A whole grain salad chock full of fruits, vegetables and nuts may not be most people’s first thought when “comfort food” is uttered, but if you've grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s with parents who love to garden, cook, and shop at the local Co-op, interesting salads are pure nostalgia of family suppers past.
buckwheat flour. I’ve been using buckwheat flour in combination with wheat flour for years, but now I’m learning to savor it solo. Sweet-tooth me, a banana cake seemed a great place to start.
|KIND bars made with honey|
Good morning everyone! I am feeling extra-cheery because my head is finally clear of the final remnants of my cold--what a difference good health makes. Topping off my morning bliss, I'm slurping a cup of Peet's coffee (brought back to Texas from a recent visit home to Berkeley) and nibbling one of my homemade KIND bars.
About the KIND bars: When I posted my original recipe for homemade TRIO bars and KIND bars last week, I used brown rice syrup and barley malt syrup, both of which worked beautifully. But I mentioned that I would re-test with honey in a few days, and so I did.
I am typically a happy camper with my bowl of yogurt and fruit, muffin, or cereal, but every few days I turn into a ravenous beast who can only be satisfied by something more substantial and savory. It's not an easily solved problem because as much as I love to cook, I do not enjoy cooking at the break of dawn. Adding to the complication, I don't like starting the day feeling overly full. Satisfied, yes; stuffed, no.
Quinoa to the rescue.
So here it is Saturday, and despite the sneezing attacks, it's been a relaxing day. Kevin took Nick to his soccer game, then Nick and I played in the back yard. Or more precisely, Nick made mud pies in what was, earlier in the summer, my herb garden, while I nibbled a cheese muffin and sipped lemon tea.
Aren't mung beans pretty? I know you've had mung bean sprouts in one form or another (perhaps an Asian stir-fry, Chinese take-out, or a Banh Mi sandwich), but it's far less likely you've tried them whole.
I couldn't resist these jade beauties on one of my visits to Central Foods in Houston--I tend to lose most of my self-control in bulk food sections in general, and the variety at Central Market is glorious. You can purchase mung beans split (called mung dal), but I had to have the whole ones. The price was right--a mere 89 cents per pound--so into a bag they slid.
And onto my pantry shelf they sat for the next 9 months. Until Thursday, when at long last, they made their debut in a rosemary-scented soup.
Oh, how I love it when baking experiments work out. The quinoa drop cookies I attempted were a bust, but these quinoa flour drop scones, bursting with Cheddar cheese and accessorized with glints of green onions, were pretty darn sensational.
In addition to experimenting with quinoa flour these days, I've been trying to cook from the pantry and freezer as much as possible to use what's on hand. Since it continues to be marginally cooler (high 80s as opposed to 100+), I was ready to take the plunge into soup.
I'll post about the soup tomorrow, but for now, the accompaniment. I'm definitely a dunker, from a biscotto in my tea to a doughnut in my coffee, and soup is no exception: I can scarcely eat it without plunging bread, crackers or biscuits into the depths of my bowl. So when the aforementioned cookies flopped, I decided to try my hand at some quinoa flour scones.
The months of 100+ heat have finally subsided; it was reaching the point where I could no longer imagine what it felt like to step outside without it feeling like a steam sauna. Literally overnight, the weather dropped almost 40 degrees, reportedly due to a Canadian cold front. Thank you, Canada!
It seemed like the perfect day to get back to baking. I've been trying to make healthy treats for Nick and Kevin's lunches (and teatime for me) so the decision to make some cookies was an easy one. Second, I've been itching to do more experimenting with the quinoa flour in my pantry (or, more precisely, my freezer; I store my whole grain flours in the deep freeze to preserve their freshness). Hence, quinoa biscotti.