Friday, October 30, 2009

Pancakes!

I've been making pancakes since I was a kid...not sure how we got to eating them so much. I started out as a loyal fan of Bisquick. But as I grew older, I wanted to try my hand at making them from scracth (hearing the rave about how they taste so much better that way!). I found this recipe on the side of my unbleached all-purpose flour and have never looked back. I modified it by cutting the salt out (didn't find it necessary, but if you like, add a small amount (<1/2 teaspoon) in. I substitute the sugar for agave if my bananas are not sweet enough. Read the notes for making all sorts of yummy pancakes. This is yet another kid friendly recipe that we have on a weekly basis. Light n' Fluffy Pancakes
(adapted from TJ's Unbleached All Purpose Flour/King Arthur's Unbleached All Purpose Flour)
Yield: 6 pancakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups Unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or less or a substitute)
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon (if using), flaxseed (if using). Make a well in the center and pour the milk and melted butter and mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle/pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter using ~1/4 cup (or estimate) for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot!
Notes:
  • Banana walnut pancakes: add one ripe sliced banana and 1/4 cup (or more to taste) chopped walnuts at the end of step 1.
  • Applesauce/blueberry pancakes: add one small carton of applesauce and crushed blueberries to the end of step 1.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

I tried yet another wonderful soup recipe from the delish.com site. I varied this (as always) based on what I found and had on hand. The recipe below will serve four people and goes good with some fresh bread.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 cup(s) frozen bell pepper and onion mix, thawed and diced
  • 4 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 can(s) (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can(s) (15-ounce) vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) hot water
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried basil
  • 1 (9-ounce) fresh pesto tortellini (choose any flavor you like)
  • 2 cup(s) (about 2 medium) diced zucchini
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pepper-onion mix, garlic, and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water, and basil; bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
  2. Add tortellini and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add zucchini and spinach; return to a boil. Cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with pepper.

Veg Hot Pot (Noodle Soup)

I love noodle soup. Whats not to love? Warm broth, noodles with tofu and veggies. Yum! This is one soup that is hearty and good for you. My son loves this soup and eats it up whenever we make it. The original recipe can be found on the delish.com site. Below is my modified version to fit our palate. The veggies can be varied to your own taste. This is a fast and easy recipe that makes about 5 servings (depending on your appetite).
If you're non-veg, you can throw in chicken potstickers, use chicken broth and omit the tofu for an equally hearty dish.
Ingredients:
  • 5 1/4 cup(s) vegetable broth
  • 4 slice(s) (1/4-inch thick) fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon(s) olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup each of your favorite veggies (brocolli, onions, spinach, frozen edamame)
  • 3 1/2 ounce(s) Japanese Udon noodles
  • 1 package(s) (14-ounce) firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 teaspoon(s) rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon(s) toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped scallions, for garnish (optional)
Directions:
  1. Combine broth, ginger and garlic in a Dutch oven; bring to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Discard the ginger.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and crushed garlic and red pepper (if using). Cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add other veggies; cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
    Add the veggie mixture to the broth. Add noodles, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until noodles are cooked. Add tofu; simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar to taste, soy sauce and sesame oil.
  3. Serve garnished with scallions.