Monday, February 08, 2010
The snow is lightly falling today. We are staying inside where it is warm. Dumpling is such a big help with the baking. ;)
I made seven quarts of granola this morning. Don't know what I was thinking. We all like it, but I am thinking I will need to be sharing or freezing some of this bounty. I usually make just half the recipe, but it sounded good so I just made the full batch. Guess I won't have to make it again until the baby is born. In September.
We were planning to head out and pick up some more wheat and grains to have on hand, but have moved that plan out until Thursday. We get our serious bulk (50 lb. bags) from Nadine at Family Baker.
I have discovered Quinoa and been making a ton of it these last few months. While paying so much at once seems crazy, it lasts well and cost only half of what it would buying in in smaller bulk amounts at the store. I love Quinoa in a variety of dishes. For breakfast, I love this recipe for Warm & Nutty Quinoa. It is so flavorful and keeps me feeling full a lot longer than oatmeal because it has so much protein. For a savory salad option, there is this recipe.
I have also just made a big batch of it plain early in the week and then had some for breakfast with the berries and pecans and other meals adding it to my own salads. In the salads, it is sort of like couscous.
One thing---you MUST rinse it a ton!!! If you do not rinse it enough before cooking it, it will be bitter and gross. Ask me how I know. I know soak it and rinse it a bunch before cooking it. Keeping rinsing/soaking until the water is clear and there are no bubbles.
Quinoa is great because it is a huge protein source. It is rather flavorless on its own, so it is very adaptable. It is also gluten-free which is helpful as I have several friends now not eating gluten. It is like a grain, but technically isn't.
Wow. I wasn't planning on an entire post on Quinoa. I am just happy to be awake while the boys nap to get a chance to write at all!
What else...flax seeds. I added them to the granola and had them on my oatmeal this morning. I've been adding them to all sorts of things and even just munching on a spoonful plain. They have a nice, nutty taste and lots of goodness in them.
I will be making up some yogurt cheese/quark as soon as I can pry myself off of this chair. I basically strain plain yogurt for a long time and then use it in place of cream cheese and sour cream and as a spread base. I had only made it with herbs and spices for flavor, but may dish out a bit and add some fruit juice for a sweeter spread.
There are sprouts soaking on the windowsill today as well. Those will get added to the next Quinoa Salad. :) We also like to just eat them plain out of the jar! We being Pumpkin and I. Sweetheart & Dumpling don't care for them.
Gee, I must be hungry. I haven't written this much on food in quite some time!
I also worked ahead on menu planning as per Rachel Anne's challenge today. I did this for the first time when she posted it in January and did it again for February. Since I am trying to be a good Company Girl I figured I needed to forged ahead on March. So, we are all planned through April 1 at which time I will probably collapse and order take-out pizza for a week. Just kidding.
It went pretty well as far as the planning as I took out my new cookbook, Tosca Roma's Eat Clean, opened up to the entree section and just starting plugging recipes that sounded good into my weekly plan. I was able to full up most of March. I skipped a few recipes that just didn't seem to be anything we'd eat, but overall really like the book.
No, I am not dieting while pregnant. And yes, the first recipe I made from it was her brownie recipe. I just needed some help cleaning up our meals a bit. I am a great Comfort Food Cook. I love cooking and baking from scratch. It means virtually no preservatives, which is good, but a lot of butter and other yumminess that might not be as good for us. Balance is good.
Well, I need to clean up the disaster that is my kitchen after cooking away today. And I think I need a snack. Hmmm....granola anyone?