whole wheat flour

I know I should have bought a smaller container of Greek yogurt in the first place…

We don’t normally eat yogurt by itself. In fact, we usually only have it at home when a recipe calls for it. Like Ottolenghi’s Greek yogurt baba ghanoush. But that scrumptious dish only required two tablespoons. What to do with the rest??

Blueberry Greek yogurt pancakes, of course!

blueberry Greek yogurt pancakes

blueberry Greek yogurt pancakes

The day before I made these pancakes NPR’s Morning Edition aired a special report on Smitten Kitchen during our morning breakfast ritual. Not about pancakes, the story spoke about how that now famous blogger turns out beautiful dishes in her tiny Manhattan kitchen (That sounds so familiar! Do you think that she got the idea from Julie Powell? Just a thought…)

Obviously, Deb Perelman was also promoting her new cookbook over the radio. Congratulations, Deb! She prepared latkes for Lynn Neary during the story—so not pancakes exactly but bear with me here. The following day I googled blueberry yogurt pancakes and one of Deb’s entries came up first.

So influenced by the morning news and Google’s high ranking, I decided to give the recipe a try. I didn’t have all the ingredients that she calls for. Here’s my adapted version of Smitten Kitchen’s dish.

blueberry Greek yogurt pancakes

1 large egg plus one egg white
1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
2 to 4 tablespoons soy milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cup (62 grams) whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
Some butter to grease the skillet

Sift together sugar, salt, flour, baking powder and set aside. In a separate bowl add egg, egg white, soy milk, lemon zest, vanilla extract. Whisk to combine then whisk in yogurt. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add a bit more soy milk if batter seems too thick.

Place two non-stick skillets on stovetop over medium. Melt a bit of butter in each pan. Add one small ladle full of batter to each pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side, sprinkle some blueberries on top, flip and cook for about 3 minutes more on other side. Continue in that way until batter used up.

Serve with butter, maple syrup and a good cup of freshly brewed black coffee.

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This is my first time ever cooking rhubarb. I have eaten it before of course. Steven made a beautiful rhubarb streusel cake last year. His recipe used rhubarb with very red stalks. At the time I didn’t think much of it. The stalks are always red, no?

rhubarb and buttermilk quick bread

rhubarb and buttermilk quick bread

We inherited a rhubarb plant in our new garden plot. The leaves are enormous and so are the stalks. We waited and waited for them to turn red but they never did. They only sort of reddened at the base of the stalk. I thought that they looked ready but what’s up with that color?

Last week I decided to harvest some of the stalks still ‘green’ just to give them a try. Since everyone knows that rhubarb can be poisonous, I read up on it. Turns out that there are several types and that the green ones with red at the base of the stalks is a traditional variety and are fully mature and ready for harvest. Hooray!

my picked over rhubarb plant

my picked over rhubarb plant

rhubarb from my community garden plot

rhubarb from my community garden plot

Sadly, that same informative site recommends refraining from harvesting after the end of Spring to give the plant time to recover. So this is it for this year. Those jams and chutneys will have to wait till 2013.

This recipe comes from rhubarb-info. It is a very informative site. Some more interesting facts about Rhubarb can be read here. I’ve changed the flour types, oil, nuts and the amount of rhubarb.

I love the combo sweet and sour rhubarb flavor. It goes perfectly with a good cup of coffee.

rhubarb and buttermilk quick bread

~ 2-3 cups ripe rhubarb stalks, cut into chunks
1½ cups brown sugar
2/3 cup almond oil (or other neutral oil such as canola)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup of mixed broken almonds and walnuts
1½ tbsp butter at room temperature
¼ cup coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 13”x9” Pyrex glass dish.

Whisk together brown sugar, egg and oil. Add salt, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and flours. Continue mixing to incorporate. Fold rhubarb and nuts into batter. Transfer batter to baking dish and spread evenly.

Mix sugar and semi-soft butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until bread passes the toothpick test.

Cool and serve.

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whole wheat roti

by Heguiberto on January 23, 2012

whole wheat roti

whole wheat roti

Indian unleavened breads are incredibly easy to make and very tasty. This roti is no exception. I particularly like dipping the warm fry bread in dal (lentil) soups or really with any curry dish. It is my number one choice for my vegan masoor dal.

You can use roti to scoop and soak up any type of food on your plate. That’s a good thing because nothing goes to waste. We always wipe our plates clean this way, so I’ve come to think of this bread as an environmentally friendly way of eating.

whole wheat roti

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp canola oil
Some water

Using your hands, mix together flours, salt and oil followed by about ½ cup of water. Add more water by spoonfuls and keep kneading until you get a smooth, relatively soft bread dough. Drizzle a tiny bit of oil over it. Cover with cling film and let it seat, room temperature, for about 30 minutes.

rolling out the dough

rolling out the dough

Divide dough into small balls and roll them out into thin tortilla-like pancakes with a floured rolling pin and surface.

Cook them on medium-hot temperature in lightly oiled non-stick skillet for about 1-2 minutes per side. Push the pancakes down to form a few blisters on its surface for good looks and taste! Place them on serving platters lined with warm towels to preserve freshness and heat.

pan frying the roti

pan frying the roti

In Brazil we serve lentil soup New Year’s Eve with wishes for good fortune. I served mine for New year’s in San Francisco in the company of Steven, Jasmine and Prof.T.

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red and white onion bajiis

by Heguiberto on August 30, 2011

Bajjis, bhajis or pakoras are Indian vegetable fritters I adore. They sort of remind me of the type of vegetable/rice fritters my mother used to occasionally make when I was a kid. She called them bolinhos de arroz, or rice balls. It was a creative way of using leftover rice. There was never waste at home and that was a good thing.

red and white onion bajiis

red and white onion bajiis

To make her bolinhos de arroz she would mix flour, baking powder, mild spices, eggs, water, left over rice, grated zucchini or chayote and just fry and serve them as an appetizer or side dish. I thought it was such a treat when she made it! But when you grow up and develop a taste for bold flavors then you replace bolinhos de arroz with bajiis.

You can make bajiis with peppers, eggplant, potatoes, or cauliflower; but my favorite ones have onions.

Here’s a simple recipe with a Brazilian-Indian approach.

red and white onion bajiis

1 medium sized white onion, thinly sliced in half-moon shape
2 medium sized red onions, thinly sliced in half-moon shape
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup chick pea flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
3-4 tbsp cold water
Neutral oil such as canola for frying

Mix cilantro, sliced red and white onions together. Set aside.

Fill a skillet with about ½ inch of oil; bring oil temperature to high.

Meanwhile whisk flours, black and cayenne peppers, salt, cumin and turmeric powders together. Incorporate egg and water to make a thick batter. If too thick add a bit more of water. Fold in onions. Drop spoons full of batter into hot oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

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I used to make this recipe from Mollie Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest all the time about twenty years ago. The book was new then, and I was new in the kitchen. It seemed terribly ambitious and impressive. I was always so pleased with myself!

whole wheat calzones with parsley mint pesto, provolone and mozzarella

whole wheat calzones with parsley mint pesto, provolone and mozzarella

It’s funny how I feel now, preparing this after such a long hiatus. The recipe seems kind of easy now. I really like the filling, which I’ve modified here. Mollie suggests basil pesto with ricotta or provolone and tomato. Hegui doesn’t care for ricotta, and we have a superabundance of parsley and mint from our community garden. I’m not that sure about the dough.

I followed the original recipe here to the letter. And in fact, it is exactly how I remember it from the late 1980’s. The thing is, it is a bit tough: tough to kneed and hard in the mouth. Somehow I long for a more fluffy, foccacia-like crust. Plus, more often than not, my calzones burst open while baking. It always makes a mess! Whether this is due to the recipe or my modest skills, I don’t know. This does not alter the delightful flavor in any way. Nevertheless, I believe they’re supposed to stay closed. Perhaps I should use less filling?

Well, I have to say that the dough absorbs the olive oil marvelously well. I had a leftover calzone for lunch a few days later, soaked through with oil and pesto, and it was truly sublime.

whole wheat calzones with parsley mint pesto, provolone and mozzarella

For the dough:

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup corn meal
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
½ packet dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
Olive oil

For the filling:

1 clove garlic
1 large punch parsley
2 sprigs mint, leaves only
¼ to ½ cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp salt
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup parmesan
3 Roma tomatoes, in slices
1/3 cup provolone, shredded
1/3 cup mozzarella, shredded

To prepare dough:

Mix sugar, water and yeast in a bowl and stir. Let rest about five to ten minutes. In another bowl, blend flours, corn meal and salt together. Gradually work into liquid until forms a thick dough.

Pour onto counter and kneed about five minutes. Shape into a ball.

Pour some olive oil into a large bowl. Roll dough ball in oil, cover and let rise about 90 minutes in a warm place.

stuffing the clazone

stuffing the clazone


folding calzone closed, crimping the edges and piercing holes on top

folding calzone closed, crimping the edges and piercing holes on top

To prepare filling:

In a food processor, blend garlic, parsley, mint leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper until it forms a paste. Add more olive oil if too thick. Process in walnuts then parmesan. Set aside.

To assemble calzones:

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Press dough into a round disk and cut into six equal pieces. Roll each into a ball. Flatten each smaller ball by hand then with a rolling pin to about ¼ inch thickness.

Fill with some parsley mint pesto, some of the two cheeses and top with two tomato slices. Pull one end of dough over filling onto edge of other. Press edges closed with the blunt end of a fork or spoon. Mollie writes that the finished calzones look like UFOs, which is sort of true. Pierce with a fork to allow steam to escape and avoid unwanted oven explosions.

Place each on a baking tray. When all calzones are formed, bake about 20 minutes until crust is firm and golden brown. Let cool about 15 or 20 minutes then enjoy with leafy salad and red wine, of course.

welcome summer!

welcome, Summer!


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This recipe suggestion comes from Faith at An Edible Mosaic. I’ve only recently stumbled across her blog but have become a huge fan already. She made savory muffins with caramelized onions, feta and rosemary the other day. These looked really good! She also suggested some variations, like savory muffins with sharp cheddar, dried cranberries and orange zest; or alternatively, provolone, sundried tomatoes and basil. That last one hit my tastebuds right off the screen, so I had to try to make them myself.

savory sundried tomato, basil, provolone and mozzarella mini-cakes

savory sundried tomato, basil, provolone and mozzarella mini-cakes

Here I changed canola oil for olive, used soy milk instead of cows (that’s what we had on hand) and added more cheese than in Faith’s recipe. The aroma wafting from the oven was like margarita pizza. Instead of butter, we drizzled a bit of olive oil on them and gobbled up several right away, they were that good.

Thanks for the excellent idea, Faith!

savory sundried tomato, basil, provolone and mozzarella mini-cakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
2 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ¼ cups soy milk
¾ cup shredded provolone and/or mozzarella
½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
black olives for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Mix flours, baking powder, salt and black pepper together in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat eggs, olive oil and soy milk together. Fold in cheeses, sundried tomatoes, and basil. Gently fold flour mixture into wet ingredients.

Since I used disposable wax paper baking molds, I didn’t need to grease and flour the pans. If you aren’t then Faith recommends that you do that to prevent sticking.

Fill baking molds about two thirds full. Garnish with olive slices. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 35 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

If your mini-cake is too dry, then just add more olive oil, like these dudes:

bustour#4 – gladyatörs from markus dassel on Vimeo.

Oil-wrestling in the near of Antalya. the field is crowded with simultaneous matches in eleven divisions, ranging from school kids to forty-year-old masters. There are few forbidden holds, and grabbing of trunks is not off limits.
shot with canon 7D, canon 50mm/f1,4, tokina 11-16mm/f2,8, vario ND

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