Breakfast Time …. Part 4

It’s kind of funny, but actually breakfast was never my “favorite meal of the day”.  Growing up I rarely ate breakfast and it carried into my early adulthood. That was until I went to Bastyr University to study nutrition. I learned the value of eating in the mornings but I still had to work really hard on my metabolism so that I would be hungry in the morning.  I am not as good as my husband who can wake up at any time and be ready to eat breakfast, but I will say that almost everyday I wake up with a small pang of hunger.

Breakfast is still not my favorite meal of the day.  I like breakfast foods, but not really early in the morning.  I like omelets but I would prefer to eat them at 10am rather than 7am.  Most days I don’t eat breakfast food but prefer to eat soup or leftovers, especially when I am at work.  However, for the past several months, Sundays have been my day to make waffles.  I am kind of obsessed with them honestly.  I keep trying all different kinds – always gluten free – coconut flour, almond flour, rice flour, bean flours …. you name it.  It’s been fun.  Here is the recipe for my latest waffle – I hope you will enjoy them as much as me!

waffles

Healthy Oatmeal-Nut Waffles

2 c. milk (cow,almond,soy,etc.)

4 eggs

1 ½ c. almond flour

4-5 Tbs. coconut flour

1/3 c. butter melted, or oil

1 Tbs. baking powder

2 Tbs. coconut nectar

1 c. gluten-free oats

1 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Put milk, eggs, almond flour, oil or butter, baking powder and coconut nectar into a blender or food processor. Process until blended. Add 4 Tbs. coconut flour and process again. Check for thickness. The batter should be thick but not overly thick like cooked oatmeal. If it does not seem thick enough, add another tablespoon of coconut flour and process again. Add the oatmeal and nuts and stir to blend or pulse a few times in the blender to combine.

batter

Bake in preheated waffles iron until waffle stops steaming and is golden (approximately 5 minutes depending upon the waffle iron). Enjoy with jam, honey, maple syrup or fruit syrup.

The first day I made them I put almond butter on top, then blueberry puree, topped it with chopped walnuts and pecans, and drizzled on some maple syrup.  Just delicious!

This morning before tennis I had a waffle with almond and pumpkin seed butter, topped with bananas, chopped walnuts and pecans, cinnamon, and coconut nectar.  That was pretty tasty as well.  The toppings are endless….

Tapas anyone?

tapas

I just love this time of year. The warm days and cool nights are a refreshing treat after some of those hot days of summer. However, what I really love about this time of year is the wonderful and abundant array of vegetables available at the farm and farmer’s markets. I get excited about canning some of those lovely vegetables and fruits in preparation for winter: Salsa …done, Peaches…done, Corn…done, applesauce…not yet! I also love experimenting in the kitchen with what’s in season and reminding myself of those recipes that I haven’t wanted to cook because it was just too hot. It is also a great time of year to share the abundance with friends. Picnics are great in the summer, but now it is time to change up the menu and do something different. Why not invite some friends over to enjoy the nice weather and do a tapas party. What are tapas? Tapas are the Spanish way of serving many small, flavorful courses to help satisfy your hunger while preventing overeating. Here are some recipes to get you started. The first two recipes are great served with cut-up vegetables or crackers. Easy finger foods to get the party started! The last recipe is a nice way to round out the meal with something sweet but healthy. The in between courses are left to your imagination. Bon Appétit!

hiziki

Hiziki Pate

I love this recipe. Cynthia Lair introduced this recipe in my Whole Foods Cooking Class when I was at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. It is a wonderful way to sneak seaweed into your friends diet. Adults and kids alike will love it. Just wait until the end of the party to tell them what is in it!

1 c. Hiziki

1 1/2 c. apple juice

1 tsp. tamari

1/4 c. sesame seeds, toasted, then ground

1/2 pound firm tofu, crumbled with a fork

2 Tbs. light or white miso

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Soak hiziki in water for 5 minutes and chop fine. Put hiziki in a medium-sized pan and add 1 1/2 c. apple juice or less – just enough to completely cover the hiziki. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until all apple juice is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Toward end of cooking time, season hiziki with tamari.

While hiziki is cooking, prepare other ingredients. Sesame seeds can be toasted in a skillet on the stove for several minutes, then ground. Gently mix tofu, sesame seeds, miso, parsley, and scallions together in a bowl. Let the hiziki cool and then add to the mixture. Serve with whole grain crackers, bread, or as a side dish. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

From: Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair

lentil

Lentil-Walnut Spread

3/4 c. lentils, rinsed                                              1 c. finely minced arugula, spinach or watercress

1/4-c. walnut halves                                            3 Tbs. broth

1 Tbs. flax oil or olive                                         1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1 small clove garlic                                              1/8 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. salt

Combine lentils with 1 1/2-c. water and cook until tender and water is absorbed-35-40 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small bowl. In food processor, process walnuts and oil to a smooth paste. With a rubber spatula, scrape mixture into a bowl with lentils. Mash to paste with fork. Mash garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt together and add to lentil mixture along with arugula, broth, cumin, coriander and remaining salt. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.

carob

Carob Fudge

This is another recipe that I learned while at school. My friend was requested to bring this to all of our potlucks. People will never know that it is not chocolate.

1 c. honey or brown rice syrup

1 c. natural peanut butter or almond butter

1 c. carob powder

3/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

1/2 c. coconut

1/2 c. walnuts

1/2 c. raisins

Greese an 8” square baking dish. In a large saucepan, heat honey and peanut butter; stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in carob. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in baking dish. Chill at least 3 hours.

Recipe modification: use 1/2 c. tahini and 1/2 c. peanut butter

Kitchen Experiments- Gluten Free, Grain Free Gingerbread

It has been awhile since I have shared any of the foods that I have been cooking in my kitchen but ever since I made this recipe, everyone has been asking me to share it. I found this recipe in a cookbook that has been on display in my office for quite some time.  This cookbook, Nourishing Meals, was written by a two fellow graduates of Bastyr University , Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre.

book

When the book was released last year, they sent me a copy for my waiting room and to be honest, I placed it there and never really glanced through it.  I am always talking about food with my clients and frequently inquire as to “what’s for dinner”.  One of my lovely clients, Geri, told me that she was making a gluten free zucchini lasagna with pine nut ricotta that evening from the book in the waiting room.  That recipe sounded very interesting and so I thought it might be time for me to glance through that cookbook and see what I could find.  I must admit that I love cookbooks with photos and this one had a middle section with some very pretty glossy colored photos.  The first thing I spotted was the gingerbread.  I love gingerbread so I flipped to the page and found this recipe.

cut

What I love about this recipe is that it is made without any flour.  I will give you the recipe from the book but then I will tell you the changes that I made.  It is a very bad habit of mine that I rarely follow a recipe exactly the way that it is written.  Sometimes that is a good thing and other times, not so much!

Gingerbread

1 1/2 cups creamy almond butter

1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil.

Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade and process until smooth and combined. You can also use a hand held mixer but the food processor is easier and creates a smoother batter.

Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool and slice. Gingerbread will be fragile hot out of the oven but will firm up once cooled.

baked

When I saw the ingredients in the recipe I could not believe that it would hold together. But it does and it is delicious.  What a treat – a perfect high protein snack or breakfast.

So, as I said, I made a few changes.  I don’t have a food processor any more, so I made it in my Vitamix. I did not think that the baking soda was going to be enough to make it rise, so I added a teaspoon of baking powder as well. I made it twice because the first pan was eaten very quickly.  The first time I used the amount of spices recommended in the recipe.  However, I like my gingerbread spicy so I increased the ginger to about a tablespoon and added cloves as well, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon.  That did the trick.  It was much more spicy amd more to my liking.  Also, the first time I made it, I used regular almond butter from the jar.  The second time I used fresh ground almonds from Earthlight.  The freshly ground are not as creamy and a little drier so I added a little almond milk to make the batter smoother.

Anyway you make this gingerbread, you are going to love it!  Let us know what you think.  Happy baking!

Kitchen Experiments – Creamy Beany Broccoli Soup

I love soup! I love soup in the winter, spring, summer or fall. I love soup for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Any time of day, any time of year! I love brothy soups, creamy soups, or loaded with stuff soup. I just plain love soup! I am usually not a follow the recipe kind of a soup maker, I am usually just a throw it in the pot and see what happens kind of a soup maker. However, there are several recipes that have made it into my repertoire when I am in the mood to follow a recipe. The “Creamy Broccoli Soup” by Cynthia Lair from her Feeding the Whole Family cookbook has been one of my favorites since I had Cynthia as a teacher at Bastyr University while getting my masters in nutrition. The only problem that I had with this recipe was that it did not have a significant amount of protein in it. As I said, I like to have soup for breakfast, especially when I am working, but I like it to have protein so that it holds me over for the morning and I don’t spike my blood sugar. So, I decided to tweak the recipe just a little.

soup

Creamy Beany Broccoli Soup

2 large stems of broccoli with flowerets

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 leeks, white part mainly with 1 inch of green top, cleaned and chopped

1/2 t. sea salt

1 tsp. coriander

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

5 celery stalks, chopped

4 – 4 ½ c. water

2 Tbs. cashew butter

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Cut off the broccoli flowerets, cut into bite-sized pieces. Place flowerets in small saucepan with a little water on the bottom. Steam for 5 minutes, until the color just starts to change. Peel the broccoli stems and dice into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a 3-quart pot. Add onions, leeks, salt, and coriander. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion/leek mixture cooks down to a nice mush (10 to 15 minutes).
  3. Add the broccoli stem pieces, potatoes, cannellini beans, celery, and water to the onion mush; cover and simmer until the potatoes are soft (15 to 20 minutes).
  4. Put the soup mixture in a blender, or use a hand blender, with cashew butter and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Makes 6 servings

I hope that you will try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Happy cooking!

Kitchen Experiments – Strawberries with Coconut Whipped Cream

Have you been hearing non-stop now about coconut oil, milk and water?  Even coconut flour and sugar have found their way to the shelves! It seems like not long ago when coconut anything was a definite no-no.  Well, not anymore. It seems the more coconut the better!  Actually, when I went to school to get my masters in nutrition at Bastyr University in the 1990’s they were already talking about how good coconut oil was for you, it just took the mainstream community a few more years to catch on.  Basically the fats that are found in coconut are made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which do not get processed the same way that the short or long chain triglycerides do and therefore are able to be used directly for energy.

Well, honestly, the “good for you” part is nice, but I just love the versatility of coconut and of course the taste.  I was looking for a recipe for whipped cream made from something other than heavy cream when I came across this recipe for coconut whipped cream.  It looked so easy so I just had to give it a go!

straw and whipped creamIsn’t it beautiful!  Now, it does not taste like the whipped cream that you know, so don’t expect it to, but boy is the flavor delicious.  The best thing about it is that you need very little sweetener to make it taste good.  It was really the perfect pairing for these strawberries.  I think it will replace regular whipped cream in my house.  I can’t wait to make pumpkin pie!  I will let you know how that turns out!

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

1-2 Tbs. maple syrup 

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place the coconut milk in the can in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 3 hours, but better overnight.  When removing from the refrigerator, try not to agitate the can. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the top layer of white, fatty goodness into a decent sized mixing bowl (discard the coconut water or save it for smoothies). Blend the chunks of coconut milk with a hand mixer on high-speed for 15-20 seconds, just until the mixture turns to liquid. Add the maple syrup slowly (amount depends on how sweet you like it) and mix until combined. Add the vanilla extract and blend on high-speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy. Whipped cream is best served immediately, but can be stored in an air tight container for up to three days. It will harden in the fridge, so when ready to serve, simply blend with a hand mixer on high-speed until creamy again.

Yield: about 1 1/4 cups