Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chia Seed Pudding with Fruit Compote

This has become a favorite snack and breakfast at my house.  If your family is like mine then they love foods with texture like tapioca pudding and bubble tea.  The chia seeds work as a thickener in the same way as tapioca.  The texture is very similar to tapioca in pudding or the larger tapioca pearls at the bottom of bubble tea.  My youngest is an expert at homemade bubble tea and makes a very authentic Thai Tea with bubbles.  Will need to coax her to let me post her recipe! ;)
You can add fresh fruit to this pudding but I like the texture of a fruit compote mixed with a little fresh fruit.  This pudding is delicious with fruit or without.  Enjoy.

Chia Seed Pudding

12oz to 14 oz of unsweetened coconut milk
5 Tablespoons of chia seeds
3-4 Tablespoons Agave Syrup (or to taste)
1/2 pint of organic raspberries (Cook half of the berries in saucepan with a teaspoon of water for about 1 minute or 2 until they break down and release their juices.)

Pour coconut milk into large quart-size measuring cup or a medium-size bowl.  Whisk in agave syrup and chia seeds - whisk for a minute or 2.  That's it!  Pour mixture into small jars or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


Friday, September 02, 2016

Power Lunch in a Jar!

I just have to say "WOW"!  This recipe is the easiest one on my blog and I would say it is probably the most delicious lunch recipe, too.
I was inspired to put this together as a new lunchbox option.  It went over very big with my kids.
It looks beautiful, tastes yummy, and is packed with protein.  Two friends tried it this week and both requested that I post the recipe.  Jocelyn enjoyed it for breakfast and Mary loved it at lunchtime.
The very best part is that it is a make-ahead recipe (a few days in the fridge is fine).

Power Lunch (or Breakfast!) Jars

Red Quinoa
Chick Peas from 15 oz. can, drained
Hard Boiled Egg (see directions for the perfect hard-boiled egg here)
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to package.  Usually it is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water - bring to boil, turn down to simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Once quinoa is cooked remove it to a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.  Let cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.*
See how to make hard boiled eggs here.   You may prepare the eggs several days in advance and store in refrigerator (peeled or unpeeled).  They will keep longer unpeeled.
Cut egg in half and sprinkle yolk side up with salt and pepper.
Peel cucumber and chop to small size dice.
Slice avocado in half, remove pit, and cut into small dice.

Fill small (8 oz) mason jars or Weck jars in this order:  1-2 tablespoons quinoa, couple teaspoons chickpeas, teaspoon avocado, teaspoon cucumber, half an egg.  No need to be exact!  Pack in as much of each item as desired.
*If you want more flavor add to quinoa: a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, cooked lentils, roasted nuts, dried fruit,  - whatever you love!


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chia Seed Granola Bars

We are trying recipes everyday at our house but in the summer I rarely turn on the oven.  It's just too hot to bake!  This recipe uses the stove top just a little bit so you need not worry about heating up your kitchen.  These are very hearty and I particularly love the crunch of the chia seeds.  We love chia seeds at our house and after trying several brands we very much favor the hearty Mayorga brand. Mayorga chia seeds are all black, non-GMO, and Farmer Friendly.
These little bars are great for packing in lunches or as an after-school snack.  Cut them as small or as big as you like!

Homemade Chia Seed Granola Bars
2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
½  cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
1/3  cup honey
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons chia seeds (I prefer Mayorga Brand)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. 
Combine the oats and roughly chopped almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 7-10 minutes until lightly toasted or golden brown. (If it is summertime and you don't want to heat up your kitchen there is no need to turn on your oven.  Put the oats in a large saute' pan and cook over medium heat, shaking pan or stirring occasionally until toasted.  Do the same with the almonds.)  Transfer toasted oats & almonds to a large bowl.
While the oats and almonds are in oven, combine the butter, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and stir in the salt, vanilla, and chia seeds. Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and almonds and add the cranberries. Mix well. Let cool completely for ½ hours then add the chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (I did not wait long enough and my chocolate chips melted…still tasted great but I would rather there be bits of chocolate throughout each bar.)
Transfer the oat mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula firmly press the mixture into the pan until the mixture is in a uniform layer. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

After the granola has cooled completely, gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut it into squares or bars.  I keep these stored in the refrigerator and add to lunches or have ready for after-school snacks.  Yum!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines

My daughter needed to prepare a film showing her making and explaining the steps of a French recipe - En Fran├žais, of course!  "May I please bake Madeleines?", she asked me.  "Yes!" I said.  "Good choice because they are easy and bake quickly."
Afterward we split one, the rest she decided to package up as little gifts for each of her teachers.  I was wishing we had more to enjoy for a snack.  It was too late in the evening to start a new batch and I thought, "why don't I make these more often?"  Well I will from now on.  Madeleines are easy, delicious, and special. Madeleines are quite pretty to look at but also are the perfect treat- perfect size, perfect taste, perfect texture.
Note:  I like these glazed or unglazed ---either way tastes great.  According to the original recipe, the glazed madeleines are to be left uncovered & not tightly-wrapped.  Well, we packaged them up so I hope the teachers still enjoyed their madeleines!

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines
adapted from David Lebovitz  (One of my favorite blogs!)

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of two lemons
9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus 2 additional Tablespoons melted butter for preparing the molds
3/4 cup (150g) powdered sugar
1 ½ Tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ Tablespoons water

Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the freezer.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.  Place the flour and baking powder into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. 
Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then add the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Using a teaspoon, put a spoonful of batter in the center of each indentation and don’t worry if you’re not exact. Do not spread it.
Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.

Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle (they cool quickly - couple of minutes), dip each cake in the glaze on the scalloped side of the madeleine. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.