Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Yesterday I barely had a chance to sit down let alone think about what I was going to make for dinner. Tom left for Seattle early in the morning and didn't get back until we had just finished dinner. After I dropped the girls off at school in the morning I went to the gym to workout. Feeling good, I decided to try a class I had not done before. Body Combat. OK, the name says it all. I usually do the yoga-type classes and so felt somewhat like a klutz in this one. But hey, I did it.
A sauna, a shower, and an errand later, Grace gets picked up from preschool. Home, lunch, boys nap, wrap Lily's birthday presents (she turns 7 tomorrow), pick Lily up from school. Home, nurse the boys, sit down with the kids for a little while.
5pm. Time to make dinner. But what and quick? The kids are hungry. Two minutes later I have a plan.
Chicken & Vegetable Stew with Biscuits.
A few days ago I cooked a whole chicken on the stove to make chicken noodle soup. There was plenty of meat already in the soup when I began to pull the breast meat from the bones so I decided to save it for something else.
I almost always have carrots and celery in the fridge and potatoes and onions in the pantry. If you have chicken or vegetable stock, a little arrowroot powder, and some salt and herbs on hand you are good to go.
From start to finish the whole meal took me 30 minutes to prepare and cook. We were sitting down and eating dinner by 5:30pm! Now I know most of you work or are busy stay-at-home moms that could appreciate a meal like this. A very similar recipe also appears in our cookbook on page 285. We served the stew with some gluten-free, dairy-free biscuits made with sorghum flour.
Combine the stock and arrowroot powder and whisk well. Add this mixture to the pan, cover and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add peas, cooked chicken, and parsley, cover and simmer 5 or so more minutes or until veggies are cooked to your liking. Add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
1. Buy your beans in bulk from a co-op or health food store. If you let your beans sit for too long in your cupboard or pantry they will have a difficult time cooking and may never cook thoroughly. Tom and I did this once with some black beans we had in the cupboard for too long. I had soaked them overnight and then cooked them the next day but after 2 1/2 hours they still were not cooked, just slightly crunchy in the center. So I composted them and threw the rest of the bag into the garden. Pretty soon we had black bean plants popping up everywhere! That Autumn we enjoyed our first crop of fresh black beans! Lily was 2 years old at the time and had so much fun shelling the beans!
2. Sort though the beans and pick out any rocks or shriveled, discolored beans. Place them into a bowl, rinse them and fill the bowl with water. Let them soak for at least 8 hours but no more than a day.
Elimination Diet modification: If you are on Phase 1 of the diet then you can have this recipe as long as you use either mung or adzuki beans in place of the pink beans. For the sauce, omit the lime and peppers, you may need to add extra water.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This bread is dark and rich with a full-bodied flavor. It is excellent toasted and spread with almond butter or pumpkin seed butter.
1 ½ cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
1 package dry active yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
1 teaspoon organic cane sugar or maple sugar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 cups teff flour
½ cup arrowroot powder
½ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
Oil an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan (I use glass).
Place the warm water and teaspoon of sugar into a small bowl (a 2-cup liquid measure works well). Make sure the water is the right temperature. If the water is too cold the yeast will not become active and if the water is too hot it will kill the yeast. Add the yeast and stir. Proof the yeast by allowing it to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. It should become bubbly, if not start over with fresh yeast and water.
In a large bowl, add the teff flour arrowroot powder, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt. Combine the flours with a wire whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk them together as you are pouring to avoid lumps. Continue to whisk for another 60 seconds or so, or until the dough thickens and becomes smooth. You may need to finish mixing this with a large wooden spoon as the teff flour will absorb a lot of moisture.
Transfer dough to an oiled 8 x 4-inch loaf pan using a silicone spatula; shape into a loaf form using the spatula. Place pan, uncovered, in a very warm spot to rise. I like to place boiling water into a 9 x 13-inch pan and then place the bread pan inside of that. Let rise for about one hour or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
After the bread has risen, place pan into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and place onto a wire rack to cool. Wait, if you can, to slice the bread until it has cooled a bit. © Alissa Segersten/Whole Life Nutrition 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Alright, so on the the wrap. The flavor combinations are unusual I know -- arugula, cauliflower, onions, roasted red peppers -- but the contrasting pungent flavors are truly delicious. Each bite is as savory as the last. And for me, maybe one wrap wasn't enough for this hungry breastfeeding mama of twin boys! Yes, I admit, I had two they were so good.
2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons or so extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into chunks
fresh cauliflower, cut into pieces
fresh arugula or any fresh organic green
brown rice tortillas (steamed and still warm)
Monday, March 2, 2009
- Follow the recipe. We tested this a number of ways and found this recipe works perfectly. If you add just a tad bit more liquid you will find your pancakes will stick mercilessly to your pan.
- Be sure to whisk together the dry ingredients well before adding your liquid ingredients.
- It works best if your milk or water is not cold but rather slightly warm (not hot).
- Heat your skillet to the correct temperature for about 3 to 5 minutes before adding anyting to it, not too hot but warm enough to cook them without sticking (I cook mine a notch or two below medium).
- Add a teaspoon or so of oil in between pancakes.
- Most egg-free batters are thicker than pancakes made with eggs so you will need to help your batter spread immediately after pouring it into the hot skillet. Use the back of a spoon or the measuring cup you used to pour your batter into the pan.
Teff, a very small Ethiopian grain, is now cultivated in Idaho. It is rich in minerals, particularly iron. When ground into flour, these minerals become more available. These pancakes will give you staying power until lunchtime, especially if combined with a green smoothie. For more banana punch, try chopping up a small banana and fold it into the batter. Also, now that my twins are eating these (and they can eat a lot) I need to make a double batch.
1 cup teff flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup water or non-dairy milk
¼ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 small banana)
2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar
In a small bowl mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together.
Heat a stainless steel skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a little coconut oil. Drop batter by the ½ cupful onto hot skillet. Flip pancake after tiny bubbles form. Cook for another minute then transfer to a plate. Add about ½ teaspoon coconut oil in between cooking each pancake. © Alissa Segersten 2008 www.nourishingmeals.com