January 6, 2013

Warm Winter Saturday

Nice quiet weekend at home on a rainy cold January weekend.  The holidays are behind us and I still have one more weekend in between now and my next cooking class.  Life is somewhat relaxing and there's a quiet feeling around here.  Taking some time to do a little winter cleaning.  Still working on the kitchen organization, the deck is in much need of a recyclable run.  There is no curb pickup where we live. We have to take our recyclables to the bins ourselves, we can save up quite a load in the winter. I managed to fit in quite a few meals while working.

We started the day with a pineapple coconut smoothie.  Scott had noticed some coconut pineapple juice in the market the other day.  Even though it may have been organic, it was still processed juice, and about $5 for a quart.  We always have coconut milk, all we needed was a ripe pineapple.  I chopped half a pineapple, two oranges, and a cucumber, added a handful of soaked and dried cashews, and a couple cups of coconut milk. It made for a really creamy, refreshing breakfast.

While going through the kitchen counter clutter I came upon some treasures, one being a bag of bean and grain soup mix from Bob's Red Mill. I got started with my weekend of cooking for our meals this week. I chopped an onion, some celery, and some carrots. Simmered them in vegetable broth with dried thyme, rosemary, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.  I added about a pint of my canned tomatoes and the soup mix and simmered for about an hour and a half.  When they were almost done I added a couple tablespoons apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of raw agave.

Bean & Grain Stew

While the beans were cooking I through some little squash I had from the garden that didn't quite make it to regulation size in the oven to roast.  I thought I'd make a cake or soup with them.  There's a couple yellow acorn squash, a couple small pumpkins, and a little sweet meat squash.

I thought I'd fit in a millet loaf. It's pretty easy and very good the next day in a sandwich with dijon mustard. This is an easy recipe from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook by Del Sroufe.

Start by cooking 3/4 cup millet in 2 1/2 cups water until all the liquid is absorbed.  I cooked mine in vegetable broth for a little added flavor.

While the millet is cooking sauté a medium onion and four cloves of garlic in a little water or vegetable broth until tender adding a liquid 1 tablespoon at a time to keep from sticking to the pan.

I added 1 TB sage, 1 TB thyme, a dash of fresh ground nutmeg, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, 2 TB mellow white miso, and 1/4 cup cup nutritional yeast. I let that all simmer together for a minute or two then added about 3/4 cup of my home canned tomato sauce. Let that simmer about five minutes and then added the cooked millet.

Simmering Sauce

Baked at 350º for 30 Minutes

The squash became winter squash cake. The cake is dark brown due to the raw turbinado sugar and wheat flour I used. We ate it warm and soft. It sure is tasty. Glad those little squash didn't go to waste.

Now with a few items cooked, I can relax a bit today. I did re-hydrate some dried figs. I'm thinking about maybe a fig crisp of some sort. We'll see what happens to them.

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