Tag Archives: Michigan

Homemade Juice with a Side of Elbow Grease

23 Nov

Yes, Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. I’ve been trying not to do it [in the immortal words of Cher Horowitcz] sporadically, but here we are. Life adjustments require….adjustments? New job, schedule changes, wedding planning, holiday season (and by that I mean Halloween, Election day, and All Stouts Day, of course).

Juice

 

So I’ve been dying for a juicer for a while. I would love to start all my mornings with a delightful fruit/vegetable juice, however I’m not about to spend $6 a pop at a hip cafe, knowing that I’m taking in $0.30 worth of raw material (get it…RAW!). So after an impressively unhealthy weekend, I decided to get a little creative and see what I could come up with when left to my own devises. I began by packing my blender full of goodies (kale, cucumber, carrot, broccoli stem, pear, apple, frames, chia seeds, water) and prepared for a whirlwind of colors to blend into a beautiful haze of tasty and nutritious liquid. However, what actually happened was the blade lamely started to cut at the bottom-most veggies, and everything just stayed in place. Awesome.

I grabbed my step stool (because I can’t reach the top of my fridge, I’m short) and got out my handy food processor. I dumped everything into the food processor and gave it another go (while doubling the amount of chopping aparatei I have to clean up in one fell swoop). The second go was successful. I decided “who needs to strain all the nutritious goodness that is the vegetable pulp” and drank it like a smoothie, fiber train here I come! Yikes. Not good. If I every try to make dinner out of a lawn I assume this is what it tastes like. I choked it down and wasn’t ready to give up (mainly because I had a a HUGE amount of veggies and fruits left since I had planned for a “healthy” week)

The next morning I got my hands on some cheesecloth and did the same thing, with the addition of hand-wringing sweet delicious juice out. It worked beautifully, however the whole thing (getting everything out, chopping it up, putting it into the processor, winging it out small batch by small batch) took about 25  minutes, without clean up. I don’t know about you, but I’m waaay too lazy to start my mornings with that much work outside of the gym, so I’ve decided to kick back and hope the upcoming holidays yield a juicer (I have a bridal shower right after christmas, time to practice my “you shouldn’t have” face).

Juice1

 

One last thing to leave you with: I take fiber pills every morning and drink coffee religiously, so this juice added with my normal regimen made my digestive system something to be envied…or feared, I’m not sure yet.

Detox Butternut Squash Soup with Wheat Challah

22 Oct

Soup

We  spent the weekend in beautiful rural mid-Ohio (is that a thing?) at a really fun and beautiful wedding which took place on a farm and encouraged camping. Since we didn’t get the chance to camp this Summer we were determined to spend the night in the great outdoors, no matter how drunk it was or cold we were (guess what, sleeping outside in a non-properly set up tent during the first frost of the year on a 80% inflated air mattress ISN’T the most comfortable way to spend your night, also if you’re…um..”dehydrated”). Fast forward to Sunday morning while we’re starting our 4 hour trip back to Michigan (where everything makes sense and the speed limits don’t dip below 70!) with both our phones dead–and our souls not too far behind–and a chill deep DEEP into the bone, I knew a warm, comforting and HEALTHY meal was in order…and I knew it had to involve squash because hey, tis the season. I came across this little gem

{ Roasted Butternut Squash, Carrot, and Ginger Soup – With Style and Grace }

Well if I’m going to make soup, I need something to dip in it, right? I have been hankering for some good homemade Challah (everyone’s favorite jew-flavored bread)

{ Ima’s Challah – Food52 }

I love making bread (especially Challah) on a lazy Sunday because you start it in the morning or afternoon, forget about it for a couple hours, come back and BOOM it’s twice the size and you feel as though you have created life…LIFE! And who doesn’t like braiding dough? I used a blend of white and wheat flour (side note: I prefer wheat flour for the nice chewy texture and the health benefits, but white flour is just better for certain breads, especially when you want that silky texture, and subbing wheat for white doesn’t always translate in the recipe, I’ve learn the hard way. Anyhoo, I only had 1.5 Cups left in my white flour bag, hence the “blend”, I was nervous to say the least) and I saw some sesame seeds sitting up on the spice shelf screaming “C’MON MAN, JUST SPRINKLE ME ON TOP, C’MONNNNNN” so sprinkle I did. This yielded 2 loaves (we smashed through one of them in about an hour, so I decided it was best to give away part of the second one because no one needs a full loaf of bread in 24 hours).

The white and wheat blend of flour was PERFECT. There is a good dose of honey in the dough which lends the perfect hint of sweetness. I must say, this is one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever used for this Jew-tastic bread!

Challah

 

Meanwhile, while all this is happening (mainly the waiting and rising dough) make dat soup. I personally am not a fan of the overly sweet and over dairy-ed squash soups (better than saying “overly creamed”). I usually like to toss a roasted apple in, but with the ginger I decided to add a can of coconut milk to add that extra creaminess without the use of dairy. I also made the executive decision to add some braised kale and white beans for some extra “detoxiness” to the soup. I was met with delicious results.

Soup1

Inspired by { Roasted Butternut Squash, Carrot, and Ginger Soup – With Style and Grace }

  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash – Peeled, seeded and cubed (1/4″ dice)
  • 5 Large Carrots – Peeled and cubed (1/4″ dice)
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion – Small dice
  • 5 Cloves Garlic – Minced
  • 1 “thumb” size piece Ginger – Peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 3 lb Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Can Light Coconut Milk
  • 1 Head Kale – chopped small
  • 1 Can white beans – drained and rinsed
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Toss carrots and squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread out over 2 baking sheets with tin foil. Roast for 40-45 minutes (stir and rotate pans halfway through cooking).
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft (about 3 minutes), add garlic, ginger and nutmeg and cook for additional 4 minutes until onions are translucent and cooked through. Add roasted squash/carrots and vegetable stock, bring to a boil then turn down heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes uncovered.
  4. Add coconut milk to soup and use an immersion blender to blend  about 85% of the soup (I personally like a few vegetable chunks here and there, it’s up to you)
  5. Meanwhile blanche the kale in boiling water for about 3 minutes to soften and take some of the natural bitter bite out and transfer right into blended soup. Add the beans. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes until the beans are soft.

 

{ Ima’s Challah – Food52 }

  • 1 1/2cup warm water, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 Packet instant Yeast
  • 6 cups flour — 1.5 white, 4.5 wheat
  • 2 teaspoons salt plus more for sprinkling on crust
  • 1/4 cup mild honey, plus an extra tablespoon for eggwash, if desired
  • 2/3 cups flavorless vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 eggs, plus one yolk for eggwash, if desired
  • Sesame seeds
  1. Put 1 cup warm water in a small bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar, sprinkle the yeast over top, swirl the bowl just to combine, and leave it to proof for five minutes.
  2. While yeast is proofing, mix flour, salt, 1/4 cup of sugar in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.) Stir to incorporate or blend on low speed.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix remaining water, honey, oil, and eggs.
  4. When yeast has finished proofing, add it to the flour, immediately followed by wet ingredients. Mix with a large wooden spoon or on medium-low speed in the mixer, just until combined, about 30 seconds.
  5. Switch to dough hook and begin to knead on low speed, making sure to incorporate what’s at the bottom of the bowl if the dough hook misses it. If kneading by hand, stir using spoon until dough becomes to thick to stir. Empty dough onto well-floured surface and knead by hand. Knead dough until smooth and no longer sticky, adding flour with a light hand as needed, 7-10 minutes.
  6. Split the dough into two equal pieces. Set each in a large oiled bowl, cover both bowls with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size. If using white flour, this should take about 2-2.5 hours. If using white whole wheat, it will take closer to 3.5 or 4. Feel free to let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight instead; if you do this, be sure to set out the dough in plenty of time before shaping, so it can come to room temperature.
  7. Preheat oven to 375.
  8. After the rise, the dough should be soft and pliable. Separate each mound of dough into three equal balls, for a total of six. Roll each ball into a log almost 1-foot long. Braid the logs together to create your loaf. For the nicest-looking braid, do not pinch the top edges of your logs together before braiding; simply place one log over the next and braid until you reach the bottom, then pinch those edges together. Then, flip the unfinished loaf the long way, so that the unfinished edge is now at the bottom and the loaf has been flipped over and upside down. Finish braiding and pinch these edges together. This way, both ends look identical. Tuck the very tips beneath the loaf when braiding is finished. Repeat with second loaf.
  9. Put each loaf on its own parchment-lined baking sheet. If using eggwash, mix yolk with a 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon honey. Brush over loaves. Sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, until challot are golden and baked through

A Fall Favorite

7 Oct

DSC_0003

The leaves are changing color, the new season’s boots are on display, and the weather is still…in the 70s and 80s. Sure, that makes sense. This warm Fall weather is making it hard to enjoy sweaters and a good butternut squash soup, but no complaints here. Although I am from Michigan, I will never get used to or start enjoying cold weather (I fancy myself a sledder more than a skier). Don’t get me wrong, I love a brisk high 50s day with crunchy leaves lingering in my path–and who could forget about the great Brown Ales to enjoy to welcome in this new season–but having the knowledge that we won’t see warm weather again until May (IF WE’RE LUCKY) makes me want to cling on to this weather with all my might.

That being said, it’s not going to stop me from enjoying some of my favorite Fall foods (root veggies and squash, I’m looking at you…). I touched upon this recipe in last year’s Thanksgiving post, but this dish is so good, it truly deserves its own post.

{ Curry-Stuffed Delicata Squash – Big Girls Small Kitchen }

I’ve made this delight at least a half dozen times over the past year, and it just keeps getting better and better. And what’s great about Delicata squash (if you can find it, I often sub butternut squash since that’s much easier to find) is that you can eat the skin once it’s cooked (thank you knowledgeable staff at the Ann Arbor Food Co-Op).

Special ingredients like maple syrup, cilantro, and unsweetened coconut flakes give this dish a unique layering of flavor and promote over indulging (go ahead, have 3 halves…if you dare).

DSC_0002

 

Unfortunately I had poor planning when I made this, as I had 6 beautiful stuffed squash (or squish as we refer to it in our house, mainly for hilarity purposes) halves, and I was leaving for Kalamazoo for the next 5 days for new job training (I got to brew beer and “taste” a lot of beer…you jelly?). I had a choice to make, gorge myself on as many of these as I could in order to reap what I had sewn, or bring some with me to keep in the hotel room. I chose the later, however I forgot them in my trunk and came across them 4 DAYS AFTER I was already back from Kalamazoo (5 days + 4 days = I don’t think these are edible anymore). So the moral of the story is this stuffed squash will not smell up your car when forgotten, so go team?

Curry-Stuffed Delicata Squash – Big Girls Small Kitchen }

For the squash

  • 1/2 cup black lentils – the little French ones that hold their shape
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 3 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, scraped clean of seeds
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons super fresh curry powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened (but sweetened will work in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup yellow raisins, submerged for 10 minutes in a bowl of boiling water to plump, squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds or peanuts
  • Handful coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup mayonaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Bring around 6 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lentils. Lower the heat to a simmer and boil for 20 to 25 minutes, until the lentil are soft but not falling apart. Drain in a fine metal sieve. Set the lentils asie.
  3. Rinse the rice in several changes of water, until the water runs clear. Place it in a small covered saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then give the rice a stir, put the lid on, and place the pot over the lowest possible heat. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn the heat off and leave the cover on the rice for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to use it. (If you have a preferred method of making rice, go for it. You’ll need 2 cups of cooked rice.) You’ll need 2 cups of the rice; reserve the rest for another use.
  4. Place the squash halves in a lightly oiled baking dish. Combine the oil with the maple syrup, then brush the squash with the mixture. Season with a pinch of salt. Place the squash in the oven and cook them for 30-40 minutes, until they’re easily pierced with a fork.
  5. In a large, heavy skillet – a cast iron pan works great – heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and slightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt, until the curry powder is very fragrant, about 3 more minutes. Add the coconut and cook for another minute, then add the lentils, the raisins, sunflower seeds or peanuts, and 2 cups of the rice. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. Make the dressing: combine the mayo, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, oil, and sugar, and stir well.
  7. Add about 3/4 of the dressing to the lentil-rice mixture and stir to combine. Taste for balance of flavors, adding more dressing or salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed. You want the mixture to hold together well.
  8. Fill each squash half to overflowing, using about 2/3 cup of the mixture. Return the squash to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the top of the filling is slightly browned and crisp.
  9. Sprinkle with the cilantro leaves. Serve 2 halves to those with big appetites; 1 half will be enough for smaller eaters.

Beer Muffins + An Apology

20 Sep

Hey, when was the last time I posted something? I don’t even remember!

The past month has been a whirlwind of work, let downs, work, beer, amazing opportunities, work, great GREAT news, and new beginnings. Needless to say, there has not been much time to blog, or even to cook much. It has been as devastating to me as it has been [hopefully] to you.

I was going to write a nice post about these “delightful” beer muffins I made a few weeks ago with a SURPLUS of raspberries I had….

Sidenote: I love berry and apple picking. Is there anything better? No, and if there is I sure as hell don’t want to hear about it. I’ve been bothering John to go pick some type of fruit with me for the past 7 or so years ( we went Apple picking a few years back AND IT WAS SMIPLY LOVELY) and finally we went raspberry picking. Of course it happened to be about 95 degrees with Mr. Sun doing his job like nobody’s business, but hey, we were in the fields and providing for our kin (by “kin” I mean ourselves, I’m WAAY too selfish to care for any other being at this point). Anyhoo, our day in the fields yielded about 100000 tons of berries, let along the most delicate berries there are…which led me to frantically make anything and everything that utilized raspberries, taking us back to the surplus.

I came across a recipe for { Rhubarb Swirl Muffins – Draft Magazine } and figured hey, I hate rhubarb, let’s sub out some raspberries. And sub I did. The recipe yielded a VERY wet batter, and even after adding more flour, and baking for almost double the time, they still turned out….not totally done. But hey, the top was tasty, and who doesn’t like a good muffin top!

BeerMuffins

 

So I apologize for the lack of posting, and this lack-luster post, but hopefully things will be on schedule in the upcoming weeks, as I start a new position with a WONDERFUL and MAJOR brewery in Michigan. (the recipes may get a little lighter to account for all the extra calories I’ll be taking in from the beer…lots and lots of beer…)

So go forth and enjoy your weekend knowing that I am, in fact, NOT dead.

Raw Vegan “Lasagna”

7 May

Please don’t revoke my meat and cheese card.

So I came across This Rawsome Vegan Life and…well, just click over there and check it out. See what I mean? It’s amazing. I was feeling inspired and thought “what the hell, let’s go raw tonight” and raw we did.

{ Raw Lasagna with Cashew Cheese and Broccoli Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto – This Rawsome Vegan Life }

RollsThe pictures she has are amazing, and look so fun to eat, and I had most of the ingredients already, so how perfect of a no-brainer was this (I even had lots of snacks on hand…just in case…)

There are 3 components to this dish: Cashew “cheese”, Broccoli Sun-Dried Tomato “pesto”, and zucchini “noodles”. I feel as though if I were reciting this post my fingers would cramp up from the amount of air quotes I’d have to perform.

CheeseIngredientsThis is what goes into the “cheese”. See what I mean? There is nothing remotely cheese-like with these ingredients (not to say they’re not tasty), hence the “s. What’s pretty awesome about this recipe is the way in which she just gives general (even vague) information about the steps (add some of this…add more if you want more, blend it all together). I love it.

For the “cheese”, simply blitz together lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, cashews, water,  and nutritional yeast together until you get a paste

CheeseBlendCheeseI didn’t add enough water to mine so it turned out as a spicy-garlicky-cashew nut butter, and less of a spreadable “cheese” (really tasty though)

The “pesto” is a mixture of broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes (wait a second…isn’t that considered heating?), olive oil, and herbs (I used basil)

PestoBlend

PestoAnd then it’s a simple cutting of the zucchini into thin strips of lasagna “noodles” and giving them a nice layer with the fillings

AssemblyI didn’t use a mandolin for cutting, so my noodles are a lit-tle bit too thick for easy rolling. It was a struggle to put these together

Rolls2I knew they’d be a fall-apart mess to eat, so I dis-assembled them (is that a word?) and cut the “noodles” into “spaghetti” (ow my quoting fingers)

ZucNoodlesAnd then re-assembled them to a delightful non-fall-apart-into-your-lap-on-your-freshly-washed-pants dish

Noodles

This was definitely something different…but really tasty! I would NEVER be able to come up with something like this on my own. I thought “hey, this cashew ‘cheese’ would probably spread better if I warmed it up” before realizing that defeats the purpose of the raw essence of this dish. So no warming of the “cheese” for me.

Raw Lasagna with Cashew Cheese and Broccoli Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto – This Rawsome Vegan Life }

Lasagna Noodles

  • 1 zucchini

Slice the zucchini on a mandolin. Or very thinly with a sharp knife. Set aside.

Cashew Cheese

  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Water, as needed

Blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth and thick, adding as little water as possible. Set aside.

Sun-dried tomato and broccoli pesto

  • 1/2 head of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (only if your sun-dried tomatoes aren’t already stored in oil)
  • Salt, pepper and dried herbs, to taste
  • Water, as needed

Blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth and thick, adding as little water as possible.

Layer the noodles with the pesto, cheese and whatever you else you like, alternating as you go.

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