserved into a measuring cup
Scant 2 cups veggie broth
1 cup boiling water
3-4 T Yumm Sauce (optional but delicious!)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, fennel, fennel seeds and couscous and sautee for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, see how much tomato juice drained from your tomatoes. It'll be approximately 1/4-1/2 cup. Make up the difference with veggie broth until you have two cups total. Add that and the cup of boiling water and the chard to the pan. Cook, stirring often for about 11-12 minutes.

Add the Yumm Sauce, vinegar and s&p and stir. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve hot with crusty bread!

I also made a batch of Parsley-Tahini Vinaigrette that I learned about from the Vegan Brunch class I took a while back at the Detroit Evolution Laboratory (miss them!). It is soooooo awesome. They are cool with publishing their recipes as long as I attribute credit to them. This recipe is under creative commons by Angela Kasmala.

1 c. oil (olive, sunflower, or grapeseed are all good choices)

Juice of 1 lemon

3-6 cloves garlic

½ c. fresh parsley

2-3 tbs. raw or toasted tahini

2 tbs. brown rice vinegar

1 tsp. each salt and pepper, or to taste

Add garlic to bottom of blender and blend. Add remaining ingredients and pulse a few times to combine.

That's all for now! Right now I've got Fresh Dill and Caraway Seed Rye Bread (longest. name. ever) cooling on the rack, and some chickpeas soaking for our upcoming meals. Stay tuned!


Jenny said...

What yummy looking meals! I have to say though, I was most intrigued by the brown rice breakfast!! I have never tried that, but your's looked awesome!

Chessa said...

jenny - Thanks! Yeah, the brown rice cereal is a nice change from oatmeal - in fact, we kind of prefer it over oatmeal! Try it, it's great. :)

McMama said...

I don't know how you do it, girl. All your cooking, baking, staying sane, and keeping a clean house. TELL ME ALL YOUR SECRETS! :)

Chile said...

Just a reminder - the official sign-up for that challenge will be up tomorrow! Hope you're ready...

jennycestcake said...

That focaccia looks perfect! I am so envious of people who can bake bread. I am so scared by it and any pizza dough I've ever made has been only so-so at best.

Isn't it great that we can blame our toddlers when dinner doesn't turn out the way we planned? ;-)