Rice and Kale Gratin

Rice and Kale Gratin, original recipe from The Vegetarian Times, our adaptation below:

Optional step for non-vegetarians: If you do NOT want a vegetarian version, then fry about a cup of bacon (we buy ours in bulk, snip it up, and store it in small ziplock bags in the freezer, so I don’t know how many strips we used).  Snipe the bacon into pieces and combine it with the rice below, reserving the grease for frying the kale.

Vegetarian Recipe: Combine 3 cups leftover cooked rice with a cup of diced peppers, a cup of frozen corn, and a teaspoon of thyme.  Mix well.  Suggestion- the original recipe calls for cooking the rice in broth and the above ingredients, which we did not do because I wanted to use the leftover rice.  But I think it would have been better if we’d stirred some melted butter into the mixture.

Rinse about a pound of kale greens, cut off and remove the stems, chop the rest and steam for about five minutes in a pot.

In a large bowl combine the kale, rice mixture, 1 1/2 cups of Ricotta cheese, about 3/4 cups of Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  (doing this again, I would add a cup of milk into which an egg or two has been whisked to make it creamier).

Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and some bread crumbs.
Put into an oiled 9X13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes.

Posted in main dish, vegetarian | 1 Response

Oatmeal Bread

I just made a batch of this, and I shaped it into loaves, rolls, hedgehogs, and a little dinosaur.  I am loading pictures of them onto the FB account right now.

I tripled it.

I combined:
12 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour
6 cups of sour milk
3 tablespoons of molasses
3 tablespoons of oil
2 1/2 cups of oats

In the bowl of the Bosch, and then I mixed it up and let it sit, covered for several hours.

Then I combined 4 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast with about 1/2 a cup of warm milk and let it sit for about five minutes.  I made pockets in the dough, poured the yeast mixture and mixed it up some more.  I needed to add a little extra ground flour. 

Then I shaped it into various rolls, hedgehogs, etc, ewhich you can see on FB.  I let them rise for a little over half an hour in a warm place.  I baked them at 350 degrees for thirty minutes (the rolls), longer for the hedgehogs, and longer still for the loaves.

It makes a dense dough, which makes the hedgehogs hold their shape better.  But I would eat the honey-whole wheat bread alone, and this really needs butter or nut butter, or chicken salad or something.

If you do not want to soak the wheat, here is the actual recipe:

Pour two cups of water in a mixing bowl
sprinkle 1 1/2 t. yeast over the water and let it dissolve for five minutes.
1 Tablespoons molasses
1 t. salt
1/4 milk powder (I skipped this, obviously)
3/4 rolled oats, uncooked
1 T. oil

Stir well.

Gradually add:

4 1/2 cups to 5 cups whole wheat flour

Turn onto an oiled board and knead for five to seven minutes, until dough is smooth, elastic, and not sticky.
Shape into a loaf and put in a greased single 9X 5X 2 3/4 loaf pan
brush with oil
Let rise until doubled.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

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Honey Whole Wheat Bread

This is the recipe we used for whole wheat bread for several years.  it came with our Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine.

6 1/2 cups of hot water
1 cup of oil (you can reduce this by half)
1 cup of honey (you can reduce this by half, and I suggest you do unless you are making a sweet bread)
2 Tablespoons of sea salt
2 T. Lecithin (you can leave this out, or you can crush a vitamin C tablet and mix it in with the water)
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten (you can leave this out)
white wheat flour- 8 cups

3-4 Tablespoons yeast

Additional flour

Put the above ingredients in the bowl of the Bosch in the order listed, ending with yeast.  Turn the Bosch on speed one and add more wheat flour a cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
This is tricky, because you don’t want to add too much flour, but I usually find it better to add another cup or two of flour so that it actually cleans the side of the bowl.  Then turn it up to speed 2 and run the mixer another three or four minutes.

For regular loaves of bread:

Grease your breadpans (six of them).  Oil your hands and a cutting board or a clean space of the counter.
Remove the dough from the mixer and slam it down on the counter seven times.  When it comes to this step, the Boy loves to volunteer.  It breaks out air pockets  Cut the bread into six equal pieces.
Slam each piece on the counter another seven times (I don’t know why seven and not six or eight).  Shape into ovals and put in the bread pans.
I like to gently flatten each loaf by making a fist and pressing down with the flat part of the fist (between the knuckles on your hand and the first knuckles on your fingers).  Then I use my fingers to push down the dough a little more around the edges.  This gives it a nice, rounder top (like storebought)- and then I slit the top crust from end to end with a knife.

Let rise until double in size- anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending on variables like the temp of your dough, of your house, and the humidity levels, as well as the freshness of your yeast.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 minutes for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove and cool.  You can rub the tops with butter to make them all pretty and shiny.

I don’t always make loaves.  Sometimes I play, making various other shapes, and sometimes I use shaped bread tubes, and sometimes I make tiny loaves using some smaller pans, or hamburger buns.

To make buns, divide the dough into sixths as above, and then divide each sixth into 8 to 10 pieces.  Shape into rolls and put them on a buttered jelly roll pan- fairly close together.  Once they are all on the pan, you are going to flatten them just a little bit, and they should be close enough together so they are touching each other once you’ve pressed them down.  Let rise as usual, then bake for 20 minutes, brush tops with butter.
having them touch each other makes for a really soft bun.

You can see pictures of the shapes I made from one batch on our facebook page in this photo album.

You can use this recipe for buns, cinnamon rolls, challah, and hedgehogs.=) Check out the photo album on my FB page for the tutorial for making the Hedgehogs.

Linked at Tuesday Tidbits
Tasty Tuesdays held at Beauty and Bedlam
Linked a mortifying number of times at Made from Scratch Tuesday

Posted in bread | 2 Responses

Savory Pie

 Savory Vegetable Pie

Note: the original recipe is nor truly vegetarian as it calls for Worcestershire sauce, but most meat-eaters would consider this a meatless meal.  However,you can add leftover meat to it.  Leftover corn beef and the cabbage and potatoes from St. Patrick’s Day would be delicious!

2 1/4 tablespoons fat (coconut oil, olive oil, bacon grease, whatever you have on hand)
1 1/2 cups onion — thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups celery — thinly sliced
2 pints cooked vegetables
1/2 cup flour
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
dash pepper

1/4 cup melted fat
1 1/4 quarts milk or liquid from cooked vegetables (liquid from corned beef and veggies can be used)
2 1/4 teaspoons vinegar
2 1/4 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
6  whole eggs, hard-boiled — sliced
batch biscuit dough

Melt 2 1/4 tablespoons fat in skillet. Add raw veggies (celery, onions) and cook for 10 minutes, or until glistening. Add cooked veggies.
Stir until well combined and heated through.  Set aside.
Melt 1/4 cup fat in large saucepan. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Add to melted fat in saucepan and blend. Add liquid gradually and cook gently until thickened, stirring constantly. Return cooked vegetables to sauce, add vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Turn half of mixture into shallow baking dish ( either a 9X13 or use several pie pans if necessary). Cover with a layer of thinly sliced hardboiled eggs  (if you do not have egg, use some other protein source. Lima beans;cooked beef; a bit of cheese; white beans…) Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with remaining vegetable mixture.
Mix up a batch of biscuit dough- add some seasonings to it if you like, garlic, chives, sage, basil-. Drop biscuits onto mixture. Bake in hot oven (425) 25 minutes or until biscuits are done.

*For a freezer meal, prepare to this point, seal well, and freeze.  On baking day, defrost and continue.

Posted in frugal, meat. leftovers, OAMC | Leave a comment

"Burp" Bread

This is a [email protected] recipe for bread:
3 3/4 c. warm water
3 pkgs. dry yeast
6 tbsp. sugar
5 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. butter
2 eggs
10 c. flour
1 Tupperware mixing bowl (large orange)

Mix water and yeast. Add everything except flour. Put 1/2 flour in, stir well. Put rest of flour in. Mix well. Put seal on bowl. Let stand until lid pops off. Grease and flour hands; place dough in pans. Let rise 40 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until done.

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Self Rising Flour Substitute

One cup self-rising flour:

1 cup of regular flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Posted in condiments and substitutions, frugal | Leave a comment

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This was four loaves of bread a few hours before I took this picture:

The recipe for the raisin bread, which I will share below, came from The Wings of Life cookbook by Julie Morgan of Cabbage Town Cafe.

The other recipe is for a kind of English Muffin bread you bake in a loaf pan, but I’m not sharing the recipe yet because I wasn’t totally satisfied with it..

Here are the ingredients that Julie Morgan gives:

1 Tablespoon dried yeast
1-2 cups wrist-temperature water
2 1/2 cups potato water or milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons sea salt
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats, soaked in 1 cup boiling water
3-4 cups more or less additional whole wheat flour.

Julie’s directions for mixing, kneading, shaping, and baking bread are excellent for beginners. Her directions run over six pages of detailed text, with an additional page with large illustration showing her readers how to knead.  Some of the health information has changed since she wrote her book (she uses soy flours and powdered milk sometimes, and she is a vegetarian, but she was never a big fan of margarine), but the general directions are fabulous and very useful.  Her detailed descriptions of the process are very interesting, too.  She also reminded me why soaking the flours makes the breads taste so much better- it’s simply a matter of the grains having time to really absorb the liquid, and then the mixture has time for flavors to blend and caress each other, resulting in a bread with a more tender crumb, richer flavor, and slices that are nice and moist. Mmmm.

I cannot duplicate Ms Morgan’s directions.  So I’ll just give you the short (hahahahaha) version.

  I adapted the Wings of Life recipe in a several ways. For one thing, it’s not a cinnamon raisin bread recipe.  It’s an oatmeal bread.  Second, I didn’t have any oatmeal, more on that later.  Thirdly, I soaked the wheat:

I combine 2 1/2 cups of buttermilk, 1/4 cup each melted coconut oil, honey, and molasses, 2 teaspoons of celtic sea salt, with about 6 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour and 2-3 cups of freshly ground oat groats in my Bosch food mixer using the bread dough hooks.

About the oats- I didn’t have any oats.  But I did have some leftover crockpot oat groats.  So I used that, and then  I adjusted the amount of flour to make sure it all got mixed, but wasn’t sopping. It was a stiffish dough, but not too stiff.  This is the kind of thing you just have to get a feel for.
I let this sit for about 4 hours.

Then I soaked 1 tablespoon of yeast in 1/2 cup of warmish water until it bubbled.  I smushed the dough down evenly all over the bowl, poking my finger in it in several places to make little wells.  I dribbled the yeast mixture in each of the holes and covered them up by pinching the dough over them.  I sprinkled cinnamon liberally over the whole, then I turned the Bosch on again and mixed it up until I thought the yeast was well mixed in.

Then I turned the dough out on to the counter, where I had sprinkled some flour and more raisins, tossed a couple handfuls of raisins onto the dough and worked them in by hand.  I flattened the dough a bit, then I pulled the end furthest to me over, pushed it down, and then turned the bottom edge up over the middle and pushed it down.  I did this all over the dough, turning it in a half circle, folding the top down, kneading, folding the bottom up, kneading, half turn, then repeat.  Then I turned it over and did it all again, until the raisins were well mixed.

Then I formed a long, long loaf by hand, cut it in half, and fitted it into an oiled bread pan.  When I make a dough like this, I make a fist and gently flatten the dough level, and then use my fingers to push it down more around the edges.  This helps it rise into a nice loaf shape.

I let it rise for about an hour- this is because we left the house to go visit the Striderling and his parents, so it had to rise in the van and it was kind of cool.  Otherwise, I would have given it 45 minutes.

Then I baked it at 425 degrees F for  about 15 minutes.  Julie says this step sears over the top of the bread while the yeast is still alive within and releasing gases, so the inside of the loaf is rising up firm against the crust.
Then we turned it down to 350 and baked it another half an hour to 45 minutes.  Precise times and temps vary a bit based on your altitude, humidity, oven temperament, and thickness of the dough.

I don’t like cinnamon raisin bread, but my husband loves it and has been asking for it for a very, very long time.  An embarrassing length of time.  He loved it.  In fact, he and all the progeny loved it, and we left some for the HG and Striderling, too.  They said it was nice and soft, and had a delicious flavor.

Linked at The Four Moms Bread Baking linky!

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Farmer’s Fry

New-Fangled Farm Fry- or low-carb farmers fry

4 slices bacon
1 cup caulifowerets, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces.
1 cup diced turnip, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces.
1/2 cup diced onion
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper.

Use kitchen shears to snip bacon into tiny pieces- cut it up right over a frying pan. Start it cooking. Combine caulifowerets, turnips, and two tablespoons of water in microwave and nuke for 7 minutes.*
Drain vegetables. Drain most of the fat from bacon. Add the vegetables to bacon and grease in pan, saute until onion is translucent.
Scramble the eggs with a fork, pour into skillet. Sprinkle cheese over it all, and stir until eggs are set. Salt and pepper to taste.

From 15-minute low-carb recipes by Dana Carpenter

Personally, I see no point in using the microwave for this recipe.  Just stir fry the vegetables.
We also didn’t use turnips because we were out- just frozen cauliflower, stir fried, bacon, eggs, and onion, with raw cheese. Mmmm.
There’s a picture here. I think it’d be good with salsa, or with green onions snipped over the top.

Posted in low-carb, lunch | Leave a comment

Crockpot Honey Lentils

Original recipe: Crockpot Honey Lentils

My Directions for the 15 year old cook:
Honey Lentils
Put 1 1/2 cups lentils in a colander and rinse them well. Put them in the crockpot. Add:
–3 cups water
–1/2 red onion, diced (use a regular onion if we don’t have red)
–1 cup of broccoli slaw
–1 tsp salt
–1 tsp dried mustard (it’s in the spice cupboard)
–1/4 tsp ginger (use the jar in the fridge)
–2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acids
–1/3 cup honey
–1 dried bay leaf

Cover and cook on high
When we get home, start the rice cooker.
Stir in one tablespoon of lemon juice into the lentils just before serving.

Posted in crockpot, frugal, legumes | Leave a comment

One-Handed Quiche

Here’s a meal we ate in the car for a few weeks while going to and from Bible study

This recipe for biscuits– it’s better than others because it is soft and more workable. The recipe calls for kamut flour, but we use freshly ground whole wheat flour.

Line muffin tins with the biscuit dough- it’s going to be the crust for a quiche you can eat with one hand.

Mix 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and about 2 cups of diced meat- we’ve used shrimp, crab, turkey ham, and hotdogs (not all at once). Sprinkle these in the bottom of each muffin cup. 

Then combine:

3 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
3/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

pour into muffin tins just below the biscuit dough tops. Bake until solid, about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I think these should freeze well and they could be filled with a mixture of cheese, diced olives and onions, seasoned with mustard for a tasty cold snack.

Posted in appetizers and snacks, breakfast, eggs, lunch | 1 Response