Tuesday, January 20, 2009

quickie

One lonely can of pumpkin puree has been sitting in the cabinet above my kitchen sink since early December, when I did my holiday baking. This evening I finally found a use for it, replacing the two point five bananas in the recipe mentioned here with 15 ounces of pumpkiny goodness. I also added a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of ginger.

The result was tasty but mooshy, despite the fact that the muffins passed the toothpick test. If I were to make this recipe again, I'd cut the pumpkin down to 3/4 of a can (12 or so ounces), and double the ginger.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

duck eggs


There's a little market down the street from my apartment. It's the sort of place that carries fourteen different types of olive tapenade, stocks eight varieties of imported rare mushrooms, and sells only artisinal cheeses. I stop in on my way home from work every now and then when I want something different and a little la-ti-da.

Yesterday evening I brought home duck eggs. Larger than chicken eggs, and with mottled shells, duck eggs have bigger yolks and a slightly higher fat and protein content. There's a hot debate about whether duck eggs are better for baking -- because the whites contain more protein, they create fluffier cakes and cookies. Sounds like a good thing to me, but you can experiment and make the call yourself.

Turns out duck eggs offer health benefits over chicken eggs as well. While chicken eggs are acidic, duck eggs are alkaline. Good news for cancer patients, because cancer cells need an acidic environment to thrive, and duck eggs can help you to alkalize your body.

Monday, January 12, 2009

back in the kitchen!

It's been a loooooong time. Let me explain. Or rather, let me sum up: beginning of last summer, I broke up with the boyfriend, moved out of apartment and into sublet with criminally tiny kitchen. (Seriously, it was smaller than some dining room tables.) Met charming, attractive, available, health-conscious pescatarian. Moved into much nicer apartment (with female roommate, not with Charming Pescatarian) that has a beautiful kitchen, but was so busy enjoying life and running all over New England with C.P. that cooking (and blogging) was moved to the back burner (har har har).

Fast forward several months. C.P. (who is now officially The Boyfriend) is out of town for the evening and my plans with a chick friend fall through. I have three bananas in my kitchen on their last legs. I have flax in my fridge, and a stash of sadly neglected baking supplies. I google "vegan banana flax muffins", and find this recipe. Perfection!

Of course, I can't just bake it as is. I must futz. Here's what I did:

Substitute 1/3 cup organic barley flour for 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, to add a richer flavor
Add 1/4 cup raw cocao powder, because chocolate + banana = bliss
Add an additional 1/2 banana, because I always wish banana bread tasted more like bananas

I left out the walnuts. I don't like nuts in my quick breads.

What I ended up with was a great breakfast muffin. It's decidedly Health Food -- the flax gives it that coarse texture I associate with things that are Good For You -- but it's moist and banana-y and satisfying. I'd make it again.

And I promise to get back in the kitchen more often!

Friday, June 13, 2008

my salad is better than your salad

No really. Go to the store right now and get the following, then come home, put them all together in a bowl, and eat. You can thank me after.

Mixed baby field greens
1 avocado
handful of blueberries
handful of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup or so sprouted green lentils (if you have them on hand)
half a cucumber
2 tablespoons olive oil whisked with 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

when ec doesn't cook

Sometimes life doesn't give you time to spend in the kitchen. Since I don't do fast food, I tend to live off food in bar form when I can't cook. In no particular order, my top five rectangular food choices:

1. Greens+ Chocolate Energy Bar


Ok, so maybe this list is in a particular order -- Greens+ is far and away my favorite of the bar form food group. It's organic, made with gmo-free soy and no sugar, and features a nutrient-rich green superfood blend. Plus, it's coated in chocolate. So really, you can't get better than that.


2. Cliff Nectar Bar


Each Nectar Bar has only five ingredients. Five. That's amazing. Plus they're organic, also made with no sugar, and also taste like chocolate.


3. Lara Bar


Yay raw food! Lara bars are made with 100% raw ingredients, like dates and cherries and almonds. The ingredient lists are even shorter than the Nectar Bars'. Cherry pie is the best, no contest.


4. Organic Food Bar - Vegan


It's exactly that -- an organic vegan food bar. Not as tasty at some of the others, but it's made with quinoa sprouts and flax seed, so it's ridiculously good for you. The vegan bar is also gluten, soy, and peanut free, so it'll work for people with food allergies.


5. thinkOrganic


This bar wins on graphic design alone. Unlike a lot of the other raw organic food bars, the think line of bars has slick packaging that will totally match your Lulu gear. They're also dairy, soy, sugar, and gluten-free.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

summer smoothie


It's just barely spring here in Boston, but the peaches in this smoothie remind me of summer.

In a blender, combine:

3/4 cup frozen peaches
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup rice milk
1 tbsp wheat grass powder
juice of one lemon
squeeze of agave
sprig of fresh mint (if you have it on hand)

Sit on the front porch in your short-shorts and enjoy.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

it's alive!


According to Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen, sprouting beans or grain "greatly increases the nutritional value of these foods and makes them far more digestible because their protein is broken down into amino acids, their starches are changed into simple sugars, and their fats are converted into soluble fatty acids." Sprouting also activates dormant enzymes in the food, which helps your body to digest them.

You can buy bean sprouts at any grocery store. But it's possible to sprout all kinds of things at home -- larger beans, chickpeas, quinoa, millet, lentils, seeds, almonds... basically, if you could plant it in the ground and expect it to grow, you can sprout it and eat it.

For my first attempt, I sprouted some green lentils. The process is simple: Soak the lentils (or seeds, or beans) in a bowl with water overnight. Then drain the water and spread your things-to-be-sprouted on a plate or cookie sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Rise and drain 2-3 times a day until you see green shoots. My lentils took 2 days to sprout; some things take longer, some are faster.

The sprouts were great on their own, and they added a yummy crunch to the recipe below, which I've named "Cali-oa" (pronounced Cali-wah).

1/2 cup sprouted green lentils
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked
1 avocado
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together and serve as a dip with flax seed crackers, or on it's own as a salad.