07 December, 2011

Mushroom Barley Soup

This soup has a wonderful earthy flavor. It fills the kitchen and surrounding rooms with this incredible country home aroma.

Just imagine rolling green hills with majestic oak trees (or your ideal landscape) visible through the kitchen window, your home warm from the wood burning stove flickering in the corner ... a slice of home made bread right out of the oven joining your bowl of soup on the table ...

Can you picture it?

That's what this soup will do for you. Honest.

2-3 Garlic cloves (as preferred)
1 Lrg Onion
1 Mushroom basket
1 Lrg Carrots
1 Celery stick
1 cube Veggie Broth* (see below)
1/2 C Barley
4 C Water
Bay Leaf
pepper as desired

This soup is best in quick stages of sautéing initial ingredients to help flavors become more pronounced.

1. In a big soup pot, sauté garlic and onion.
2. Add mushrooms and stir, sauté another 5+ mn. or until mushroom release their juice.
3. Add sliced carrot and celery, stir, and give it another few minutes.
4. Add 4 C of hot water and the veggie broth.
5. Add barley, bring to boil then simmer for 40-45 mn.
6. Throw a couple strings of bay leaf on top of the water for additional flavor if desired.

***Useful TIP: Barley takes 4 times the volume in water, or 2 C water for 1/2 C of barley. In order to keep the soup "juicy," be sure to add a couple (or more) cups of water to the soup.***

Do you notice an additional ingredient in the above and below picture?
Yes, black eye peas ...

It so happened I had a cup left in the fridge and threw that in the soup for good measure. Beans would be great too I think, with this mix. Hmmm!

*Veggie broth: you can find both salted and non-salted version of veggie broth. This being a big pot of soup, the salted version will do fine. In smaller batches, I often opt for the non-salted, preferring to control the amount of salt myself.

22 November, 2011

Cabbage Potato Soup

Cabbage is certainly not the most mouth watering produce out there, to say the least.

I never really thought of cooking cabbage until I went to a Celtic Festival and talked to a participant in the historic section in the midst of stirring the most amazing smelling pot of soup.

Off course that one included bacon and cream, so a few adjustments had to be made ...

And the results? Hmm, a surprisingly amazing tasting soup!

- 1 med Onion
- 2-3 cloves Garlic (or as prefered)
- 1 Green Cabbage, roughly sliced
- 5-6 sm Red Potatoes
- 1 cube Veggie Broth
- 4 C Water
- salt / pepper

1. Quickly sautee onions and garlic in a big soup pot with a little oil.
2. Add cabbage and stir. Sautee 10 mn., stirring occasionally.
3. Add chopped potatoes, herb, salt and pepper. Mix and sautee 2-4 mn.
4. Add 4 C water and broth. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 30-40 mn.
5. Keep an eye on the water level and add as needed, according to your desire for broth.
    Cabbage soup ... who would have known it could be soooo good!
    ... and even better with chunk of home made bread thrown in. ;p
    (see bread category)

14 November, 2011

Vegan Banana Bread

Bananas are a standard item on the grocery list. It's a given that we probably need bananas, so should it be omitted from the list, grab 2 or 3 anyway for safety measure. This also means that now and again, a few get past the "smoothie banana" state and become "banana bread" material.

This is a quick and easy gluten free vegan recipes.
It takes me a whole of maybe 15 minutes from start to placing in the oven, and that includes washing the dishes.

Basic ingredients:
  • 3 ripe Bananas
  • 1/4 C Maple Syrup (for vegan version) or Honey
  • 2-3 Tb Coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C All purpose gluten free flour
  • 1-2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1 - Mash the bananas and mix to a nice smooth consistency, the add maple syrup (or honey) and coconut oil.
2 - In a separate blow, mix all remaining dry ingredients.
3 - Pour the liquid mix into the dry mix and gently mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Pour the mix in prepared bread dish. Cook 350 F for 40-45 mn.

You'll know by the smell that it's done.
Let it rest 30 mn or so once out of the oven if possible.

Because this is gluten free, it does tend to dry a little after a few days. The good thing about this is then you can pop a slice in the toaster for a slight warming up.
Wonderful with jam and tea.

19 July, 2011

Baking Powder Bread

Making bread gives a very particular sense of satisfaction rarely found elsewhere. I'm not sure why that is, it just it. I can tell you I'm like a little kid when I get my hot creation out of the oven...

The problem sometimes is having to wait for the dough to rise all day, and that's where baking powder bread comes in. Very convenient. Anytime of day, any moment that bread making bug bites, you can head over to the kitchen, pull out flour, baking soda and water, and voila, about 40-45 mn later, you've got bread!

15 June, 2011

Oat Rye Artisan Bread

I love bread.
I grew up on bread. At times I would eat nothing but bread with butter and honey as a kid. A bowl of soup would have torn chunks of bread thrown into it. There is nothing on the planet quite like the smell of fresh baked artisan bread coming out of the oven.
Though not an everyday thing anymore, and certainly of the non-wheat variety, a lightly toasted slice with marmalade, honey, or almond butter is a small pleasure I still cherish.
Also, bread must have a crust -non of that mellow soft bread for me, no thank you. The crust is a sacred element of breaking (or slicing) bread and enjoying the simpler living connection of its history.

28 March, 2011

Mexican Cornbread

This cornbread is incredibly good, let me tell you.
I call it Mexican because of the colors, though I suppose that is redundant as cornbread is probably Mexican in origins... not sure... hmm, comments?

This is scrumptious, moist, flavorful... basically insert any yummy descriptive here and that's exactly what you've got, Ha! Can you tell I like this recipe? ;p

15 March, 2011

Cauliflower Potato Soup

As strange as that may sound, cauliflower is actually good in soup!
It would not have been my first choice, I admit, and it turned out to be a very good surprise.
I made a big pot of it and it went in no time. It even has a slightly sweet smell to it whenever re-heated the next day -and not because I added any kind of sugar to it, I didn't (though it could be because I typically use coconut oil to sauté my veggies). Regardless, very nice with a bowl of greens and slice of homemade bread.

26 February, 2011

Zucchini Mushroom Lasagna

Pasta is one of those carb heavy dishes that can leave you feeling sleepy and lethargic.
What to do, what to do? Have no fear, help is here!
That's right, you too can now enjoy the satisfying comfort food feeling of hot lasagna without making a bee line to the couch for that after-meal digestive nap.

To the Rescue... (drum role) ...

Zucchini Mushroom Lasagna Extraordinaire !

Guaranteed to please the palate. :D

02 January, 2011

Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

Holiday mornings have a much more relax way of unfolding... thankgoodness too!

Christmas morning was certainly one of these mornings, with a feel of pancakes in the air. I personally cannot eat conventional pancakes, nor do I care to. There are much too heavy for proper digestion, and the wheat flour just does not agree with me.
Buckwheat, on the other hand, has a much lighter consistency and more pronounced taste.

Buckwheat Banana Pancakes:
  • 3/4 C Buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 C Sorghum flour
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 C Almond milk (more or less)
This makes about 8 pancakes.
Mash one first ripe banana in a bowl with a fork.
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