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Different but the same.

Hi folks,

I’ve been on a clean eating and fitness kick for 59 days. Yes, that’s right, I’m counting the days! So, I won’t be posting recipes here anymore, well, not unless I have a really good recipe that I feel like writing down. I recently decided to go on a program called The 21 Day Fix by Beach Body. I’m an independent coach there because it gets me discounts on their products. I don’t teach nutrition, develop meal plans, I’m not an expert at anything. I am simply a coach because I believe in their product and if I could get a discount, then, why not right? Sooo, if anyone wants to buy any products from Beach Body let me help since…I can. I’ve seen results in myself, and so i’m going to stick with the program for a year, that’s 9 more rounds. We’ll see how it goes!

Other than that,  I have a few recipes over on my other blog. You can check them out here.  My other blog is kinda the same but kinda different. I talk about my food, I take pictures of my food, and I write up recipes of my food. The only difference is that the food isn’t as decadent as it was here, and the basis for the food is for, taste, appearance, as well as fuel for the body.

Hope to see some of you over there :)

Cheryl

Spinach Omelette

I love eggs.

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I’m not the type of person who eats the same thing everyday, or, for that matter, eat the same thing each week.  I like diversity and I get bored easily. Having said that, I’ve eaten this omelette everyday for the past 7 days, so I figure I’d blog it. I started working from home in January, and I’ve consequently gained 15 lbs. I started watching what I eat 9 days ago, and this omelette fills me up, is fast and easy to make, and is versatile.

Ingredients

1 large egg

3 large egg whites (1/4 cup liquid egg whites)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp olive oil

3 cup spinach

 

Directions

1. Mix egg, egg whites and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

2. Heat non-stick pan with oil on high until the oil is hot.

3. Turn heat down to medium and add eggs all at once

4. Spread spinach over the egg mixture. (Yes, put the spinach in a layer over the uncooked eggs.)

5. Fold 1/4th of the eggs gently over the spinach, then fold your omelette again over 1/4. Gently pull the omelette towards the middle of the pan and fold again.  Press out the uncooked eggs. This will give you some extra room for another fold, and squish the spinach so it’s nice and snug between the layers of egg. Fold one or two more times until can’t anymore!

 

PLAIN-ROLLED-OMELETTE-STEP5-8-BUSOG-[2]

This is not my picture. I took it from http://www.busogsarap.com/2011/03/plain-rolled-omelette.html
I forgot to take the folding picture this morning. I’ll post one tomorrow :)

The above picture is of a plain omelette. Your folds won’t be as thin. The important step is to get the first fold done,

 

I know this is pretty simple, but when my husband saw me making my omelette he said something like, “folding that omelette takes a bit of skill doesn’t it?” I didn’t realize it, but yeah, it kinda takes some practice. So, I thought I’d post it.

MMM, mmm, good.

 

 

First and foremost, I have to encourage you to check out the original recipe at http://homecookinginmontana.blogspot.ca/2013/03/japanese-milk-bread-using-tangzhong.html. Homecookinginmontana has become one of my top 3 cooking blogs.

I adapted the recipe slightly as I have problems following recipes to a T, however, Ellie’s version is worth the read, for her directions, tips and photos.

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NOTE: (I’m in the process of testing out how this recipe freezes. Here are the steps I’m going to follow.) This recipe is for two batches. I used one batch the same day, and I froze the other batch for later. Freeze the second batch right after Dough Directions: Step 4. When you want to use it, thaw it out in the fridge, knead it for 8 min (that’s an arbitrary time, you just want to make sure the dough is stretchy), then proceed with Dough Directions: Step 5.

Ingredients:

Tangzhong roux:

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)

Dough:

3 cups all-purpose white flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

4 tsp instant yeast

6 TBS sugar

1 tsp table salt

2 eggs at room temp.

1 cup warm milk

all of the tangzhong

8 TBS (1/2 cup) butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

5 Tbsp of pesto (optional, you can fill it with whatever you want, or not fill it at all!)

1 beaten egg, (egg wash)for brushing unbaked loaves

Tangzhong roux Directions:

1. Place the whole wheat flour and water/milk in a small pot or sauce pan.

2. Whisk the mixture until all the lumps are gone.

3. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon over medium heat to prevent burning/sticking.

4. The mixture will become thick pretty fast. It will feel like warm polenta (or if you don’t know what warm polenta is like, then stop stirring the mixture when it begins to resist your stirring like cold pudding). It shouldn’t be liquidy, and shouldn’t be a thick mass.

5. If using on a different day: Transfer the tangzhong into a clean container. It can be stored up to 3 days in the fridge. Bring the tangzhong to room temperature before use.

If using the same day, cool the tangzhong to room temperature before use.

Dough Directions:

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a stand up mixer: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast. Mix to combine.

2. Add all the wet ingredients, milk, egg and tangzhong… and any flavorings of choice, if you desire.

3. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed(about 8 minutes). The dough will be extremely sticky. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but will be sticky enough to stick to your fingers.

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This is how sticky the dough is. I had just added butter to it.

4. Add in the butter and continue kneading for an additional 12-14 minutes.

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This is half of the dough in a Heavy Duty Ziplock Bag. Ready for freezing!

5. Remove dough from mixing bowl, and put it into a well oiled large bowl to proof.

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Here’s the other half of the dough :)
NOTE: The first time I made this dough, it was VERY soft and sticky. I couldn’t hold it long enough to make a ball. Regardless, I stuck it in a well oiled bowl, and then let it proof anyway. After it has risen, I added flour to my table and kneaded it by hand until it was more pliable, and felt like regular dough. Then I added my Pesto and let it rise again.

6. Proof until it has doubled in size, about 40 minutes… though the time will vary depending on the weather and warmth in the house.

7. Deflate dough and divide into 8 equal portions. (Or, do what I did, and roll it out into a huge rectangular mass.)

This is the part where you can go crazy creative:

For non-filled: Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling-pin into an oval shape. Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press. Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press. Roll flat then roll into a cylinder. Place the roll with seal facing down in greased and parchment lined loaf pan. This is kinda like folding a burrito! Repeat with rest of the dough.

For filled: Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling-pin into an oval shape. Spread/sprinkle filling of choice evenly over the rolled out dough and fold jelly style, pinching the seam to seal.  Repeat with rest of the dough.

8. Place in a pan lined with parchment paper, cover it with plastic wrap, and let proof for about 30-40 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. The filled dough tends to rise slower, about 40-50 minutes or so.

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9. Preheat oven to 350 F

10. Brush risen dough with whisked egg on surface. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. (My oven only took 30 min to cook this humongous batch of bread.)

11. Remove from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely for best results. We never wait for our bread to cool completely. I like to eat my bread warm. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it’s thoroughly cooled…. you can freeze  it or reheat it for the next few days and it will still be soft and fluffy!

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Delicious Pesto and Ham…yum.

 

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I ate the bread with some Bolognese sauce . Pesto, ham, Bolognese sauce…omg.

YUM

Cheryl

This recipe was adapted from http://greencilantro.blogspot.ca/search/label/Chinese. I’ll eventually make the original recipe without substitutions.

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Ingredients:

2 cups glutinous rice, rinsed, soaked for a day, drained

10 shiitake mushrooms

3 stalks of green onions

5 cloves garlic

2 eggs

1 cup lean ground beef *

1 cup minced pork

1/2 cup ground chicken**

2.5 tbsp  cornstarch (if you use potato starch, increase by tbsp.)

3 tbsp soya sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sake and dry sherry (These are optional. I just had them in the house. You could use rice wine too.)

salt and pepper to taste

pinch sugar

2 cups fresh shrimp, deveined and chopped

*You could use 2 cups of pork instead, or substitute the ground beef with any other type of meat or firm tofu.

**This one may seem like overkill, but I had a 1/2 cup of chicken that I HAD to use up, so I just threw it in the mix. You can omit this if you want.

Directions:

Day 1:

1. Soak the glutinous rice and shiitake mushrooms together, in a sealed container overnight.

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Day 2:

1. Put green onions, garlic, and eggs in a food processor and pulse until fine.

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Sorry for the blurry picture, I had to use my cell for this.

2. Add the lean ground beef and pulse to a puree.

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3. Add the ground pork, ground chicken, corn flour, soya sauce, sesame seed oil, sake and dry sherry, salt/pepper/sugar into the food processor and pulse until mixed.

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4. Mix in the chopped shrimp by hand.

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5. Divide and shape mixture into equal size balls and roll them in the glutinous rice.  I tried making balls and rolling them into the glutinous rice but I found that they picked up too much rice and it was hard to handle them. Instead, I layered some rice on my hand, stuck a ball of filling in my hand, and gently squished them. I’m sure that’s a technical term somewhere in the world. The rice went all around the filling, and I was able to get the same size for each ball since they all had to fit within my fist.

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6. Steam for about 10 to 12 minutes, or  until cooked through.

Bolognese sauce is a great dip for Egg Bread with Pesto.

Bolognese sauce is a great dip for Egg Bread with Pesto.

 

 

Next time I make these, I’m going to layer my plate with parchment paper. I didn’t enjoy scrubbing the stick stuff off my plate after it had cooled down.

Cheryl

Cashew Butter

 

I’ve been searching for the website where I saw this cashew butter recipe, but I can’t find it. I was soooo certain that it was on chocolate  covered katie’s website, but I did a search and it wasn’t there. I googled “cashew butter recipe”, and all the recipe’s I found had salt, sugar (or some kind of sweetener), and oil. The recipe I found went like this:

Ingredients:

Raw Cashews

Method:

1. Soak raw cashews overnight.

2. Drain cashews.

3. Blend cashews until smooth.

4. Stick in the fridge until you want to use it.

 

I added 1 tbsp of coconut oil to my 3/4 cup soaked raw cashews because my cashews weren’t coming together like a paste. I didn’t want salt or sugar because my intention is to use the cashew butter in place of oil or regular butter.

:)

 

This is attempt 2 at the Vegan Chocolate Cupcake.

I made minor tweaks, but the cupcake could still use some work. This version still didn’t come out of its wrapper in tact because it was so moist. All I did was reduce and substitute healthier oils in this version.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup white all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar (Take 1 had an additional 1 tbsp of sugar)
⅓ cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40 ml vegetable oil (Take 1 had 1/3 cup or 79 ml of vegetable oil)
20 ml coconut butter/oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350F (177C).
2. Line muffin pan with 12 muffin cups.
3. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
4. Add the water, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, coconut oil, cashew butter and vinegar directly to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
5. Bake for 18-30* minutes (depending on your oven), or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cupcake.  Cool on a cooling rack.
*The original recipe said to bake for 30 minutes. I have a gas oven and baked them for 18 minutes.
Conclusion:
1. This cup cake was still moist and fluffy, but dense at the same time.  The texture reminded me of something between a cross of those Duncan Heinz box cake mixes and a Chinese sponge cake. I REALLY liked the texture, but I’m going to try to reduce the oil even more. I don’t like using vegetable oil in my baked goods.
2. I’m not a chemist so I don’t know the ins and outs of the reactions and what substances do in baking, but, for some reason, reducing the vegetable oil and substituting other oils in its place made the baking soda flavour intensify. There was a baking soda after taste that I didn’t like. It made me feel like I had just eaten a soft pretzel!
So so yum.

This is the easiest cupcake recipe I’ve ever made. It’s not the best tasting, but it’s the easiest! It’s also the first Vegan cupcake I’ve ever made :)

I’ve been looking for recipes a lot at www.veganbaking.net. It’s a wonderful website. I found this chocolate cupcake (it originally posted as a cake) there too. Actually, I’ve been stealing a lot of “my” recipes from that website. I modified the original recipe, but not by much. The cupcake was moist and flavourful, but I thought it was too oily. I’ll try to tweak this recipe a few more times to get it the way I like.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup white all-purpose flour

1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp  sugar (the original had whopping 1 cup of sugar!! I used vanilla sugar)
⅓ cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or half a vanilla bean, but I think a vanilla bean would be a waste of money for this recipe)
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350F (177C).
2. Line muffin pan with 12 muffin cups.
3. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
4. Add the water, vanilla extract, vegetable oil and vinegar directly to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
5. Bake for 18-30* minutes (depending on your oven), or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cupcake.  Cool on a cooling rack.
*The original recipe said to bake for 30 minutes. I have a gas oven and baked them for 20  minutes. The cupcakes were darker on top than I would have preferred.  18 minutes would have been enough.

The cupcakes were so moist that they fell apart when we pull the wrappers off.

Look at what lighting can do! No flash on top, and flash on the bottom. Same cupcake!!

Honestly, could they get any more moist? How many times can a blogger write moist in a post?

Yum :)
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