Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mom's gone wild !!!!

You ever wonder what mom's do when they have time alone ? First they call in to the Society of Childhood Misery where they learn new ways to get children to pick up their rooms, brush their teeth, stop talking in that smarty tone. All mom's a legally required to check in at least once a year. We are given a tracking implant when we give birth, and if you do not check in.....

Just kidding. This mom, when she has a free day, spends it cooking. A day without interruptions means you get to be productive...just so you don't think about how much you are actually missing the 10,000 questions asked, the million times you have to say things like don't sit too close to the tv, don't yell, can you please pick up... and so forth.

The guys were home for breakfast, so it was something quick and filling- The Breakfast Sundae ! Take 1 c plain nonfat yogurt, top with 1 cup frozen blueberries and 1/3 cup granola. Sprinkle with sugar or splenda if desired. It works as an ice cream sort of desert as well. Here we use my homemade granola, which I make in my crock pot. Here is another recipe I use :

Crock pot Granola

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (can be a mix of rolled oats and barley flakes)
1/2 cup honey ( I used the locally produced honey)
1/4 cup walnut oil ( better for you than olive oil)
1 cup dried fruit (raisin and dried cranberries in this batch)
1 c coconut flakes

Set crockpot to low heat.
Combine all ingredients until oatmeal is evenly coated.
Cook in crockpot for 3 hours with lid slightly off.
Stir every half hour or so.
(I leave the wooden spoon in the crockpot with the handle sticking out. This way I don't forget to
leave the lid a bit open or to mix it.) Add coconut, cool and store in a container at room temp.
serving size 1/3 of a cup

Wait- isn't coconut bad for you ?
Coconut is considered to be a divine plant in the Vedic tradition, with good reason.Coconuts are
rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, and boosts
the immune system. Coconuts are high in fat, but it is good , but saturated fat. The fat in coconut milk is healthy fat. The fatty acids in coconut milk are of the medium chain triacylglycerol or MCT type. The distinguishing feature of MCTs so important to coconut nutrition is that they are burned faster than other types of fatty acids. They are especially beneficial for providing energy for the lymph nodes, liver, and fat cells themselves. Modest amounts of coconut can stimulate the thyroid, helping the body in the process of weight loss.Coconut can also be helpful in the prevention of acne because of it's amount of lauric acid.

After the guys left I got down to business. I made some red pepper hummus for next week, cole slaw, ham salad for Saturday's lunch and tried my hand at making bread with a whole new to me technique.

Multigrain buns
Night before starter:
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
• 3/4 cup warm water
• 1/2 cup steel cut oats
• 1/2 cup toasted cracked wheat
• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
Day of:
• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/4 cup oat bran
• 2 T vital Gluten
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoon instant yeast
• 3 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon walnut oil
The night before you make the bread you will need to make the starter and the soaker. In a med bowl mix together the starter ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 12-16 hours. In a separate bowl combine the soaker ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and leave for 12-16 hours. The next morning in a large bowl combine the starter, soaker, oil and honey. Mix together with your hand. Add in the oat bran, salt and instant yeast. Continue to mix till well blended. Allow the mixture to sit uncovered for 15 minutes. Add vital gluten and whole wheat flour ¼ cup at a time till you have a smooth, elastic, non sticky dough. Place oil in a bowl form the dough into a ball and place in bowl, covered in a warm place till it rises double in bulk.Punch down, knead and let rise again. Punch down, roll out and divide into 8 equal sections. Form into buns, place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

The results came out EXCELLENT ! This method uses less flour , has soaked/fermented grains, a slight sourdough taste and has a great texture. I stole one to go with my lunch

Romaine , dandelion and watercress topped with a half cup of tabouli salad. One of these buns fresh with a smear of Smart Beat made a really satisfying lunch. Who would not love anything that includes a fresh roll with the meal ?

After lunch it was back to the kitchen. I promised the guys I would make a batch of black bean brownies for Saturday night and I wanted to try my hand at making granola bars acceptable enough to break our habit of buying Fiber One Bars. I don't eat them but Bob does every day and Nick grabs for them if we are out of more desired snacks ( cherry tomatoes) I came across this recipe on Kath's blog. I have tried a few of her recipes before and really liked them , so I thought to give these a whirl . I got 12 bars out of this , because the pan I used has a curved bottom and it gets harder to divide things equally in smaller portions than this. Next time I will bake these in a jelly roll pan. I doubled the recipe and used a 9x13 pan for this batch.

Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars - from Kath eats real food

1.5 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts ( I used almonds and pecans)
3/4 cup dried fruit
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1.25 cups skim milk
1 egg or egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients.Mix wet ingredients.
Pour wet into dry. Stir to combine.Pour into a 9×9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or
lined with parchment.Bake for 40 minutes.

After I finished all that I cleaned up the kitchen and started doing lesson plans, menu plans, shopping lists and my stomach started rumbling. I saved leftovers from last nights dinner and heated them up. The I got to reading our planned chemistry lessons for the rest of the year and I started questioning the safety of this. Chemicals, if not mixed in the proper ratio and sequence, can become dangerous. Labels fall off or become deteriorated, things become unstable as they break down, accidents can happen, and in our Post 9 11 world the simple purchase of certain things can land you on a terrorist watch list. I think I need to re-tool this course of study big time !


spunkysuzi said...

You were busy!! Happy Mothers Day :)

Nicole, RD said...

You've been busy! The crock pot granola sounds wonderful!

Happy Mother's Day! Glad you got to be productive! :)

Julie said...


Kim said... um I'm comin to live with you. Hope your son wants an older sister that picks a lot. :) You can tell'im I'm there for the grub...and the cooking lessons. lol! Seriously, whole wheat soda bread and those buns??!! Wow. I'm impressed and will totally hijack your page soon for recipes. And crockpot granola??! Wow! That's so cool. You are a Jill of many cooking trades. It's awesome that you feel so much conviction about everything you put into your family's tum tums. That's awesome. Happy Mother's day!