Tag Archives: grains

bulgur and tomato salad

Here is a simple, quick salad that can be eaten warm or cold. This salad straddles the seasons, using the last of the ripe tomatoes before the fall sets in completely and some of the first sweet fall carrots. Bulgur or cracked wheat is perfect for a quick supper because it only needs to be rehydrated with some boiling water. In addition to eating it plain, I stuffed this mixture inside of swiss chard leaves and baked it for 20 minutes under a blanket of smoked mozzarella. As always, you can easily swap out or omit whatever the vegetables, cheese, or herbs, but I like to always include the golden raisins and a couple of handfuls of freshly chopped parsley and basil.

Bulgur and Tomato Salad

adapted from Passionate Vegetarian

1 cup of dried bulgur

2 cup boiling water

1 large sweet onion, diced fine

3-4 small carrots, diced fine

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 chile pepper, minced

3 tomatoes, diced and peeled, if you chose

1 lemon

herbs: big handful of parsley or basil. Other good choices (in smaller amounts) include mint or oregano

1/2 cup golden raisins or currants

cheese of your choice. I used a light grating of smoked mozzarella, but crumbled feta would be very tasty. Or use diced avocado for vegans.

 

Rehydrate the bulgur by pouring the boiling water over the dry bulgur. Cover and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium high with a bit of olive oil and start to saute the onion and carrot. When soft, add the garlic and chile pepper and saute for another minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until the juices start to bubble. Pull off the heat and add the zest and juice from the lemon. Stir in the herbs and raisins or currants. Let the mixture cool for a bit and then add the cheese or avocado, if using. Season to taste and enjoy.

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my morning oats

if you come over for breakfast, most days (like 5/7) i will be stirring a pot of oatmeal.  i would much rather have a huge breakfast and smaller lunches and dinners and i find that oatmeal really holds me over until lunch.  for breakfasts i will usually be craving something hot, sweet, and creamy which is just the way these oats turn out.  obviously there are infinite ways to top, mix, and swirl into a plain bowl of oatmeal, the bowl here is something that i make typically every morning.  i can’t think of anything more delicious or nutritious!  if i go more than 3 days without my morning oats, i have a serious craving.

in regards to the type of oatmeal, i typically use rolled oats (not quick or instant) on most days, steel cut oats on long weekends, and ground steel cut oats (also known as scottish oats) when i remember to grind them.

for some delicious variations, look here.

some easy ways to mix it up:

stir in a big spoonful of pureed pumpkin for festive fall oats

vary the fruit topping (i really like berries in the summer, pear slices in the fall, and bananas year round)

adding crunch with granola or crispy cereal of your choice

crumbling part of a scone or muffin on top

pouring the hot (but cooled slightly) oats into a nearly finished nut butter jar for oats in a jar!  very portable and easy for travel.

 

everyday, anyday banana oatmeal

adapted from kath eats

this serves one hungry girl, increase or decrease if needed

1/2 c rolled oats (i do find that quaker oats make a creamier bowl but i usually use what is in the whole foods bulk bin)

1/2-3/4 c water (depending on if you like oats more liquid-y or not)

1/2 c milk (soy, almond, cow all work fine)

1/2 a banana sliced thinly (or sometimes i use a whole small banana)

1/2- 1 tbsp of ground flax or chia seeds (optional but add some extra protein, fiber, omega 3’s and make for a fluffier bowl)

pinch salt

spinkle of cinnamon, splash of vanilla

toppings and mix ins of your choice (in this case, the rest of the banana, shredded coconut, dried blueberries, sunflower seeds, and almond butter)

in a small sauce pan over medium high heat, bring the liquids up to a boil and add the oats, banana, salt, flax or chia, and cinnamon.  when it starts bubbling, stir very vigorously and sort of smush up the banana.  lower the heat a bit and keep stirring regularly until the liquid is all absorbed.  if the oats look a bit raw still, add some more liquid until the mixture is creamy and at your desired consistency.  the active cooking time is something like 8 minutes, from the moment you turn on the stove. stir in the vanilla (if using) at the end.  transfer to your favorite bowl and top with whatever you desire.

 

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chewy granola bars

in an effort to save some money, i have started to make my own granola bars and larabars.  i have experimented with granola bars a lot and have several distinct types that i like to eat.

crunchy-  like those nature valley granola bars.

chewy/sticky- more like power bars or clif bars.

chewy/soft- these!  these are almost like granola bar cookies or if you have had the house made whole foods granola bars.

i baked these last night and ate one (two actual) very large bar for breakfast crumbled over some (homemade) yogurt and chopped apples.  very tasty and made the morning at work go by a little faster.

chewy granola bars

adapted from smitten kitchen

these are very, very adaptable.  change out the spices, leave out the spices, mix up the fruits and nuts, add a bit of cocoa powder, use different sweeteners, etc.

2 cup quick oats (i just pulsed some regular rolled oats in the blender until they were chopped up)

a bit less than 1/4 c turbinado sugar (you can always add more, but i prefer things less sweet and may even leave it out completely next time and just increase the liquid sweetener)

1/3 cup oat bran

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2-3 cups of dried fruits and nuts of your choice (i used pretty much any and all of the dried fruit i had: golden raisins, dark raisins, cranberries, chopped prunes, chopped almonds.  if you think about it more than i did, i am sure you could come up with some tasty combinations.  i am thinking that my next batch might have chopped dates, candied ginger, sesame seeds and coconut.)

1/3 cup nut butter of your choice (i used almond butter)

1 tsp vanilla

4-5 tbsp coconut oil or butter

1/4 cup or more maple syrup (you can use agave or honey also)

1 tbsp(ish) water

preheat your oven to 350.  line a 8″x8″x2″ pan with parchment or foil to make a sling and grease.  mix together oats, sugar, bran, salt. spices, and fruits/nuts mixture.  in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil or butter and add the nut butter, maple syrup, and water and stir until well combined.  take off the heat and stir in the vanilla.  pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well.  press this evenly into the prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes.  cool in the pan for 10 minutes and lift the granola bars out of the pan using the sling and let them cool completely on a rack.  these cut much more evenly when they are completely cooled or even cold.  cut into bars and store in an airtight container.

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rice pudding

the weather this week in san francisco is pretty dreary.  i wanted to make something that could simmer away on the stove and fill the kitchen with a warm, rich smell.  rice pudding!  i love custards and this one you can eat for breakfast.  i tweaked by general recipe a bit to use up some leftover coconut milk and added a cinnamon stick, ground cardamom, and chopped pieces of candied ginger.  if you toast some shredded coconut or chopped nuts to use as a garnish, it would add another dimension to the dish, but i was content just eat it warm from the pot.

coconut rice pudding

i didn’t really measure out anything for this, but it is pretty difficult to mess up.  the proportion of liquid to rice can also differ depending on how loose you like your rice pudding.  also, in the end, there was more soy milk than coconut milk, but you could still smell and taste it and it added a good amount of richness to the pudding.

3/4 cup rice (i used short grain brown rice since that is what i had on hand.  this would be much more traditional and creamy if you used a short grain whit rice like aborio rice or use jasmine or basmati rice for more tropicalness)

up to 1 can of coconut milk (light is fine)

3+ cups milk of your choice (i used soy) you can also replace some of the milk with water

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground cardamom

your desired amount of chopped candied ginger

about 3 tbsp agave syrup (or maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar)  i dont like mine too sweet and wanted to use some unrefined sweetners

1/4 tsp salt

combine the rice, salt and the milk in a pot over medium heat and simmer.  once the milk starts to be absorbed, add everything else.  lower the heat a bit and simmer until the rice is tender.  keep an eye on the pot and add more liquid if it starts to dry out.  the pudding with set up in the fridge so add more liquid than you think you need if you want a loose pudding.  serve warm or cold for dessert or for breakfast.

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granola

it is so much cheaper to make your own granola than to buy it from the store and, if you are like me, usually have all of the ingredients on hand.  one batch usually lasts about one week so it is a nice weekend activity.  i find that store bought granola is usually a bit too sweet and really high in calories.  you can put pretty much any dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. to tailor it to your liking.  in order to counteract the sweetness, i like to use a olive oil and good amount of salt.  instead of or in addition to rolled oats, you can also use flakes of other grains like barley, wheat, etc.

coconut cinnamon almond granola

adapted from a variety of sources such as kath eats and through years of experimenting

2 1/4 cups rolled oats or other flaked grain

up to 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (i like almonds and walnuts or pumpkin and sunflower seeds or pistachios!)

up to 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup ground flax (optional)

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp brown sugar

1-2 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp cinnamon (i think ground cardamom would be very good)

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 tbsp olive oil or canola oil or coconut oil

a really large pinch of kosher salt

dried fruits of your choice (i like dried cranberries with this)

preheat oven to 300 degrees.  in a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients except for the dried fruits.  in a small pan, over low heat, combine the honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, and oil.  when the mixture thins out, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla.  drizzle this mixture over the grains and stir until everything is coated.  spread this out on a large greased cookie sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes.  stir/turn the granola and bake for a couple more minutes.  stir and again and bake for a couple more minutes or until it is golden brown.  let the granola cool on the cookie sheet with out stirring or mixing.  this lets the granola become more clumpy.  when cool, break it up a little bit and add the dried fruit.

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pumpkin pancakes

in the spirit of using up my groceries before i return home for the holidays, i decided to make some pancakes for a sunday morning breakfast.  one of my favorite fall/winter flavors is pumpkin so i always stock up on pumpkin puree whenever i am grocery shopping.  besides using it in pie, i add it to my morning oatmeal, into yogurt, and as a quick soup base.  these pancakes are not as fluffy due to the whole wheat flour, but i think the grainyness and nuttiness that the whole wheat adds compliments the flavors pretty well.  i add several pancakes with some greek yogurt, a sliced comice pear, a smear of almond butter, warm maple syrup (grade b!), and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.  nomnomnom.

pumpkin pancakes

adapted from martha

3/4 c whole wheat flour

1/2 c all purpose flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (must be fresh!)

pinch of ground ginger or cloves, if you wish

1/2 cup or so milk (i used soy)

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs

2 tbsp canola oil or melted and cooled butter

1 tsp vanilla

optional- chopped toasted almonds or chocolate chips

whisk together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.  in a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin, eggs, canola oil or butter, and vanilla.  gently combine the two mixtures, stirring a little as possible; some lumps are ok.  heat your griddle or cast iron skillet over medium highish heat until a droplet of water dances and grease with a bit of butter.  pour pancakes to your desired size and sprinkle with nuts or chocolate chips.  the pancakes are to flip when the edges look dry and there are bubbles on the top.  serve with your desired toppings and nom.

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broccoli, cheese, and rice

this was a requested dish at thanksgiving, but also good for this time of year.  it is a sort of retro creamy casserole dish that i tried to make a bit lighter and healthier with a bit of modern spicing.  and very tasty!  leftovers keep pretty well and make a very tasty lunch.

broccoli and rice casserole

1 cup brown rice or white rice

1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter

1 or 2 stalks of celery diced

1 smallish onion finely diced

1 large head of broccoli cut into small florets

4 oz neufchatel cheese or cream cheese

1/4 -1/2 tsp smoked paprika (i think this is my favorite spice right now)

parmigiano and/or nicely aged cheddar

breadcrumbs

cook the brown rice in your favorite manner and drain.  while the rice is cooking, in a deep, wide skillet, sautee the celery and onion in the olive oil or butter until soft and starting to brown.  sprinkle in the smoked paprika.  add the broccoli and a splash of water or stock and cover and steam for a couple minutes.  cut the neufchatel cheese into small pieces and drop into the veggies and stir until everything is coated.  add the cooked rice and grate in your desired amount of parm or cheddar.  mix well and pour into a baking dish.  melt a bit more butter and toss in some breadcrumbs.  top the rice mixture with the butter breadcrumbs and slide the casserole into a 350-375 oven and bake until bubbly.

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