Cooking with Sea Vegetables



Many natural foods cookbooks include recipes using sea vegetables. I have chosen here to use just two sources, Cooking with Sea Vegetables and Sea Vegetable Celebration as a brief introduction to using sea vegetables. Available in simple paperback, these books provide many more interesting and diverse recipes for further cooking adventures.

For more discussion see Sea Vegetables for Health.

 

Agar

 

Couscous Apricot Kanten (serves 4-5)
1 ½ cups cooked couscous
2 cups dried apricots (or other dried fruit)
6 cups filtered water
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup agar flakes

 

1. Spread the cooked couscous evenly in a rinsed shallow dish or mold.
2. Rinse the apricots under cold water to clean, then place in a pot with 5 cups of the water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
3. Soak the agar flakes in the remaining cup of water for 10-15 minutes. Add to the apricots and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the flakes have completely dissolved.
4. Pour the mix gently over the couscous and leave to cool until firm. Cut into desired shapes.
Variation: Substitute other dried fruits or fresh fruits (these may require a longer cooking time). Sprinkle top with roasted nuts if desired.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Strawberry Kanten (serves 4-5)
½ pound fresh strawberries
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup water
3 cups apple juice
½-3/4 cup agar flakes
4 T. barley malt, or to taste

 

1. Wash the strawberries carefully and cut in half. Place in a bowl, add a pinch of sea salt and leave for ½ hour to bring out their sweetness.
2. In a pot, add the water, apple juice and agar flakes and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, add the barley malt (taste the mix for sweetness and adjust) and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the flakes have completely dissolved.
3. Add the strawberries to the cooked liquid, then place this mixture in a rinsed shallow dish or mold. Allow to cool until firm. Cut into desired shapes and serve, garnished with a fresh berry.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Apple Sesame Custard (serves 4-5)
6 cups organic apple juice
1 cup agar flakes
2 T. natural vanilla extract
3 T. finely grated lemon peel
5 T. tahini
Pinch of sea salt

 

1. Place the apple juice and agar flakes in a pot and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly until all the flakes have dissolved.
2. With a little hot liquid, mix together the vanilla extract, lemon peel, tahini, and sea salt into a creamy consistency. Add to the hot liquid.
3. Rinse a shallow dish or mold in water and then pour in the hot liquid and leave to cool and firm.
4. Place in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve chilled on its own or as a topping for desserts.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Arame

 

Arame Saute (serves 2-3)
½ cup arame
Spring or filtered water
1 t. mirin
1 t. dark sesame oil
2-3 shallots, diced
2 cups button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 cup match-stick sized carrot pieces
2 or 3 stalks broccoli, florets and stems diced
2 T. sunflower seeds, lightly pan-toasted

 

1. Rinse the arame well and set aside. It will soften without soaking.
2. Place the arame in a small pan with enough water to cover halfway. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Season lightly with soy sauce and mirin and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring until wilted. Add the carrots and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Finally, stir in broccoli and season lightly with more soy sauce. Cover and cook over low heat until the broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the arame and sunflower seeds. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.
Source: Shep Erhart and Leslie Cerier

 


Dulse

 

Dulse Oatmeal Soup (serves 3-4)
Dulse goes especially well with oats and onions…
5 cups spring or filtered water
½ medium onion sliced in half moons
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup dulse, soaked in ¾ cup water for 5 minutes and finely sliced
Pinch of sea salt
Parsley, scallions or watercress chopped fine to garnish

1. Bring the water to a boil, add the onions and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
2. Add the rolled oats, dulse, soaking water from the dulse and the sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
3. Garnish with chopped parsley, scallions, watercress, or grated carrots.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Avocado Dulse Dip (serves 2)
1 T. dulse flakes or granules
1 avocado, chopped
3 scallions, diced
1 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. cayenne

 

Blend all the ingredients and serve with crudités or toasted whole grain pita crisps.
Source: Shep Erhart and Leslie Cerier

 

Dulse Tahini Dressing (serves 4-6)
An excellent dressing for lettuce-based salads…
½ cup spring or filtered water
2 T. tahini
1 T. umeboshi plum paste
½ cup finely sliced dulse, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
3 scallions, finely chopped

 

1. Warm the water, add the tahini, and stir until creamy.
2. Stir or blend in thoroughly the umeboshi paste.
3. Stir in the dulse and scallions and/or parsley or watercress.
Source: Montse Bradford

 

Dulse DLT (Dulse, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich)
Small handful of dry dulse, rinsed and dried, or pan fried, or baked at 300 degrees 3-4 minutes until crisp
2 slices whole grain bread; Lettuce; Tomato; Mayonaise
Dulse can also be added to any sandwich for crunch, color, tang, and a mineral infusion.

 

 

Kombu/Kelp

 

Basic Sea Vegetable Stock (yield 6 cups)
4 to 5 cups spring or filtered water
4- to 5-inch strip kelp or kombu
1/3 cup dried shitake or other mushrooms
1 t. minced fresh ginger
1 T. miso
3 scallions, chopped, for garnish

 

1. Bring the water to a boil in a 2-quart soup pot.
2. Add the kelp, dried mushrooms, and simmer them for 1 hour.
3. Remove the sea vegetable and mushrooms, dice, and return them to the pot.
4. Add the ginger and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the miso and garnish with scallions. Serve or use as stock.
Source: Shep Erhart and Leslie Cerier


Lentil Stew (serves 4-5)
Cooking beans and legumes reduces the cooking time, softens them, and makes them more digestible.
1 cup lentils
1 6-inch strip kombu
3 ¾ cups spring or filtered water
1 cup onions, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
¼ t. sea salt
Scallions, chopped to garnish
1. Sort and wash lentils
2. Place in a pot with the kombu on the bottom and add the water.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about one hour or until lentils are almost soft.
4. Add onions and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
5. Add the carrots, celery and sea salt, cover and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Check water to be sure it is sufficient, adding more if necessary.
6. Remove the lid, turn the heat up to medium and boil off the excess water.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford.

 

Covered Casserole (4 servings)
8 cups of assorted bite-size chunks of 3-7 vegetables…winter squash; carrots; turnip; parsnip; onion; leeks; cabbage; sweet potato; fresh or dried mushrooms
3 or 4 cloves garlic, diced (optional)
One 5- or 6-inch piece of kelp or kombu
One 1- or 2-inch knob ginger, sliced (optional)
One cup filtered water
Scallions, parsley, or edible flowers for garnish

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the cut vegetables and garlic in a large mixing bowl, and mix them together to evenly distribute the garlic.
3. Cut the kelp/kombu with scissors into 1-inch by 2-inch strips and put it at the bottom of the casserole dish.
4. Add the vegetables, ginger, and water.
5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the vegetables are tender and sweet.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 
Nori

 

Nori Rolls
2 cups cooked rice, hot
2 T. rice or umeboshi vinegar
½ t. kelp powder
4 sheets nori, toasted
Filling:
¼ cup grated cucumber
Dash soy sauce
1 t. sesame seeds, toasted

 

1. Mix filling and set aside.
2. Mix vinegar and kelp with rice.
3. Place a sheet of nori on a small bamboo mat or heavy cloth napkin.
4. Spread ½ cup of rice over the sheet, leaving a 2-inch edge uncovered at the end of the sheet.
5. Arrange ¼ of the filling in a line across the middle on the rice. Roll the nori in the mat.
6. Place the roll with the seam down to seal.
7. Slice 1-inch thick.

 

Variations: Use any grain or cooked vegetable combination. Mix umeboshi plum pulp or paste or miso with the grain. Umeboshi plum and vinegar both help preserve the grain, making nori rolls containing either of these an excellent travel food.
Source: Paul Pitchford

 

Wakame

 

Miso Soup (serves 2-3)
½ cup wakame
3 ¾ cups spring or filtered water
1 small onion, sliced into half moons
½ cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1 ½ t. barley miso
Scallion, chopped to garnish

 

1. Wash the wakame quickly under cold water and soak in a very small amount of water for 3 minutes. Slice in pieces.
2. Bring the water to a boil, add the onions and simmer uncovered for 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the wakame with its soaking water and broccoli and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
4. Puree the miso with a little of the soup liquid in a mortar and pestle.
5. Add to the soup. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 2 more minutes.
6. Serve, garnishing each bowl of soup with the chopped spring onions.
Source: Montse Bradford

 

Split Pea Soup (serves 3-4)
1 cup split peas
6 cups spring or filtered water
½ cup wakame, soaked 3 minutes and sliced into small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
¼ t. sea salt
Whole wheat bread, cut into small cubes and baked, to garnish

 

1. Wash the split peas and put in a heavy pot with the water and wakame
2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour (check often, stirring, to ensure that the peas do not stick to the bottom.)
3. Add the diced onions and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes
4. Add the sea salt and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes
5. Serve garnished with the baked bread croutons. The soup can also be garnished with grated carrot of chopped scallions.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford
Copyright 2011 Pathways4Health.org


Sugar-Free Desserts and Breakfast Treats


Plum Applesauce (A Dessert)

  • 2 lb. gala or golden delicious apples, quartered, seeded and left unpeeled 2 lb. red or black plums, quartered and pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Cook all ingredients in a heavy pot, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally until fruit is very tender and falling apart–1-1-1/4 hours.

Force mixture through a medium mesh sieve using a spatula, discarding peels. Keeps covered and chilled one week. Source: Gourmet, September, 2006

 

Peach Compote

  • 2 lbs ripe fresh peaches
  • 2 cups water or to cover
  • 1 tsp vanilla Roasted nuts

Scrub peaches thoroughly and cut lengthwise, gently separating fruit from pit. Cut each half in 3 wedges. Place peaches in a heavy saucepan with water and vanilla, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer five minutes. Serve chilled or room temperature with sprinkling of roasted nuts.

 

Stewed Apples

  • 6 apples
  • Apple juice, or water; Sweetener, if desired.

Peel and core the apples and cut them into attractive chunks. Place in a saucepan and pour juice over them until it is about an inch deep in the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until the fruit is soft, stirring once or twice to insure against sticking. Check sweetness and add sugar or the sweetener you prefer, if it is needed.

Variations: 1. Raisinscooked with the fruit provide interesting texture and enough addedsweetness for most apples. 2. Adding a stick of cinnamon gives bright flavor without the disagreeable catching in the throat that the ground spice may cause. 3. Ginger… add a long think slice of fresh gingerroot with, or instead of, the cinnamon, taking it out when the flavor seems strong enough. Both cinnamon and ginger parry sore throats and congestion.

 

Stewed Pears

Follow directions above, but use gingerroot, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel or dried cranberries.

Source:  Laurel Robertson

 

Blueberry-Strawberry (or Raspberry) Tart

  • 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼  cup almonds, ground
  • ¼  cup walnuts, ground
  • ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour Pinch of salt
  • ¼  cup maple syrup
  • 2 T. cold-pressed vegetable oil
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries or raspberries
  • 1 cup apple or berry juice
  • 1 T. kudzu (or ¼ cup arrowroot)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a bowl, combine oats, ground nuts, flour, and salt.

Add 2 T. of maple syrup, oil, and water; mix well. With wet hands, press the mixture into an 8-by-8 pan. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Wash and trim strawberries and cut in half. If using raspberries, rinse and use whole. Mix juice and kudzu together in a small pan until kudzu is dissolved. Add blueberries and remaining 2 T. of maple syrup; heat mixture, on medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and clear, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in strawberries or raspberries. Pour mixture on top of pre-baked oat-nut crust.

Allow to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.  Serves 9.

Source:  Cynthia Liar.

 

Cashew-Almond Cream …Topping for Any Fruit Compote or Dessert

  • 1 cup cashew pieces
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup water
  • 2 T. mirin (sweet rice wine) (optional)

In a food processor or blender, grind the nuts until pulverized. With the machine running, add the maple syrup, vanilla, optional mirin and enough water to make a creamy consistency. (This cream has a tendency to thicken as it sits; add some water as needed to thin it out.). Makes 2 cups

Source: The Natural Gourmet

 

Pumpkin Tart with Pecan Crust… Delicious!

Crust:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1/8 t. sea salt
  • ¼  cup maple syrup
  • ¼  cup vegetable oil or choice (ghee)

Filling:

  • 1 ½ pounds winter squash, roasted and pureed (2 cups) 1 cup silken tofu
  • 10 T. maple syrup
  • 1 T. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 T. finely grated orange zest
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. nutmeg
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder

Crust:

  1. Adjust a rack to the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. In a food processor, combine the pecans, flour, and salt and grind to a fine meal. Add the maple syrup and oil and pulse a few times to form dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to the tart pan. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and spread it to fill the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove the plastic wrap and prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven to cool.

Filling:

  1. Combine the pumpkin puree with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree until creamy smooth.
  2. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 50 minutes.
  3. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate until chilled.

Note: To make a pumpkin puree, preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut a small pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down in a baking pan and roast for 30-40 minutes until it pierces easily with a knife. Cool and scoop our flesh, puree until smooth.

Source:  Peter Berley

 

 

Apple Upside-Down Biscuit Cake
For the topping:
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. maple sugar
1 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges
For the cake:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 T. maple syrup
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
5 T. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 F.
For topping: Heat butter in an ovenproof 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably well-seasoned cast-iron) over moderate heat until foam subsides. Stir in maple syrup and remove from heat. Spread mixture evenly in skillet and arrange apples, overlapping in one layer.
For cake: Blend flour, syrup, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and add buttermilk, stirring just until mixture is moistened. Drop batter on top of apples and gently spread, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the skillet so cake can expand. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20¬-25 minutes. Cool cake in skillet on a rack 3 minutes, then invert onto a platter. Replace on the cake any apples that stick to the skillet. Serve warm with crème fraiche or sour cream.
Source: Ellen Arian

 

Breakfast/Snack Raisin Squares (18-24 squares)
Filling:
3 cups seedless raisins
1 ½ cups filtered water
1 cinnamon stick
3 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup kuzu or arrowroot, dissolved in
2 T. water
Crust:
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼ t. salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup maple syrup or barley malt

 

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
2. Discard the cinnamon stick. In a blender or food processor, puree the raisins and return them to the saucepan. Add the dissolved kuzu and cook over high heat, stirring until thickened and clear; set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a 9-by-14 inch cake pan.
4. Crust: Place the oats, flour, and salt in the container of a food processor. With the machine running, drop in the pieces of butter, one at a time, until well mixed (Or, cut the butter into the flour in a bowl, using 2 knives until the mixture is crumbly.)
5. With the food processor still running, slowly pour in the syrup or barley malt (or stir it into the flour in the bowl) until well mixed and you have a soft dough. Divide the dough in half.
6. Roll out one-half between two pieces of wax paper, to fit the cake pan. Remove the top paper. Invert the dough into the pan and carefully peel off the bottom paper. Gently press the dough into all the corners of the pan, then fold over or press down the edges so that the crust is flat with no border. Spread the filling evenly over the crust, smoothing with a rubber spatula.
7. Break up the remaining dough between your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle the crumbly dough evenly over the raisin filling, covering it completely. Press down lightly.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Let cool, then cut into squares.
Source: The Natural Gourmet

 

Banana-Nut Muffins (Makes 12 Muffins)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup maple syrup
Two large eggs
Two teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Three small or medium bananas, about 2 cups, well mashed
Two cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. fine sea salt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with parchment paper liners.
Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes (about 4 minutes for pecans). Cool,chop and set aside.In a large bowl, mix together the butter or ghee, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla and bananas.
Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, adding the nuts as you stir. Be careful not to overmix.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins feel well set. Turn the muffins out of the tin and cool on a rack. Source: Ellen Arian

 

Blueberry Muffins (10-12 muffins)
8 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3/4 cup plus
Two tablespoons maple syrup
Two large eggs
Two cups whole wheat pastry flour
Two teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup whole milk (or 1/4 cup buttermilk + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda)
2-1/2 cups organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment liners in muffin cups.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the maple syrup and continue creaming until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Then add them alternately with the milk to the butter-maple mixture. Mix only until just combined.
In a small bowl, crush a handful of the blueberries with a fork and mix them into the batter byhand, along with the remaining blueberries.
Source: Ellen Arian

 

Copyright 2009 Pathways4Health

 

 


Sourdough


For a copy of this text in an easy-to-read pdf, please click Sourdough and Living Local

 

 

Sourdough in Simple Baking:  The Ultimate in Living Local

 

Keeping sourdough starter and experimenting with it in everyday baking is a great way to Live Local.  Why?  Because a sourdough starter—a simple mixture of flour and water—is a byproduct of wild yeasts and bacteria in the local environment.  So, a Martha’s Vineyard sourdough starter is unlike a culture grown anywhere else in the world.

 

Because sourdough cultures differ by geography, their behavior and taste are not uniform.  Some rise more rapidly than others, and each will vary in terms of its sour taste, yeasty aroma, and flavoring complexities.

 

Health Benefits of Sourdough.

Using sourdough in baking contributes taste and texture, and it extends the shelf life of baked goods.   The acids in a sourdough culture not only add complex flavorings and leavening power, but  they also slow the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood stream, helping to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.

 

Sourdough also lowers the phytic acid content of whole grains, which enables the body to absorb its vital minerals, especially potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.  And, sourdough fermentation, like yogurt fermentation, creates new nutrients like vitamin B12, while yeasts boost lysine (the limiting amino acid in grains) to help make sourdough bread a nearly complete protein.

 

Sourdough can also alleviate digestive issues related to gluten intolerance by reducing gliadin and avenin, two factors that elicit at least a slight immune response in all people.  And, sourdough supports gut health and immunity by slowing the fermentation of fiber; generating polysaccharides which contribute prebiotics; and feeding micro-flora in the intestinal wall.

 

[For details, see:  www.Pathways4Health.org, NewslettersReviving Culture, November/December 2012 and Living with and Experimenting with Sourdough, September/October 2013.]

 

 

Growing and Keeping a Sourdough Culture

Sourdough starter can be grown in any glass or ceramic container a day or two before you plan to bake (a Ball-type wide-mouth canning jar works well).  As a pre-ferment added to ingredients on the day of baking, sourdough starter will provide extra flavor, nutrition, texture and a moist crumb to your favorite baked goods.  By adding generous amounts of starter to quick breads, I find that I can eliminate the refined vegetable oils called for in a recipe (these oils are inflammatory and undermine health).

 

Materials that you will need to grow and keep a sourdough culture:

 

  • A wide-mouth one- or two-quart Ball-type jar with a lid;
  • Starter, ¼ or ½ cup, depending upon the quantity that you need (see below);
  • King Arthur First Clear or other white all-purpose flour.  First Clear has a high-ash (mineral) content which promotes fermentation and the building of flavor by controlling pH levels;
  • Water that is free of chlorine.

 

Once you have the materials, the first question to ask is what do you plan to bake and how much starter will you need?  Unless you plan to bake something that requires several cups of sourdough starter, you probably want to use a 1-quart jar and ¼ cup of starter, which you will then feed with flour and water in increasing amounts with each feeding.  Begin with 1/4  cup starter in a 1-quart jar and a first feeding of 1/8 cup each flour and water, mixed in with a vigorous stir (first example, below).  After each feeding, as you increase the amount of flour and water, stir well, cover loosely with the lid, and allow the starter to sit on the countertop to double in volume.

 

Feeding a small amount of flour and letting the starter grow before feeding flour in greater volumes helps maintain the stable balance of healthy yeast and bacteria in the culture.  Too much flour too soon can overwhelm the culture and encourage foreign bacteria to invade and upset this delicate balance.

 

¼ cup starter in a 1- or 2-quart jar; yield ~ 2 cups:  1 cup for baking + ~ 1 cup in reserve for later1st feeding:  1/8 cup all-purpose (or First Clear) white flour and 1/8 cup water; let double in volume2nd feeding:  ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup water; let double in volume.3rd feeding:  ½ cup flour and water; let double in volume; refrigerate overnight; use the next day. 

Note:  Pour off any excess starter before you begin a new feeding cycle; refrigerate it as a “safety.”

 

 

½ cup starter in a 2-quart jaryield ~3 cups:  2 cups for bread + ~1 cup left over in reserve

 

1st feeding:  ¼ cup all-purpose (or First Clear) white flour and ¼ cup water; let double in volume.

2nd feeding:  ½ cup flour and ½ cup water; let double in volume.

3rd feeding:  1 cup flour and 1 cup water; let double in volume; refrigerate overnight; use next day.

 

Note:  Pour off any excess starter before you begin a new feeding cycle; refrigerate it as a “safety.”

 

 

Feed and Use Starter Frequently:   To keep a starter vibrant and active, feed it often.  After a week in the refrigerator, the yeast and bacteria run low on food and some die.  I like to nurture my starter by feeding and using it at least once a week.  Starter can be kept for up to three weeks in the refrigerator, but it may require several feedings to restore it to full life.

 

Hooch:  After a starter sits for a while without oxygen in the refrigerator, it develops a layer of brownish liquid on the surface, “hooch,” composed of alcohol and bacteria flavoring compounds.  Stir it back in, or pour it off if you seek a milder flavored culture.

 

Using and Substituting Starter in Your Favorite Recipes

To use sourdough starter for extra flavor and texture, simply add ¼ cup (or more, depending upon your taste) to a recipe.  You can add sourdough to the ingredients of just about any baked good.  If you choose to combine the wet and dry ingredients and add sourdough to ferment overnight, you will need the following adaptation:   When mixing, leave out any baking soda that is called for in the recipe; then, add the baking soda just before baking.  In contrast, baking powder can be included with the ingredients in an overnight soak.   Soaking ingredients overnight will reduce phytic acid that blocks mineral absorption and also lowers the blood sugar impact.

                                                                                               

Sourdough Recipes

Experimenting with sourdough is an adventure.  I have fun adding generous amounts to recipes because I like to capture its many health benefits and because I like the moist texture, body, and “staying power” that it gives to baked goods.  I also like the way it satisfies hunger, and I enjoy its sour flavor, probably more than most people.

 

The recipes that follow are all “tried and true” from people well-known in the world of culinary arts.  The first recipe for cornbread, to which I added sourdough, is a creation of Deborah Madison.  Because sourdough provides a moist texture, it is especially welcome when partnered with cornbread, which can otherwise be dry and a little flat.  Sourdough also particularly enhances recipes that include maple, banana, and chocolate.

 

The remaining recipes are from Sara Pitzer’s Baking with Sourdough.  This is a concise book on sourdough that includes recipes with varying amounts of sourdough.  Hopefully these recipes will give you a sense of how much sourdough to use when you try adding it to favorites of your own.

 

 

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

4 tablespoons organic butter

2 cups stone ground corn meal or 1 cup each corn meal and all-purpose flour or corn flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 local eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons sugar or 3 tablespoons honey

2 cups organic buttermilk

¼ cup sourdough starter

 

Preheat the oven to 375’ F.  Put a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven while it’s heating with the butter while you get everything else together.  Stir the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and mix the eggs, honey, and buttermilk in another.  Remove the pan from the oven, brush the sides with the butter then pour the rest into the wet ingredients.  Combine the wet and the dry ingredients and stir just long enough to make a smooth batter.  Pour the batter right into the hot pan and bake until lightly browned and springy to the touch, 25-30 minutes.

 

Sourdough Banana Bread

1 ½ cups sourdough starter

1 cup sugar

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1/3 cup butter

1 beaten egg

1 cup unbleached flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)

1 cup very ripe banana

½ cup chopped nuts

 

Bring the starter to room temperature in a large bowl.  When it has begun to bubble, add the sugar, soda and salt to it.  Melt and cool the butter and add it, along with the egg, flour and banana, stirring in each ingredient in the order given.  When everything is well mixed, stir in the nuts.  Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan large enough so that it is no more than two-thirds full.  Allow to stand in a warm place for about 20 minutes, then bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for at least an hour, or until the loaf tests done when poked with a toothpick.    You may lay a piece of brown paper or aluminum foil loosely over the top of the loaf if it is getting too brown.  Do not under bake; it will be quite most even when fully done.  Allow it to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before taking it out.  Then allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing.  This banana bread will be even better the second day if you have stored it wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.

 

Sourdough Skillet Biscuits

2 cups sourdough starter

2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)

1 t. sugar

1 T. baking powder

½ t. salt

 

Let the starter come to room temperature in a large bowl.  It won’t hurt the starter to stand for a couple hours.  About an hour before you want to serve the biscuits, sift the dry ingredients together into the starter bowl and mix to make a firm dough.  Pinch off pieces of the dough and gently shape into balls about the size of large walnuts or small eggs.  Arrange them in a well-greased 12-inch iron skillet and place in a warm place for 15-20 minutes, or long enough for the biscuits to show signs of rising.  Because the baking powder reacts quickly with the sourdough starter, this happens fast.  Bake in a preheated 400 F degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until well browned and crusty.  Serve hot.

 

Sourdough Brown Biscuits

2 cups sourdough starter

1 T. honey

½ t. salt

2 T. oil

2 t. baking powder

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

 

Put the 2 cups of starter into a large bowl, cover loosely and allow to sit for at least 10 hours in a warm place.  When ready to bake, mix honey, salt and oil into the starter.  Sift in the baking powder and whole wheat flour.  For finest texture, discard any bran which remains in the sifter, but for a heartier biscuit dump the bran right into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.  Mix everything well, but do not over beat.

 

Knead the dough gently until it holds together, then roll it out to a thickness of ½ to 1 inch, depending on whether you want think crusty biscuits or high, lighter ones.  Cut the biscuits out with a cutter or a small can from which both ends have been removed.  On a greased cookie sheet, place them close together for soft biscuits or leave them farther apart for more crust.

 

Cover the biscuits with a dry, lightweight cloth and put them in a warm place for about half an hour, or until you see definite signs of rising.  Then bake in a preheated 400 F degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Break open one biscuit to be sure they are cooked through.   They are ideal served with creamed chipped beef.

 

Sourdough Pancakes/Waffles

½ cup sourdough starter

1 cup undiluted evaporated milk

1 ¾ cups unbleached white flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)

1 cup water

2 eggs

2 T. sugar

½ t. salt

1 t. baking soda

 

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl, cover loosely and allow to rest in a warm place overnight, or for at least 8 hours.  Beat together the eggs, sugar, salt, and soda, and stir into the starter combination with a wooden spoon.  At this point, don’t beat.  Bake the pancakes on a lightly greased griddle, turning when bubbles appear.  These pancakes are quite fat and fluffy and very tender because of the reaction of the soda with the sourdough.  If you want them to be thinner, stir in a little more water as you are adding the egg mixture.

 

To make sourdough waffles, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter or cooking oil after all the other ingredients have been added.  Bake on a lightly greased waffle iron.  The fat added to the batter should help prevent the waffles from sticking provided the iron has been well seasoned.

 

Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes

½ cup sourdough starter

1 cup unbleached white flour

1 cup buckwheat flour

2 cups warm water

2 eggs, beaten

2 T. sugar

½ t. salt

½ t. baking powder

3 T. melted butter

½ t. baking soda dissolved in 1 T. water

 

Mix together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat well.  Cover loosely and allow to stand overnight or for at least 8 hours in a warm place.  When ready to bake the pancakes, stir in the beaten eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder and melted butter.  Finally, stir in the baking soda dissolved in water.  Do not stir again after adding the soda.  Bake on a moderately hot griddle, taking care not to let the buckwheat burn.  For darker pancakes with a truly old-time taste, allow the batter to age longer than 8 hours and substitute molasses for the 2 tablespoons of sugar.

 

Blueberry Breakfast Bread

1 cup sourdough starter

¼ cup soft shortening

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

1 cup unbleached white flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ t. Salt

1 cup blueberries

 

Bring the starter to room temperature in a large bowl.  In another bowl, cream the shortening and sugar together and then beat in the egg and milk.  Turn this mixture into the bowl with the sourdough starter and sift in the flour, salt and soda.  Mix very well.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour the batter into a well-greased 8-inch square pan and allow to sit in a warmer place for at least 20 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375 F degree preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.   Do not under bake.  Allow to cool completely so that it is not too sticky and gummy.

 

Molasses-Date Bars

1 cup sourdough starter

1 beaten egg

½ cup butter

¼ cup brown sugar

¾ cup dark molasses

½ t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

¼ t. baking soda

1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour

½ cup chopped dates

2 T. flour

 

In a large bowl allow the starter to warm up and become active.  It should stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.  Then add the beaten egg, softened butter, brown sugar and molasses. Beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon.  Next, put in the salt, cinnamon and soda.  Sift in the flour.  Beat the butter until it is lump-free.

 

Roll the chopped dates in the 2 T. flour or mix them with the flour in a bowl so that they do not stick together.  Gently stir them into the batter.  Pour the batter into a well-greased 9-inch pan and bake into a preheated 375 F degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the batter tests done when poked with a toothpick.

 

Allow to cool slightly before cutting into bars, then finish cooling on wire racks and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.  Like most sourdough products, these taste much better cold than they do while still warm from the oven.

 

Reading Resources:

Karel Kulp and Klaus Lorenz, Handbook of Dough Fermentations.

Sara Pitzer, Baking with Sourdough

Lisa Rayner, Wild Bread

Daniel Wing and Alan Scott, The Bread Builders:  Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens

Ed and Jean Wood, Classic Sourdoughs:  A Home Baker’s Handbook

 

 

Copyright 2013 Pathways4Health.org

 


Power Breakfasts for School and Work


Breakfasts to Sustain Mind and Body


In recent years, when the proportion of adults who skip breakfast has essentially doubled, the rate of obesity has also doubled.

 

Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Remember that the brain cannot run on fat stores. It needs ready supplies of glucose. If we do not supply our brain with good carbohydrates at breakfast, our mind will not be able to concentrate well at the office or school. Ultimately we get a headache or become so hungry that we go for a high-calorie, mid-morning pick-up.

 

If we skip breakfast and expect our mind to function through the morning, the body will have to find energy somewhere and, since it cannot use fat to supply the brain, it will be forced to tap (albeit inefficiently) into its protein (muscle) stores. This is one of the reasons that you cannot come out even eating the extra piece of pie over a late dinner, rationalizing that you will balance off the calories by skipping breakfast the next day. Without breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and begins to hoard calories.

 

Starting the day with a good breakfast speeds up your metabolism and fuels your muscles as well as your brain. Studies show that people who eat substantial breakfasts end up consuming the fewest calories over the course of a whole day.

 

A good rule of thumb for a hearty breakfast is to observe the 40/30/30 guideline, with carbohydrates’ share a bit above that of protein and fats. Beyond this, anything goes! Use your imagination, your leftovers, and have fun. For a sustaining breakfast, there is nothing wrong with a steaming bowl of lentil soup, for example, with whole-grain rye bread, spread with a nut or seed butter. Meats, soups, vegetables are also fine breakfast foods. It is the food companies backed by advertising that have redefined breakfast to be high-carbohydrate/sugary boxed cereals, Pop-Tarts, and packaged goods rather than traditional eggs, whole-grain porridges, and other traditional whole foods that help stabilize blood sugar and sustain energy.

 

Amaranth with Goji Berries and Chopped Almonds
Amaranth is a high-protein, non-gluten grain. Goji berries are great anti-oxidants, anti-aging, and boost the immune system. Almonds add protein.

This recipe is simple and one of my favorites. It can be made in big batches, can be cooked up the evening before while you enjoy your dinner. It also freezes well.

1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1 cup Goji berries, raisins, or other dried/frozen berries
1 cup chopped almonds

Put amaranth, water, and berries in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Stir. Simmer, covered for about 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
For more texture, stir in cooked millet, brown rice, or other grains, after cooking.

 

Peanut Butter Muffins
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 T. baking powder
½ t. salt
¼ cup natural, organic peanut butter
1/3 cup cold-pressed oil
¼ cup organic honey or molasses
1 ½ cups milk

Mix together first 3 dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix and blend the remaining ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to liquid mixture.
Blend, but do not beat.
Fill 12 oiled muffin tins 2/3rds full.
Bake 25 minutes in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven, or until done.

 

Almond-Oat Squares
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup oat bran
¼ cup sesame seeds
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup organic applesauce or mashed banana
2/3 cup almond butter

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a small bowl blend the applesauce or mased banana with the almond butter until well-blended. Aadd this to the dry ingredients, mix well, and pour into a 11”x7” oiled baking dish.
Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.
Note: Peanut and peanut butter or cashews and cashew butter can also be used.
Source: Ann Louise Gittleman


Pathways4Health Apple-Blueberry Bread Pudding
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk or nut milk
¼ cup honey or equivalent
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. vanilla
3 cups whole-grain bread in cubes
1 cup dried blueberries
1 chopped apple, pear, plum etc.

In a large bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.
Place bread cubes in a greased 8-9” round baking dish and sprinkle with the dried blueberries (or other dried fruits and nuts) and the chopped apple/pear/plum.
Pour wet ingredients over all and bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven, 35-40 minutes.

 

For more ideas, see Snack Bars

 


Breakfast Ideas for Every Taste


Simple Stewed Fruits

4 long (4”) cinnamon sticks

2 pounds dried organic prunes

1 pound dried organic apple slices

In a large pot, place cinnamon sticks and fruits.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes.  Cover and let cool.  Store in the refrigerator.  Serve over granola, oatmeal, buckwheat cranberry almond bread or whatever strikes your fancy.

 

Apple-Blueberry Bread Pudding
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk or nut/seed milk
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. vanilla
3 cups whole-grain bread in cubes
1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup chopped apple; pear; or plum

 

1. In a large bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients.
2. Place bread cubes in a greased, 8-9” round baking dish and sprinkle with dried fruit and nuts and the apple; pear; or plum.
3. Pour wet ingredients over all assembled ingredients and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven, 35-40 minutes.


Amaranth with Wild Blueberries and Almonds
Amaranth and almonds are both high in protein and blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants.
This simple recipe is one of my favorites. It can be made in large batches, cooked the evening before, and freezes well. Adding a whole grain like wheat berries helps to lower the glycemic index.
1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1 cup dried wild blueberries or other dried fruit
1 cup chopped almonds, or other nuts/seeds

 

1. Place amaranth, water, and berries in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, and let simmer about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed.
2. For additional texture, add cooked brown rice, millet, buckwheat, or wheat berries when amaranth is fully cooked.


Granola (yield: ~10 cups)
½ cup barley malt
¼ cup hot water
1 t. salt
2 t. vanilla extract
½ cup melted butter, ghee, or organic unrefined coconut oil
1 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans or mixture
1/2-1 cup sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 T. ground cinnamon, if desired
1 cup dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruit, if desired.

 

1. In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
3. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients.
4. Spread ½” deep on a large baking pan.
5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree over for about 8 minutes, turning over with a spatula several times until lightly golden brown. All to completely cool.

6. Add dried fruit.

7. Store in an airtight jars.


Buckwheat Cranberry Almond Muffins (or Squares)
¾ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1 cup water
2 t. baking powder
2 eggs, well beaten
½ t. salt
4-6 T. honey or maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
2 t. vanilla
1 cup dried low-sugar cranberries
½-1 cup slivered almonds.

 

1. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and add and mix remaining liquids.
3. Combine and mix wet and dry ingredients.
4. Gently fold in cranberries and almonds.
5. Pour batter into a 8 ½” square well-oiled baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes. Batter can be baked as muffins, reducing the baking time to about 20 minutes.


Barley-Oatmeal Squares
This is a true family favorite. If you don’t have time to make cookies, just put the batter in a greased brownie pan and bake about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pan and the depth of the batter.
1 cup barley flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
½ cup buttermilk
2-3 T. honey
1-2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
½ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruits/nuts

 

1. Mix wet ingredients.
2. Fold in chocolate chips, dried fruits, nuts
3. Drop by tablespoons onto a well-greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven, about 12 minutes.


Our Favorite Pumpkin Muffins
1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. ginger
¼ t. salt
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs

 

1. Mix together dry ingredients and raisins.
2. In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients.
3. Add and combine dry into wet ingredients.
4. Fill well-oiled muffin tins 2/3rds full. Bake at 400 or 15-20 minutes. Batter can also be baked in a well-greased pan, for a slightly longer time.


Naturally Sweet Oatmeal-Banana Treats
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
6 cups ripe bananas, mashed
2-3 cups dried fruits, chocolate chips, nuts in whatever combination you wish
1 T. vanilla flavoring
Combine all ingredients and drop by spoonfuls on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 350, ~20 minutes.


Peanut Butter/Tahini Muffins (yield: 12 muffins)
2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/3 cup organic peanut or sesame seed (tahini) butter
¼ cup melted butter, coconut oil, or cold-pressed oil

 

1. Mix together first 3 ingredients
2. In a separate large bowl combine the remaining ingredients.
3. Add dry to wet ingredients and gently combine.
4. Fill well-oiled muffin pans 2/3rds full and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted and removed is dry. If baking in a pan, allow a bit more time.


Thermos Oatmeal
In a wide-mouth well-insulated thermos, pour boiling water and seal 5 minutes to warm. Pour out water. Add 1 cup boiling water, ¼ steel cut oats, and dried fruits if desired. Stir. Let sit overnight. Enjoy the next morning with milk, butter, nuts, maple syrup, etc.

 

 

Recipes: Thinking “Out-of-the-Box”


Hearty Lentil Soup (yield: 10 one-cup servings)
10 cups filtered water or stock
3 cups green lentils
1/4 cup red lentils or equivalent green lentils
2 cups chopped onion
3 bay leaves
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
2 T. minced garlic
2-4 T. olive oil

 

1. In a large pot, add first 4 ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
2. Add next ingredients through garlic, stir well, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Add olive oil, stir, adjust to taste.


Simple Split Pea Soup (yield: 10 one-cup servings)
2 cups split peas, washed and picked over
9 cups water or stock
1 piece large piece kombu (optional)
1-2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced organic celery
2 t. curry powder or ½ t. ground fennel seeds, to taste
Salt or tamari to taste

 

1. Wash the peas and place in a large pot with the onions, carrots, celery and stock. Bring to a boil stir, and reduce heat. Cover loosely and let simmer40-60 minutes until peas and vegetables are soft.
2. Add curry powder, fennel seeds, or other seasonings of your choice including salt if using.
3. Soup is finished when peas have cooked to a velvety smoothness. Add tamari and serve.


Thick Split Pea and Brown Rice Soup (serves 6; cooking time 1 hour)
This is adapted from Martha Rose Shulman and the combination of split peas with brown rice provides a complete protein meal. The same result can be had by serving whole grains or whole grain bread with the two simple soup options above.
1 T. butter or ghee
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. curry powder
2 cups split peas, picked over and washed
1 cup brown rice, washed and soaked over night
8 cups stock or water
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

1. Heat the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion, carrot, and the garlic with the curry powder until the onion is tender.
2. Add the split peas, rice, stock, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until the peas are tender.
4. Check and add more water from time to time if needed if soup becomes too thick.
5. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and serve.

 


Sweet Breakfast Treats for Family and Guests


For holidays or special celebrations, having a few delicious breakfast treats baked ahead of time can be helpful, particularly if we have house guests of various ages and sleeping schedules. The following recipes can be made in advance and are as delicious a day later as they are fresh-baked from the oven. In your times of celebration, we hope they please the guests while they also take pressure off the host and hostess.

Apple Upside-Down Biscuit Cake

For topping:
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. maple sugar
1 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges

For cake:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 T. maple syrup
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
5 T. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 F.
For topping: Heat butter in an ovenproof 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably well-seasoned cast-iron) over moderate heat until foam subsides. Stir in maple syrup and remove from heat. Spread mixture evenly in skillet and arrange apples, overlapping in one layer.

For cake: Blend flour, syrup, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and add buttermilk, stirring just until mixture is moistened. Drop batter on top of apples and gently spread, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the skillet so cake can expand. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20¬25 minutes. Cool cake in skillet on a rack 3 minutes, then invert onto a platter. Replace on the cake any apples that stick to the skillet. Serve warm with crème fraiche or sour cream.
Source: Ellen Arian

Breakfast/Snack Raisin Squares (18-24 squares)
Filling:
3 cups seedless raisins
1 ½ cups filtered water
1 cinnamon stick
3 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup kuzu or arrowroot, dissolved in 2 T. water

Crust:
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼ t. salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup maple syrup or barley malt

Filling:
Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Discard the cinnamon stick. In a blender or food processor, puree the raisins and return them to the saucepan. Add the dissolved kuzu and cook over high heat, stirring until thickened and clear; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a 9-by-14 inch cake pan.

Crust:
Place the oats, flour, and salt in the container of a food processor. With the machine running, drop in the pieces of butter, one at a time, until well mixed (Or, cut the butter into the flour in a bowl, using 2 knives until the mixture is crumbly.)
With the food processor still running, slowly pour in the syrup or barley malt (or stir it into the flour in the bowl) until well mixed and you have a soft dough. Divide the dough in half.
Roll out one-half between two pieces of wax paper, to fit the cake pan. Remove the top paper. Invert the dough into the pan and carefully peel off the bottom paper. Gently press the dough into all the corners of the pan, then fold over or press down the edges so that the crust is flat with no border. Spread the filling evenly over the crust, smoothing with a rubber spatula.
Break up the remaining dough between your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle the crumbly dough evenly over the raisin filling, covering it completely. Press down lightly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Let cool, then cut into squares.
Source: The Natural Gourmet

Banana-Nut Muffins (Makes 12 Muffins)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 small or medium bananas, about 2 cups, well mashed
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. fine sea salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with parchment paper liners.
Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes (about 4 minutes for pecans). Cool, chop and set aside .
In a large bowl, mix together the butter or ghee, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla and bananas.
Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, adding the nuts as you stir. Be careful not to over-mix.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins feel well set. Turn the muffins out of the tin and cool on a rack.
Source: Ellen Arian

Blueberry Muffins (10-12 muffins)
8 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3/4 cup plus
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup whole milk (or 1/4 cup buttermilk + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda)
2-1/2 cups organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment liners in muffin cups.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the maple syrup and continue creaming until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Then add them alternately with the milk to the butter-maple mixture. Mix only until just combined.
In a small bowl, crush a handful of the blueberries with a fork and mix them into the batter by hand, along with the remaining blueberries.
Source: Ellen Arian

Copyright 2009 Pathways4Health


Bone Stocks


Bone Stocks: One of the best ways to build and strengthen bones and support digestion and health.


Hearty stocks can be sipped alone to boost the immune system and as an antidote to colds and the flu, or they can be used in cooking to add depth, flavor, and nutrition to your favorite recipes. Making stocks, especially time-consuming bone stocks, is a bit of a lost art in modern times, and yet it is one of the very best health investments we can make.1

 

Making Bone Stocks…Equipment and Materials
There are a host of wonderful cookbooks describing how to make bone stocks. Many suggest a large stock pot and organic meats, which you bring to just a boil, reduce the heat, skim off foam that floats to the surface, add vegetables, and keep at a slow simmer for some hours depending on the meat…beef for at least 8 hours so it has time to surrender all its minerals and flavor, and chicken for about half that time. I truly enjoy reading the author/chefs who describe this process and, much like cooking shows on television, I can live the dream along with them–down to imagining the wonderful aromas as well as the delicious tastings from frequent sampling of the stock as it gathers richness and body.

 

But if you have never cooked stocks, I want to be realistic. I want you to be successful. And, I want it to be easy. I usually use a slow cooker for bone stocks because I cannot stay in the kitchen hour after hour, and I am also not comfortable leaving the house with a pot on the stove. So, for now, since bone stocks cook for very long periods and because our modern world is full of distractions and commitments that pull us out of the kitchen, I recommend a slow cooker, especially if you are just starting out to with bone stocks. A slow cooker is easy, safe, effortless, and rather fail-proof.

 

Special equipment you will need:• A slow cooker large enough for your needs (or stock pot, if you choose)
• Strainers, stainless-steel nesting bowls for cooling, cheese cloth if you desire a clearer stock
• A cooking thermometer is helpful to monitor temperatures with a stock pot
A few guidelines:
• Water should barely cover ingredients. Add more if needed
• Never salt a stock. Bones have sodium and flavors concentrate
• Start with cold water and bring just to a simmer, with bubbles barely breaking the surface of the water. Never boil a stock. High temperatures can integrate the fat with the liquid, resulting in a “greasy” rather than a clean tasting stock. A slow cooker is perfect for a slow simmer: Even “High” is calibrated to be below the boiling point.
• Skim the impurities that rise to the top…most foam will rise in the first hour of cooking
• Taste the meat when you suspect it has surrendered its essence. When tasteless, stop cooking and strain the stock, unless you are making a 24-hour stock and intend to eat the bones
• Cool the stock quickly to prevent bacteria growth. Skim off the congealed surface fat
• Stocks keep in the refrigerator for about a week, but should be boiled about every three days to kill bacteria. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Always bring a thawed stock back to the boil to restore its life.

 

Before your get started…Some Observations from my “Test Kitchen:” • To get the best gelatin from chicken, cook the meat on the bones for 4-6 hours. Use no vinegar or wine. A longer cooking time and/or an acid will weaken the gelatin.
• To get an even better gelatin that is twice as firm, use cartilage-rich knuckle- and hock-type bones. Cover with boiling water in a slow cooker (no vinegar) and simmer for 4-6 hours (a short enough time so the freed gelatin does not break down from prolonged heat). Pour off the stock and refrigerate. Begin a new batch the same way, with the same bones. Knuckles and hocks will provide multiple batches, with no discernible diminution of firmness of the gelatin.
• To eat small bones like chicken legs with their marrow requires about 24 hours and is best when you use some vinegar or wine.
• The best tasting stock is a product of both meat and bones. Flavor can be enhanced by the addition of extra meat. Prolonged cooking does not help flavor. Remove stock when meat has no taste.

 

Eight Branches Organic Chicken Bone Soup
4 pound organic chicken, well-washed and skinned
4 skinned chicken breasts, or other chicken pieces, if there is room in the pot
1-2 large onions, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
3-5 ribs of celery

 

Place chicken in large crock pot with enough water to cover plus 2 inches extra and begin cooking on high. When simmering well, turn to low and cook for about 20 hours, adding more water to keep covered, if needed. Add chopped vegetables about 2 hours before you plan to finish.

 

Broth may be strained and used as a tonic when recovering from colds or the flu; it may also be used in soups, bean dishes, or to cook grains (my favorite…I freeze this in 2 cup batches and cook with grains in my rice cooker)

 

Chicken may be eaten, bones and all…alone, in salads, as additions to soups, etc.

Source: Tim Aitken, L.Ac.,Eight Branches Healing Arts.

 

Pathways4Health Chicken/Bone Stock

Three pounds (about 12 legs) of organic chicken, or whatever fits well in your slow cooker

2 Bay leaves
Sprig of Fresh rosemary, or 1 t. dried, if desired (it is a good anti-inflammatory); 1 t. dried thyme
4 quarts boiling water
¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar or ½ cup white wine (to be added later).

 

Combine all ingredients but the vinegar in a 4-5 quart slow cooker, turned to high. Skim off foam, if it exists.
Let legs cook for about 4 hours until meat begins to fall off the bone. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large bowl. When cooled a bit, remove the meat from the bones and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for another use. [Since meat is just 1% collagen, saving it to eat and cooking the bones for gelatin is my preference to avoid waste, unless your goal is to maximize taste.]

 

Return bones to slow cooker along with all the knuckle, gristle, and skin. Add the apple cider vinegar. Turn slow cooker to low, cover with lid, and let simmer for up to 20 more hours. Strain the stock, reserving the bones and discarding the other solids. Store the bones in the refrigerator in a covered container. Cool the stock overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator, then remove the fat from the top and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you chose to try eating the bones, the sensation is a bit like eating shoe-string potatoes…slightly crunchy, rich, and satisfying. Marrow is full of bone-building minerals, of course, as well as fat to help with their absorption.

 

Very, Very Rich Chicken Bone Stock…A bowl or two can make a meal.
3-4 pound chicken, whole or in parts
12 cups cold water
3 or 4 large carrots
2 or 3 celery stalks, with leaves
1 parsnip
1 onion, peeled
½ head garlic
1 leek
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
Handful fresh parsley leaves and stems
8 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Other vegetable scraps, like fennel fronds, chard stems or squash ends
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Fine sea salt to taste

 

Into a large stock pot, place cleaned chicken and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that appears.
Meanwhile, clean the vegetables and herbs, and cut the vegetables into large pieces so that they will fit inside the pot. Add all the ingredients, except the sea salt, to the soup pot. Bring the soup to a boil again, reduce the heat to very low, and simmer uncovered. After the first hour of simmering, remove the chicken, take the meat off the bone, and set it aside to be added back to the soup when it’s finished cooking (boiled meat is rather spent after 6 hours in a pot). Simmer the soup uncovered for another five hours. Then remove it from the heat, strain, skim the fat if there is in abundance, and serve with the reserved chicken pieces. This serves a family of five, so it can be cut down.

Source: Ellen Arian, www.ellensfoodandsoul.com


Beef Stock
Once you’ve made this stock, don’t be so quick to discard the bones. The marrow that remains within is a rich source of calcium, fat, iron, and zinc. In fact, it has three times more calcium than milk, ounce for ounce. Although it’s fallen out of favor as a food, marrow was an esteemed source of nutrients in the past. If you’d like to give it a try, blow or scrape it out of the bones after the stock is cooked, spread it on whole grain toast, and top with a little salt and white pepper.
2 pounds beef marrow bones
4 quarts cold water
1 large carrot, top ½ inch discarded, chopped
1 medium onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup parsley stems (no leaves, which add green color)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red or white wine, or 2 tablespoons wine vinegar

 

1. Place the bones in a stockpot with the water, bring to a boil over high heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Skim off as much of the foam as possible.
2. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, parsley stem, oil, and wine, lower the heat to maintain a very low simmer and cook for 6 to 8 hours with the lid ajar, skimming occasionally.
3. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve without pressing on the solids. Cool the stock before storing in the refrigerator overnight, remove the fat from the top. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes 3 quarts.
Source: Annemarie Colbin


Copyright 2010 Pathways4Health.org

  1. See January10 Newsletter for complete discussion []

Cooking with Bones



Life is a gift of nature; but beautiful living is the gift of wisdom
…Greek Adage

 

Cooking with bones can be an emotionally satisfying experience by connecting us to the structure and essence of the animal whose life was sacrificed for our own well-being. Using bones fosters an age-old tradition of conservation and gratitude. Bones relinquish, through long slow cooking, their collagen/gelatin and mineral essence, enriching any dish and making it easier to assimilate. So, cooking with bones can be enriching, both physically1 and spiritually.

 

Bones and Beans. Bones, with their minerals and fat, add nutrition, nuance, and taste to any dish made with beans or legumes. Ham hocks, for example, add a smoky richness and satisfying depth to split peas and are the perfect complement to any dried bean or legume. Lamb shanks—with their flavor, collagen, marrow and fat—transform baby limas or white beans (such as navy or great northern) into a velvety-smooth, mouth-watering delicacy. Meat bones with a high bone/collagen-to-meat ratio—such as knuckles, hocks, neck bones, and shanks—add flavor and nutrition to beans and legumes and can lift an ordinary meal, making it a sublime experience. Veal meat bones, because they have a higher bone/collagen-to-meat ratio relative to beef, are an especially good choice.

 

Bones and Meat. Bones belong to meat as much as meat belongs to bones. Like fat, bones slow the cooking process, ensuring that meat does not cook too quickly. Fat is able to do this because it conducts heat less readily than does lean muscle. Bones do this too because their porous construction acts as an insulator that slows the transfer of heat.2 This is why cooked meat is more succulent and juicy the closer it is to the bone, giving rise to the expression, “The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat.”

 

Cooking with Bones.
Cooking with bones is open to your own whimsy. You need few rules, and you can hardly go wrong. Just check what you have on hand, and see what looks good when you shop. Boney parts are economical, rich in collagen and have one of the highest bone-to-meat ratios of any cut, so the meat is succulent and delicious.
Use your imagination. See what ingredients you have already–beans, legumes, grains, or vegetables—that might be enriched by adding a soup bone or two. Then, when you shop, have fun following your whims.
The cold, short days of winter is a perfect time to cook with soup bones. With little effort and a slow cooker at your side, you can fill the house with wonderful welcoming aromas. Conventional recipes with multiple ingredients are listed later. But first, since I often cut corners, I have included several minimalist ideas below, as well as some original recipes from Fanny Farmer. I hope this variety provides ideas for making substitutions and creating your own innovations.

 

Lamb Shanks
2-6 lamb shanks
Garlic cloves, to taste
Fresh sprigs of rosemary, to taste
Wash the lamb shanks. Place in slow cooker to fit along with garlic and rosemary. Add just enough boiling water to cover. Turn cooker to High, then to Low after the water comes to a good simmer. Simmer for about five hours, depending on the size of the shanks, until the meat begins to pull away from the bone. To try the marrow, serve with a chop stick, a knife, and a toasted slice of rustic bread. [You may note that I do not brown the lamb shanks before I put them in the slow cooker. They come out just fine without this step, though the stock may be less rich.]

 

Split Peas with Smoked Ham Hocks
1 pound split peas, washed and picked over
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, roll-cut or sliced
1 smoked ham hock
3-6 bay leaves
Wash the ham hock and put into a slow cooker. Cover with boiling water. Turn the cooker to High and then to Low once it reaches a slow simmer. Allow to cook 5-6 hours. Pour off the stock and cool quickly. Start another “batch” with the hock and boiling water. A hock will render several rounds of stock. Use the extra stock for other recipes. Stocks freeze well (see February 2010).
Once the first “batch” of stock has thoroughly cooled in the refrigerator, skim off the fat. It should be very gelatinous, the consistency of Jello “jigglers.”
.
To make the soup, you can follow you own favorite split pea soup recipe, using the hock stock in place of water. Or you can follow the simple recipe above: sauté the onions in butter until soft. Add the peas, carrots, bay leaves and enough stock to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer, partly covered, until peas and carrots are very tender, about 1-2 hours. Remove the bay leaves. The soup will have a wonderful richness and smoky flavor. When chilled, because the stock is so gelatinous, the soup will hold the shape of any mold and can be sliced and eaten cold, or heated again to be eaten as a soup. Gelatin is the most forgiving of all thickeners, it can be heated and cooled numerous times, jelling and re-jelling again and again.

Recipes from Fanny Farmer and the Boston Cooking School, 1896.

Fanny Farmer was a visionary, an artist, a food conservationist, and a scientist of the culinary arts. Her cookbook, published more than a century ago, was the first comprehensive cookbook to use rigor, both in defining cooking terms (e.g. , “ parboiling”) and standards of measure (e.g., “one level cupful”). Fanny Farmer was also interested in nutrition and saw her 1896 cookbook to be a way to help Americans improve their health through wholesome, home cooking:

 

“I certainly feel that the time is not far distant when a knowledge of the principles of diet will be an essential part of one’s education. Then mankind will eat to live, will be able to do better mental and physical work, and disease will be less frequent.” …Fanny M. Farmer, 1896

 

Of course, in 1896, Ms. Farmer could not have predicted the American shift during the 100 years to follow away from home cooking toward processed/manufactured foods and fast foods. Nor could she have foreseen our modern “foods” based so much upon refined sugar and flour, refined vegetable oils, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup…nor the widespread incidence of chronic disease.

 

But, nothing lasts forever, of course. Your response to my February newsletter on bone stocks makes me feel that we truly long for a return to a more traditional way of cooking—and the deep satisfaction on both a physical and spiritual level that it can bring. Just look at the revival in sales of the Julia Child Cookbook in response to the movie Julie and Julia. After years of low-fat eating, a return to boeuf bourguignon and to using butter may feel not only good but also “just right.”

 

Scotch Broth, Fanny Farmer [For a modern version using leg of lamb, see below]
3 pounds lamb (shanks, fore-quarter, etc.)
½ cup barley, soaked in cold water 12 hours
4 T. butter
¼ cup each diced carrot, celery, onion, and turnip
2 T. flour; salt and pepper
½ T. finely chopped parsley

 

Cut lean meat in 1” cubes, put in kettle, cover with 3 pints cold water, bring quickly to boiling point, skim, add barley. Simmer 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender. Put bones in second kettle, cover with cold water, heat slowly to boiling point, skim, and simmer 1½ hours. Strain water from bones and add to meat. Fry vegetables in 2 T. butter 5 minutes, add to soup with salt and pepper to taste and cook until vegetables are soft. Thicken with remaining butter and flour cooked together. Add parsley just before serving. Rice may be used in place of barley.

 

Ox-Tail Soup, Fanny Farmer
1 ½ pounds oxtail, in 2” pieces
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
4 cups brown stock or bouillon
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
½ cup diced turnip
1 medium onion, diced
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

 

Dust the oxtail pieces with flour. Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the oxtail, and brown slowly on all sides. Drain the oil from the pot, remove the meat, and slowly add the stock and 4 cups of water, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze it. Return the meat to the pot, partially cover, and simmer for 2 ½ hours or until the meat is tender, adding more water to replace any that evaporates. Strain the soup and allow the meat and bones to cook enough to be handled. Remove the meat from the bones and return it to the soup. Add the carrots, celery, turnip, and onion to the soup and simmer for another 30 minutes or until tender. Stir in the lemon juice, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper to taste; serve very hot.

 


Braised Lamb Shanks, Fanny Farmer

4 lamb shanks
2 fat cloves of garlic, each in 8 slivers
2 T. flour
3 T. shortening
1 bay leaf
1 T. grated lemon rind
1/3 cup lemon juice
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 carrots, in ½” pieces
8 small onions, peeled

 

Cut four slits in the flesh of each lamb shank; insert a sliver of garlic in each slit. Lightly dust the shanks with flour. Heat the shortening in a Dutch oven or a heavy pot with a lid. Put the shanks in and brown on all sides. Remove all but 1 Tablespoon fat. Add the bay leaf, lemon rind, lemon juice, and ¼ cup water, and sprinkle salt and pepper over all. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1½-2 hours, depending on the tenderness of the shanks. Add the carrots and onions for the last 40 minutes of cooking. Remove shanks and vegetables to a platter and keep warm. Serve with the pot juices or make a gravy.

Note: The remaining recipes are more contemporary in nature. If you are interested in additional Fanny Farmer recipes and commentary, the full text of the 1918 edition is available through www.bartelby.com


Lamb Shank Soup
1 pound dried baby Lima beans
1 ½ lbs. lamb shanks
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups filtered water
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup minced onion
1 cup minced celery
2 T. butter or ghee
Soak beans overnight in water, to cover by several inches. In a heavy sauce pan, brown lamb shanks in butter in. Pour off fat and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Remove lamb shanks, take meat off the bone, cube it, and return it to the soup. [This soup can be simmered, after the browning stage, in a slow cooker.]
Adapted from cooks.com

Split Pea Soup with Lamb Shanks

2 large lamb shanks [or a meaty ham bone]
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 medium baking potato, peeled and diced; or 1 package instant oatmeal
2 T. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t. thyme
3 bay leaves
2 cups split peas, rinsed and drained
6 cups chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine [sherry instead of wine if using a ham bone]
3 cups water

 

Brown lamb shanks in an 8-quart stock pot in 2 T. butter. [Skip browning step if using a ham bone.] Remove; and add 2 T. butter to pot and sauté onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and potatoes until limp. Add lamb shanks back to the pot with remaining ingredients. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until lamb shanks are tender. Remove shanks from soup, pull meat from bones and return meat to soup, simmering about 30 minutes longer. Remove bay leaves and serve.
Adapted from cooks.com

 


Chicken and Chickpeas with Spinach

1 t. turmeric
Butter or ghee for browning
4 pounds chicken pieces, skin on breasts, skinned legs and thighs
3 minced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. cumin seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
12 oz. chicken broth
1 T. grated lemon zest
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1 cup dried, cooked and drained
1 pound fresh spinach leaves, washed thoroughly by immersing and rinsing well in plenty of water.

 

In a heavy skillet, brown chicken in batches in the butter. Transfer to a slow cooker.
Add more butter to the skillet and then the onions, cooking until softened. Add garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric, salt and pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, lemon zest and juice and chickpeas and bring to a boil.
Pour mixture over the chicken, cover, and cook on Low for 5-6 hours, or on High for 2 ½-3 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Add spinach and combine by stirring. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes until spinach is cooked through. Adapted from Judith Finlayson

 

Lamb Shanks Braised in Guinness
¼ cup flour
1 t. salt and ½ t. cracked pepper
4 pounds lamb shanks
2 T. butter
4 onions, minced
6 gloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried thyme
2 T. tomato paste
1 ½ cups Guinness or other dark beer
½ cup condensed beef broth, undiluted

 

On a plate, combine flour with salt and pepper and lightly coat shanks, shaking off excess.
In a skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat; brown lamb in batches; transfer each to a slow cooker.
Reduce heat and add onions to the skillet, stirring until softened. Add garlic, thyme, and reserved flour mixture, and cook, stirring 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, beer and broth and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens. Pour over shanks, cover, and cook on Low for 10-12 hours, or on High for 5-6 hours until meat falls off the bone. Adapted from Judith Finlayson

 

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
2 T. butter
40 cloves garlic (about 4 heads)
4 pounds chicken pieces, breasts with skin, legs and thighs with skin removed
2 onions, minced
4 stalks celery, peeled and diced
1 t. dried tarragon leaves [or 1 t. dried thyme]
1 t. salt; ½ t. cracked pepper; ¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup dry white wine or vermouth

 

In a skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat and add garlic, stirring often until it turns golden. With a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a slow cooker. Turn up heat to medium. Add chicken in batches, and brown. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add onions and celery to the pan and cook, stirring until softened. Add tarragon, salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vermouth or wine and bring to a boil.
Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on Low for 5-6 hours or on High for 2 1/2 -3 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Source: Judith Finlayson

 

Roasted Marrow Bones…For the Adventurous!
8 to 12 center-cut beef or veal marrow bones, 3” long, 3-4 pounds, total
1 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 t. capers
1 ½ T. extra virgin olive oil
2 t. fresh lemon juice
Coarse sea salt to taste
At least 4 ½ inch-thick slices of rustic bread, toasted

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put bones, cut side up on a foil-lined roasting pan or baking sheet. Cook until marrow is soft and has begun to separate from the bone, about 15 minutes (stop before marrow begins to drizzle out.
Meanwhile, combine parsley, shallots and capers in a small bowl. Just before bones are ready, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle dressing over parsley mixture until leaves are just roasted. Put roasted bones, parsley salad, salt and toast on large plates. To serve, scoop out marrow, spread on toast, sprinkle with salt and top with parsley salad.
Source: Mark Bittman, adapted from Fergus Henderson

 

White Bean Soup
1 pound dried white beans
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 leeks,washed, chopped (1 ½ cups)
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large carrots,chopped (1 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped (2/3 cup)
1 ½ pound smoked ham shank,
1 quart chicken broth
Filtered water, to add as needed
1 t. dried sage
3 bay leaves
Chopped parsley, garnish

 

Remove excess fat from ham shank. Soak beans overnight to generously cover. Drain beans. Put in a large pot. Add remaining ingredients except parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
Discard bay leaf. Remove ham hocks; cut off meat into small pieces, put back into soup.
Place 4 cups of bean mixture, in 2 batches, in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Stir back into soup. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Adapted from cooks.com
Scotch Broth, Epicurious.com

 

Leg of Lamb

A leg of lamb, cracked, with meat on it
2 or 3 medium onions, whole
6 stalks of celery, diced
6 carrots, diced
1 garlic clove
½ cup pearl barley
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Parsley
Some celery leaves

 

Wash barley and soak overnight. Put in kettle and add other ingredients. Cover with water. Cook slowly at least four hours. Soup should cook down until quite thick. Refrigerate for at least four hours. [You can skim fat.] Add water when reheating to serve. Correct seasoning at that time and remove meat bone and celery leaves before serving. Source: Epicurious. Com

 

Reading Resources:
Jennifer McLagan, Bones: Recipes, History, and Lore (2005).
This is an inspiring commentary on bones, complete with recipes and guides to cuts of meat by animal type . Since most recipes are time-consuming and complex and since my purpose is to make cooking with bones simple and effortless, I did not use any of them here. Nevertheless, Bones is a fine, specialized addition to any book shelf.

 

Shopping Resources:
www.eatwild.com for grass-fed animal products by state
www.apppa.org for poultry raised by traditional methods, on green grass and traditional grains, by state
www.flyingpigsfarm.com a source for fresh and cured premium pork and nitrite-free bacon
www.localhavest.org to find organic, sustainably-grown food sources close to where you live.

 

Copyright 2010 Pathways4Health.org

  1. See January10 Newsletter for discussion []
  2. Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking, 153. []

Hearty, Warming Soups


Beans and grains are easy to store and have on hand when you have time and are in the mood to cook.  These recipes can fill the house with wonderful aromas and build an appetite and the pleasant anticipation of a rich, hearty meal.   Beans and grains often work interchangeably.  With these basic recipes, you might want to try your own innovations.

 

Thick Split Pea and Brown Rice Soup (serves 6; cooking time 1 hour)
1 T. butter or ghee
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. curry powder
2 cups split peas, picked over and washed
1 cup brown rice, washed and soaked over night
8 cups stock or water
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion, carrot, and the garlic with the curry powder until the onion is tender.
  2. Add the split peas, rice, stock, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until the peas are tender.
  4. Check and add more water from time to time if needed if soup becomes too thick.
  5. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and serve.

Source: Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman


Thick Barley Soup (10 one-cup servings)
12 cups stock or water
1 cup barley, soaked overnight
2 cups mirepoix
1 cup mushrooms, ¼” sliced
Tamari
Mirepoix: 2 parts onion to one part each diced carrots and celery. Saute in butter or ghee.

 

  1. Add water to a large pot and bring to boil.
  2. Lower flame and add barley, stir, and simmer 1 hour.
  3. Add mirepoix and simmer 30 minutes
  4. Add mushrooms, mix and simmer 5 minutes
  5. Adjust water if needed and add tamari or taste.

Source: Jackson Blackmon


Black Bean Soup (6 Servings)
½ pound dried black turtle beans, soaked
1 quart water
1 large onion
3 medium cloves garlic
1 T. e.v. olive oil
1 tomato
¼ t. oregano
½ t. cumin
2 t. chili powder
1 bay leaf
2 T. mirin (sweet rice wine) or 1 T. dry sherry
1 ½ T. brown rice vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped whole scallions for garnish

 

  1. Drain the soaked beans and rinse. Place them in a 6-quart soup pot with the water. Bring to a boil, skimming the foam that rises to the surface until it almost ceases to form, then reduce heat, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
  2. While the beans are cooking, chop the onion fine and mince the garlic. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
  3. While onion and garlic are sautéing, drop the tomato into the ban pot for 30 seconds; remove using a slotted spoon. Peel. Cut I half crosswise and squeeze out the seeds. Chop coarsely and add to the skillet, along with the oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Scrape the contents of the skillet into the soup pot. Add the bay leaf. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour more.
  5. Add the mirin or sherry, vinegar, and salt and pepper and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. If you wish, puree 2-3 cups of soup in a blender or food processor to create a thicker, smoother texture.

Source: Annemarie Colbin, The Natural Gourmet


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Fall Harvest Soups


Fall is my favorite season for cooking.  The plethora of  sweet round and root vegetables inspire me to load my stock pot with onions, butternut squash, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, and rutabaga…along with a good complement of red lentils and herbs to make a savory puree.  This can be used as a soup or a sauce to accompany grains and poultry, meat, or fish for a simple, hearty meal.  A large batch can be used for days and in a variety of ways–a kind of ready source of vegetables when time is short.

 

 

Red Velvet Soup (Serves 4-5; Time: 1 Hour)
This is a beautiful, festive soup that has long been a favorite of my whole family.  Good hot or cold.

1 C. red lentils
1 T. sesame oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 Medium Carrots, chopped
2 Beets, peel ends and chopped
3 Bay leaves
3 T. red miso, or sea salt to taste
Garnish: parsley, or  broccoli flowerets

Wash and drain red lentils.  Scrub veggies and slice in ½-inch pieces.
Heat oil in soup pot and sauté veggies for 5 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
Add lentils, water and bay leaves; bring slowly to boil.
Simmer 1 hour, with flame tamer if needed, until veggies are very soft.
Remove bay leaves and puree with blender or immersion wand.
Dissolve miso in ½ c. water and add to soup.  If soup is too thick, add more water.
Garnish.
Variations: Can use kombu; or umeboshi paste as flavoring.
Source:  Mary Estrella, Natural Foods Cookbook



Bev’s Pumpkin Soup (Serves 6)

1 cup solid packed pumpkin, fresh or canned
3 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
2 leeks or 1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour, preferably whole wheat
Fresh nutmeg

In a stock pot:
1.  Saute vegetables in butter til soft.
2.  Sprinkle flour over veggies and blend
3.  Add pumpkin and broth
4.  Simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
5.  Allow to cool
6.  Blend in food processor or with “wand”
7.  Add salt and pepper to taste
Grate nutmeg on top each serving, to taste.
Source:  My good friend, Beverly Reich.  This has become a family favorite.  We enjoy it throughout the fall and winter, for pleasure and health.


Chestnut-Squash Soup (serves 4-6; cooking time 50 minutes)
¼ cup roasted chestnuts10 cups peeled, chopped butternut squash (approximately 2 large squash)
6 cups water or stock
2 ½ t. salt
Sprig of fresh dill or chopped fresh chives

  1. In a large pot, combine the roasted chestnuts, squash, and stock and bring to a boil.  Add the salt.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  3. In a blender or food processor, or with an immersion wand, puree the squash mixture until well blended.
  4. Return the mixture to the pot and re-heat.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the dill or chives.

Source:  Atma JoAnn Levitt, The Kripalu Cookbook.



Carrot Puree Soup (10 one-cup servings)
6 cups water
½ t. salt
1 cup finely diced onion
2 pounds whole carrots, trimmed, same diameter
1 t. celery seeds, or fresh ginger to taste

  1. In a pan, bring water to a boil.
  2. Add salt and onions and reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Add carrots and simmer 15 minutes, covered.
  4. Add celery seeds. Cook until carrots are al dente.
  5. Puree carrots and return to pan. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Source: Jackson Blackmon