Thursday, July 28, 2011

Homemade Wheat Sandwich Bread

I have been on a quest lately to come up with a really good sandwich bread recipe that not only meets the requirement of being healthy but also edible by kid standards.  Store bought bread is convenient without a doubt, it also has a lot of junk in it.  Most supermarket brands have high fructose corn syrup in them.  Did you know that when you make bread the amount of sweetener needed is very small, just enough to feed the yeast.  My recipe has 2 tbs of honey for the entire loaf.  So the bread companies are putting high fructose corn syrup in because they are too cheap to spring for the tiny amount of more expensive, better quality sweetener.   Not to mention preservatives, that don't really seem to work that well considering my bread lately has been moldy  after a couple of days.

Homemade bread may seem very daunting, but it really is easy, especially if you have a bread machine.  You can do this in a kitchen aid mixer fitted with a dough hook or by hand if you don't have a bread machine.  With the machine it takes only a few minutes of my actual time.  This recipe was adapted from The Bread Bible but I did change a few things.

2 2/3 c. all purpose unbleached flour
1c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. buckwheat flour
1/2 c. flax seed
2 c. warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs honey

In the pan of your bread machine or your bowl if not using the machine combine the flours and flax, make a well in the center and add the honey, yeast and salt followed by the water.  Set the machine to the dough cycle and leave it alone.  If mixing by hand or machine mix ingredients until a smooth ball of dough forms and let rise for 40 minutes.  After the dough is done, remove from machine or bowl and punch down on a floured surface, the dough will be slightly sticky. Place in a well greased loaf pan and cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap.

Let rise for 50 minutes.  Meanwhile heat oven to 375 and place racks on the lowest two positions, place a cookie sheet on each rack.  When the dough has risen, very carefully remove the plastic wrap and gently but quickly score the top with a sharp knife.

 Very gently place loaf pan on top of the top cookie sheet in oven, pour 1/2 c. ice cubes onto the lower pan and gently close the oven.  Let bake for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and remove loaf fro pan to cool.  Let cool two hours before cutting.  Keep bread tightly wrapped and it will keep for 3 days.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Homemade Yumminess

Even though it is unbearably hot outside this week (heat index of 110) I've still been spending a good amount of my time in the kitchen.  I try to avoid the oven though.  I'm still working my way through the Eating Well cookbook, which I love and yesterday I checked out a book on making bread and one on ice cream as well.  So this is what has been in the kitchen the last two days.

This morning the kids wanted chocolate chip pancakes and I happily obliged.  I was so happy to have local farm fresh milk, eggs and honey to use in this recipe.

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 egg beaten
1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbs canola oil or butter
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together in bowl, the mixture will still be slightly lumpy.  Spoon 1/2 c per pancake onto either a hot griddle or pan.

This was my crazy amazing breakfast.  Irish oats with farm fresh blackberries and drinkable peach yogurt.  This tasted like dessert, it was sooo good.

Blackberry Peach Oatmeal
1/2 c. irish oats
1c. water
handful of fresh blackberries
1 tbs agave nectar
1/2 c. drinkable peach yogurt or kefir

Place water, oats, agave and berries in bowl and heat for 3 minutes in microwave.  Stir and let cool for a minute, then add a few more fresh berries and pour the yogurt on top.

This was last night's dinner.  I made the mozzarella burger from Eating Well although I changed the recipe quite a bit. I added in some steamed green beans and a little leftover orzo from the night before.

Mozzarella Burgers
1lb lean ground turkey
2 tbs Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp Worcestershire
salt and pepper
1/4 c. mozzarella cheese plus an additional 1/4 c for the tops
foccacia bread
Muir Glen Pizza sauce
1 tbs lemon zest

Mix together the turkey, spices, Worcestershire, garlic and lemon zest.  Make into 8 thin patties.  In the center of 4 patties add a spoon full of cheese top with another patty and press the edges closed.  Cook until done through.  Place cooked burger on top of a thin slice of foccacia and top with the pizza sauce and a sprinkle of cheese.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Day Of Food

I've really been enjoying the slow pace of summer and making nutritious meals for my family.  I've been trying to make a new recipe every day and I'm trying hard to keep those recipes healthy and full of local fresh veggies.  So I thought I would share my day in food with you guys.

For breakfast I had banana bread oatmeal.
1/2 c. Irish oats
1 c. water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp agave nectar
1 banana
7 walnut halves

In a bowl combine oats, water, agave, cinnamon and nutmeg heat in microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir in sliced banana and walnuts

For lunch I had a homemade veggie burger with some shreds of local cheddar cheese on it.
2 cooked red potatoes
1/2 c. black beans
1/2 c. irish oats
1/4 c. shredded zucchini
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 clove garlic
seasonings to taste ( I like McCormick Hickory Maple)
sometimes I add a little egg if the mixture doesn't want to stick together

Puree all ingredients in food processor until no large lumps are visible.  It will be like a paste.  Spread four equal size portions into burger shapes in a hot greased pan.  Cook until firm and brown.

For dinner we had 'Disappearing Zucchini Orzo' from "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"

Finally this is what dessert has been looking like in our house these days.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Shoe Giveaway

Danielle at Sometimes Sweet is hosting a great shoe giveaway all this week.  Make sure you stop by and sign up!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Power Smoothie Recipe

Well I've had a whirlwind week here at the abode.  The 4th of July was tons of fun, so much so that I took no pictures at all!  I was just so busy being.  I wish I had in hindsight.  We also started doing p90x this week.  Today is day 5.  Let me tell you it is not for the weak of heart .  I have had some days were I've made it all the way through the grueling hour plus workouts and some where my body has given out before the end of the tape, and I literally mean that.  I haven't just given up my arms have given out.  I'm trying to push myself for as long as I can in each workout.  Last night was by far the toughest and it was the one I was most looking forward to, Yoga.  The Yoga is 1.5 hours long, I only made it through about 35 minutes of it which was all plank and downward facing dogs into runner pose, with a few warrior poses thrown in.  My arms were trembling and I just could not do one more. I wish I had stuck with it, my husband did and said that as soon as I left they stopped doing planks, of course.  With that being said I've been reading Tony Horton's Bring It book, and I really like his philosophy on food, I've been trying to get rid of so much processed unhealthy food for more whole foods and natural foods.  I feel so much better when I don't eat bad and getting rid of the artificial sweeteners, caffeine and garbage makes me feel great.  So this week I made a little jaunt to Whole Foods to get a few things and made my take on a power smoothie.  I don't use protein powder in mine but I do when I make my husbands, but for me it's too many calories.  I made this yesterday afternoon before my workout and it gave me such great energy, better than an energy drink!

Power Smoothie Recipe
4 oz. Strawberry Kefir
5 frozen strawberries
7 frozen blackberries
1 package or serving Amazing Grass Chocolate Flavor
1 tbs Chia Seeds soaked in 2 tbs water
splash of skim milk if needed to thin

Pour everything into your blender and puree until smooth.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back on Track

Well, I lost 2 lbs this week getting me to the 50 lb mark! I also bought a new pair of Reeboks, tossing out the old crappy New Balance. Such a difference. Today I did Yoga with the kids and then the treadmill and topped it off with weights. I also should say that I have thrown the Candida diet out the window. I tried I really did, but I wasn't doing good. Part of my success at Weight Watchers has been eating a good breakfast with lots of fiber. It's really hard to get enough fiber on such a limited diet. I'm glad I went back to eating normal, I feel better.  I have been changing some foods, trying to find better alternatives.  I use to eat a lot of Fiberone bars, but recently switched to GNU bars, they are all natural and have more fiber and no high fructose corn syrup.  I also switched to Kashi bars for snack bars.  This morning I had a bowl of shredded wheat with kefir and a banana, so good and so filling.  How is your week going so far?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Shoes?

So this morning I woke up bright and early, donned my workout gear and went downstairs to do my Bootcamp video. I was about 10 minutes in and in the middle of doing jumping jacks when I felt a pop in my knee and couldn't do another jumping jack. Also my feet were killing me after only 10 minutes. I'm 100% sure that it's my shoes that are to blame. I've had the same pair of poorly fitting New Balance for the last 5 or 6 years (sad, I know) They give me no support, it feels like I might as well be wearing flip flops. They are too wide and too big and just bad. I have another cheap pair of tennis shoes from Target (also at least 4 years old) that are too small and hurt my toes when I wear them. I think I'm just going to break down and get a new pair and I guess I'll stick to Yoga and weights for a few days until my knee feels better. Anyone have any good suggestions for shoes?