Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chai Pancakes with Roasted Strawberry

Chai Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries
Sugar free whole grain
This morning, like all mornings, I’m up early and it’s really for no reason except that I’m most productive during the day and can have a lot accomplished by 10 am. This morning I decided to take a very early walk with my dog Alice to the open fields near the Delaware river, the land south of the 28 mile trail grows either soy or corn and east and west of that and along the trail grows wild flowers of all kinds. Yesterday for the first time tucked away behind some trees were wild blackberry bushes, which I plan to visit later this week for more pickings. The morning was foggy, I’d never been out there during fog, it’s either very sunny or cloudy but the fog was a nice treat and it was incredibly quiet. Among the many things I think about on my walks, such as life, the future, what’s next or nothing at all, I thought about pancakes. It’s been months, so when I got home I whipped up a yummy batch of these chai pancakes with roasted strawberries and topped it with coconut cream, because I just love it so much and a little orange zest.

Ingredients Chai Pancake
Makes 8
¾ cup spelt flour
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp cardamom
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp clove
1/2 tsp star anise
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ¾ cup coconut milk beverage, almond or soy
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup very good cold pressed olive oil
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Notes: read recipe first. Use a whisk to loosen the flour before measuring, dip your measuring cup in the flour and scrape off excess with back of knife, do not spoon flour into measuring cup, this will result in inaccurate measurements. Use a liquid measuring cup for liquids.

1. Combine the milk and vinegar and set aside

2. Using a large bowl, sift the spelt, whole wheat pastry flour, flax, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, ginger, clove, star anise, cinnamon and black pepper, and whisk again once it’s in the bowl.

3. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and oil to the milk, and combine very well, add this to the dry ingredients and combine with a whisk until just mixed, do not over mix, seeing bubbles is good, set aside for 5 minutes.

4. Use a non- stick pan and have a small cup of high heat oil nearby to dip a basting brush for oiling the pan, each pancake will need fresh oil. Heat the pan and oil on medium  high until hot then turn down the heat to medium low add the batter ¼ cup at a time and cook the first side for 2 minutes, the other side for 1 ½ - 2 minutes. I use a timer for consistency. I like to wipe out the pan with paper towel then using a brush lightly coat with oil for next pancake. As they are done stack them on a plate to keep warm.

Roasted Strawberries
Preheat oven to 375 – line baking sheet with parchment paper

1 cup sliced strawberries into rounds
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Sprinkle of star anise or allspice

Combine all in a bowl and stir well- add to baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes at 375

Pancakes, coconut whip, strawberries and fresh grated organic orange, and pure maple syrup

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sprouted Buckwheat with Berries, Tahini & Yogurt

a bowl of perfectly cooked buckwheat

Sprouted Buckwheat with Berries, Tahini, Yogurt
Feeling the beat of summer with seasonal berries for breakfast, there’s many ways to enjoy a bowl of fruity goodness either on their own or sitting on top of granola, grains or sprouts. I can eat a bowl of fruit every morning and still find new ways to enjoy them. This particular breakfast, lunch or snack really, is just one of many delightful suggestions, I used blueberry and cherry and if you haven’t used a cherry pitter, I suggest running out now to purchase one, it makes using and eating cherries a whole lot easier, but I digress, the berries sit on top a bed of sprouted buckwheat, coconut yogurt, and then topped with lemon zest, salted pistachio, coconut butter and drizzle of tahini, oh and a bit of pure maple syrup. I also enjoy this breakfast on top of granola, or cooked buckwheat, black rice, spelt, brown rice or even barley, or simply just on it’s own topped with yogurt and all the other goodies. You decide!

A look inside the bowl!
½ cup sprouted buckwheat
½ cup yogurt  - I used So Delicious coconut unsweetened
Handful fresh, not frozen, cherries and blueberries
Drizzle tahini
Coconut butter
Salted pistachio
Lemon zest
Pure maple syrup

Add all to a pretty bowl in order listed above

PS. After putting all your ingredients in the bowl – take a pretty picture.
XOXO Diana

Thanks to So Delicious dairy free products for including me in their “Save Summer Campaign” it’s been a blast coming up with delicious recipes using their yummy dairy alternatives.

Sprouting Buckwheat
1. Add buckwheat groats to a bowl and fill with purified water, let soak for 15 minutes then rinse very well, soaking any longer causes a gelatinous texture not appropriate for sprouting.

2. Place a paper towel in a bowl and add the rinsed buckwheat and cover bowl with additional paper towel at room temp, rinse about twice a day and place back in bowl. Sprouts form in 24-48 hours. Store in glass jar in the fridge.

Enjoy in smoothies, breakfast, in salads, or grind to make buckwheat flour.

great video on how to sprout buckwheat

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grilled Corn with Coconut Butter, Lime Juice, Sea Salt & Cayenne

Grilled Corn with Coconut Butter, Lime Juice, Sea Salt & Cayenne
Corn is something I just don’t eat a lot of but when I do, I’m reminded of how much I really like it, grilled that is. I saw this lovely image of grilled corn the other day loaded with mayonnaise and cheese and thought, I can have that too, without the mayo and cheese of course, and what I came up with was a delicious variation of Mexican inspiration. Check it out it may be your new favorits!

Coconut butter
Lime juice
Sea salt

Fire up an outdoor grill and toast all sides until golden, when done rub coconut butter, all over and finish with squeeze of fresh lime juice, sea salt and cayenne pepper.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Kale Pesto

Summer Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Kale Basil Pesto
I’m a huge fan of bread stuffed with all kinds of goodness and the sloppier the tastier, and that includes pitas and bean burgers. Now that it’s summer and farmer’s markets are abundant with local vegetables, the temptation to overbuy gets me every time. But I admit I never let them sit too long to spoil, that means eating lots of salad, using them in juices, grilling them for side dishes and using them in sandwiches, which lately seems to be my favorite. If you have an outdoor grill it takes very little effort, and on a warm summer day being outside flipping veggies while sipping on a glass of wine sounds quite perfect. For the sandwich I made a chunky pesto to slather inside, stacked the veggies and finished with balsamic vinegar. The veggies I used below are just a suggestion to the many possible variations and if you haven’t tried grilled radicchio give it a try, it’s a bitter leaf but once cooked with oil and sea salt the bitterness smoothes out and with the vegetables that sweeten when cooked, it’s a nice balance.

So here’s what I did with my sandwich and I used more veggies than needed for left overs so I’m not going to give out measurements here.

Ingredients for Sandwich
Fresh bread sliced

1.Graffiti eggplant or other, make sure they are small, slice them very thin under a ¼ inch, lightly oil one side and add a sprinkle of sea salt.

2. Zucchini sliced under ¼ inch, lightly oil one side and season with sea salt

3. ½ radicchio sliced into sections keeping the leaves attached at the core, look at image,
lightly oil all sides and  sprinkle with sea salt

4. Large sweet onion sliced into rounds ¼ inch thick

Balsamic vinegar to finish

Method for Veggies
1. Fire up the grill until hot at high heat, turn down the heat to medium

2. Add all the veggies oil side on the grill, the eggplant takes a little longer and will look dry but they soften as they cool, taste for doneness.

3. The radicchio cooks in just a couple of minutes – about one minute per side, don’t walk away or they will burn, a little burnt on edges is fine.

Garlic Rubbed Bread
Using a mortar pestle 
Add clove of garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
large pinch sea salt

Method Garlic Bread
Using a mortar pestle, Mash the garlic in the oil and sea salt and lightly coat each side of the bread, grill until toasted on both sides

Kale Basil Pesto with Walnuts
4 cups kale -  I used curly
Small handful fresh basil
½ cup raw walnuts
4 sun dried tomatoes minced – optional but good
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt more if needed
Sprinkle cayenne pepper, or a little cracked red pepper

Note about pesto:  Many recipes I see use about ¼ cup oil or more, I use very little for a chunkier pesto, if you want less chunky add additional 1 tbsp of oil until you reach desired consistency, I wouldn’t go over ¼ cup.  If using for pasta then of course you will want it runnier.

Method Pesto
Add the kale and basil to processor and pulse until chopped, add all other ingredients and blend until small chunky bits form, taste for seasoning.

Assemble Sandwich
Spread pesto on bread, top with eggplant, zucchini, onion, sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and finish with radicchio. Slice sandwich in half