Tuesday, July 22, 2008

English Muffins, Carrot Pancakes, and Comforting Meals

The past week or so we've been compiling all the great recipes we have bookmarked so that we can print them off and bind them in a binder...that way we can cook these recipes and stop accumulating more recipes. There are so many great looking recipes out there, that we can't make them all. So, we will just work with the ones we will print off for now. (And that adds up to over 100 pages! Yikes!).

Yes, we love food and cooking! We decided this week to go back to what we love - baking bread/breakfast/dessert and making comforting, hearty meals. Who doesn't love the great yeasty fresh smell of bread rising, bananas in the oven, nutty rice cooking on the stove, and cinnamon filling the air?

Like many bloggers recently, we made carrot cake pancakes. Soft, fluffy, and we get our healthy orange fix in the morning! For the first time, we enjoyed them with some cooked apples, a little agave, and heavily doused cinnamon on top. This morning we also enjoyed the pancakes for breakfast, but ate them with more freshly shredded carrots, slightly warmed, and cinnamon. I think we had 1 Tbsp each of cinnamon on our pancakes! Yummy.

We also enjoyed making homemade whole grain English muffins! They actually we pretty easy to make - it just took patience to let the yeast ferment overnight and then let it rise. Easier than bread baking, and used less energy because they don't require an oven to cook. You just cook them on a skillet similar to pancakes. We served them with homemade beet veggie burgers, then tofu sandwiches. Really soft (more like a soft bread texture than a airy English muffin) and very tasty when toasted!

Another great treat we enjoyed was homemade banana-date-walnut-oatmeal bars. We tried to imitate Odwalla bars, but we still need to tweak the recipe. It was very soft and flavorful, it just needs to be less fluffy/bready and more dense like Odwalla's.

Banana-Date-Walnut-Oat Bars

1/4 cup + 1 Tb Scottish oatmeal
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Peppy Kernels (or rolled oats + some uncooked millet)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

6 large medjool dates (1/4 cup), mashed/pureed
3/4 cup frozen bananas, warmed and mashed with the liquid (or 3/4 cup fresh bananas mashed plus some liquid)
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal, added to mashed bananas
2 Tbsp agave nectar

Mix together dry ingredients. Add dates into flour mixture, then add mashed bananas. Mix slightly, then add walnuts and mix until just combined. Spread in a 1 1/2 quart glass bar pan (9 x 7 baking pan) and bake 13 min. Let sit before cutting into bars.

With the extra dates, we just mashed them onto a graham cracker and topped with walnuts for a quick and tasty treat. I never knew how soft and versatile dates are in baked goods!

For meals, we chose the hearty dishes - Homemade Sloppy Joe's with Chickpeas, Chickpea & Vegetable Shepherd's Pie, and Edamame "Fried" Rice.
The Sloppy Joe's reminded us of our southern roots - messy, tomatoey goodness! For leftovers, we served them in cabbage leaves for a lighter flare, and then another day served them mixed with cooked red quinoa as a "Quinoa bowl".

The Shepherd's Pie we adjusted from multiple Shepherd's Pie recipes we saw, one from Veganomicon. Ours had lots of nutritional yeast and Bragg's, plus a little thyme, sage, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, olive oil, coriander, and celery seed. For the filling, we used local squash (it was like a cross between zucchini and winter squash; semi-creamy), chickpeas, and diced carrots. The mashed potato topping we had made a few days before, which made the dish less time consuming. It actually was half red potatoes, half cauliflower mixed with soy milk. We really loved the mashed potato/cauliflower mix! Lighter, yet still creamy and comforting. This dish was very tasty when doused with nutritional yeast and drizzled with a little olive oil and more Bragg's.

Our last hearty meal for the week was a healthy Asian bowl- edamames, diced carrots, scallions, diced bell pepper, toasted sesame seeds, and long grain brown rice, with just some olive oil and Bragg's. Sometimes the most simplest ingredients come together with the best flavors.

We have more great concoctions coming soon!

While we've been doing moving/job research (we may be moving to Oregon), we found this great website - walkscore.com. You can search an address, find how "walkable" it is, and even zoom in and see the streets/houses close up! ("street-level" view option)

-LK Sisters


Anonymous said...

Great post today! I'm so impressed by the English muffins and that Asian Bowl is so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Uhh All of your food looks amazing! I'm getting hungry now just looking at it =)

Cinnamon said...

Try using real cinnamon and reduce on the sugar.

The Cinnamon that we buy in the US is actually Cassia.

Cassia has a checmical called coumarin which could be toxic.

Please click the below link to read more.


LK said...

We do use real cinnamon - its all organic, too. And we hardly used any sugar - in the banana bars we used all natural fruit to sweeten, and only 2 Tbsp agave, which is a natural healthy sweetener.
But, thanks for the information just the same!

Sarah said...

Oh my, everything looks delicious! Those carrot cake pancakes, Im going to have to try and make some myself.

I definitely thought of you two the other day while I was shopping in a new super market. I found over 20 Bob's Red Mill products in a row in the cereal aisle. And I said I couldnt find many in my area :)

jessy said...

english muffins, carrot pancakes, asian bowls of awesomeness! mmmmmmmmmmm! it ALL looks fantastically goooooooood!

Jenny said...

Everything looked so yummy! I might have to try your banana bar recipe, it sounded good!