May 31, 2010

Baked Spelt Pudding

This is very similar to rice pudding, but it is made with spelt berries. This makes a great snack, dessert or a yummy breakfast cereal. If you make a large batch (it takes a few hours to bake) and save it in the refrigerator you can reheat it in the morning or eat it cold. I like it warm with a little extra cream over the top and added fruit.

Complements: Bob's Red Mill

1/2 cup spelt berries
4 cups milk (any kind you choose, I used whole milk)
1/2 cup sugar (it came out very sweet. I think next time I will cut the sugar down to 1/4 cup and then add some honey at the end if it needs a little more sweetening)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cardamom (I didn't have this spice, but it sounds lovely)
1 teaspoon vanilla
cooking spray
dash of ground cinnamon

Place spelt in medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above spelt; bring to a boil. cook 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place spelt in a food processor; process 45 seconds or until spelt resembles coarse meal. combine spelt, milk, sugar, salt, cardamom and vanilla in a 2 quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 3 1/2 hours, stirring every hour to prevent a skin from forming. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm or chilled.

Note: After about 2 hours cooking it at 275 degrees I turned up the heat to about 325 degrees and cooked another 1/2 an hour. It will continue thickening after it sits for awhile. Although, spelt berries do take awhile to cook so don't under cook the pudding.

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May 26, 2010

Fresh Raw Veggies

Here is something I have started to do to make sure my family gets plenty of organic, fresh, raw vegetables.

On my shopping day (when we aren't harvesting from our own garden) I pick up a variety of vegetables (including spinach and leafy lettuce). These vegetables are separate from what I have planned in my recipes for meals.

We try to do organic, but organic is not always affordable. We focus on local produce, but it is not always in season. During 1/2 of the year we love harvest the majority of our vegetables from our own garden, but this is not an option for everyone. Do what is best for your budget and family, but buy those veggies!

When I get home from shopping (or the following morning) or in from harvesting from our garden I take each vegetable and prepare them (wash (with veggie wash if non-organic), chop, peel, ect..) for one of the following: to be used on our daily lunch vegetable tray or to be added to our evening dinner salad. I store each prepared vegetable in individual plastic bags (the bags can be used over and over). If you have a problem using plastic bags I understand. Use what works best for you ;).

Be creative, use different vegetables each week or try new vegetables you don't usually get. Make it a habit to serve a raw vegetable tray with lunch and a raw salad with dinner.

Raw vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals like: carotenoids, lutein, lycopene, zeaxantin, flavonoids, antioxidans, isoflavones, indoles, saponins and proanthocyanidins (just to name a few of more than a thousand).

Have I convinced you to eat your plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties and so many other benefits?

Even if you just plan for a few days a week. It is easy with them already prepared and ready to grab out of the refrigerator. Expose your children and be a positive example. Add some fruits during the day and you have your raw 5-A-Day :)!
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May 5, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (wheat-free)

Yes, I have posted yet another chocolate chip cookie. These are great snacks around our house. Especially when they include a variety of different grains and sweetened with honey or maple syrup. (Beats any store bought granola bar!) I typically add chocolate chips instead of raisins, but they are both good. :) This recipe is from one of my wholefoods cooking class.

6 tablespoons cold-pressed oil
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup honey this time around)
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 cup whole grain kamut flour (a cousin of wheat)
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (we always use extra thick rolled oats)
1/2 cup raisins (or chocolate chips)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oil, maple syrup, egg and 1/4 cup water in a medium mixing bowl. Beat well. Add dry ingredients gradually mixing well. Mix in raisins/chocolate chips and nuts. Drop on cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes or until done to suit your taste. Enjoy!
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May 2, 2010

Lentil Ricotta "Meatballs"

This were really good. I think next time I'll add a few Italian herbs. They become nice and crispy on the outside and soft (a bit mushy) on the inside. They go great with marinara sauce, but I just popped them in my mouth plain! They make a nice protein side dish or over noodles with sauce.


2 cups cooked lentils, pureed (bring 1 cup lentils and 2 cups water to a boil. cover and simmer on low until all water is absorbed (about 25 minutes) place them in a blender and puree)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese (I just used the container ricotta cheese. I will have to find fresh somewhere)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
oil for frying

Add all ingredients to a deep bowl. Mix very well, using hands or a spoon. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, shape mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shaped "meatballs" and cook until browned all around, turning once. (I had to really cook them well to cook them all the way through and to get a nice crunchy outside)Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let excess drain off. Add to simmering marinara sauce if serving immediately, or store in a tightly covered container up to three days. If you are storing them or have leftovers you can reheat them by putting them on a cookie sheet and placing them in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes of until warmed throughout.

Note: I will add some Italian seasonings to my lentil "meatballs" next time! Enjoy!
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