Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cinnamon Spiked Chickpea Flour Breakfast Bars

This recipe is the result of a friend looking out for me. My Housemate and good friend Jenna, knew I was on the hunt for a delicious use for my chickpea flour. While I have had one success, it has been mostly failures. On Sunday, she sent me a link to a recipe on the Edible Perspective. It was for a gluten-free "bread." I knew immediately I wanted to make it and made it later on that day.

I made minor tweaks mostly due to what I had on hand. The original recipe was gluten-free, but with my wheat bran addition these are no longer gluten-free. The texture resonated with me as more of a "bar" so that is what I am calling it.

Cinnamon Spiked Chickpea Flour Breakfast Bars slightly adapted from the Edible Perspective

3/4 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp olive oil
1/6 cup chopped dates
1/6 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup wheat bran
1 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Combine all ingredients in order and stir to combine.
3. Pour into a well greased 9x9 pan
4. Bake for 35-45 minutes until crackers and browned on the edges.

These seemed a bit more crumbly than those from the Edible Perspective, but I'm sure it has to do with the bran addition, or the olive oil substitution for coconut oil. I have to get my hands on some of that stuff.

I was a bit hesitant to replace the buckwheat flour (which I didn't have) with more chickpea flour as I thought I would find the chickpea flavour overbearing. I also wanted to make sure it was sweet enough for me based on my past experiences with chickpea flour. That is why I made sure to replace the dried fruit I didn't have with some chocolate chips. On my first bite I wasn't too sure but it really grew on me. It is great with peanut butter on top, and made a great quick breakfast for this busy week. Also, do not be shy with the cinnamon! I am happy to report, that with this recipe, I polished off 2 mason jars of pantry items! Again, it felt like checking off items on a to do list.

This will be my last post before I head off to Italy. I will not be blogging during my trip. Upon my return I will be finishing my move back into my parent's house, but hopefully I will be able to bring you a new post with a new recipe shortly after my return. While I won't be blogging, I will be tweeting, so you can follow me @foodforfuel to keep up to date!

See you in September! (wow, already?!?)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Steel Cut Oats with Dates

Those of you who follow me on twitter, or who follow me in real life, a.k.a. real-life friends/family, know this is a big week! I am working on my research study for my thesis (will be half done data collection after this week), am moving home for a year (I haven't lived at home for more than a few months in 6 years), and am heading to Italy on Friday (I have never been across the ocean).  I have been preparing for a while. Slowly moving some things home, packing here and there, planning for the trip, etc. etc. I have also been trying to reduce some of my pantry and freezer stocks. This has caused me to be a bit more creative as well as reduce my grocery lists. I have also had some help from my parent's garden for supplying me with fresh veggies.

While this week is all about quick breakfasts since I need to be at school by 6 am most days, I had some leisurely mornings last week. This allowed me to cook up the rest of the steel cut oats I had laying around. I also managed to use up a few dates in the process.

Steel Cut Oats with Dates

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup steel cut oats
4 small dates, chopped

1. Bring water to a boil. Add oats and stir.
2. Bring back to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
3. When the oats are 1/2 done (5-8 min) add the dates and stir in.
4. Continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached.

These oats were the perfect sweetness for me. I rarely sweeten my hot oats, and usually just top it with a dollop of peanut butter, so this was a treat! It was the perfect amount of sweetness as it was subtle and throughout the oats, due to cooking the oats with the dates. Even with the dates, I still topped it with some peanut butter. It's my favourite.

I made this a couple times and in this picture I used steel cut with some rolled oats since I didn't have enough of each. I finished off two canisters on this breakfast. To me, emptying canisters feels like checking off an item on a to do list. Call me crazy!

I will have at least one more recipe before the end of the week. Todays post is about leisurely breakfasts, but the next one will be a breakfast recipe for those rushed mornings. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tomato, Walnut and Basil Sauce on Raw Zucchini Pasta

The garden is booming! My parent's garden that is. My little planters on my patio have yielded 0 fruit, and it will stay that way unfortunately. There was a lonely little pepper growing a few days ago, but it looks like the neighbourhood animals beat me to it. Oh well, it was worth a try. At least I have access to my parent's and grandparent's garden this time of year. Every weekend I have been coming home with lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and radishes. Yesterday, I came home with the first of the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green pepper and chili pepper.

I wanted to make a dish that was light, raw, and would really highlight the freshness of the veggies. I have made raw zucchini pasta in the past, but wasn't a huge fan. Since I don't have a mandoline, the zucchini was irregular shaped and not as thin as it should have been. I also didn't have the right kind of sauce for it. With the though of gazpacho in mind I remembered this recipe, which is where I originally saw 'raw pasta'.  I made a few changes and it turned out wonderful. Extremely flavourful and perfect for these hot summer days we have been having.

Tomato, Walnut and Basil Sauce on Raw Zucchini Pasta adapted from Mis Pensamientos

1/2 cup walnuts
1 handful of basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 large onion
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 zucchini

1. Add walnuts to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add basil, parsley, onion, lemon, olive oil and garlic. Process until a pesto forms, scraping down the sides as neccesary.
3. Add tomatoes and pulse until combined (I only pulsed 3 times). Drain any excess liquid.
4. Use a mandoline to thinly peel the zucchini, or use a peeler to make the 'zucchini pasta'. Top with the pesto sauce.

After taking a look at this photo I realized the sauce doesn't look too appetizing, but I can assure you it tastes wonderful. I almost added some chili peppers but I am glad I didn't because it already has quite the bite from the basil and garlic. I also would have topped this with some goat cheese if I had some on hand. that bowl is 1 small zucchini and about 1/3 of the sauce. I think the leftover sauce would be wonderful in a cold pasta or quinoa salad.

**Update: Zucchini pasta is not for everyone. I really don't find raw zucchini all that appetizing, I much prefer it cooked. Maybe I would like it better if I had a spiralizer? As I was eating this for lunch I really wished I had real pasta, or cooked zucchini at least. Maybe some cheese would have made it better. Anyway, definitely give zucchini pasta a try at least once, but if it isn't your thing, I don't blame you, but don't forget about the tomato, walnut and basil goes nicely with lots of other things.

I hope everyone had a great long weekend. Mine was low key and fairly relaxing. I spent some time with my family and made more preparations for moving into my parent's house, and for my trip to Italy. It is becoming more of a reality that I will be moving out of my current house and leaving my awesome housemates :(

I will leave you with a picture I took today of Tew's Falls in Hamilton.