Sunday, March 17, 2013

While I have been momentarily distracted by life, I am now back to full attention on food! My running friend Amy has gone Paleo and ocassionally brings me Paleo goodies to try. The latest-- Vegetable noodles!

 A vegetable spiralizer converts any root vegetable, or zucchini, into curly spaghetti style noodles that can be sauteed, used in yakisoba, boiled, broiled with cheese, or served in place of normal pasta in fettucine or any other pasta dish. I even used some in my homemade macaroni and cheese.

Spiralizers can be found on Amazon from $30 and up. If you don't have a spiralizer and are dying for veggie noodles, you can use a veggie peeler and just peel thin strips. They look like something out of your compost bin, but they taste delicious.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sourdough Pancakes

These should be a staple in every sourdough kitchen. They make a delicious and nutritious breakfast and use up some of your overflowing sourdough. They are wonderful topped with butter and maple syrup, applesauce, or peanut butter and honey. If you like dates, I think these would be mouth-watering with a few dates chopped up and fried into the pancakes like blueberries. (Picture coming later)


2 cups sourdough starter (I used half rye starter and half kamut flour)
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup kamut flour
1 1/4 cups water
2 eggs
1 Tbs agave (or maple syrup)
1 Tbs baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs melted butter

Mix the sourdough, water, and flour. Let sit overnight. In the morning add the eggs, butter, salt, baking soda, and sweetener. Fry like normal pancakes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

As you can tell, I have been on a sourdough kick. My latest adventure has been making sourdough pretzels that are delicious but also nutritious. Being my first attempt, I went with a recipe from . The recipe was a good start, but I didn't really follow it. My definition of measuring does not include measuring cups, scales, or teaspoons. So all of the quantities are flexible and substitutions are encouraged. Substitutions with the toppings could include basil, garlic powder, cheese, or a wide variety of things other than crushed rock salt.

Sourdough Pretzels

  • 2 cups sourdough starter (I used kamut sourdough)
  • 2  water
  • 3 Tbs oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Kamut flour (or whole wheat flour)
Mix all of the sourdough, water, oil, and salt. Add flour until the a slightly sticky dough is formed. It should be soft but you should be able to knead the dough without too much trouble. The dough should then be allowed to ferment for 8-12 hours, or overnight. Once the dough has fermented, punch it down and knead a few times.

Separate the dough into balls (ours were about about an inch and a half in diameter)

Then, for each ball:

Roll the dough into a long snake.

 Form the dough into the shape above- or any other shape you feel like.

Finally, flip the dough over to get the standard pretzel shape.

  •  1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 egg
  • coarse salt
Once all the pretzels are shaped, place onto parchment paper to proof (allow to raise) for about 2 hours. A few minutes before they are done rising turn the oven to 425 degrees and put about 2 quarts of water on to boil. Add the baking soda and salt to the water. Drop the pretzels in (you will probably have to do them in multiple batches) and allow to simmer for 30 seconds on each side. Place them on an oiled cookie sheet.
Make a mixture of 1 egg and 1 Tbs water and brush each pretzel with the mixture. Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt (I used crushed rock salt) or other toppings and bake for 20 minutes or until as brown as you like (or until black and smoking).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sourdough Starters

Sourdough is such a weird idea. While mixing flour and water and letting it bubble on your counter may be thought of as some sort of magic, sorcery, or witchcraft, sourdough is actually fun, healthy, and scrumptious.

There are millions of sourdough starters. Actually, I think sourdough starters are like snowflakes; no two are the same. The possibilities are endless. Rye sourdough, whole wheat, white flour, spelt, kamut, rice, buckwheat, sorghum, triticale... any flour, or mix of flours, you can think of. Sourdoughs can be fast rising, room temperature sourdoughs, or cool rise sourdough you keep in your fridge. All have different flavors and are fitting for different recipes.

While many companies will sell you fancy-schmancy sourdough starters for an arm and a leg, you can make your own by mixing flour and water on your counter and waiting for it to start brewing. Once you have it going you can share it with your friends, make millions of new and exciting recipes, and join the club of people with things resembling science experiments in their kitchen.

Sourdough Starter

  • Filtered water
  • Flour ( rye, wheat, spelt, kamut, white flour, or any other flour you choose)
  • Large bowl
  • Cheesecloth or a tea towel
My rice sourdough.
Mix 2 cups of water and 2 cups of flour in a bowl. Cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth and leave on the counter. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour each day for 7 days. By day 4 or 5 your starter should be bubbling. Before you use your starter on day 7 smell it and make sure it smells good, not like wine or mold.

To use your sourdough choose amongst the many delicious recipes, but always be careful to save some aside to continue the starter. Just feed your starter every day ( it is resilient- if you miss a day it will live) and you will have an overflowing abundance of sourdough. Experiment with flours to find your favorite sourdough. I have found that kamut flour gives a light flavor great for pancakes, muffins, and english muffins, while rye is a stronger flavor perfect for bread and crackers. My rice sourdough tends to be rather acidic and is best used mixed with the kamut starter.

Pretzels, bagels, cakes, cookies, pancakes, bread, muffins, English muffins, doughnuts, and crackers are just a few of the delicious things you can make with sourdough. More recipes to come later!

Gluten-free Cobbler

My food intolerances always keep my cooking on its toes. After each visit to my naturopath it seems there is one more thing on my list of foods to avoid. Sometimes it makes me depressed, but then I just think about what new weird foods I will get to try. Gluten intolerant could translate to "no more bread :( " or it could mean "rice, amaranth, buckwheat, sorghum, and potato flour-here I come!".

Tonight I was in the mood for something warm, gooey, and sweet. A cobbler was in the making. A gluten-free naturally sweetened cobbler.

Gluten-Free Cobbler

Fruit mixture:
  • 1 quart canned apricots
  • 1 quart canned nectarines
  • 1 quart canned Italian prunes
  • 1/4 cup honey
 I like to use home-canned fruit, but I suppose store bought would work too. This recipe would also be delicious with berries or any combination of fruit you like. If you use fresh fruit you may need to cook it down and thicken it first.

Mix the fruit with the honey and pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, and/or any other spices you think would go well with your fruit combo. If you are looking for a super-fun spice store, Penzey's has tons of normal and unheard of spices.


  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup brown rice flower (or other gluten free flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp. unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix the melted butter with the agave, flour, salt, and cinnamon. I used brown rice flour, but amaranth flour, potato flour, and sorghum flour are other gluten-free options that could be substituted. If you want to get really weird you could use coconut flour (available through Bob's Red Mill). The seasoning can also be changed. I love to play around with spices every time I cook. A dash of nutmeg, cardamom, ceylon cinnamon, or ginger often finds its way into my cobbler.

After mixing the flour, butter, and seasonings add the rolled oats. The dough should be fairly thick. If it is too thin just add some more flour or rolled oats. All of the quantities in the recipe are approximations, as I rarely bother with measuring cups. Crumble topping over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes (more or less) at 375 degrees.

The Rules of Weird Food

Rule 1: The weirder the better.

That's my philosophy when it comes to cooking. Bubbling science experiments are welcome in my kitchen. I have kombucha brewing on the kitchen counter, ginger beer fermenting on the dining room table, and three different sourdough starters bubbling wildly away.

Rule 2: Keep trying new things.

I love visiting different ethnic grocery stores where I typically wander through the produce department and toss anything I don't recognize into the cart. Again, the weirder the better. Some of these strange vegetables and fruits have turned out to be delightful. Others, like the bitter melons I bought at Sorya's Asian Market, were interesting. But I am never afraid to try something new.

Rule 3: Never use a recipe twice.

There is no such thing as a recipe. I am constantly substituting ingredients, adding new flavors, and improving, or possibly ruining, recipes. But that is the fun of cooking. A pinch of this and a dash of that keep cooking fun and exciting. Not to say that you can't make your favorite dish more than once. But always try a new twist. Maybe it will be delicious. Or maybe it won't.