POUND CAKE

This is a mash-up of Classic Pound Cake recipe from epicurious and one in The Joy of Cooking.  They both called for cake flour, which I subbed out.  A little laborious, but it makes a lovely dense, moist cake with a hint of citrus.  Not too, too sweet, either.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup AP flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon each, lemon and orange zest

½ lb. butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

Butter a 9” x 5” loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift together the flours and salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl, preferably with a pouring lip, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and zests.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until lightened in color and fluffy.  With mixer running on low, gradually add in sugar, then raise speed and beat until very light, about 5 minutes total.  Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides if necessary.  Using the same technique, gradually beat in the egg mixture, dribbling in a tablespoon or so at a time and allowing it to be incorporated until it’s all in and the mixture is smooth.  Beat in the flour mixture in thirds, using a spatula to give the final mix.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 60 – 75 minutes, or until the cake is well-risen, cracked on top and golden, and tester inserted into the center emerges dry.

Cool cake in pan for a few minutes, then unmold onto a rack and turn over right side up to cool completely.

PRINTABLE VERSION HERE: POUND CAKE

LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP

This is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe in “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”.  Halved it, simplified it a little, and made it completely vegetarian.  The French green lentils are nice, but I’ve also made it with red or regular green lentils (even in combination, see picture below).  What really makes this quick soup special is the dash of vinegar before serving.  Sounds weird, but don’t skip it!

½ lb. French green lentils

this was a double batch

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced yellow onions

1 ½ cups diced carrots (3 – 4 carrots)

1 ½ cups diced celery (3 – 4 stalks)

1 teaspoon dried bouquet garni, or thyme

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon cumin

3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 quart vegetable stock

15-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice

1 bay leaf

red wine vinegar and parmesan cheese for serving

After picking them over for stones, etc., place lentils in a large metal bowl, cover with boiling water and let stand 15 minutes.  Drain.

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, sauté onions carrots, celery with spices, salt and pepper with olive oil over medium heat, until onions are translucent and soft, 15 – 20 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaf and drained lentils.  You might also want to fill the (unrinsed) tomato can with water and add that.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about one hour, until lentils and vegetables are cooked through.  Add salt and pepper as needed.  Serve hot, with a dash of vinegar and a sprinkled of grated parmesan on top.

Printable version here:  LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP

SPINACH & MUSHROOM QUICHE

Will not last long.

This is a simple and satisfying recipe that comes together pretty easily, adapted heavily from a Bon Appetit June 1991 recipe.  Totally do-able for weeknight cooking.  I used a combo of Crimini and baby Shitake mushrooms, but your favorite mushrooms will do.  You can also sub a yellow or red onion for the shallots, other cheeses like Monterey Jack, cheddar or fontina and cottage cheese or plain greek yogurt for the sour cream.  This goes well with the WHOLE WHEAT PIE CRUST (SAVORY) recipe.  This just fits into a regular 9” crust, or easily into a deep dish crust.

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons minced garlic

8 – 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced

splash dry white wine

6 oz. fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped

salt

dough for one 9” pie crust

1 ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese

4 eggs

½ cup sour cream

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon dried basil

Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute shallots until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for one minute.  Add mushrooms and sauté until they begin to release their juices.  Add splash of wine, raise heat, and sauté until juices are almost evaporated.  Add spinach in handfuls, with a few pinches of salt and sauté just until wilted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Roll out dough to fit your pie pan and fit into it.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat eggs, then beat in sour cream and spices.  Put half the cheese on the bottom of the pie crust, then layer in vegetable mixture, then other half of cheese.  Pour egg mixture over top.  Bake about 50 minutes until filling is set.  Cool slightly and serve.

Printable version here:  SPINACH AND MUSHROOM QUICHE

Morgan likes it.

WHOLE WHEAT PIE CRUST (SAVORY)

This is adapted from one in “Recipes from America’s Small Farms” by Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein.  They called for shortening instead of butter which I just can’t do.  I also added ground flaxseed and buttermilk, and changed the mixing method, so it’s pretty heavily adapted!

can be found at Whole Foods and TJs

1 stick butter, cold

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup AP flour

¼ cup ground flaxseed

¼ teaspoon salt

3 – 4 tablespoons very cold buttermilk

Open up the butter package, and cut the butter into chunks while resting on its waxed paper on a plate.  Put the plate into a freezer.

ready to go in the freezer

Blend together the flours, flaxseed and salt in the bowl of a food processor until well combined.before adding butter

Remove chilled butter from the freezer and dump the butter chunks into the flour mixture.  Pulse until butter is about the size of small peas.

Then, with the processor running, pour buttermilk through the feeder tube, 1 tablespoon at a time.  When dough begins to come together, stop processor.

Gather dough into a ball on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Flatten slightly into a disc, wrap very tightly and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.  Remove from refrigerator about 10 minutes before rolling out.  Makes one 9” deep dish pie crust.

Printable version here:  WHOLE WHEAT PIE CRUST savory

QUINOA PATTIES

topped with Yogurt Dip and Mustard Aioli

Finally a new vegetarian recipe that didn’t turn out horribly.  (I made a broccoli cheddar quiche and a bean and kale soup that were simply bad.)  This was from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day, but I found it on epicurious.  Made a few changes according to reviewer suggestions.  As Heidi says, this is a good use for leftover quinoa, but if you make the quinoa for the recipe, you can make it in the morning or the night before, and then the recipe will come together pretty quickly.  I added the chopped spinach, Heidi also suggests finely chopped vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower – zucchini would be good, too!

2 ½ cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature

4 (maybe 5) large eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives

½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 handfuls baby spinach, chopped

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

3.5 oz goat cheese, softened

1 cup bread crumbs

olive oil

Combine the quinoa, eggs and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in chives, onion, garlic, spinach and cheeses.  Fold in the bread crumbs and let sit for several minutes.  Try making the mixture into a 2 inch ball.  If it is too sticky, add more bread crumbs.  If it is too dry, add some water or more beaten egg.  Once you’ve got the right consistency, make the 2 inch balls and place on a plate or tray.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron skillet, or other heavy bottomed frying pan or griddle, over medium high heat.  Add about six of the balls, leaving an inch or so between them.  Gently press down on the balls with a spatula to flatten a bit.

cooking the first side

Cover and cook for 5 – 7 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown (check after 5 minutes and raise heat if they are not browning).

 

 

 

Flip and cook the second side, same as the first.

first side browned, cooking the second side

Remove from the skillet and keep warm on a wire rack.  Between batches, wipe out crumbs, and add more oil as necessary.

 

Serve warm, with desired toppings, such as a Cilantro & Chive Yogurt dip (TJs), Mustard Aioli (TJs), hot sauce, Tzatziki, Soy sauce (maybe add ginger to the patties), Gaucamole (sub cilantro for the chives)

are a hit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Printable version here:  QUINOA PATTIES

LENTIL RICE STEW WITH CRISPY ONIONS

 

This is from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark.  Very hearty and uniquely spiced, it was great as lunch all week!I used red onions

Crispy onions:

3 medium onions, halved from root to stem and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch salt

Stew:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (mine was rotten so I subbed a teaspoon of ground ginger)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cinnamon stick


¼ teaspoon ground cumin

pinch ground allspice

1 bay leaf

Rinse and pick out any stones before using

6 cups vegetable stock

½ cup short grain brown rice (or basmati)

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ cups red lentils

bunch of baby spinach, chopped (I used “teenage” kale)if its young, you can leave in the stems

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

lime wedges

 

Make onions:  Melt butter and 2 tablespoons oil over medium low heat in a large skillet.  Add onions and cook until they release juices, about 5 minutes.  Raise heat to medium high and cook until the onions are soft and golden, about 7 minutes.  Add remaining tablespoon oil and increase heat to high.  Cook, stirring only a few times, until onions are crisp and charred in spots.

Make stew:  Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until softened, 5 – 7 minutes.  Add ginger, garlic and herbs and spices and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.  Add stock, 3 cups of water, the rice and salt.  Raise heat to high, bring to a boil and then reduce to medium low and simmer for ten minutes.  Add lentils and cook until lentils and rice are soft, about 30 minutes.  Stir in greens and mint and stir until wilted.  Add more salt, and pepper if necessary.  Serve with a squeeze of lime and topped with crispy onions.  If you have leftovers, go ahead and stir the onions into the stew before storing.

Printable version here:  LENTIL RICE STEW WITH CRISPY ONIONS

before the crispy onions

ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES

I cannot stop eating these cookies.  Not too sweet, deluding myself that they are good for me – a deadly combination.

Just follow my PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES recipe, substitute your favorite Almond Butter for the Peanut Butter and toasted sliced almonds for the peanuts.  Make sure you use almond meal, and that will completely seal the deal.  Good and good for you, right???

Good luck…