Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nutritional Bars (Barritas Nutrivas)

These are very, very similar to the survival bars but they don't have as long of a shelf life because of the additional goodies included, and they are baked instead of steamed.  They turn out more like cookies, but are not too sweet and are very filling and yummy.  (I'm thinking these are the perfect post-baby food to have on hand: nutritious, filling, and one-handed!)

Nutritive Bars
3 cups oats
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp plain gelatin (2 packets)
2 Tbsp warm water
1/2 cup liquid milk, warmed

Mix all ingredients by hand in a bowl, one at a time, softly.

Add mix ins like raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, peanuts, almonds, etc.  (In class we had coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, and walnuts!)

Form into cookies, and place on a foil-lined pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

If you want to store these as emergency food, let cool 12 hours and wrap individually in tin foil.  Store in a cardboard box for 6 months.  1 bar can sustain a person 3 days.

Survival Bars

According to hermana Taylor, these will last 5 years, and in a desperate situation 1 bar is enough to sustain a person for 3 days.  It wouldn't be fun, though, since these are tiny!  Dense little guys though, and super tasty- they really taste like milk and honey bars, but not too sweet.  These are very filling!

She used brown paper that she found in the paint section at the hardware store, a roll of thin-ish brown paper about 8 inches high, like what a painter would tape up to block paint from splattering on the floor.  It wasn't exactly what she wanted, though.  I imagine parchment paper would work- this paper was thin but crisp, and she cut it into 8 inch squares.  And certainly cheaper than parchment, I would imagine.

Survival Bars
3 cups oats
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp plain gelatin
2 Tbsp warm water
1/2 cup liquid milk, warmed

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, using your hands if necessary, gently adding one ingredient after another.

Scoop out about 2 Tbsp balls, and form into bars.  Roll each in a paper square, and fold the ends in.  When all the dough is formed and wrapped, place in a large pot on a steamer basket, with boiling water underneath, and tuck a plastic grocery sack over the top of them, and cover the pot with a lid.  Steam for 30 minutes.

After they have steamed, remove the bars from the pot and unwrap- they are finished if they easily come off the paper.  They will be quite dense.

Let cool for two days on a plate covered with a towel.

Wrap each bar in a new square of paper, and then in aluminum foil.  Mark each bar with the date, and store in a cardboard box (like a shoe box.)

These will last for 5 years, and one bar can sustain a person for 3 days.  (But I imagine your children will be MUCH HAPPIER if you had three bars a day for them!!)

Survival Atole

A very nourishing whole-grain drink, served hot.  It's delicious and comforting, and perfect for a cold day!

The recipe here would make enough to serve probably a hundred!  USE THIS AS A RATIO GUIDE.  Our teacher was using Tablespoons of ground, toasted grains to make enough for everyone in the class to have a taste.

Survival Atole
4 pounds wheat
2 pounds rice
2 pounds garbanzo
2 pounds millet (or more wheat if not available)
2 pounds peanuts
2 pounds lentils

Toast each seed or grain separately in a skillet, and grind separately into powder in a blender.

Combine desired amounts of ground grain/beans/etc. in a pot with water and a cinnamon stick.  Add milk or condensed milk or powdered milk, and heat.

(I'm sorry this recipe is vague- I think it's just to taste.)

Meatball Soup (Albondigas de Trigo)

Spicy broth, and enormous meatballs.  This is a complex soup, and delicious.

Blend chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (available canned in the hispanic section of the grocery store) with 5 or 6 medium tomatoes, and some garlic.  Pour into pot with about 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Add salt to taste.

Mix 2 cups cooked wheat berries with:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup oats
a little salt
a little cumin

Form meatballs around 1/4 pieces of hardboiled eggs, and drop into simmering soup.

Let cook until  meatballs are fully cooked.

Breaded Fried Steak (Milanesa de Trigo)

The recipe calls for 1 pound of ground beef, but I've sampled these prepared with just a handful of meat and with no meat at all- you just can't go wrong, either way.  Anything breaded and fried, with this many savory elements going on, is going to be amazing.  The entire class was kind of going nuts over these, they are amazing.

1 pound ground beef
2 cups cooked wheat berries
diced onion
diced parsley (about half a plateful)
salt and pepper
4 eggs
bread crumbs

Blend wheat with eggs, incorporate remaining ingredients in a bowl, and make into small balls.  Roll in the breadcrumbs, flatten very thin (1/4 inch), and fry in a skillet with oil.

These are good on their own, with pico de gallo or salsa, or wrapped up in a corn tortilla.

Wheat Hamburgers (Hamburguesa de Trigo)

These patties are completely meatless, and completely delicious.  I wouldn't say this tastes like a hamburger, but it IS amazingly yummy- you'd be hard pressed to find someone who would turn down one of these sandwiches down.

Wheat Hamburgers
2 cups cooked wheatberries
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 spoon mustard
2 eggs

Blend wheat and eggs.  Add remaining ingredients.  Form into hamburger patties and cook in a skillet.

Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, and american cheese.

Pico de Gallo with Wheat (Pico de Gallo con Trigo)

The cooked wheat berries add a nice heft to this salad/topping.  And...because this class was taught to latinas, the point was more that you could add wheat, because everyone already knew how to make a basic pico de gallo, so no amounts are given in our handout!

Pico de Gallo
Serrano chile peppers
Cooked wheat berries
Lime Juice

Combine first five ingredients, then add the cooked wheat berries and add salt and lime juice to taste.

(To prepare wheat berries, soak overnight and let drain 24 hours.  Cook in boiling water 15 minutes.)

Oat Horchata (Agua de Avena)

A delicious oat and milk drink, flavored with cinnamon.  Be sure and serve over lots of ice, this is really refreshing!

Oat Horchata
2 cups oats, soaked
Half Gallon milk
sugar to taste

Blend soaked oats, with soaking water and a stick of cinnamon or about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.  Combine with milk, sugar, and ice, and serve.  This makes a lot of horchata.

Wheat Jam (Marmalada de Trigo)

I learned this recipe at a cooking class held by the Relief Society in my Spanish Branch.  It doesn't taste like oranges, and it doesn't taste like wheat.  It kind of tastes like cinnamon apple sauce....impossible to describe, but  exceptionally delicious!

Wheat Jam
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 cup sugar
Juice from 2 oranges (a glass full)
1 stick of cinnamon

In the blender, mix the wheat with the orange juice.  (It should still be fairly lumpy.)  Add cinnamon and sugar to taste, and blend.  Cook in sauce pan on stove over low heat until thick.

(To prepare wheat: Soak overnight, and let drain 24 hours.  Cook for 15 minutes in boiling water.)  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Low-Lactose Mushroom and Chicken White Sauce

The big girl requested macaroni and cheese for lunch today, which I agreed to on the condition that whatever I made, she ate! I didn't have to worry, because she LOVED this. (Who doesn't love white sauce?)

I made this low lactose, because my lactose-intolerant daughter currently has some wiggle room in her "I can handle that" lactose bucket. I included cream for a bit of richness, but you could easily take out the cream entirely, and replace the butter with something like bacon drippings, to make this completely lactose free. Soy milk has the same amount of fat as whole milk, so you'd still have a silky sauce I think. The soymilk I make for my daughter and use in my cooking is lightly sweetened and flavored, about 2 tablespoons of sugar for 2 quarts of milk, plus 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla. Unsweetened and unflavored is preferable, but harder to find as most plain soy milk isn't actually plain. I figured that the extra sugar would make this taste more like my kids' favorite packaged noodles, and I was right.  The mushrooms and extra browning steps, plus chicken base, added enough depth of flavor that she never noticed I didn't actually put cheese in.  Thus proving that macaroni and cheese from a box doesn't actually taste like cheese.  (I did let them sprinkle parmesan on top, though.)

Low-Lactose Mushroom and Chicken White Sauce

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
soy milk, about 1 1/2 cups
cream, about 1/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon chicken stock base
1 can button mushrooms, undrained
pepper to taste

1/2 pound dry pasta, cooked
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water

Make a simple white sauce by melting the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. If you want a little extra flavor, let it cook just a bit longer to get some color. Whisk in the flour, and again if you'd like some extra flavor let this roux get some color. Start slowly adding soy milk, stirring to completely break up clumps of the roux, and gradually add all of the soy milk, plus a splash of cream. Add the mushrooms with their canning water (again, for a bit of extra flavor), and let the sauce simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Pepper to taste.

Stir into hot cooked pasta over low heat or just residual heat if the burner is still hot, and add 1/4 cup of pasta water at a time and let cook briefly until thickened and the noodles are coated with sauce. (I like to place my colander in my serving bowl to drain the noodles- the bowl catches the pasta water I need when I sauce the noodles, and the hot pasta water heats my serving bowl. Just dump out the water when your noodles are ready, and fill!)
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Pasta all Norma (Pasta with Red Sauce and Sautéed Eggplant)

pan friend eggplant

I found a new recipe to use up an eggplant in the crisper drawer.  Ernie helped me pick out the recipe, and was totally excited about it all day, and refused to take more than one bite.  Oh well, Daddy and I thought it was delicious!

The recipe is from here so I won't copy paste it, but basically you warm up your favorite red sauce, add an entire sauteed onion, and an egg plant that's been cubed, salted, left to drain, tossed with a bit of flour, and sauteed in garlic-infused olive oil until it's brown on the inside and melty soft on the inside.  Mix the whole sauce concoction with a bit of cheese, and stir it into a pound of pasta.

I loved the eggplant, I was eating it like popcorn!  Since I'd never cooked eggplant before, I wasn't sure what to watch for, but next time I will definitely let it get totally soft when I cook it, instead of leaving a little bite to it.  I'm looking forward to many more eggplant while they're in season, without any of this pasta razzmatazz!