Dear Reader – (day 10) Super Health-ified Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread A 550

Hey! It’s a food day! Yay!

In case you didn’t deduce so much from the title, it’s pumpkin bread – with the fat and sugar dialed down, and the whole grains and protein dialed up.

We’ve got just the eensiest bit of butter in there (by baking standards, anyway), and instead of processed sugar we’re using real maple syrup and molasses (because rumor has it that, as far as sugars go, these two are the healthiest).

So now we can bypass all that godforsaken, processed-pumpkin-everything looming on coffee shop pastry shelves and grocery store convenience isles.

If you’re craving fall in a breakfast/afternoon snack/dessert, I suggest you try this.

The icing is optional, of course, and made with real powdered sugar. There was no way to modify that one and enjoy even remotely similar results. The bread’s perfectly tasty without it – so whether or not you top it with icing is all about how decadent you want to be. And, if you happen to be a gluten-free eater, check the notes section. Something tells me this would work quite well with gluten-free flour too.

Dear Reader – (Day 10) Super Health-ified Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread

This quick bread could easily be made gluten free, simply by replacing the white and whole wheat flours with equal amounts of gluten free flour. I used glass loaf pans with this batch, and it worked well. I'm sure, however, that metal will do the trick too. A special note - because there is so little white flour in the recipe, the bread won't plump up as high as a regular quick bread might, but I assure you - even though it comes out fairly flat, and the slices end up rectangular, your pumpkin-loving heart won't be dissappointed!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or ground rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup plain, 2%fat greek yogurt
  • For the icing
  • about 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons half and half

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two 9"x5" loaf pans with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine white flour, wheat flour, oat flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Stir to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine maple syrup, molasses, butter, eggs, and vanilla. MIx until incorporated. Butter will not mix in completely. It's ok.

Add half the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Fold until evenly mixed.

Add in pumpkin and greek yogurt. Mix again until incorporated.

Add in remaining dry mixture and fold until just mixed.

Pour half of the mixture into each loaf pan.

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Test with a toothpick.When it's inserted into the middle of a loaf and comes out with just a few cakey crumbs it's done.

Allow to cool on wire racks, in the loaf pans for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from loaf pans and carefully remove parchment paper. Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

For the Icing -

You really can eye-ball this one. Add your powdered sugar to a small bowl, then add small amounts of half and half, stirring well each time with a fork or whisk, until you reach the consistency you like. Voila!

Source

Adapted by Sara| Home is Where The Cookies Are, from sublimereflection.com

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2015/10/14/dear-reader-day-10-super-health-ified-greek-yogurt-pumpkin-bread/

Whole Wheat Honey Nut Bread

Whole Wheat Honey Nut Bread

Hiya Guys!

I feel like we’re long-lost friends finally meeting up for coffee after weeks of chaotic, um . . . chaos and total absorption in our own little worlds. And by that, I mean I’ve been totally absorbed in my own little world, and I have lots of friends with whom coffee dates and catch-ups are supremely necessary.

Forgive me for being the friend who’s gone missing.

And also, Dear Readers? Forgive me for my writing at this particular moment, because I think the part of my brain that gives good words is asleep. We’re doing our best this morning – me and my brain. I’m giving him lots of coffee (why my brain is a man today, I don’t know. Probably because I find him unreachable and perplexing right now. And sometimes stubborn. And he loads the dishwasher wrong.)

So what shall we talk about that doesn’t require lots of good words?

Bread.

Yes, bread is always good, regardless of words.

And this bread is simple.

This bread is good, simple, healthy, and DELICIOUS.

Note the use of all caps in “DELICIOUS”. That is to emphasize the actual deliciousness of the bread. Because I lack other words. So I’ll capitalize on the accuracy of the one I have.(Heh! Capitalize. . . .)

So, the bread.

If you’re into whole grains, nuts, the slight sweetness of honey, and yeast bread that comes from your hands, in your kitchen, with minimal work, this is your new baby.

Hands-on time required will amount to about 10-15 minutes the first time around (not including rise time and baking time), but I’ve made it three times, and each time I shave a little time off the prep. (Total time will end up just under 2 hours).

This, my friends, is the way all many-grain (9 grain, 10 grain, 12 grain. . . whatevs) breads should taste. Soft, nutty, wheaty, healthy. . . FRESH.whole wheat honey nut bread

Also? I must warn you – watch yourself when it comes out of the oven warm and fragrant. If you have a slab of butter near by, don’t consider your diet safe.

And, if your first loaf gets stuck in the pan and happens to come out in pieces, you might be tempted to curse the fact that you thought olive oil would create an apt enough anti-stick barrier, then you’ll forgive yourself and stand there with a gigantic hunk of tender, warm, nut-bread in one hand, a knife adorned with a generous blob of soft butter in the other hand, and all those pieces might end up smoothly dressed and on a one way trip to your mouth.

But if it does, and you do, and it does, don’t worry. You’ll enjoy it 100%.

Whole Wheat Honey Nut Bread

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices

Whole Wheat Honey Nut Bread

This bread is delightfully delicious and super healthy. It's packed with whole grains, nuts, and some nifty Omega 3's from the flaxseed. Consider using it for breakfast toast, open faced with eggs, spread with mashed avocado, or even just graced with butter and honey. It's also fantastic for sandwiches and alongside soup. If you are a calorie counter, cut your slices thin - this is a hearty and filling bread that lends itself to more calories than a typical store-bought loaf.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water (130 degrees F)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used "light tasting" olive oil so the flavor wouldn't overpower the bread)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

Directions

In a large, non-reactive bowl, add warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand until the yeast is foamy - about 5 minutes. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, wheat germ, flaxseed, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and sea salt. Stir to combine.

Stir the olive oil, honey, and applesauce into the water and yeast mixture until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. The dough will be dense and very sticky. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place or about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper. (You could also grease liberally with butter, shortening, or coconut oil).

After 20 minutes, use the wooden spoon to fold the dough from the perimeter into the center of the bowl onto itself, rotating the bowl as you fold, for 2 minutes. This will knead the dough without getting your hands dirty, and it helps develop the gluten for nice, chewy bread.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Slightly wet your fingers with water and gently spread the dough to evenly fill the pan.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and return the pan to a warm spot for another 20 minutes.

Place the pan in the middle of the pre-heated oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper. When you give it a good tap on the bottom with your knuckle, it should sound hollow.

Allow to cool completely before slicing (Try!! It preserves the texture of the bread).

Store at room temp for up to 3 days. If you don't think you'll get through your whole loaf in 3 days, then slice the whole loaf, wrap well in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag or Tupperware, and freeze half for later.

Source

Adapted by Sara|Home Is Where The Cookies Are (just slightly) from Relish : An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2014/08/25/whole-wheat-honey-nut-bread/

Crock Pot Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

Sometimes I wish I could travel back in time.

Like, I wish I could sit in the crowded bleachers at my dad’s high school football game and watch him run the one and only touchdown my mom ever witnessed.

I wish I could sit in my grandparents’ Latin class and watch my grandpa ask my grandma out on a date over and over and over again until finally, one day, she turned the tables and asked him to a Sadie Hawkins dance.

I wish I could  walk the 7th grade hallways with my husband, in his Z Cavariccis and spiked hair, and meet the teacher that would eventually inspire him into the field of oncology.

I wish I could flash back to a barn dance in the 1940’s and watch my mom’s parents tear up the floor with their jitterbug.

I wish I could be seven years old again, playing outside in the summer time with my sister and making mud-pies with a hidden center of saw dust.

I wish I could revisit the births of each of my children and hold their tiny, warm, squishy bodies and smell their little baby smells and stroke their tiny little baby fingers.

Sometimes, I wish I could be a teenager again. Sixteen and sleeping in. SLEEPING IN.

Do I need to say it again?

Sometimes, I think I’d like to go back to our newlywed apartment, to the fresh married years where I was an excellent housekeeper and we had a retro 1960’s glass dining table with olive-green velvet chairs, one whole living room wall was devoted to toddler artwork, and we had a spare bedroom. Spare. Room. . . .

Sometimes it’s simpler. Like I wish I could rewind just an hour or two and not say that awful embarrassing thing I said. I wish I could shake my head like and etch-a-sketch and just erase. ERASE!

Sometimes, I’d just like to travel back twelve or 24 months, and invite the myself to dinner at my house then – because I just browsed over the last two years of July foods, and I want to eat them again. Heirloom tomato flatbreads? Pesto Guacamole? Summer squash and corn chowder? Veggie stuffed pasta shells? Sweet potato chips and creamy avocado dip?? Yes, please. To all of them.

And this one? This chicken and mushroom ragu? Well, it wasn’t too long ago that it sat, steaming on the kitchen counter, but I’d go back to it in a flash. Tender chicken pulled into delicate shreds, Italian sausage spicing up each bite, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil sprinkled over the top – making the whole dish fresh and bright. . . .

And the flavors get better as the daysslow cooker chicken and mushroom ragu go by, so YES TO LEFTOVERS!! (T-shirt, anyone?)

Whether you like it piled over rice or pasta or served alone with some crusty bread, it’s all up to whatever your seasonal little heart desires – and the whole crock pot situation means it’s a goodie in the summer OR the winter. So yes – future me will be revisiting this one come November or February, or. . . next week.

Crock Pot Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

Crock Pot Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

This is a great dish for summer (no kitchen heat in the hot evening!) or winter - (hot, comforting supper!), but most of all, it's easy enough for a weeknight and it makes a gigantic batch. With one batch, we feed a family of six with enough left over for another night or lots of lunches - and as it "ages" it becomes even more flavorful. You can freeze your leftovers, or refrigerate them and use them within a few days.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 large (or 2 small) Yellow onion, peeled, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 (12 oz. package) AidellsItalian Chicken Sausage, sliced into discs
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (26 ounce) carton Pomi finely chopped tomatoes
  • 12 ounces sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup minced fire-roasted red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (equaling roughly 2 lbs)
  • additional salt to taste
  • fresh, chopped basil for garnish
  • fresh grated parmesan for garnish
  • pasta or rice prepared according to package directions.

Directions

Heat a 10" skillet over medium heat.

Add bacon slices, and cook till crisp.

Remove bacon from skillet to paper towel. (When cool, crumble and add to the crock pot.)

Add onions. Allow wedges to brown well, turn, and brown on other side.

Remove onions to crock pot.

Add a single layer of sausage slices to the pan. Allow to deeply brown, then flip. You only need to do this with about half the sausage slices, so you can save some time here!

Add the browned sausage slices, as well as the others to the crock pot.

Turn the stove off and remove the pan from heat. Pour the wine into the pan and scrape up all the browned bits with the wine. Pour wine and scrapings into the crock pot.

Add tomatoes and next 6 ingredients to the crock pot and stir everything together.

Nestle the chicken thighs evenly throughout the crock pot, cover with lid, and cook on low for 4 hours.

Shred chicken in the pot, taste for salt. Serve hot over pasta or rice, and garnish with fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese.

Source

Sara| Home Is Where The Cookies Are

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2014/08/01/crock-pot-chicken-and-mushroom-ragu/

Homemade Ketchup: Regular or Buffalo?

Homemade Ketchup - regular or buffalo? No added sugars, Paleo and Whole30 compliant

I didn’t intend to post this all by itself.

It’s actually part of a recipe combo that includes those other savouries up there too: slow cooker pulled pork and red cabbage tacos with quick-pickled cucumbers and peppers.

They all go together, but they can be separated too. And probably, on occasion, should be.

Kind of like siblings.

Poor little Buffalo Ketchup was feeling a little lost and alone amidst those other delicious edibles.

(Speaking of siblings. . . Buffalo Ketchup. Possible fifth child name??)

He needed a spotlight on his little ol’ self.

So, there he is, in a poorly composed photo because I just didn’t think it through ahead of time.

Aaaaaaaaaand, I’m lazy.

There’s no way I’m shooting it again.

So Kiddo, here you go:

Happy Buffalo Ketchup

See how we did that?

We just made his day.

You can decide what road you want to travel down with this ketchup.

You can stop pre-buffalo and you’ll have a nice, traditional, homemade ketchup.

BUT, if you’re feeling fiery, or you’re craving a change, or you think it’s time for you to switch up your ketchup game (because I know you have one), then by all means – go the buffalo route and don’t turn back.

Either way you do it, we’ve pulled it together with no added sugars. We use those trusty dates for sweetness instead.

Me and B.K. will be back again later to tell you all about the tacos and pork.

For now? You may just want to start carving out a little fridge space fo your happy ketchup’s home.

He told me he prefers front row door space.

Apparently, it’s the prime vantage point from which to gape at you through those sweet aviators.

Oh, and TOTALLY off-topic, but I was just sitting here with my gal plugging words into Google Translate, and, because I am super mature and totally grown up, we put in words like “poop” and “smelly cat”.

She and her littlest big bro however, have a language all their own – in which, “Wackadoodle everherd” is a real-deal phrase.

Just for kicks, plug it into Google Translate and listen to the robot voice struggle to say that one in Spanish.

I dare you not to at least giggle.

Homemade Ketchup: Regular or Buffalo?

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

If you don't have dates on hand or would just rather use sugar for this recipe, I'd suggest swapping out the dates for 1/4 cup light brown sugar. Then just continue on with the rest of the recipe as-is. This "sauce" arrose when we were eating Paleo on the Whole30 program, and I was craving a sauce. Who knew I would continue craving it to top everything from shredded pork tacos to spicy chicken sausages and hamburgers!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chopped Medjool dates (about 3 dates)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 26 ounce carton Pomi diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Gluten Free balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • scant pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Optional)

Directions

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the two tablespoons of water and the chopped dates. Allow them to simmer until dates appear softer and water is almost gone. Remove from heat and transfer dates to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil and cook onions until they are translucent. Remove from heat and add them to the dates in the blender or food processor bowl.

Add Pomi tomatoes and tomato paste to onions and dates and puree until smooth.

Add puree back to the sauce pan. Add in vinegars and spices. Stir till well combined. Add in bay leaf. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Remove from heat. Remove Bay leaf.

This is where you stop if you don't want the Buffalo version.

If you're into the Buffalo flavor, now is the time to add the 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot sauce and stir until thoroughly combined.

Either way, allow sauce to cool completely.

If you'd like to put in some extra effort, you can strain the ketchup by pouring it into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and gently pushing it through the strainer with a spatula. I found this step to feel somewhat wasteful, but if you are a texture person, or just want to work harder, go ahead and give it a shot. (And let me know if you found it beneficial).

Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Source

Sara | Home is Where The Cookies Are

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2013/11/12/homemade-ketchup-regular-or-buffalo/

Healthy Oven Beef Jerky {Paleo, Whole30}

beef jerky, paleo, coconut aminos, homemade, DIY, Whole30 Compliant, oven

That’s it, Folks.

Just like that, our Thirty Days of Torture are over.

They were actually over two days ago, and one would guess, by the scene I made over craving coffee with cream and sugar, that I’d be floating in a tub of cafe lattes by now.

But I’m not.

I actually, still, am drinking black coffee.

*gasp!*

I know you all just gasped.

(Mostly, because I wrote it, and I know you read it.)

But really, this is what I’ve decided: Continue reading

Homemade Turkey Pastrami {Whole30, Paleo Compatible}

Turkey Pastrami, recipe, Whole30, paleo, healthy, DIY, homemade

Let’s eat lunch meat, Guys.

Luuuuunch Meeeeeat!! Where have you been for the last 18 days?!

Not up in my grill, that’s fo’ shizzle.

Until now.

Until I could make it, at home, free of funky stuff.

Funky-stuff-free lunch meat is darn near impossible to find.

And this poses a problem for us. Continue reading