Sunday, December 16, 2012

pumping up the produce

As I wrote earlier in the week, I am trying to make an effort to eat more produce these days -- specifically, more veggies!  I tried to center our meals around veggies this weekend, and chose Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers as my "focus cookbook."  (Do any of you ever do that when you are meal planning?  Sometimes when I'm overwhelmed by ideas and options, I choose one cookbook and select only recipes from it for upcoming meals.)

Breakfast Saturday morning:

How to have French toast nearly effortlessly on Saturday morning?  Slice the bread and set it out to dry before you go to work on Friday morning.  Friday night before bed, make a custard, (I used 4 eggs, a cup of milk, a tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla, several dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a pinch of cardamom,) and soak the bread in the fridge overnight.  With these simple jobs done, all you have to do is get up and fry up your toast!  Yum.  I made us a beautiful fruit salad for the side.

Saturday supper:

Since butternut squash is John's favorite soup variety, I figured I better try the recipe for "Thai Butternut Squash Soup" from my focus cookbook.  I was really pleased with the results!  I made a couple of small modifications, (I roasted a whole squash instead of using frozen puree, used more spinach, and used the whole can of coconut milk and less water,) and we both loved this.  (I especially loved the salty, savory little "tofu croutons!  Tasty delicious.)

Sunday lunch:

"Magic Kale Salad" with pan-fried tempeh.  A repeat, for good reason!  Felt so good to eat a huge plate of greens!

Sunday supper:

A favorite from my focus cookbook this week, "Saucy Hungarian Eggplant."  I haven't made this in ages, and what a shame!  Light yet hearty, this stew is totally nutritious, flavorful, and also helped me take advantage of the GIGANTIC bag of bulgur I bought from Costco not too long ago.

It wouldn't be a quiet weekend without a baking project!

I really felt like baking today, although I wasn't ready to start my Christmas cookies quite yet.  :)  I searched the interwebs for a somewhat healthy muffin recipe full of holiday flavors, and ended up adapting a recipe for molasses spice muffins . . .

Whole-Wheat Gingerbread Muffins
Yield: 24 mini-muffins plus 8 standard muffins

1 stick butter at room temperature (I used salted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch cloves

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, buttermilk, and molasses, and stir until smooth.
3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and spices.  Stir into the wet ingredients just until combined.
4. Fill muffin liners 1/2 to 2/3 full.  (These puff up a lot, thanks to the buttermilk/baking soda reaction!) Bake mini-muffins for about 15 minutes, standard muffins for about 24 minutes.  Cool, and store tightly covered at room temperature (or in the fridge, if you don't think you'll eat them in a few days.)

Lately, I've been enjoying scooping some of my muffin batter out into my mini-muffin pan, and taking those to work.  I love to bake, but we can't always get through a full batch of muffins before "the fuzz" gets to them.  :(  My coworkers have been enjoying the somewhat healthy, homemade "mini-treats" I bring occasionally!  A great solution to my "problem," and a win-win for everyone!

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Baking is such a comforting winter thing. (Or I guess a comforting thing any time--although I really like it best when it's at least raining out!) I have a million cookbooks, but I rarely actually make anything from any of them--it's 90% inspiration (and, um, 10% following recipes?).