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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A weekend of cooking

Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Peppers, and Olives; Sweet Potato and Caramelized Banana Pancakes; Cranberry Lambic Bread

After eating way too much bread and sugar the week of Thanksgiving, I decided I need to eat better: fresher, more whole foods, less bread, and less sugar. It's amazing what sugar can do. As soon as I started eating less bread and sugar, my digestive system immediately felt better (**cough--less gas--cough**). I re-discovered sprouting. Sprouting grains makes them more easily digested, and more nutritious as well. I discovered quinoa, which is basically a nutitional powerhouse and a complete protein.

I do try to budget with my grocery shopping, and yes, buying fresh foods can be a little more expensive. During the growing season I participate in a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture--I pay for a share in a farm, and in exchange, get a box of organic, fresh, local veggies every week). That comes out to about $17/week for vegetables, which is a steal for organic produce. But during the off season I tend to eat fewer veggies because they aren't in season, aren't local, or aren't cheap. This week, I bought a lot of my veggies at Costco. Certainly not local, but some are organic, and some are dirt cheap: a 1 lb box of organic lettuce for $3.99, a huge clamshell of blackberries for $3.99, a log of goat cheese for about $6, a giant tub of mushrooms... can't remember how much. You get the idea though.

I made some quinoa salad with goat cheese and fresh peppers, goat cheese and olive stuffed chicken with sauteed mushrooms, burgers with mushrooms in them and sauteed mushrooms on top, asian stir fry with asian flavors and lime squeezed on it, served over jasmine rice...

On Saturday morning, I was craving pancakes. Since I had bought several sweet potatoes when they were on sale the week before Thanksgiving, I still had 2 left, and needed something to do with them. Big T isn't a huge fan, so I had to incorporate something else. And banana pancakes are always delicious. I googled, and came up with 2 recipes for Sweet Potato and Banana Pancakes. The caramelized bananas from this recipe from That's Not What the Recipe Says were calling to me. But I wanted bananas IN my pancakes. The pancake recipe at Chi Town Cook had the right amount of sweet potato and banana that I wanted, but too many spices. And I didn't have ricotta cheese. So I adapted it to suit the ingredients I had on hand and came up with my own version.

On another note, I also have 3 fruity beers left in my fridge. We buy the sampler packs, and they always sneak fruity beers into those. Who actually drinks those? I love a good beer, but I draw the line at juice flavored beer. I've been wondering what on earth I can do with those, and thought about bread. I have some Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic, and I've made bread with beer before. What about a bread with the cranberry beer and some craisins? After some internet searching, I came to Farmgirl Fare. Wow. And yum. First of all, if you say "farm girl," I come running, since it's always been my secret wish to be one. So when I found her recipe for beer bread, I immediately began my worship and added her to my list of blogs I follow. And appropriated her recipe for beer bread.

Finally, I had been sprouting garbanzo beans for the past few days and put them to work this afternoon in a roasted sprouted garbanzo bean snack.

Click on the links below to view some of my recipes from the week:

Roasted Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Snack


Trista Teeter said... Best Blogger Tips

Mmmm, these all look SO good! But what I really wanted to say was that your photos look great!!! You must be practicing... :P

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