Monday, December 20, 2010


grains 5

Quinoa? Millet? Brown rice? Can't decide?

Me either. I tend to be pretty indecisive which is why this idea to have them all at the same time is right up my alley.

A few days ago I was planning on making a temeph dish and serving it over millet. I also remembered I had a bag of amaranth stashed in the cupboard and thought it was about time to find a recipe to use it in. I decided to head over to 101 Cookbooks and was initially disappointed when only one recipe popped up. Then I looked closer and decided it would be perfect for my dinner and all those other times I have stood staring at all the jars in my cupboard filled with random grains. I used what I had and made a mix slightly different than Heidi's but just as pretty, delicious, and wholesome.

Five Grain Mix
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup short grain brown rice (or use medium if you want it to be less sticky and more separated)
1 cup millet
1/3-1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup red quinoa
1/4 cup amaranth

Add all the ingredients into a mason jar and shake to mix. Store until you are ready to use.

grains 4

You can rinse the grains before cooking, but be careful the tiny amaranth grains don't go through your strainer (You can probably skip the rinsing step, I almost never rinse my quinoa before cooking even though every one says you should). Put however much of the grains you'd like to cook into a pot and fill with water until it is about 2 inches over the grains. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, adding more water if necessary and stirring occasionally.

grains 3

Serve! (Shown with Maple Grilled Tempeh)

grains 1

Monday, October 25, 2010

Best Grilled Cheese Tip

Sorry for the radio silence once again! I know I always have excuses, but a few days after my last post I got sick with a fever that lasted almost 10 days, mostly spent in bed sleeping or catching up on the schoolwork I missed. I also have tons of photos on my camera waiting to be posted, but the battery is dead and I cannot find the charger anywhere! Ugh. Excuses, excuses, I know.

I do have a new food tip for you though! Alex bought me a subscription to the Canal House Cookbooks for my bridal shower in June. If you aren't familiar with them, they are a series of cookbooks published three times a year with amazing photography, elegant writing, and amazing recipes. One of the essays in the latest edition is written by one of the author's sisters about her Christmas eve tradition of fancy grilled cheese with friends. She mentions a tip I had never heard before: using mayonnaise instead of butter for cooking the sandwiches.

I was intrigued and decided to try it out tonight and it worked perfectly! Whenever I use butter, I end up using a lot more than I would like in order to coat the bread enough for it to cook. A super thin layer of mayo cooked it perfectly. Plus, using less fat makes it a healthier meal. It's definitely what I will be using from now on! (I also highly recommend using Ezekiel Sprouted Grain bread and Pecorino Romano cheese....Mmmm!)

In lieu of a photograph of said delicious sandwich, I hope you will accept this adorable photo of our brand new puppy whose name is Ghost (however, Adam is pushing to change it to Falkor). As you can see, we have already started training him to attack squirrels. Maybe next year I will get some tomatoes after all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

oatmealbread 14

I've been meaning to get more into bread baking for...about a year. I've made the occasional baguette here or there, but I have pretty much made the same recipe every time. Last Monday, I decided it was time to get to it. Tuesdays are my long day at school and the only day where I have to bring a lunch. I was out of my usual sprouted wheat bagels so I decided to make some sandwich bread. I've also been meaning to bake more from Kim Boyce's Good the Grain, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone by making her oatmeal sandwich loaf.

I'm going to try to make some type of bread once a week, and so far I've made it two weeks in a row. Hopefully I'll keep this habit up, because so far it has been delicious.

Oatmeal Sandwich Loaf
Adapted from Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or one packet)
3 tbsp unsulphured molasses
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tbsp kosher salt

Butter a 9x5x3 loaf pan. My pan was a little smaller (8.5x4.5) and if yours is too, I'd recommend making a few rolls or a small boule with some of the dough. I crammed all of mine into the pan and it baked up ridiculously tall.

Combine the yeast and molasses with 2 cups of warm water and sit for about 5 minutes (until yeast bubbles). Add the flours, butter, and oats and stir with a wooden spoon. Then let sit, covered with a towel, for half an hour.

Add the salt and knead for 8-10 minutes, until dough is soft and only slightly sticky (or mix on medium speed in a stand mixer for 6 minutes). Put the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size (about one hour).

oatmealbread 4

oatmealbread 5

Then shape the dough:

First, flatten it out on a lightly floured surface (if making some rolls, take the dough out for that now). Then fold the top down and bottom up so that they meet in the middle. Press together the seam. Then put the dough into the pan with the seam down. Cover the pan with a towel and allow to rise again for another hour. Start preheating the oven to 400 degrees about 20 minutes before the hour is up.

oatmealbread 12

Bake for 40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when you thump the top. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool for a few hours until cutting, if you can stand to wait that long.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Extra Spicy Green Tomato Salsa

Just a quick update to my last post...

Adam is having a "Hot Off" (aka a competition to see who can handle the spiciest foods) at work today and requested I make that Green Tomato Salsa with habaneros instead of jalapenos. I just made a new batch not only with orange habaneros, but with double the amount (four instead of two). He claims it is so good, people would pay money for it. I'm not trying it, so I'll have to take his word for it.

If you or someone you know is one of those crazy people that likes to eat food so spicy that they sweat until their clothes are drenched, maybe give this version a try:

5 green tomatoes
1 onion
1 garlic clove
4 habanero peppers
small handful of cilantro
salt to taste
(I skipped the 1 tbsp of vegetable oil this time)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Green Tomato Salsa

Green Tomato Salsa

I don't think my expectations were too high.

I just wanted one. One ripe tomato. With 4 tomato plants in my garden, I didn't think it was too much to ask. It was my first garden ever and I just wanted to pick one juicy ripe heirloom tomato off the vine. I had "Julia Child" tomatoes, crazy banana pepper shaped tomatoes, and yellow tomatoes. At first, there were just a couple little green globes growing. I waited patiently....and then, the squirrels got to them. Then some more green balls appeared, but I went out of town in the middle of tomato season. No one really knows if any of them made it to being ripe before getting eaten by pesky critters, but I didn't get a single one.

Green Tomatoes

There are still a ton of unripe green tomatoes growing though, but it's been really cold the past few weeks since we returned from our honeymoon and I gave up. Yesterday, we made fried green tomatoes. I'd never had them before and Adam hadn't had them for years. We were both underwhelmed. But what else can you do with those firm green buggers? I had no idea.

Google led me to this recipe. I was skeptical, but we decided we might as well give it a try. Plus, I got to use the jalapeno pepper I found hiding under an overgrown tomato plant. And what do you know? It actually turned out really good. So if you too have a bunch of green tomatoes still hanging on and want an option besides frying them, here you go.

Maybe next year I'll get one.

Green Tomato Salsa

Green Tomato Salsa
Note: If you want to make it extra spicy, try this version.

5 medium unripe green tomatoes
1 small onion
2 jalapeno peppers
1 garlic clove
a small handful of cilantro
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor. That's it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quinuevos Rancheros

Whenever I go on vacation, I come back completely disoriented. I forget how I used to function. In college, even after a long weekend, I'd come back wondering "How exactly did I mange to watch so many episdoes of Six Feet Under and do all my homework at the same time?" or even "What time do I normally eat dinner?" Coming back from my honeymoon has been no different. After 10 days of eating out for every meal, plus the weeks beforehand where I was traveling and not cooking regularly, have gotten my routines out of whack. I went to the grocery store the day after we got back since we had pretty much nothing in the fridge and was so overwhelmed, I ended up buying some apples and bananas and coming home. Not exactly great ingredients for dinner.

Slowly but surely I'm getting used to cooking again. The blogging part? That's coming back soon. I made myself a fantastic birthday cake last weekend and took pictures the first half, and then completely forgot about it. So I have pictures of making ganache and that ganache spread over the bottom layer of the cake, but anything else? Nope.


I promise to be back in full force soon. There are too many new kitchen toys from the wedding for me not to be! I am super excited to start using my KitchenAid Ice Cream maker. I made my first batch of vanilla, just to get the hang of things, the other day and it is marvelous. I can't wait to try some more complex and delicious flavors. But make up for my lack of entries lately, I bring you my dinner:

Quinuevos Rancheros

I got this recipe from Rebecca Woolf at Girls Gone Child. I am loving her new Eat Well section.

No recipe is really needed. Plop some quinoa on a plate. Top with 2 eggs, shredded cheese, salsa, cilantro, avocado and anything else you think would be good. I used cayenne pepper to add a little spicy to it. I don't think I've ever seen quinoa used in a dish like this but I think quinoa and runny egg yolks may be new favorite combo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Honeymoon: Delancey

While we were in Seattle, we were lucky enough to have dinner at Delancey, the restaurant owned by Molly Wizenburg (Orangette), who you may realize from reading my blog, I love. A lot.


We started with Burrata, served with prosciutto and arugula (excuse the not-so-great pictures taken in the dark restaurant with my point and shoot):


Then, pizza! I picked sausage:

Sausage Pizza

Salami and fennel seed (which I loved even though I do. not. like. fennel):

They may just look like normal pizzas, but they were AMAZING. Simple, high quality ingredients. The salami was especially phenomenal.

In the back, you can see Molly's husband, Brandon. In the front, you can see the bottle of rose that we drank...

Then, I met Molly. No big deal...

Molly Wizenburg & Me

She and Brandon gave us dessert on the house since it was our honeymoon. This is Adam's. I can't remember what it was, except it involved blackberries and was delicious Oh hey, I took a picture of the menu. It's blackberry pavlova:


But mine was totally better. Peaches with honey whipped cream, and BOURBON carmel. The bourbon. It was good.:

If you ever find yourself in Seattle, I highly recommend checking out Delancey (and getting there when it opens or else you might have to wait 2 hours for a table. If you do have to wait two hours for a table, there is a bar across the street, not that we went there and had enough drinks to be a bit tipsy before dinner). Also, one pizza is not enough for two people, but too much for one person, which means leftovers you can eat for breakfast in your hotel room. Cold pizza. Breakfast. It's classy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm Back!

Bride & Groom

We just got back from our honeymoon this afternoon! I had an amazing time and will be back in my next post to detail all the foodie highlights!

Thanks for sticking around!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Hey everyone!

I just wanted to give anyone reading a heads up that August is going to be absolutely crazy for me. I'm about to head to Lollapalooza, followed by a visit to my sister in IL, then my wedding and the honeymoon (to Seattle and Vancouver). I have a few posts I've been planning but I'm not sure when I'll get around to posting them. Hopefully I'll find some time during this crazy month, but if not, I'll see you in September!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Foodie Book Club: The Butcher and the Vegetarian


The Butcher and the Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver was the June selection for the Foodie Book Club (Yes, June. Excuse the lateness.)

I absolutely loved this book. Weaver, a vegetarian, explores the world of meat after struggling with health problems and a few doctors suggesting she tries to eat more meat. She details her journey exploring questions like should we eat meat and if so, from where? Commercial feedlots? Sustainable, local, organic farms? How can you tell if your meat is produced 'right'? Will meat really make her feel better?

I have personally thought about these questions over and over again. I've read several books on the subject, but coming up with an answer is difficult. I am not and have never been a vegetarian, but when I was a kid, I'd almost always pass on meat, unless it was chicken fingers, bacon, or a cheeseburger. Meat on the bone? Roasted pork loin? Turkey on Thanksgiving? No, thank you. It grossed me out. I never even ate steak until I was eighteen.

Do I think it is wrong to eat meat? The answer is not as simple as yes or no. I do believe we are omnivores, with bodies meant to eat both meat and plants. However, I think eating the majority of meat that is produced in this country is wrong and the amounts in which we eat it are even worse. I have a huge problem with CAFOs and the pollution they produce, causing both the animals and humans around them to get sick. I think its wrong to keep tens of thousands of chickens crammed in hen house where each animal can barely move around. I think its wrong that we have bred animals that are so large they cannot walk more than a few steps or even reproduce naturally. But pastured cows and chickens raised on local farms? That is something I can support (as with George the chicken from my last post).

Critics say that there is no way to produce enough meat to feed the country, let alone the world, on a pastured based system. And they are probably right. But guess what? People do not need to eat meat at every meal, let alone every day. For both environmental and health reasons, this country would do a lot better for itself if it incorporated more plants into its diet. You may notice from the recipes I post here are almost all vegetarian and that is how I usually eat. I'm not perfect, but I try not eat meat at restaurants unless they are restaurants I trust. Luckily Minneapolis has plenty of restaurants with local, organic, and sustainable values (my favorites include Restaurant Alma, Common Roots Cafe, Lucia's, Brasa, and the Birchwood Cafe). If I want to prepare meat at home, I buy it from the Farmers Market or a natural foods co-op. Yes, it is more expensive to buy meat that way, but I buy it so rarely I am willing to pay the extra price. The meat that comes from a commercial feedlot is not as cheap as the price tag might indicate, its costs are externalized to subsidies, health bills, etc. There is really no such thing as cheap meat.

But anyway, I'll stop with my food beliefs and go back to the book. It was a great read, I finished it over the course of two days. It was great to read along as Weaver researched and discussed all the issues surrounding meat that I have thought of myself. There were times I cringed (like the story of the cow from a commercial feedlot that wouldn't compost...gross!) . I also related to her discussion of how to deal with eating at other people's houses. This is something I've struggled with as well. I can't really say that I'm a vegetarian, but how to explain to someone that "Yes, I eat meat, but only some meat and that meat you are serving just isn't good enough for me" and not sound like a uppity bitch? You just can't.

At the end of the book, Weaver commits herself to two-week long experiments: one week of eating meat 3 times a day and one week going totally raw. The meat week leaves her feeling gross and dreading meals. She decided to go raw for a week as a sort of detox and the first few days she says she was always hungry, but the food wasn't bad at all...and then a few days later? She starts to feel better. Energized. She realizes that for the first time in years, she isn't exhausted all the time. It's the raw diet that ends up working for her. I found myself almost laughing at the end, reading the whole book about meat to leave with her becoming a semi-raw foodist. She says it probably isn't for everybody, but that is what works for her and she finally figured it out.

The one thing I didn't really like is the fact that the title and the cover illustration led me to believe there was a love story involved, that she would eventually marry a butcher or something like that. Every time she talked about some meat loving man (like Biggles who writes a meat blog), I kept waiting for the romance, but it never came. I'm not saying there needed to be a romance, but I found that to be a little misleading and distracting. Also, the book jacket mentions a butcher daring her to eat her way through the meat counter, so I also was expecting her to try everything at the butcher and go through it piece by piece. I did enjoy the book, but these bits were a little misleading and not everyone who takes a quick glance at it might end up satisfied.

Titles and false expectations aside, the book inspired me to get in the kitchen twice. The first time I made flank steak with the chimichurri sauce she mentions so often. I would have posted that recipe here, but I almost burned the house down when I made it, not realizing there were some plastic pieces on my new roasting pan (why? I have no idea, but I didn't see them and remove them before broiling the steak the house filled with smoke). But it was delicious. After finishing the book, I was intrigued by the raw kale salad she mentions at the end. I have heard that kale can be eaten raw and is quite good if you massage it with salt until it wilts, but I never mustered up the courage to do so (as Weaver says, it sounds too "aggressively healthy" to be good). I was surprised how good it ended up being. I know it sounds scary, but try it! It's actually quite delicious.

Raw Kale Salad

Raw Kale Salad
From Tara Austen Weaver's site

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flax oil (I don't have any so I used walnut. I'm sure you could also double the olive oil instead.)
1 tbsp light miso
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped
cayenne pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together until combined.


About 3 leaves kale, with stems removed and cut into ribbons
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1/2 avocado
sea salt
1 tbsp red onion, chopped
1 tbsp jalopeno, chopped (optional)

Sprinkle the sea salt onto the kale and massage in until slightly wilted.

Raw Kale Salad

Toss with the other ingredients, add dressing, and eat!

Raw Kale Salad

Raw Kale Salad

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken (Part One)

(Note: Vegetarians and Vegans, beware. This post is full of dead chicken.)

How Alex and I spent our Saturday Night:

Chicken Prep

Meet George. He is our chicken. He is sassy and speaks with a French accent. He used to live in Mankato at Prairie Pride Farm where he spent his days in clover pastures, eating clover, alfalfa, oats, grasses, non-GMO corn, and bugs and being a chicken. Now, he is in my fridge, soon to become roasted, Zuni Cafe style.

Chicken Prep

We removed his organs. We (well, Alex) chopped off his neck. Then we gave him a bath and patted him very, very dry.

Drying the Chicken

Then we stuck our fingers between his skin and breasts and gave him herbal implants of sage, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary.

Giving the Chicken Herb Implants

We did the same to his thighs.

Then we rubbed him down with salt. Lots of salt. And some pepper. We even put some inside his cavity. Just a little. Not too much.

Chicken Post-Op

And now he sits in the fridge for two whole days before he is dinner.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Strawberry Banana Soft Serve

Strawberry Banana Soft Serve

If you are into vegan or raw foods, or even if you're not and you just read a lot of food blogs, you may have come across this post about making raw vegan "ice cream" by simply sticking a frozen banana or two in the food processor. I tried it several weeks ago and it's true! It is the perfect substitution if you don't eat dairy. Don't get me wrong, I still love the real stuff, but this is a perfect healthy (and cheaper!) alternative for when it is so hot you want to eat ice cream every. single. day. And a great way give brown bananas a new life.

Since I started making this myself, both Ashley at (never home)maker and Ashley at The Edible Perspective have posted some variations, including adding things in like cherries, peanut butter, and cookies.

Today I was inspired to try something new. As I as putting my bag of frozen bananas back in the freezer, I saw my GIANT bag of frozen local strawberries I have been adding to as strawberry season comes to a close. I grabbed a small handful, threw them in, and voila: PINK soft serve. The perfect thing to cheer you up when you have unexpected, last minute wedding-planning chaos. Even more perfect if you eat it with a brownie!

Strawberry Banana Soft Serve

1.5 frozen bananas
About 1/4 cup frozen strawberries (I'm guessing fresh would work too)

Put ingredients in food processor until texture is ice cream like. Yup. That's it.

Makes 1 large serving.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Exciting news: I OWN A STAND MIXER!

Yes, a little over a week ago, my aunt threw me a bridal shower in St. Paul. I had a great time with all my friends, ate delicious food, and received lots of handy things for our new kitchen. My grandparents were generous enough to give me a gorgeous chrome Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I pulled it out of its box as soon as I got home and placed it in its new home on my counter. And that is where it sat for eight whole days before I touched it again.

I have wanted a stand mixer for the longest time. There have been so many recipes where I stood there, beating things with a hand mixer, or worse, a wooden spoon, for what seemed like forever, all the time dreaming of the day when a stand mixer would do all that work for me. When it was finally in my possession, I wanted to break it in with something that is hard to make without one. Something like the brioche I made a few months ago, where I cursed under my breath while kneading butter into the dough and made my entire kitchen a mess. Only, I didn't feel like making brioche. I thought and thought and thought and nothing seemed like the perfect first recipe for the mixer. Until I finally I gave up and decided I needed to make something right away. It was wrong for the stand mixer to sit there untouched for so long. I tried to get my fiance to give me an idea. After several unhelpful suggestions (potato salad??!?!), he finally mentioned gingerbread cookies. I searched several of my favorite blogs and found this recipe from Orangette. I ran to the store to get what I needed and finally plugged the Kitchen Aid in and watched the magic.

Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Ginger-Molasses Cookies
From Orangette

NOTE: The batter needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours, so keep that in mind when planning!

2 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour (all-purpose is fine too)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
½ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
6 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp peeled and grated ginger
1/3 cup molasses
½ cup unrefined cane sugar (or granulated sugar)

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a bowl and set side.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl and use a hand mixer), beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated each time. Then add the ginger and molasses and mix well.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, adding about 1/3 of the dry ingredients each time. When it is all added, cover the bowl in plastic wrap in set in the fridge for at least two hours. Molly says it can be kept in the fridge for 4 days at this point. I left it there overnight.

Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the cane sugar in a shallow pan (I used a cake pan). Roll the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter, eight at a time. Roll each ball in the sugar, coating it completely. Keep the dough in the fridge when you are not using it, otherwise it will warm up and become sticky and hard to work with. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 15-17 minutes (Mine were perfectly done at 15). Eight at a time should fit on a sheet.

When done, pull the parchment paper off the sheet and onto the counter to let cool. Take the cookies off the paper when cool enough and reuse for the next batch. I ended up with around 28 cookies (Molly said 22).

Friday, June 11, 2010

The United States of Arugula

May's Foodie Book Club book was The United States of Arugula.

This book was a bit different than the previous selections in that it was more of a history book. The last two were very current and this book gets there eventually but starts at the roots of the foodie movement and goes all the way up to today, discussing Thomas Keller and Rachael Ray. I will admit I haven't finished it yet, but so far I've found it very fascinating. It traces the roots of 'foodie' culture back to the very beginning, discussing its founders such as James Beard and Julia Child. Maybe it is just that I am fairly new to the foodie scene, but I'd never thought much about where it came from, so reading about the very early history has been very interesting. It seems like a lot of pieces about foodie-ism seem nostalgic towards the "good old days" but I was surprised to find a lot of similarities between the public's ideas about food then and now. Even James Beard and the other first foodies were more outcasts than representatives of popular opinion.

Unfortunately, I don't have much more to say at the moment. It was a busy month with finals and wedding planning, but I do plan on finishing it as soon as I get a chance. Perhaps I will write up a better review then. I have this month's book already and am looking forward to reading it, so I promise to at least have a better review next time!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vegan Banana Coconut Oatmeal Pancakes

Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes

I'd been planning to make this recipe straight out of the book, but I was out of milk and lazy. I decided if I was going to use the soy or almond milk in my fridge, I might as well ditch the eggs too and veganize the whole thing. As I was waiting for the skillet to heat up, I spied my glass jar of unsweetened shredded coconut and decided to add some in at the last minute. These pancakes are a lot different than the light, fluffy type I usually go for. The oat flour and oatmeal make them especially dense and...well, oatmealy. Different, but delicious. I also highly recommend chocolate chips.

Vegan Banana Coconut Oatmeal Pancakes
Adapted from Good to the Grain

3/4 cup oat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry would work too)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/4 cups nondairy milk (I used soy)
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 tbsp unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)
1 banana, mashed

Chocolate chips (optional)

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, oatmeal, molasses, and banana. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and be careful not to overmix. If not using immediately, it can be kept in the fridge overnight, but may need to be thinned with milk.

Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes

Heat a skillet over medium heat. When hot, scoop the batter (about 1/4 cup at a time) and cook until bubbles form and then flip.

Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Asparagus-Parmesan-Quinoa Waffle

Asparagus, Quinoa, and Parmesan Waffle

It was the Sweet Potato Gruyère waffle that first caught my eye, and it was love at first bite. It was the first time I'd heard of a savory waffle and I haven't looked back since: Parsnip, Pumpkin, and now Aspragus and Quinoa. Why is the Birchwood Cafe the only place that seems to know that savory waffles are the answer to all your problems? Well, all your waffle-related problems at least...

Hopefully the deliciousness of the savory waffle will spread, but until then, you'll just have to try it at home. A few weeks ago I had breakfast at the Birchwood Cafe: An Asparagus, Paremsan, & Quinoa Waffle served with Lavender-Rhubarb Butter and Kiwi-Kumquat Salsa, topped with bacon lardons and an egg with a perfectly runny yolk. While I was eating it on their patio on a beautiful May morning, I decided that I needed to recreate it down to every last detail and, if I may say so myself, I did a darn good job. The photo above is my savory waffle and the one below is what I had at Birchwood:

Savory Waffle

Yes, there are a lot of steps, but the two garnishes take about 5 minutes to make each, can definitely be made ahead of time, and are well worth the effort.

Lavendar-Rhubarb Butter

Lavender-Rhubarb Butter

1 stick of butter
1 tbsp edible lavender flowers
1 tbsp rhubarb stalk, finely chopped

Put all ingredients in a food processor and mix until well combined. Wrap in parchment paper and store in the fridge for up to 10 days. Other than on the waffle, it's great on your favorite slice of bread and smells absolutely amazing.

Kiwi-Kumquat Salsa

Kiwi-Kumquat Salsa

1 kiwi, chopped
5-6 kumquats, chopped (including the peels)
1/4 of a red onion, chopped

Simply combine all the ingredients in one bowl. Enough to garnish about 3 waffles. Feel free to adjust the quantities to your liking.

Asparagus, Quinoa, and Parmesan Waffle

Asparagus-Parmesan-Quinoa Waffle

1 bowl of your favorite waffle batter (I used Mark Bittman's but in the future I plan to try either one of the recipes that Molly of Orangette just posted here)
Quinoa flour (optional, substitute up to 25% of the flour in your waffle recipe)

6-8 asparagus stalks, chopped into small pieces with the tops left in tact
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To serve (all optional):
1 egg (per waffle)
1 strip of bacon (per waffle)
Lavender-Rhubarb Butter
Kiwi-Kumquat Salsa
Maple Syrup
Powdered sugar

Preheat your waffle iron.

Saute the asparagus in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Mix into the waffle batter along with the cooked quinoa and cheese. Pour into waffle iron and cook as you normally would. Keep waffles warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon and eggs. Once the waffles are done, top each with one egg, chopped bacon, a small scoop of lavender-rhubarb butter, kiwi-kumquat salsa, and a dusting of powdered sugar (which I forgot, even though I had some). Skip the bacon and it's vegetarian. Enjoy.

Asparagus, Quinoa, and Parmesan Waffle

PS- Join the waffle revolution at WAFFLEBLAWG

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Eggs with Asparagus

Spring Eggs

I stumbled upon this recipe last night from The Perennial Plate and decided to try it for breakfast since I had almost everything I needed.

The Perennial Plate is a weekly webseries in which chef/activist Daniel Klein explores different aspects of food in Minnesota. Topics so far include foraging for morels, making cheese, and butchering a Thanksgiving Turkey. I highly recommend the series. They also host Harvest Dinners as a sort of underground restaurant. Alex and I attended the most recent dinner and had a fantastic meal, every part of which was local. If you are in the Twin Cities, you should definitely check one out.

Anyway, I didn't quite have all the ingredients, plus I added some morels, because the other day I was at the grocery store and decided I felt like spending over $7 on two mushrooms (they were pretty big, but still, these things are $40/pound). Needless to say, they are totally optional.

Spring Eggs

Spring Eggs with Asparagus
Adapted from The Perennial Plate

2 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp butter
4 asparagus spears
Olive Oil
Red Wine vinegar
Morels or other mushrooms(optional)
Wild Ramp Pesto

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and pour into a cold pan. Heat, along with 1/2 tbsp butter, over low heat and stir constantly.

In a skillet, sautee the mushrooms in butter, then set aside. Add olive oil to the pan and when hot, add the asparagus spears and cook until bright green. Add the rest of the butter and a splash of the red wine vinegar, cover, and cook until tender (1-2 minutes).

Serve with a dollop of ramp pesto.

Golden Yolks

PS- These are the eggs this blog is named after. Just LOOK at those yolks. They are from Prairie Pride Farm in Mankato and I have yet to find any other eggs that are bright and delicious. Check them out at the St. Paul Farmers Market.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wild Ramp Pesto

Wild Ramp Pesto

This morning, I saw the Amateur Gourmet's post about making pasta with the Wild Ramp Pesto from Food52. Cut to a few hours later when I found myself wandering up and down the aisles of the Seward Coop without a grocery list. I saw ramps and decided I would make the same thing for dinner. I ended up going out for dinner, so the pesto will have to wait until tomorrow, but I wanted to share this since ramp season will be over soon and I wish I had known how fantastic ramp pesto was a few weeks ago. I would've been eating it by the spoonful until there were no more ramps to be found. If there are still ramps near you, grab them and try this! Next spring I'll be more prepared!

I'm planning on using it for pasta, similar to Adam, or maybe mixing it with some quinoa and doing something like this recipe, which was a favorite of mine this winter. Or maybe both!

Wild Ramp Pesto

Wild Ramp Pesto
Adapted from The Amateur Gourmet/Food52

1 bunch ramps (about 6-8)
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
A handful toasted walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Roughly chop the ramps and pulse in the food processor along with the walnuts and cheese.

Wild Ramp Pesto

Then slowly add the olive oil while the processor is on low. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Wild Ramp Pesto

Pulse a few times, taste, and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups.