Sunday, October 31, 2010

Baked Barley 'Risotto'

I hesitate to call this a risotto, as it's not at all traditional.  But I did make it in a similar fashion although I finished it in the oven.  It was fairly decadent for us as I don't cook with cream, bacon or cheese very often. It really was yummy, so I'll be making it again.  I may try using different grains next time, but loved the combination of the smoky bacon and the gooey cheese so I probably won't mess with those!
Here's what I did...

First, I sautéed some sliced onions and sliced double smoked bacon (I trimmed all the fat from the bacon first)

 Then I removed the bacon and onion and added barley and some minced garlic and sautéed this for about a minute (virgin coconut is my oil of choice).  Next I added a cup of white wine and stirred it over low heat until the wine was incorporated.  I then added homemade turkey broth one cup at a time, stirring until each was incorporated and the barley was tender.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet I sautéed some chopped portabello mushrooms.

I stirred everything together, along with a huge bunch of Swiss chard (sliced, washed and dried) and Celtic sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper

I added some cream

Then poured it all into a casserole dish and added slices of gruyere and edam.  Baked it all in a 400F oven for about 30 mins., then completely forgot to take a pic. of the ooey, gooey mixture on a dinner plate!  But it was yummy!! 


Friday, October 22, 2010

Yummy Chocolate Superfoods cake

This cake is an amalgamation of a recipe or two that I've read and a bunch of ideas I've been dying to try out.  I wanted to make a cake without any flour (well, it has 1 tbsp. of ground oats, so I suppose that's oat flour) and with a few superfoods included.  I really didn't expect it to turn out well since it was my first attempt at a cake that I more or less made up, but it worked out really well.  It's almost brownie-like, but with lots of tiny almond chunks in it.  I'm not a fan of the brownie consistency, but I stuck my slice in the freezer for about 20 mins. and it was really delicious!!  Perry and Krestan ate it 'as-is' and loved it.

Here's what I did...
I spread some almonds on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and baked them until golden

Put virgin coconut oil and broken-up 70% cocoa chocolate into a saucepan and melted together gently
Separated 4 eggs and put the yolks into my mixer bowl and whipped until thick

Pitted 2 avocados and added them, along with some Celtic sea salt and vanilla to the egg yolks and whipped further

Put the cooled almonds, oat flour and coconut palm sugar into the food processor

And pulsed until it was fairly finely chopped

Added this and the melted chocolate/coconut oil to the avocado/egg yolk mixture and mixed for another minute

Whipped the egg whites in a clean bowl with some cream of tartar and when stiff, added coconut palm sugar and whipped for another minute

Added the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture

And gently folded the two mixtures together

Poured the mixture into a prepared (greased and parchment-lined) springform pan 

And baked for an hour at 350F

Allowed it to cool in the pan (on a wire rack) and then sliced it open!

Deb's Chocolate Avocado Almond Cake

1 generous cup of almonds
7 oz 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into small pieces
7/8 cup virgin coconut oil
1 cup coconut palm sugar, divided
1 tablespoon oat flour
4 eggs, separated
2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Oil an 8-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.

Bake almonds in a preheated 350F oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes, until golden.  Allow to cool completely.  Add to the bowl of a food processor with 1/4 cup of the coconut palm sugar and the oat flour and pulse until finely ground.

Melt chocolate and coconut oil lightly, stirring until smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar until yolks mixture is quite thick. Add the avocados, vanilla and Celtic sea salt and continue mixing until smooth. Fold in chocolate/oil and nut mixture.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, in small amounts and continue beating until stiff, but not dry. Fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture.  Pour into the prepared springform pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Barley, Kale and White Bean Stew
This was last night's dinner.  We've been eating more meat than usual lately, so I decided I wanted to make something with plenty of veggies, some sort of whole grain and also to use some of the homemade turkey stock I had made the night before.  It turned out really well, made quite rich by the homemade stock.
Here's what I did...
Sliced and chopped 1 onion, then sautéed in coconut oil
Added 8 cloves of chopped garlic and about 3 cups of sliced mushrooms and sautéed for about 5 more minutes
Added 1 cup of pot barley (I prefer this to pearl barley)

And one can of petite-diced tomatoes, some Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 5 cups of the homemade turkey stock (of course veg. stock could be subbed to make it a vegetarian stew) and 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (we like our food fairly spicy)
I drained and rinsed a can of white beans and added those for a little extra protein, then covered and simmered for about 30 minutes, until the barley was tender

Finally, I stirred in about 4 cups of shredded, organic kale and simmered for about 2 mins., just until it was wilted

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quick, Easy and Delicious Oat Spice Cookies
I made these yesterday and they literally took 25 minutes.  I decided I wanted to make a crispy cookie without flour and with some superfoods.  I've been using coconut palm sugar for a little while now and decided to try using it as the only sweetener in these cookies.  It turned out tasting pretty much like I'd used brown sugar.  Here's what I did...

To a mixing bowl, I added 1/4 cup gently melted virgin coconut oil, 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, 1/3 teaspoon Celtic sea salt and one egg
 Added 2 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ginger

Mixed all these ingredients together
Dolloped on parchment-lined cookie sheets and baked for 15 mins. at 350F

 Let them sit on the cookie sheets for a couple of minutes and then removed to cooling trays

Deb's Oatmeal Spice Cookies
1 egg
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (lightly warmed to melt)
1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar
2 cups Rolled oats
1/3 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons Chia seeds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix together all ingredients.  Drop heaping tablespoons onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool on tray for a few minutes before removing to cooling rack.  Once cool, store in an airtight container.

I just made another batch of these cookies with some modifications.  A couple of weeks ago, my Sister told me her friend had bought her a box of mint chocolate Girl Guide cookies and I've been craving them ever since.  Since I don't eat that kind of junk food anymore, I decided to make a healthy version of mint chocolate cookies.  I used this recipe, omitting the ginger and cinnamon.  I added 1/4 cup raw cacao powder, 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs and 2 teaspoons of organic peppermint extract.  They're yummy and definitely hit the spot!! 
 Sorry about the lousy pic.  I took it with my iPhone.

The Lean Green Bean