Bread and Pegboards

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Julia Child would be SO proud right now.

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I have my very own pegboard!!!

And also this awesome new app that does really cool things to photos. Sorry… I’m addicted. Just bear with me….

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In fact, the main reason I’m posting a recipe at all is to actually feature my beautiful baby pegboard… because it is AMAZING. And courtesy of Vati’s superior constructional abilities, many thanks and rounds of applause to Vati! I do get credit for the spray paint, though. And now it’s amazing because I can actually get pots in and out of my cupboards.

What. A. Concept.

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No longer is it like playing pot tetris with the teeny cupboards, where I essentially have to stand on my head to see inside (and there is a support down the very center, which basically reduces the functionality of the storage space by half and makes getting larger pots in and out quite the skill)… NO! I now have only TWO pots stored in the pot storage space, and the rest get to hang out tidily on the pegboard. GENIUS. Absolutely genius. Thank you, Julia Child, for making this a thing. And I don’t care if she didn’t originally make it a thing — she made it awesome.

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So now I’m awesome.

Because I have a teal pegboard, just like Julia. Heeehee.

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I further have teeny mini loaves of tummy friendly quick bread! Because.. this is the ongoing game of finding a system of etting that makes my stomach happy. Which we still haven’t quite found, but I have hopes for getting there, at least. Long story short, this means reduced or eliminated fodmaps and a mega increase in the amount and timing of soluble fiber in my diet. SO FUN, GUYS, SO FUN. ….

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Mostly, I’m just bored stiff with my current diet, and am trying to slowly find things that are acceptable to brain and bod. This is one! Zucchini-banana spelt bread, with walnuts and cinnamon. Mmm. High in the good fiber, fodmap friendly, and refined sugar free. It’s also higher in protein than most quick breads, which I consider a plus. Whether you have tum issues or not, this is one delicious bread. I like the flour blend here because it yields a bread that is moist HYDRATED and dense in just the right way, without being stick-to-the-roof dense or too hydrated. Because there is such a thing and I hate overly hydrated quick bread. It should be able to stand on it’s own, and not just keel over into a soggy lump when you cut it. Just no.

But this one is a great balance between the two — and it’s egg content makes it just that bit… airy? Fluffy? Hard to describe but nonetheless delicious. Let’s go with densely airy just because, well why not. Don’t let my lack of appropriate terminology deter you… it’s amazing. And easy. No excuses!

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See. I told you.

Zucchini-Banana Spelt Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon

Fodmap friendly, high in soluble fiber, and refined sugar free. Feel free to adapt the flour blend as needed — this could easily be gluten free with a gf blend. This is a remarkably forgiving bread, given that I pretty much improvised as I went along and it still came out fabulously. Yield: 2 mini loaves or 1 small 9 by 5 loaf. A Wait are those Cookies original.

  • 1/2 c quinoa flour
  • 1/2 c white rice flour
  • 1/2 c whole spelt flour
  • 1.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 egg whites, beaten until foamy and light (I use an immersion blender for this)
  • heaping 1/6 c coconut sugar
  • 1/6 c coconut oil (liquid)
  • 1 heaping tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 c grated, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325, and lightly grease either 2 mini loaf pans, or 1 standard size.

In a smallish bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, rice flour, spelt flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. In a larger, non-reactive bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Whisk or mix in coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple. Stir in mashed banana and grated zucchini. Add walnuts, and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with as few strokes as possible, until the batter is incorporated. Pour into the prepared pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is firm and a tester comes out clean. Mine were perfect at exactly 37 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool complete. Store them wrapped in foil in the fridge for best leftovers!

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Hello weekends, I LOVE you

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I still can’t get over this whole weekends off thing. I’ve had one whole weekend to do whatever I pleased and I wasn’t on vacation and no one was covering my shifts and I almost didn’t know what to do with myself for a hot second.

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But only a hot second. Because I realized that I could a) go to jazzercise, b) go to yoga, c) go to yoga AGAIN, d) go out to dinner to eat Moroccan food in the outer Richmond and cookies from the Castro with my boyfriend and parentals (yay!), e) hang out with a bestie, and f) make all kinds of delicious food, and g) do ALL OF THOSE THINGS ALL IN ONE WEEKEND!!! It was amazing. Really. And now I’m writing this. And eating delicious things. Ooohoooh and I got to read my novel too!! Secret nerd?! Nope. Not even. Mostly just nerd.

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omg egg.

But anyway. In the midst of being super excited for having two weekend days off in a row for reals and forever (for now), I made shashuka! Essentially eggs poached in marinara sauce, served over something grainy or whatever and sprinkled with a fine grating of cheese. Which is delicious and exciting since I’d never made it before… and also kind of sounds like a type of dance?? Don’t you think? Do the shashuka? Right? Okay. No. Just eat it, you won’t regret it for a second. I think this is going on my regular rotation of things to make since it’s relatively fast, I generally have everything on hand, and it’s comforting and saucy and delicious.

melting. cheese.
melting. cheese.

Also, I never want my dessert to end. I made banana bread with caramelized bananas and no refined sugar and stuff and then I cut a piece in half and smeared chocolate peanut butter and salted caramel ice cream and chocolate malt ice cream [sorry I’m not sorry, it’s the weekend] all over the inside and now I don’t want it to stop. I would try to slow down eating it but it’s just SO GOOD. Can’t stop won’t stop. After all that shashuka… mmm. Food. And weekends. Doesn’t get much better than that.

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And now my eyes are droopy and tired and I might actually go to bed. At 8. Because I can. Muahahaha!

shashuka in the sun!!
shashuka in the sun!!

Shashuka

Most likely serves 3-4, though you could use as many eggs as you want. I made a full serving of sauce but only enough eggs for me so that I could make fresh eggs when I want leftovers. Gluten free! Please excuse the sometimes rather vague measurements, I never measure when I make marinara. The recipe is my own! Shahuka obvs isn’t my idea, but besides poaching eggs in tomato sauce, I get credit for the flavors!

  • a hefty glug of olive oil
  • 2 hunks of frozen basil (or else a good handful of fresh)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh marjoram
  • medium sized glug of red wine
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • double handful of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • three good handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce [strictly tomato, not marinara sauce that’s prepared]
  • 2 good spoonfuls of tomato paste, until your sauce is as thick as you like
  • 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
  • salt+pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • grated parmesan, to serve

In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in basil, garlic, and marjoram. Once the oil has heated a bit, add diced onions. Let them cook for a minute or two, then add wine. Let that cook over low while you chop up the rest of the veggies. Add in mushrooms and let them brown for about 4-5 minutes, then toss in grated zucchini and spinach. Let it all cook down for maybe 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Add in tomato sauce and paste, and let the sauce simmer for at least 20 minutes. Season to taste as it’s cooking with salt and pepper, as well as the 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar (add more to taste if things are a little bitter up in these parts). Turn heat to medium low, and make three wells in the sauce with the back of a spoon. Crack an egg into each well, cover the pan, and cook for 5 ish minutes until the whites are cooked though (the idea is to have runny yolks—if that freaks you out then let them go a bit longer). Serve over a grain of choice, with grated parmesan sprinkled over the top.

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I’ll take quiche over slush, thanks.

an Imperial cruiser? Or a slice of quiche...?

I apologize for the lack of recipes lately! What with returning to Salem and starting classes again, I’ve been rather busy. And lazy, haha. BUT. Fear not, hopefully things will start returning to normal! This semester is brimming with potential recipes to be tried and eaten (I just have to figure out what they are, haha). I fully intend to eat extremely well this semester, and graduate with full gastronomic satisfaction.

The weather in Salem has been rather ridiculous… we’ve had snow and some nasty slush that makes walking around a tad wet. I believe the weather gods have temporarily decided on rain, but you never know around here. Today on my way to class, it decided to snow heavily, except not stick. So it turned into nasty slush which got me and my feet soaked. Which I’m normally okay with, except that by the time I’d dried out, it was time to walk back from class. Mrrrggg. I’d be quite happy with snow, as long as it was somewhere I could ski on it! Are you listening, weather gods?! Send the snow to the mountains, and some rain to California. It’s a bit dry there at the moment… mmk? Good. I’m glad you’re listening.

Anyway. Quiche seems like a good way to combat the cold and ridiculousness of this weather… it’s warm, quick, and comforting. I tried this recipe out at home, and loved it, so as soon as I got back, Kira and I made our own version. It’s made excellent leftovers for the last few days as well. This recipe is great, as it’s very flexible, and is good for you :) Lots of veggies and good eggy protein. It comes together quickly as well, which is a perk when you’ve spent the last hour grocery shopping in snow/sleet/slush/rain/cold (would that be sneet? Or slain? or just ridiculous). Yum.

mmmm apple crunch. you see the bite out of it? hehe.

Pesto-Veggie Quiche with an Oatmeal Crust

Adapted from (Neverhome)Maker, here! Makes one 9″ quiche.

*Update from Feb. 20th: I made this the other day with no onion, lots of baby broccoli and spinach + bell pepper, and 1/3 c parmesan + 1/3 c goat cheese. It is AMAZING. I like this combo possibly better than the one posted below, but really where I’m going with this is that this quiche is incredibly adaptable to whatever is in your fridge!

Preheat the oven to 400, and lightly grease a 9″ pie pan.

For the crust:

  • 3/4 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 3 tbsp of your milk of preference (I’ve done it once with soy and once with 1% milk, and both worked fine)

For the quiche:

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 heaping tbsp grainy mustard
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto (I like Trader Joe’s!)
  • 1/2 a large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 a good-sized red pepper (or a whole, depending on your preference)
  • a handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • a handful of fresh spinach
  • 2/3 c Parmesan, grated
it looks like a mountain. I only wish it was!!

In a food processor, pulse oats, salt, and flour until combined. Pulse in butter, until it gets crumbly, then add milk. The dough should form into a rough ball. Take the dough out, and roll it out between two sheets of wax paper. It should be relatively thin. Press it into the pie dish, evening out the edges and making a nice top edge. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, and then set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 350.

While the crust is baking, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the onion, until translucent, then add mushrooms and pepper. Cook until slightly soft, about 10 minutes total.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, ground pepper, mustard, pesto, and milk of choice. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the bottom of the prebaked crust, and then dump in veggies and onion. Pour the egg mixture over the top of all this. Pop into your preheated oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and set!

This is particularly good with toasted apple-crunch bread, courtesy of the local bakery and your nice apartment management’s Christmas gift. As Kira said, “It’s like they know us, or something!” (Breadaholics. At least we embrace it!)

ommnommm BREAD!