For the record, we've been trying to improve our health. We got sick and tired of being sick and tired, so we changed some stuff. I've been drinking smoothies in the morning and afternoon and if I need a snack, nuts or veggies. In the evening I make a yummy, healthy meal for all of us and I eat until I'm full...whatever that means. I feel a lot better, I sleep a lot better and I'm hoping to look a lot better soon (in the hair and skin dept, I mean. I'm not trying to lose any weight.)
Yeast-Risen Wheat Bread
Makes 1 large loaf (or we've been splitting the dough in half for 2 small sandwich loaves)
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons shortening
3 cups whole wheat flour, 3-4 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons salt
Combine milk and shortening in a saucepan and place over medium heat until the shortening melts. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast and honey in the lukewarm water. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Pour milk mixture into yeast mixture and mix. In another bowl, stir together the flour and salt (with extra cup of unbleached flour set aside). A cup at a time, add flour mixture to mik-yeast mixture until a firm dough forms. Using an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, knead the dough on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Alternatively, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (I have found it works best for me to do some of each...I use the mixer for about 3 minutes and then knead for about 4-5 more.)
Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the ball to coat the surface with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set in a warm, draft-free place and let the dough rise till doubled, 2-3 hours.
Punch down the dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Form into a loaf and place in a greased standard loaf pan or a greased 2 lb coffee can. Or form into a large round loaf and set on a greased baking sheet. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat an oven to350 degrees F. Bake until nicely risen and golden brown, about 1 hour (or 30 minutes if you divide the dough like I do). Tap the bottom, if it sounds hollow, it is done. Let cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
1pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons salt
7 1/2-8 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
11/2 tablespoons cinnamon
Soften yeast in lukewarm water. Pour scalded milk over 1/2cup sugar, the coconut oil and salt. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cool to lukewarm.
Add 3 cups of the flour; mix well. Stir in softened yeast and eggs; beat well. Add enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise until double (1 1/2-2 hours).
Punch down and let rise again till almost double (about 1 hour) Punch down and divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll each half into 15x7-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Mix 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Reserve 2 tablespoons mixture, sprinkle remaining over rectangles of dough. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of water over each and smooth with spatula.
Roll each as for jelly roll, beginning with narrow side. Seal long edge. Place sealed edge down in 2 greasedloaf pans. Let rise until almost double (45-60min). Just before baking, brush loaves with soft butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees F 35-40 minutes until done. Turn out pans onto cooling rack.
Yes, they both absolutely take a long time, but they are not overly labor intensive and they're well worth it, I promise! These loaves taste like store-bought bread after 2 days. Plus I have the added benefit of knowing what ingredients were used, where they came from and whose hands were touching my food!
Here's a quick, simple one for you:
Chicken with Quinoa and Veggies
1 cup rinsed quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves-cut into slices (I only used one, since the quinoa is so high in protein. No one missed it!)
1 zucchini, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
8 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
Bring the quinoa and chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to simmer and cover the pan. Simmer until thebroth is absorbed , the quinoa is fluffy and the white line is visible in the grain, about 12 minutes. (OR...use your rice cooker like I did, cuz I'm lazy!)
Heat olive oil in a skillet, cook and stir garlic and onion until transluscent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken breast strips and cook until the chicken is still slightly pink in the middle. Remove chicken and set aside. Cook and stir diced veggies until tender, 5-8minutes. Return chicken to skillet and sprinkle with feta cheese, basil leaves and lime juice. Cook until chicken is fully cooked and hot, about 10 minutes.
Serve over hot quinoa.
Enjoy! How are your New Years "resolutions" going? I miss you all so much!