Friday, March 18, 2011

Bean and Tuna Spread/Dip/Sandwich Filling

A filling and tasty dip.  Good with crackers, with veggies or on a sandwich.

1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 can tuna
1 (15oz) can white northern beans (or other white creamy bean)
Garlic powder or minced garlic cloves
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Cut carrot and celery into chunks and toss in the food processor and pulse until chopped finely, but not pureed.  Scoop out and place in a bowl with drained tuna.  Puree up the beans and garlic cloves until smooth and add in a thin stream of olive oil while the machine is running to help emulsify the bean puree (like making hummus).  Add the pureed beans to the tuna and veggie mixture and salt and pepper to taste.  Spread on crackers, make a sandwich or just dip some veggies.

Refrigerate for a few hours for a firmer spread.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chili Success!

Decided on a nice big pot of chili tonight.  Wasn't sure what I had to put in it, but it turned out great.  Here's what I did:

1lb ground beef, browned
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
1 28oz can of water (from the tomatoes)
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
2 cans of kidney beans, 14 oz each (1 dark red, 1 light red)
1 bunch red chard, chopped fine in food processor
~1 Tbsp cumin
~1 Tbsp oregano
~1 Tbsp dried minced onion
~1 tsp granulated garlic
Fresh ground Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

I browned the beef with some pepper, garlic and a bit of dried minced onion.  Once browned, I added in the can of tomatoes and water and brought it up to a boil.  Added in all the seasonings and beans.  Once it was simmering I added in the bulgur wheat and the chard.

The chard cooked down (it was pretty small to begin with) the bulgur swelled a bit.  So yummy and every one liked it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quick Jam

Decided I needed some fresh jam the other day to go with some fresh baked bread.  So I quick attempted a batch.  Had to tweak it a bit, but it worked pretty well after all was said and done.

Used about 2 cups of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
3 packets of gelatin
1/4-1/3 cup of sugar
little extra water

Brought the frozen mixed berries to a boil and disolved the gelatin in it.  Stirred in the sugar. Poured it into a pint jar and topped it with a plastic cap.  Refrigerate until set.

It was a bit too thick, but I didn't really measure anything much, so I reheated it in the microwave (just for 15 seconds until soft) and put in a bit more water, stirred and it was perfect.  Not too sweet with lots of nice pieces of fruit.

This jam was great with the fresh English Muffins and the home made soynut butter.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Soy Nut Butter

I made soy nut butter the other day in an attempt to not give myself any mouth sores from the peanut butter.    So far my girls don't seem to have the issue, but if I eat too much peanut butter, well, ouch...

So I had some dried soy beans that I had originally purchased for attempting to make soy milk (which I did, but I still don't like the taste very well).  I took some and put them in a pan with some water and salt and boiled them a bit to soften them.  Once the water had all boiled off I put in a few more dried soy beans and some oil and toasted them all up to a nice golden brown.  They popped a bit like popcorn as their skins split in the heat.

Once they were all brown I dumped them into my food processor and pulsed them until they were a nice fine crumb.  I added a couple Tbsp of sugar and about at tsp of salt and pulsed that in, too.  Once I was happy with the crumbliness I set the food processor to run and added some vegetable oil (not much, just a bit to help with creaminess) then continued to run the machine and added some cool water until the soy beans pureed into a slightly smooth yet chunky "butter".

I scooped the warm soy nut butter out of the processor and put it in containers to chill in the fridge.  For lunch I took it out and made great "peanut butter" and jelly sandwiches.  Then took it a step further and melted some chocolate and made "peanut butter" cups.  Those were a huge hit with the girls (and daddy, too, I think).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CSA Farm Share #2

Got our 2nd farm share last week.  Tasty greens - spinach and another green (forget what it is, but it's tasty!)  Also got eggs - fresh from the farm! and 2 types of dried beans.  Light red kidney beans and some tuxedo beans (they look like cows to me - black and white spots).

The girls and I spent the morning and part of the afternoon at the farm on Tuesday sorting beans (4 kinds), playing with the new goat, Allie, and Fin the very big dog.  Allie is living in the house due to some complications, so she's a lot of fun.  When we were there she was only 6 days old - it'll be interesting to see her this week when she's over 2 weeks old and to compare how she's grown.  I should have snapped some pictures of the girls and the goat last week but I forgot :-/  I'll attempt to remember for next time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

English Muffins

Got busy this morning and made some fresh English Muffins.  They're surprisingly easy to make.  Just take a batch of bread dough (I used my go-to everyday bread dough recipe from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day") and took small balls (about golf ball-sized) of dough and placed them on a corn meal covered surface.  Sprinkled more corn meal on top and let them rise for 45 mins or so.

Once they're risen, heat up the oven and a cookie sheet or stone to 450 and heat up a skillet on medium (whatever's good for pancakes I've found works well for these too).  Cook English muffins for 4-5 minutes per side in the skillet until lightly browned.  Then put in the oven on your stone or cookie sheet and bake for 5 mins until cooked through.  Cool a bit and stick around the perimeter with a fork.  Pull apart, and enjoy - toasted or not!

These we enjoyed with home made soy nut butter and home made quick jam.  I'll post those recipes later on ;-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


So, I've jumped into the realm of making crackers.  They're easier than I thought and I've already started making my own flavors.  Glad I took the plunge.  My kids love them too.

Here are the 2 recipes I've created:

"Battey Crackers"
(named by my daughter)

2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour (plus more for dusting)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
8-10 grinds of black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil combined with
~3/4 cup water
sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In your food processor, mince up the garlic.  Change to a dough blade if you have it and combine garlic, flours, baking powder, black pepper and salt.  Pulse until combined.

Pour in 1-2 Tbsp of the water/oil combination and pulse until all combined, continue in this manner until the dough forms a rough ball.

Dump the dough out on a floured board and kneed a bit until all a cohesive ball of dough.  Cut dough ball into 8 pieces.  Roll out each ball of dough, fold over in 3rds and roll again, then once more to help kneed a bit more.  After final folding, roll out to 1/8-1/16 of an inch (I use a pasta roller down to setting 4).  Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt and pat it into the dough.  Cut with a pizza cutter into cracker shapes.

Bake at 425 for 6 minutes, remove from oven, turn crackers over and cook for another 4-6 minutes until light golden brown.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Cool completely and store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container (although mine have never lasted more than a week!)

Recipe #2
"Daddy Crackers"
(daddy needed some crackers for work - he hasn't had any yet - hope they last until he gets home!)

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil combined with
~3/4 cup water

Grind the oatmeal in your food processor until it makes a nice oat flour with some bits of oats left for texture.  Then, follow the directions above to make these crackers.  Maybe rolling them a BIT thicker as these crackers are pretty thin when baked.