Monday, February 23, 2015

Oatmeal Raisin Banana Cookies

My husband loves oatmeal cookies and when we gave up butter and wheat flour he thought cookies were off the table, so to speak. Much to both of our delight, I invented these cookies that use while rolled oats, raisins, walnuts, bananaand some flour to make the real deal! They are fast, easy, and forgiving!

Oatmeal raisin cookies - with banana

About 2-3 cups of oats (use gluten free if you need that)
1 ripe banana 
1/2-3/4 c flour - I use millet or sorghum or a combination
1/2 -2/3 cup raisins (your taste)
2/3-3/4 c walnuts (your taste)
1.5 Tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons almond or soy milk if needed for moisture, but you might not need it if your banana mash to oat ratio is a good texture. You might use only a few drops. 

I add 1Tablespoon amaranth seeds
And 1 Tabkespoon nutritional yeast but neither is necessary

Put the dry ingredients together and mix well. You can mash the banana in a separate bowl with the syrup and almond milk - or mash the banana right into the oat mixture - as you would butter - adding the syrup and whatever milk you need to give that cookie dough texture! Add raisins and nuts and put Tablespoon sized dollops on a silicone baking sheet at 350 degrees F for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of your dollops and how crisp you want them to be. Makes 12-20 cookies. Let cool and crisp up. Outer surface delightfully crunchy with a softer inner texture. We love 'em!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fresh cranberry relish

Couldn't be easier and goes with do many dishes - especially risotto or creamy style noodle casseroles, or millet loaf! Takes basically 10 minutes to put together and needs to chill for an hour or overnight, so it's great to make the day before. I have let this sit since Thanksgiving so even without a photo, I'm posting it! It's so easy and so good!

Fresh cranberry relish

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 orange - preferably organic so you can use the peeling
1/2 c pecans or almonds

Use a food processor and grind the berries with quartered, seeded orange with peeling and the nuts until all chopped into a consistent texture. It will be fresh and crunchy. We didn't have the requisite orange so we used the inside of one orange and the peeling of an organic clementine - it was great!

Roasted red pepper tapenade

On a late Fall yoga retreat our cook offered up a side dish she was calling "red pepper walnut pate." I was considering side dishes for Thanksgiving that could accompany our mushroom risotto and remembered that rich roasted pepper flavor and color. It was a big hit alongside every part of dinner, and made our next day lunch tacos super special. Here's what I came up with to please the crowd. This needs to be in the fridge at least an hour or two or overnight. It really was great the second day. Sorry I didn't get any good photos of this -- but next time I make it, I will upload them.

Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Tapenade

3 Roasted Red Peppers - peeled & seeded
3/4 cup of water
2-3 sesame rye crackers or 2 toasted slices of bread
1 clove garlic
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
3/4 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp paprika
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper

Break the toast/crackers into the water in chunks. You will be squeezing the water out of it after it soaks to add substance.

Pulse the garlic and nuts until crumbly. Add the spices and peppers and squeezed bread/crackers. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and pulse until consistent in texture. Put it in a bowl and drizzle oil on top. Chill and enjoy!

Garlic Leek Soup

Cold weather in November and too many hard frosts in a row made it necessary to pull out all the remaining leeks in our small garden. As it turned out, this was way too many leeks to use up fresh so I chopped and froze some for later. I did use a large number of them fresh, along with many heads of homegrown garlic to make this warming, healthy, easy soup. It freezes very well too, and for those who will eat croutons, that dresses things up indeed! We put chopped onion greens on top - or even a drizzle of olive oil if you eat that.

5-6 medium leeks, washed, chopped
4-5 heads of garlic (@25 cloves), peeled & smashed
1 zucchini- chopped
1-2 teaspoons summer savory
1-2tsp dry thyme
1tsp black pepper (add to taste)
1-2 tsp salt (can be added to taste)
3-4 creamy potatoes chopped - Yukon gold or chieftain or other variety 
6-8 cups water 

Prepare leeks - slicing lengthwise to rinse between the layers and get all the dirt out! Cut off the tough dark leaves and save for making some other broth. Chop the more tender white and pale green parts and toss in a large pot with all the peeled garlic, zucchini, potato, herbs, seasonings and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20-35 minutes until all is cooked thoroughly. Blenderize or use a wand blender until all is puréed smooth. That's it!