Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter

Easter came a week early this year thanks to a cute gift from a good friend, a miniature German Easter tree with painted Easter eggs and the first blossom of the year. Thanks, S., I am touched.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Cranky pants

I am not in good shape today; staying up until 1:30am to pin your own blog photos on pinterest is not such a great idea. I feature a rather cranky outlook on life running on lack of sleep like today. The sun is back, the snow gone and green pieces of lawn start to peek here and there. The chives are the perkiest herbs of the season. I better get some work done because it will make me forget my cranky mood and likely feel accomplished by evening.

Lunch salad: frisee salad, pea shots, roasted cherry tomatoes, tasty quinoa, grilled zucchini and summer squash, portabella mushroom and grilled red onion with the makes-everything-better BBQ sauce and goat cheese. + a side of “The State Within: Episode 1” on my IPad.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Going back, way back in time

Yesterday, I went back, all the way back… on my blog, and created a board on pinterest with the photos of the recipes, not all of them but my favorite ones. I posted the link on the menu above under “Favorite recipes” for a more picturesque search.

Link: http://pinterest.com/skinnyjns1/skinny-jeans-food-blog/

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An almost just salad salad.

We woke up to snow this morning, but it is halfway gone already and hopefully it was the last portion of this season. The forecast is good, sunny, warmer, but not really warm. Maybe, biking to work weather. Last night I saw a salad that consisted mostly of green salad – arugula, romaine, waterkress with a lemony vinaigrette, some sliced Kalamata olives and a bit of feta. It looked delicious and scrumptious. Fate had it (or the remaining salad ingredients in my fridge) that I reproduced a similar salad today: mixed greens, Belgian Endive, peas shots from Trader Joes, with balsamic vinaigrette, topped with cooked French lentils, slices of a half apple, a few cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. Plus a drizzle of lemon.

It is almost the weekend, almost April, almost spring. Good things to come.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hazelnut orange quinoa pound cake

After a few days in the 80s last week, guess what’s going today? You are right, it is snowing again! We expect 5 inches of snow tonight. I was sure it wasn’t over yet…. Global climate change? More like global climate chaos. And what do I do? I bake again. Both last cakes, the stout chocolate cake and the Gugelhupf, I took to work, and they were gone in 60 seconds. This time I am only making a small one, a gluten-free one, for a friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance. It is one of my favorite cakes, gluten free or not --- with quinoa flour, hazelnut flour and orange zest it just has a luxurious flavor and texture. 

quinoa_gugelhupf

Hazelnut orange quinoa pound cake

  • 6 TB of butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large organic free-range eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • zest of one organic orange
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut flour
  • 1/3 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fleur de sel
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven at 350 F. Spray a small round bundt cake pan with baking spray. In a bowl, mix the different flours, the baking powder, and the Fleur de sel. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the room temperature butter with the sugar until creamy and fluffy (placing a stick of butter in the microwave for 15 seconds brings it to the right consistency if you take it right out of the fridge). Add one egg at a time, waiting until the first one is well incorporated before adding the second. Add in the yogurt, vanilla orange zest and orange juice. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well. The dough will be a bit sticky.

Fill the bundt cake pan with the dough (it will be about 3/4 full) and bake the bundt cake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the blade of a sharp knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out dry. Let cool for 5 minutes before unmolding, leaving the cake to cool on a rack. To serve, dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quinoa. The tasty version.

Quinoa is a wonderful grain – it is gluten-free and it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source. Now, how to make it taste great? You can just steam it with water, and add flavor later on by making a quinoa salad, but I believe in adding flavor during cooking. This recipes still makes a fairly neutral cooked quinoa but also very flavorful that it could be a side dish on its own.

How to cook quinoa: (makes 2 small or 1 larger portion)

  • 1/2 cup of quinoa, washed and rinsed
  • 1 ts ghee or butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt, optionally

In a small pot, melt the ghee or butter, and once melted and hot add the garlic and mix well, until it browns slightly. Add the quinoa, stir and ‘toast’ it for about 30 seconds. Add the white wine, stir and let it steam off (another 30 seconds). Add the water, stir, turn down the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and steam the quinoa until it is cooked and slightly fluffy (ca. 30min). Serve hot or let it cool. It stores well in the fridge for several days.

quinoa_salad

I typically cook a larger portion for the week, and then make different small sized ‘quinoa salads’ with some quinoa. For lunch today, I mixed the pre-cooked quinoa with pine nuts, pea shots, and cranberries --- a great addition to my salad with balsamic vinaigrette, roasted mushroom and tomato.

salad_with_quinoa

Cauliflower Cabbage Curry

When in Trader Joes last, I was tasting their new microwaveable cauliflower curry. Tasty! At home I decided to make a new version of my own cauliflower curry, this time inspired by another Indian dishes, with some leftover St. Paddy cabbage. It is light, flavorful, quick to make and very tasty.

cauliflower_curry

Cauliflower cabbage curry (make 2 servings)

  • 1 ts ghee (or 1 ts butter + 1 ts canola oil)
  • 1 ts black mustard seeds
  • 1 ts coriander seeds
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamon pod
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 4 fresh curry leaves (available in Indian stores)
  • 1 cup of white shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups of frozen cauliflower and broccoli (they are often sold together as frozen vegetable)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 TB spicy Thai paste + 2 TB hot water
  • salt to taste

In a large shallow saute pan with a lid, heat the ghee or butter/oil until it is melted and hot (don’t burn the butter!). Add the black mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamon pod as well as the curry leaves, and saute in the hot clarified butter. The mustard seeds will pop like popcorn once hot, and it will seem very aromatic. Now, add the garlic and saute lightly for a minute (don’t burn it!) Add the shredded cabbage and the carrot, and mix with the spices. Turn down the heat to medium, over with a lid and let steam for about 3 min. Now, add the coconut milk and the frozen cauliflower as well as the thai paste dissolved in the hot water.  Cover with lid and let saute for about 10 min (or longer if you prefer softer vegetable, I like mine still slightly crunchy). Serve!

Optionally, add a hot chili pepper to the spice in the beginning for some added heat.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gugelhupf, Take 2

Rainy days can have something cozy about them, puttering around in the kitchen, cooking quinoa and lentils for the week, cuddling with the cats, watching old movies, writing letters. And taking glamour shots of the Gugelhupf from last night.  

gugelhupf_baked GH2

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gugelhupf

There we go again: late night baking. Ever since I laid eyes on Heidi’s chocolate cake I not only coveted the cake, but also the bundt cake pan. She found hers in an antique store so I made it my mission to scour all of Maine’s antique places along Rt 1 this summer for old bundt cake pans. Since I am not that patient I bought the Nordic Ware heritage bundt cake pan, which is beautiful. Tonight it looked at me like it needed to be inaugurated, with a German bundt cake, the classic marbled Gugelhupf. I made another small one for taste testing. It is wonderfully light. 

GH1_lr
4 extra large eggs
 1 1/2 cups (325 g)sugar
1 ts.pure vanilla extract
16 TBS (2 sticks)room temperature butter
3/4 cup + 1 TBmilk (or butter milk)
3 cups (440 g)all-purpose flour
1 ½ ts.
1/2 ts
baking powder
baking soda
1/4 ts salt
1 TBspiced rum
4TB
1 ts
cacao
 instant espresso powder

baking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Have all ingredients at room temperature (especially  eggs, butter and milk). Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Also, sift together the cacao powder and instant espresso in a small cup, and stir with the 2 TB of milk until smooth. Using a standmixer with a flat beater, beat the butter until it is creamy and smooth, ca. 30seconds. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is creamy and fluffy (ca. 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time. Stop the standmixer once in a while to scrape down the sides. Once the eggs are incorporated, add in the vanilla extract and the rum. Turn the stand mixer off,  add in the sifted flour in 1 cup parts. Once sifted in, mix in by hand with a silicone spatula. Turn on the stand mixer again, and incorporate. Turn speed to very slow, and add in 1/3 of the milk, and then speed up again. Alternate between flour and milk, and beat each addition until it is fully incorporated.

Pour 2/3 s of the batter into a separate mixing bowl, and mix the remaining batter with the cacao powder/instant espresso/milk mix. Prepare the bundt cake pan with a baking spray and pour in half of the 'white' batter first, then add the 'chocolate' batter and finish with the remaining 'white' batter. Draw a skewer once through the batter for a beautiful marbeling (or not).

Bake the bundt cake at 350F for 55-60min or a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean and the Gugelhupf removes slightly from the sides of the pan. Transfer the cake pan to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 min. Turn the cake pan, and slightly tip on the pan until the Gugelhupf comes out. Cool the Gugelhupf on the cooling rack for at least 2 hours. Sift confectioners sugar for decoration.  Serve with a side of coffee and maybe some fresh whipped cream with a dash of sugar and vanilla extract.

Makes at least 16 portions. gugelhupf1LR

Spring colors

Over the last few days, I got scooped up in the heavenly weather. 80s! Sunshine! In March, in Maine! Naturally, something still felt slightly off, because although everyone walked about in shorts and virgineous white or spray-tanned legs there was not a speck of color in the environment: not a sight of green or pastel colors, since the lawns are still brown-yellow, the trees dark grey and leaf-less and there are no blossoms. The bikinis and lawn chairs were bright, though. The mood, too. We still have sunshine, but more seasonable temps in the upper 40s. It was great while it lasted. My spring feeling carried me all the way to Portland, and there was plenty of color everywhere --- especially the fashion.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A brush with summer

According to the calendar, spring is here. The weather, however, has decided to make it summer right away, at least, for 2 days. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the forecast: 80sF, in March, in Maine?! These are record breaking temperatures, 71F was the highest temperature ever measured around here, in 1977. Hey, for once I am not complaining ;-) The deck is prepped with the first umbrella and 2 chairs, and I am ready for a tan.

Lunch has its own summer elements: the vegetables are grilled and top with feta and balsamic vinaigrette.

I am still not sure if there is not another snow storm on the way. You just never know with this weather.

grilled_salad

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chocolate Stout Cake

Ever since I laid eyes on Heidi’s Chocolate Bundt Cake, I knew I had to make it. Today, I finally bought the remaining ingredients I did not have, a bottle of cream stout beer and yogurt, I even made it maple yogurt. After a long day at work it was the best thing to do to relax and take my mind off things: an elaborate rich novel cake. Cake with dark beer and chocolate? Sounds good to me.

I made the original recipe, and since I own only smaller bundt cake pans, I made 2 smaller ones sand 1 tiny one (guess, who ate half of that cake already?). You cannot really taste the beer in the cake, and I think the cake might be best after a few days. But even out of the oven, it is delicious and light. 

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Stout7lr

Chocolate Bundt Cake:
2 cups / 475 ml chocolate porter or stout beer
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup / 75g natural cocoa powder (non-dutched)
1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g whole wheat flour
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 4.25 oz / 120 g muscovado or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 large eggs
1 cup maple whole yogurt
3/4 cup / 180 ml pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Chocolate Buttermilk Icing:
3/4 cup / 2.75 oz / 75 g powdered sugar
1/4 cup / 25g natural cocoa powder (non-dutched)
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F / 180C, with a rack in the center.

  1. Spray a 11 or 12-cup capacity bundt pan with baking spray. Avoid filling the pan(s) more than 2/3 - 3/4 full. Adjust the baking time as well - baking until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, and the center tests clean when you insert a knife.
  2. In a saucepan simmer the beer down to 1 cup / 240 ml. Remove from heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the cocoa powder, mixing until smooth, then set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to let off heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, and maple syrup. Whisk well, until nicely blended and uniform in appearance. Gradually add the (cooled) stout mixture, stirring all the while. Stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture, folding until just blended, using as few strokes as possible.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 35 - 45 minutes if using the bundt pan, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. You really don't want to over bake this cake - err on the slightly moist side if anything. Remove from the oven, and turn out onto a cooling rack after seven minutes.
  6. In the meantime, make the icing by whisking together the powdered sugar, cocoa, and buttermilk. Really go at it for at least a minute. The icing should end up smooth and creamy looking, adjust with a touch of powdered sugar or a few extra drops of buttermilk if you want to tweak the consistency at all. When the cake is completely cool, run the icing around the top with an offset spatula and let it set.




Sunday, March 18, 2012

Early in the season

It was a beautiful mild day, unseasonable warm for mid March, but warm enough to sit outside and have a St. Patrick’s day drink. Mount Desert Island, had not caught up with the early spring this year, and most stores  and restaurants in Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor were still boarded up. The carriage roads in Acadia National park are also still closed, but this did not keep people still hiking the trails. 

It was quiet, low tide on the tourists, high tide on the locals, and many, many lobster cages, but not many lobsters. 

bass_harbor
BH_2012_LR
lobster_cages

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not your schnitzel’wich.

After a morning of Schnitzelwich (Rachael Ray’s take on food truck schnitzel in a sandwich), Giada using quinoa flour in her brownies (I agree, quinoa flour adds a unique flavor to baked goods, go Giada) and Paula Deen co-hosting with an English darling former model now chef on lightening up some dishes and Paula, as usual, looking like someone making her eat cardboard when having to eat butter-less dishes, does not matter if it is her son or an English darling, I am finally ready to head out into this beautiful spring day. My hommage to St. Patrick’s day is hidden in the salad: a few strands of cabbage. Otherwise, my take on a Wholefoods salad bar-worthy farro, beet and cranberries salad, home-made hummus and a tomaedo, ya’all.

salad

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pan-fried Pizza

TGIF – yes, thank god it is Friday. It’s been a looong week, the weather turned from spring-like on Monday with an outdoor lunch to snow to rainy and cold again, but the outlook for the next few days is great: sunshine and warm weather. With this, Friday does not only feel like gearing up for the weekend but also for spring weather. Double reason to celebrate with Friday activities. Chanelle’s Friday activities include curling up next to me, on his back, waiting for an extended belly rub. 

The mailman delivered “Hugo” in a Netflix envelope this morning, so the Friday night movie is ready, and lunch today was pizza --- a quick, pan-fried pizza. I found the recipe on the GF Bisquick mix, and scaled it down to a single serve pizza, first fried the crust on the stovetop, then covered it with tomato sauce, tomatoes, olives, mushroom and feta cheese and placed under the broiler. It would probably have been better to bake instead, the ‘crust’ was a bit floppy, but it just took about 10 min to make from start to finish.

P-Pizza
Pan-fried single serve pizza:
  • 1/3 cup GF Bisquick mix
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 TB egg beaters (optional)
  • 1 ts herbs des provence
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 TB tomato sauce (I used the delicious new Prego light-smart sauce)
  • 1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2 mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 4 kalamata olives, thinly sliced
  • 1 ts herbs de provence
  • 2 TB herbed feta crumbles (or mozzarella or cheddar)
In a bowl, mix the crust ingredients with a fork (Bisquick mix, water, eggbeaters, herbs, salt). It will be quite liquidy. Heat a oven-save small pan (I used a small cast iron pan) on the stove and spray with canola spray. Once the pan is piping hot, pour in the batter, and wait until it thickens, then flip to bake from the other side. 

Preheat the broiler. Slice the vegetables, and once the crust is cooked and browned from both sides, cover with tomato sauce on one side, and layer the vegetables and cheese. Put under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the mushroom are browned. (alternatively bake at 400F for 10-15min)

pan_pizza.
bisquick

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

To be lost or not to be lost

Don’t you love messy weather sometimes?  After we had a spring appearance on Monday, today the weather could not decide whether to rain or snow and did both. Neighborhood cat was shivering and needed an extra lunch. I was not interested in leaving the house or exploring anything, so it was time to get stuff done around the to-do-at-home list. I finally hemmed my new citizen of humanity kelly jeans and an older pair of Levis skinny jeans; I made a kale chips tart. I watched the netflix DVD “Ides of Marches”, which had been laying around for weeks, because I was mono-mindedly focused on Lost. And then I watched the last episode of Lost again. It still did not make much more sense.

Don’t you just love it  when you have to type “making sense of LOST” (aka read the cliff notes) into Google, if you want to understand a movie…. or in this case a 120 episodes/ 6 year TV series?  A simple “Lost, tv series” on wikipedia does not even help. They were all happy in the end, found each other, independent of time and space, but Jack died. Why? But then I do like a good detective story, and Lost was full of suspense. Reading the cliff notes it even seems to make sense. Now, I am watching the episodes in backward order. I still can’t let go. Now, that’s going to be confusing…. Or, maybe the right clue?

It is also time to get some actual work done. Chanelle is providing moral support as usual, taking a cat nap under my legs.

levis_jeans

Vegan Kale Tart

Yesterday, I snagged this long, skinny tart mold with a removable bottom. I made a very simple tart with a gluten-free all purpose baking mix (Bob Mill). The dough mixture is quite liquid and just poured into the mold, and prebaked. I topped it, first with a thin layer of BBQ sauce, then with sauteed kale with red onion spears, kalamata olives and daiya mozzarella. After baking it for 30min, the dough bottom was crisp and the kale, well, maybe I should call it better a kale chips tart ;-) Absolutely delicious.

Lumix-019

Gluten-free kale tart
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose baking mix (it would also have worked with chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 TB Mrs Dash seasoning
  • bit of salt and fresh crushed black pepper
Preheat oven at 400F. Mix all ingredients well, and pour into a sprayed tart pan.  Bake tart crust for 15min.

tartLR

Kale filling:
  • 2 cups chopped curly kale
  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or microplaned
  • 1/8 cup of white wine
  • salt, pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 10 kalamata olive, sliced
  • 3 TB daiya mozzarella shreds
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the red onion until the slivers are browned. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the white wine and scrap off the brown bits from the pan’s bottom. Add the kale, mix well, lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Saute the kale until it is wilted down (ca. 5min). Add the kalamata olives, salt, pepper and mix well. Take off the heat.

Once the tart crust is prebaked, remove from the oven. Add some BBQ sauce and distribute over the crust with a brush. Fill with the sauted kale, sprinkle the daiya cheese and bake for another 25min. Eat warm or cold.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rainbow salad with carrot, red and golden beet

Today, I went into weekly salad preps: overnight I soak a bunch of chickpeas and black navy beans, and cooked them (separately) this morning, drained and now cool them in the fridge (likely will freeze many small ziplock bags of black beans). For lunch, I decided to get out the food processor with the grater inset. I peeled one carrot (the last one left), a small red and a large golden beet and grated them in lightening speed.

rainbow1_lR

It looked rather picturesque, bright rainbow colors and all.

rainbow2

Lunch salad was quick: lettuce with home-grained balsamic vinaigrette, rainbow salad, chickpeas mixed with toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper, and a few black beans with pistachios.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chickpeas in tomato sauce

Spring made an appearance, it is sunny, warm enough to not have your face freeze to an icicle on the bike, the streets and most everything else is snow and ice-free, and I’ve been on the bike twice already. All we can wait for now…. is for everything to turn green again. ---

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I have a new favorite lunch: sauteed lacinato kale, with a dash of white wine, orange juice, salt and pepper, and a side of pre-cooked chickpeas reheated in tomato sauce with a tiny, dried hot pepper, salt and pepper and a dash of maple syrup. Delicious!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fish en Papilotte

Farmers market day! It looked sunny and spring-like and I was about to unearth my bike for the year to pedal to the farmers market, but then it was still too cold and it was back to the car again. It definitely does feel like spring and Easter cannot be too far off. The farmers market is still on the winter program, i.e. the year-around available organic chickens, eggs, goat cheese and also fresh caught fish from Stonington. Among other things I bought a 1/2 pound of hake, a light white fish similar to haddock. 

FM_LR

The fish is delicate so I decided to make it en papilotte. En papilotte means steamed in a parchment paper wrapper, but I had my quick version in mind, using a silicone steamer. I sliced a third of an small onion, julienned a third of a carrot, added a 1/4 cup of frozen broccoli, and about a 1/4 cup of white wine in the bottom of the steamer. On top, I placed the hake, and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Additionally I added the juice of a 1/2 orange over the fish, and covered it with the steamer top. It was microwaved for 6 min, and ready to serve. 

fish-LR
Fresh food fast, as Emeril would say.
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Vegan Eating and Calcium

My health insurer wants me to voluntarily disclose health information with the perk of halving my monthly contributions. Well. You could also say if I don’t disclose I pay twice as much as I did so far. One of the items requested was “which supplements do you take? how many milligrams?” This is how it all started.

I have been taking calcium and vitamin D supplements for a few years, but I never quite checked how many milligrams do I actually take? When I checked to type in the number I realize the supplement that I take (a calcium magnesium citrate) actually only has 200mg per tablet so I would have to take 5 over the course of the day. Say, what? (I only take one in the morning. But it is also a fact that you can only take so much at a time because the body cannot process higher amounts and will just discard it, so taking them in regular in intervals is key). I started to investigate calcium rich foods, and it looks like dairy products are on the top of the list. But with mostly vegan eating, I have to resort to the greens and almonds and beans, which only have about a fourth of the calcium amounts (e.g. 1 serving of kale has about 80mg of calcium, but daily recommendations are 1,000 mg). That is a lot of kale to eat. 

I immediately ate a Greek yogurt.

But Greek yogurt, although it has much higher amounts of protein and lower sugar than regular yogurt, it has less calcium than regular yogurt (200mg instead of 300mg per 6oz). This morning I researched some more (Harvard public health, the only ones who do not make dairy as required food group), and it looks like non-dairy milk can be fortified with calcium (as can orange juice etc) and that might be sufficient. I checked my Silk almond milk in my fridge, and ta-ta, it is actually fortified. The stats are very good: 35 kcal per cup, and that one cup deliver 45% of the daily required value for calcium. No dairy necessary. 

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So, I mixed a cup of almond milk, 1/2 banana and 1 TB of chia seeds. Goodness in a glass. Calcium I mean. And potassium. 

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Meatloaves in ramekins

Today, I revived an great, comfort food recipe: individual meatloaves in ramekins! Great for dinner guests, pretty for the kids, and great for reheating and to take to work as lunch. They are even good cold. 

makes 4 small ramekins:
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/3 packet vegetable soup mix
  • 3 TB Trader Joes red pepper eggplant spread
  • 2 TB harissa (optional)
  • 1/4 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 4 TB panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup eggwhites (or 2 eggwhites)
Preparation:
  • 4 ramekins
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, slices
  • glaze 1: ketchup or
  • glaze 2: BBQ sauce mixed 1/2 ts brown sugar and garlic
Preheat (toaster) oven to 400 degrees. 

Mix all ingredients (beside the tomatoes) in a bowl. Place the  slices of a 1/2 Roma tomato in each of the 4 ramekins, and portion the meatloaf mix among the 4 ramekins. Optionally cover with a glaze of your choice (BBQ or ketchup). Bake for 45min at 400F.

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Signs of spring

The days get warmer and longer, and the indoor plants, at least, get ready for the new spring, green, happy growth everywhere. Mid-February I planted lacinato seeds, kuri squash seeds (scrapped from one of the kuri squash from last fall), and hot pepper seeds (which still defy spring) in icecube trays and miracle grow soil, and I keep them sunny, warm and moist. Most of the seeds have been repotted into larger containers and would be ready for the outdoors, if the outdoors would not be Maine. It will a few more months for that.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The joys of spring skiing

I am still skating along on the last bits of snow on the cross country trails, which are quite icy by now and won’t last too much longer since the temperatures are about to rise. Nevertheless, the joys of skiing in March are in skiing at 5pm, working up an appetite and heading right into happy hour.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Salad with baked fennel

The weather is still trying to hold on to winter despite longer days and warmer temperatures. Another round of morning snow today, and it might just be enough for another end of season ski. My salad looks more like spring, Florida strawberries, baked fennel, baked beets and pine nuts with balsamic vinaigrette.

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