Friday, April 22, 2016

Cake for breakfast

I had a good week - a really good one that I have to tell everybody about. I actually managed to read a book- which was not a cookbook, not a young adult novel, not a graphic novel. It is called 'The Free' and is written by Willy Vlaughtin. The book talks about war by following the lives of people that are indirectly impacted by it. The writing is simple; no convoluted sentences and so moving. There is a beauty in the simplicity. The book will leave you moved and filled with hope.

And then I  fed my family cake for breakfast.
 Whoever came up with the concept is a genius. Bake a cake in a loaf pan, call it a bread and you get to eat it for breakfast.
This ginger loaf falls into that category.  If you have the patience you could bake it in a muffin pan. It is not too sweet and has the warming heat of ginger.

Ginger loaf - adapted from Orangette

I have adapted the instructions to make this a one bowl + 1 skillet cake

One (~3-ounce) piece of unpeeled ginger root to make a heaping 1/4 c of chopped ginger
 ¾ cup  sugar
 2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
 1/2 cup olive oil
  1 1/4  cup non dairy milk + 2tsp apple cider vinegar
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 ½ tsp. salt
 ¾ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Heat oven to 375 deg F
Grease a loaf pan with olive oil

Chop the ginger finely(should look like rice grains) either by hand or in a food processor. If you are using a food processor; remember to pulse. You don't want ginger puree.

Measure out 3/4 cup of sugar into your mixing bowl. Take out a couple of tablespoons and combine it with the ginger in a skillet (or if you are feeling lazy, use the microwave). Cook on a low flame till the sugar liquifies and turn off the heat.
Zest the lemons/ lime into the mixing bowl and rub it in with a fork, and inhale...aromatherapy.
Add the oil, the milk+vinegar and whisk really well.
Now measure and dump the flour on top of  the whisked liquids.
Add the salt, baking powder and the baking soda and distribute in the flour. Mix with the liquid ingredients  just until blended.
Add the ginger and give it one final whisk
Dump into greased loaf pan
Bake for 35 to 40 mins.

Cool in pan for 10 mins and then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Brew yourself a cup of tea and cut a slice and enjoy.

Use part or all whole wheat flour - if using all whole wheat; up the milk by a quarter cup
Oil - Olive oil imparts a lovely taste; but vegetable or canola oil works fine too
Sugar - Turbinado gives the best results. White is ok too. Next time I am trying it with Jaggery.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Edamame dip

Happy spring everyone! I realize this blog has a lot of recipes for dips and spreads. This is my contribution to lunch in our household.
Today I have a recipe for a smooth, vibrant and herb laden edamame dip. It comes together pretty easily and is versatile too.
Dip for Pita Chips or veggies, sandwich spread or toss with cooked pasta for a quick lunch.

Makes enough to fill a 12 oz container
1/2 bag  frozen shelled  edamame(the standard is a 12 oz bag)
1 clove garlic 
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
6 to 8 stems of coriander 
4 stalks of green onion, green parts only
Juice of a line
1 tbsp olive oil
some water at room temperature

Take the edamame in a microwave safe bowl. Peel the garlic and nestle it in the bowl underneath the edamame. Add a couple of splashes of water. Microwave for a couple of minutes until it is cooked.
Pulse the edamame, lime juice, herbs, salt and coriander powder in the bowl of a food processor stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Trickle in water a tablespoon at a time through the feed tube until the consistency is fairly smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse a couple more times to finish.
Keeps for a week to 10 days covered in the refrigerator. Can be frozen. Thaw in the fridge to defrost and stir.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Sunday tradition

If doing something three times counts as a tradition; we have a new tradition in our house. Sunday nights are becoming soup/stew nights with home made bread. I resolved to tackle my fear of bread making this year and turned to Vaishali of Holy Cow for advice. Of all the recipes she suggested I could start with; the no knead version appealed the most to me, Her versionis for the slightly more experience baker; so I turned to Google and the library and decided to tackle Jim Laheyy's no knead bread. I have made it twice in a dutch oven and once in a bread tin.
And there is always soup or a stew. Always made in a pressure cooker while the bread cools. It is easy, wholesome and warms your whole being. I make it with whatever veggies I have on hand and throw in a lentil and a grain to make it hearty.

Last Sunday I made it with Kale, wildrice and french lentils.  Here is the recipe. What food traditions do you have or want to make for your family.

Kale, wild rice and lentil soup
1 white onion sliced thin
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 yellow bell pepper or 3 minis
2 Roma tomatoes roughly chopped
1 can diced tomato 
*1 tablespoon Yellow pepper paste (Aji amarillo paste - found in most Mexican/Latin American grocery stores)
2 bay leaves
1 bunch kale de-stemmed and chopped into ribbons
1/3 c of french lentils
1/3 c of wild rice

2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Red wine vinegar, Cayenne pepper and Olive oil for garnishing

Heat a couple of tbsp of  oil in a pressure cooker. Add the sliced onions and the bay leaves and fry until the onions become transparent and take on a bit of color. Add the garlic, bell pepper and the yellow pepper paste and continue cooking till the garlic becomes aromatic. Dump the kale in and cook till it wilts. 
While this is cooking, wash the wild rice and the lentils and drain. Add to the pot and stir to coat in the onion kale mixture.
Add the fresh and the canned tomatoes, a teaspoon of salt and  water as needed so that the liquid level is at least 1.5  inches above the other ingredients.
Close the lid, place the weight on the cooker and cook for 5 whistles. (Or follow the instructions for your pressure cooker)
Once pressure has released, taste and adjust with red wine vinegar, salt, cayenne powder and olive oil

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