*Or, Thanks, Michael Ruhlman (for the rule, man).
[Quick note: Diet, Dessert and Dogs finally has its own Facebook Page! If you like the DDD blog, come on over and "like" the page!]
[Millet, buckwheat, oat and bean flour with chopped pears and cranberry compote]
I’m all about freedom of choice.
While my dad eats the identical breakfast every day**, I feel the need to rotate among cereal (hot or cold), omelets, baked sweet potato and almond sauce, apple and almond butter, various types of smoothies, last night’s leftovers, or other breakfast baked goods.
While the HH likes to spend his weekends in the same fashion each week (sleep in; brunch at our favorite place; toodle around a bookstore; come home and listen to classical music on his beyond-our-means stereo system), I’d rather do something entirely different each Saturday and Sunday–go to the museum, say, or the farmers market, or read my latest book of choice, or cook up something new in the DDD kitchen, or launch a campaign to get on The Ellen Show.
Similarly, on his watch, the HH takes The Girls along the exact same route each time they go for a walk. I, on the other hand, can’t help but mix it up a bit: one day to the baseball field, the next to the park, the third to the pond, and so on.
I can’t imagine how people consume the exact same meal every day, or wear the same uniform to school, or choose the same car every time they purchase, or set up a room and never rearrange the furniture. I mean, don’t they get bored of those foods/ vehicles/ outfits/ spouses (sorry, must have been the influence of the recent Tiger Woods/Jesse James scandals–meant to say, “houses”)?
As you may recall, I am a lover of pancakes. My favorite breakfast back in the day (that would be the “pre-ACD, looked-okay-on-the-outside-but-was-actually-deteriorating-on-the-inside” day) was pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, and home fries. Never mind that those calories alone could power the entire Gulf Coast cleanup mission; the quality of what I ate was none too great, either.
One aspect of my standard “big breakfast” at restaurants that I didn’t enjoy, however, was the sameness of it. Wherever we went, it was invariably the same pancake mix each place used, resulting in identical puffy, seemingly inflated, fried-in-hydrogenated-grease cakes that resemble those colored kitchen sponges a little too much for my comfort. (I think they just all used Bisquick as their base, now that I look back on it). Even in my own kitchen, I’ve had to attempt various types and flavors of pancake to keep my flapjack love alive.
[Millet, rice, tapioca, chickpea flours with blueberries and cashew custard sauce]
Well, the more I’ve experimented with GF baking, the more I’ve come to love the fact that most recipes require a long ingredient list with at least two or three types of flour. At first, like everyone else, I found this necessity a real drag; I mean, who has all these items in the pantry? (Of course, there’s always all-purpose GF flour, but to me that sort of defeats the purpose.). Unlike baking with wheat, I realized, gluten free baking affords the opportunity to alter the recipe to your mood, to a particular meal, to a personal taste. Feel like something rustic and hearty? Try amaranth, or quinoa as the main flour. Something light and delicate? Your choice is millet or sorghum. A hint of chocolate? Teff adds depth and color. And so on. Baked goods made with gluten free flours are unique and distinctive; like snowflakes, no two are alike. And this is a good thing.
Still, there are ways to streamline the process. Something I noticed when baking from an established GF recipe was that most GF mixes include a grain, a starch, and a bean or legume flour. In a pinch, they even replaced the beany flour with another grain. If I didn’t particularly like the flavor of the specific grain or bean that was chosen, or if I was missing an ingredient, I decided to experiment, swapping out one for the other. And guess what? It almost always worked! Better yet, sometimes my result was even more flavorful or texturally appealing than the original.
You know how slot machines (those “one-armed bandits”) always display a new combination of pictures (cherries, oranges, and lemons, say) each time you pull the lever? That’s how I think of this recipe. Like Michael Ruhlman’s concept in Ratio, this basic recipe provides the proportions, and you can change up the contents any way you wish.
There are four main categories–grain, starch, legume and fruit or nut–and you can exchange any item from one category for another from the same category. So each time you make these pancakes, they’ll turn up a little differently, yet still delicious.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and experiment, too. Luckily, this pancake recipe was created for substitutions, so any combination should come out palatable, at the least (and once in a while, you get that “coins pouring out the slot in waves” lucky combination that you write down and keep forever.).
There are four flour ingredients in these pancakes, in varied amounts: either 1/2 cup (120 ml) or 1/4 cup (60 ml)***. Feel free to replace the grains with any other grains from the same category and your pancakes should still be light and fluffy (see exception, below). Replace the starch with any other starch (see exception) and your pancakes will still be light and fluffy. And pull out that bean and replace it with another bean or legume and yes, Virginia, your pancakes will still be light and fluffly.
[Amaranth, teff, oat and sorghum with blueberries and warm almond sauce]
So far, I’ve made these with the following combinations: amaranth, teff, oat (a grain exception that functions as a starch in these recipes) and sorghum; millet, buckwheat, oat and whole bean; rice, arrowroot and carob; and rice, millet, arrowroot and garfava–and they’ve all come out great.
This is the perfect pancake recipe for me: I can switch it up every time I have pancakes for breakfast, yet know that whatever I’ve got, I’ll enjoy the results. No more breakfast boredom! The spice of life never tasted so good.
I’d love for you to try out your own unique combination of pancake ingredients and share them here! Feel free to play with the recipe and replace the flours with others from the same category, the tahini with nut butter or other seed butter, the fruits with one(s) of your choice or nuts/seeds, the flax with chia (just remember that you’ll need much less chia–about 1 tsp/5 ml finely ground–instead of each Tbsp/15 ml flax), or the soy milk with almond, hemp or rice milk. Instead of vanilla, how about almond extract, or lemon? Instead of cinnamon, how about ginger, cardamom, or another spice? It’s all good!
[Rice, millet, arrowroot and garfava flours with walnut-cacao nut butter]
With all the possibilities out there, I can’t wait to hear about what you create! Let me know if you try out your own combination, and I’ll add a link to your post.
Have fun with it, and enjoy your varied pancake breakfasts! And with Mother’s Day tomorrow, pancakes might just offer a perfect brunch for you and Mom.
“Mum, we’re not that great at cooking pancakes–lack of opposable thumbs, and all that–but we would be happy to share them with you tomorrow.”
** Corn flakes with 1/2 banana, 6 prunes, and a cup of tea, in case you were wondering.
Pick-Your-Own GF Pancakes
This recipe is a serendipitous invention that came about because I was out of brown rice flour for another pancake I wished to make. By the time I was done, I’d altered almost every ingredient on the list and had discovered a fabulous, all-purpose generic pancake recipe. This is the last pancake recipe you’ll ever need!
1/2 cup (120 ml)*** millet or other grain flour, or use 1/4 cup (60 ml) each of two different grain flours (see List A, below)
1/4 cup (60 ml) sorghum, oat, or other starchy flour (see List B, below)
1/4 cup (60 ml) chickpea or other bean-based flour (see List C, below)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) xanthan gum (optional, but pancakes will be less cohesive without it)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon, ginger, or other spice of choice (you may need to reduce the amount to 1/4 tsp/1 ml for other spices)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) GF baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice PLUS
plain or vanilla soy, almond or rice milk to equal 1-1/4 cups (300 ml)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) light agave nectar or 10 drops liquid stevia
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sunflower or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic
1 Tbsp (15 ml) finely ground flax seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) additional flavoring, such as almond, lemon, or coconut (optional)
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen berries or chopped fruit (such as apples, bananas or pears–do not thaw first if frozen), or nut pieces
In a large bowl, sift together the grain flour, starchy flour, beany flour, xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Pour the 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice into a glass measuring cup and add milk of choice until liquid measures 1-1/4 cups (300 ml). To the cup, add the agave or stevia, oil, flax seeds, vanilla and other flavoring, if using.
Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir just to blend. Gently fold in the fruit or nuts.
Heat a nonstick frypan over medium heat. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup (80 ml) measuring cup, place scoops of batter in the preheated pan and spread out a bit so that pancake isn’t so thick. Cook 4-5 minutes, until the tops are dry on top (they will lose their shine) and begin to brown on the edges (this may take time–be patient!). Flip pancakes and cook another 3-4 minutes, until both sides are deep golden brown (they need to be well done or the insides will remain too moist). As you finish the batter, keep pancakes warm in a low (300F/150C) oven. Makes 7-9 pancakes. May be frozen.
These are great when fresh; if you wish to store them a day or two, wrapped in plastic in the fridge, they may dry out a bit and become a bit more crumbly next time round. To avoid this outcome, you can always add 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) xanthan gum to the dry ingredients when you first prepare the pancakes.
***Note to Metric Cooks: I’ve used volume measurements even for the flours here, as weights will vary depending on which grains, beans, etc. you choose. I’ve found that scooping and leveling with a dry measuring cup (the graduated metal ones) works well.
Here’s a basic list of gluten-free flours and beans/legumes (notice that oats are now on the list!) to help you along. Easy!
And here are the lists of various flours I’ve found that work well (sorry, I haven’t mastered how to insert a chart yet!). The various combinations I’ve tried so far are listed at the bottom of the post.
Do you know of any others? Let me know! And have fun!
List A: Grains
List B: Starchy Flours
sorghum flour (technically a grain, but functions as a starch)
oat flour (technically a grain, but functions as a starch)
List C: Beany Flours
chickpea (besan) flour
whole bean flour (possibly only available in Canada, at Bulk Barn)
navy bean flour
Garfava flour (garbanzo-fava bean mix)
Last Year at this Time: A Reunion and Some Reflections
Two Years Ago: Vanilla Vs. Vanilla (pre-ACD cupcakes and muffins with gluten and agave/maple syrup)
© 2010 Diet, Dessert and Dogs
[Before I delve into today's snack post, I want to send out a heartfelt "thank you" to each and every one of you who responded to my last post. I was bowled over by the outpouring of kindness and support that you folks displayed. And thanks to all of you who shared your own story or struggles with food issues, whether dietary restrictions or your own food addictions. I've said this many times before on the blog, but really, I can't say it enough: you people are remarkable! Thank you, all, for visiting, for reading, for commenting, and for your thoughtful responses and ideas, which all add their own kind of sweetness to my life. Without you all, this would be a very lonely (not to mention unrewarding) endeavor, indeed!]
And now, on to the food! A while back, I promised a post on anti-candida snack foods along with the breakfasts and desserts. (And even though I’m assuming the anti-candida diet will be temporary for me, as it is for almost everyone, it’s amazing how my blog has suddenly morphed into a “candida” blog. Most of the searches that lead people here involve the words, “anti-candida” or “candida diet.” Except, of course, for those that involve the words, “dogs girls sexy” or “dogs girls dessert.” Don’t worry, though–I don’t let the real Girls see any of these–it would be too traumatic for them.).
Over the past few months, I realized that most of my snacks don’t actually require a recipe: baby carrots (in moderation–they are pretty high in natural sugars, after all); grape tomatoes; celery sticks; hummus and any of the previous veggies; roasted chick peas; cucumber rounds; kale chips (and have you seen this recent iteration? They sound great!); or, most recently, fresh berries (yay! fruit–though limited to berries and a few others–has made its triumphant return to my diet!). Although I was never a “potato chips” kind of gal (I think you can be one or the other: salty-snack person or sweet-snack person. I always leaned toward the chocolate bars, cookies, cupcakes, etc. rather than the salty snacks), I have been craving something snacky recently. Something crunchy. Something salty. Something portable that isn’t nuts or seeds.
And so, on a whim a couple of weeks ago, I visited our local health food store in search of snacks. My encounter with the cashier went something like this:
Scene: small, family-owned health food store tucked in a local plaza not far from where Ricki lives. Reminiscent of old-time general stores that you see on reruns like The Andy Griffith Show * or Green Acres.
Ricki [browsing around. She approaches the affable, somewhat retro-looking cashier.] “Say, do you have any snack foods for someone who can’t eat gluten, sweeteners, refined anything, eggs, or dairy?”
(Actually, I never begin sentences with the word, “Say,” but it does make the dialogue sound much more as if I really live in a small, close-knit neighborhood like Mayberry, doesn’t it?).
Young Cashier: “Why, yes, Ma’am, yes, indeed, we do.” (Okay, she didn’t really start with, “Why, yes,” either, and didn’t say “indeed.” Another attempt at 1950s-era verisimilitude. She did, however, actually call me “Ma’am,” which made me feel very authentically 1950s).
Young Cashier: [Leading Ricki to a shelf containing Mary's products.] These are all gluten-free and sugar free, made with whole foods ingredients. You might like to try some of these. The Curry flavor is my favorite.
Ricki: [Speechless. Her mind is reeling]: Wow! You mean there are actually snacks I can eat on this &*%$#! regimen that I don’t have to make myself?? Okay! I’ll take ten bags!
(All right. I admit that I didn’t really say THAT, either. But I wanted to. Perhaps realistic dramatic representation is not my forte.)
Well, if you live in California–or anywhere in the US, really–and are either (a) on a gluten-free diet; (b) into healthy foods; (c) the owner of a health food store; or (d) named Mary, you have most likely already heard of or tasted the Mary’s Gone Crackers product called “Sticks and Twigs.” On the other hand, if you live in the Distant Far Northern Canadian Outpost that is Toronto–as I do–the discovery was a revelation. (Do you think perhaps I should stop making tongue-in-cheek comments about how far north, how cold, and how polite it is here in Canada? After all, there are some people out there who might actually think I’m being serious!). These snacks resemble pretzels but are crunchier. They’re a whole foods, no-added-fat snack with little pellets of baked amaranth and quinoa scattered throughout. They come in flavorful choices such as Curry or Chipotle Tomato.
And they are mighty addictive.
Only one problem: at $5.99 per 8-ounce (about 250 g) bag, they really did leave me speechless.
In recent months, I’ve noticed a few bloggers playing a game that involves listing the ingredients in a processed “food” and having readers guess what it is (such as this one on Meghan’s blog). For instance, did you know that “Wheat Flour, Sugar, Dextrose, Vegetable Oil, Glucose Syrup, Milk Whey Powder, Invert Sugar Syrup, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Wheat Starch, Salt, Raising Agent (Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, Diphosphates), Dried Egg White, Beef Gelatin, Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Vanilla Extract, Modified Wheat Starch, Colour (Caramel E150d, Titanium Oxide) and Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin)” is actually a Pop Tart? (Yep. Titanium Oxide–often used in paint, or as a sunscreen--is a bonus ingredient in your breakfast “pastry.” Eat up, everyone!).
Well, I decided to turn that game on its head. I took a food I like, namely the Sticks and Twigs, studied the ingredients, and then attempted to reproduce it at home. The result was better than I could have expected. I daresay, I like my version better than the original!
Mine are surprisingly like Mary’s, but a bit thicker, and–most important–at a fraction of the cost. They are, however, still exceedingly crunchy, so if you’re in need of some elective dental work, don’t eat these until after the filling has been replaced. (Just kidding. But they really do snap, crackle and pop in your mouth).
And, if it turns out they’re not to your taste after all, they make excellent dog biscuits.
With all the healthy whole-grain ingredients in these, I thought they’d make a perfect contribution to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays, showcasing real food. Take a peek, or submit your own healthy recipe!
["Mmmm, nice and crunchy, Mum, just like real sticks and twigs. But what was that you mentioned before about not letting us see something--? You're not hiding other snacks from us, are you?"]
*For those of you young enough that you can’t remember a time before computers: yep, “Ronny Howard”–ie, Opie–is the same person as director Ron Howard. Wasn’t he a cutie when he still had hair?
Crunchy Stalks and Branches Snacks
A perfect take-along snack that’s crunchy and filled with real nutrient value: with amaranth, millet, quinoa and rice, these savory treats contain a fair portion of vitamins, minerals, and protein in each serving.
3 Tbsp (45 ml) amaranth, dry
1/4 cup (60 ml) quinoa, dry
1/4 cup (60 ml) millet, dry
2 cups (480 ml) cooked brown rice (I used brown basmati)
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely ground chia seeds
2 tsp (10 ml) mild curry powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt, or more, to taste
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sesame seeds
1/2-1 cup (120-240 ml) water, as needed
In a small bowl, soak the amaranth, quinoa and millet for about 2 hours (up to 6 hours). Drain in a very fine sieve. Remove about 3 Tbsp (45 ml) of the mixture and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
Place the remaining amaranth, quinoa and millet mixture into the bowl of a strong blender along with the rice, flax, chia, curry powder and salt. Add 1/2 cup (120 ml) water and blend to a paste; stir in the sesame seeds. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water until you have a mixture the consistency of a soft cookie dough. It should be soft enough to pipe but firm enough to hold its shape if you scoop some out and place it on the cookie sheet.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl and then stir in the 3 Tbsp (45 ml) whole seeds that have been set aside. Using an icing gun or cookie press, press out the mixture in long, thin logs across the cookie sheet (or make into any shapes you like). I used my icing gun without a tip to create logs for this, but you could use any shape you like. If you have neither an icing gun nor cookie press, you can shape the “dough” into disks or logs by hand, or simply spread the mixture into a large rectangle and then bake as crackers.
Bake the snacks in preheated oven for about 30 minutes before checking. Turn them over and continue to bake, another 30-45 minutes, until they are very browned, dry and crisp. (If baking as crackers, remove from oven after 30 minutes and cut into desired cracker shapes; then turn each cracker over individually and continue to bake as above).
Allow to cool before storing. Makes 4-8 snack-size servings, depending on how hungry you are. If sufficiently baked, these will keep for at least 2 weeks at room temperature in a covered container (ours only lasted a few days, but they were clearly sturdy enough for the long term).
[Thanks to everyone who left such sweet comments and encouragement for the hellish week of marking! (And I know I still owe some of you emails. . . coming soon!) Some of you who are students noted that you'd be doing as much work on the other side of the red pen. Whether students, parents, teachers or the lucky few whose only connection to academia is reading about it in the newspapers--hope you all survived the past crunch week or so of midterms, study week, or finals. Now get ready, 'cause there's a lengthy return post ahead--on to the food!]
[Base of rice and buckwheat; sautéed rapini and chard with onions and garlic; tahini-miso sauce; sprinkled with hemp seeds.]
I’m sure we’ve all met her (or perhaps we are her?): that woman who’s incredibly competent at dispensing affection, comfort, nurturing or support–yet seems to ignore her own emotional needs and physical well-being.
Well, I admit it, I’m as guilty as the next gal. Ten days away from the DDD home base had me reflecting often on this whole notion of self-love. Actually, that was only one among a plethora of topics on which I mused during the hiatus, which included (but was not limited to) the following:
- how much I miss blogging when I’m away. I was struck by a true sense of void during this time, and it astounded me. Honestly, who are “they” who post studies about the Internet and prophecies of doom regarding how it diminishes social skills or limits interactions with other people? Seriously. In some cases, I’m in contact with blog buddies more often than my “in-person” friends (some of whom live only five minutes away). Don’t let anyone tell you that the society of bloggers isn’t a bona fide community of lively, vibrant, and very much interactive people–all of you!
- how many different ways one can answer the same exam question (more than you might think, but not quite as many as the meaning of life, the universe and everything).
- how to create a tasty, grain-free breakfast pancake. I wanted something that didn’t require refined, or even whole-grain, flour–and I found it! (more on that anon).
- how this &%$!!?* winter refuses to retreat, even though it’s March already and why are you still hanging around, Mr. Jack Frost, can’t you tell you’re not welcome anymore and nobody wants you here, so just go away and don’t come back, ya big bully!
- how, with the economy as bad as it is, I’m hoping the HH and I might still save for our dream home (okay, I’d be willing to cut some of the frills and just be happy with a daydream home). And while we’re both incredibly lucky to still be gainfully employed, on the topic of saving money and stretching a dollar, I’ve been mightily inspired by the frugal and fantastic Melody over at MeloMeals.
- why, once again, I have been willing to risk my health, well-being and future for the evil (and truly, ephemeral) charms of that sepia seductress, chocolate.
[Oat groats and amaranth base; grilled eggplant and grilled marinated tofu; broccoli, avocado and green onion; orange-fig sauce.]
Yes, folks, it’s time to focus on the “diet” portion of this blog yet again.
When I first began to ponder how I’d spend my break from the college, I considered traveling to a new locale, attending a retreat, picking up old hobbies like sewing or knitting–but it never occurred to me I’d get sick instead. Then, at my annual checkup last week, I discovered that my old candida afflction has reared its yeasty head yet again, and this time, with a potency that could rival the combined superpowers of the X-Men.
I’ve decided that in order to rid myself of this recurring problem once and for all, I’ll need to return to the anti-candida diet (ACD). I’ll be facing a highly restrictive diet and a few detoxes or cleanses along the way (no wonder I’ve been avoiding it). But I’ve had it with the persistent cycle of diet, dessert and destruction (you thought I was going to say “dogs,” didn’t you? heh heh!). To paraphrase that seminal queen of weight loss, Susan Powter, “the insanity must stop!” (And what the heck ever happened to her, anyway?).
I’m going on an anti-candida diet so I can be healthy. So I can move more easily, and feel comfortable in my own body. So I can express a little more self-love and self-care through my diet and lifestyle. (Anyone familiar with Sally’s fabulous blog already knows what I mean by this: treating my body, mind and spirit with the kindness, reverence, and care it deserves.) So I can enjoy a social life without being fixated on food. Oh, and so I can lose 40 pounds by my highschool reunion this May. **
My last “true” candida cleanse occurred nine years ago, and in the interim, my eating habits have slowly reverted to those that got me in trouble in the first place (chocolate too often; sweets too often; wine too often). After reading the diet on this site (which is slightly less ascetic than the regimen I followed before), I think it’s doable (the only recommendation with which I disagree is to use aspartame or aseulfame, so I’ll just omit those).
To those of you who’ve been reading for a while, I understand if you’re skeptical, and I apologize. After all, I’ve tried more than a few times to cut chocolate and sugar from my life. Well, I’ve learned it’s never a great idea to publicly declare such a complete lifestyle overhaul on the blog, because later on, if you don’t meet your lofty goal, your initial vow is indelibly there for all the internet to see. With that in mind, I’ll restrict my candida commentary to the Progress Tracker page (may as well give it a new use, as I long ago stopped recording my weight over there).
And since I’ve already done a bit of baking over the past couple of weeks, I can intersperse the spartan dishes with more interesting fare. If I play my screens right, you folks will barely notice a difference.
[Rice and brown lentil base; spinach leaves and steamed sweet potato wedges with chopped green onions; topped with almond-curry sauce.]
The first step is to prepare the system with a week or two of clean, whole-foods eating that doesn’t worry about yeast or fermentation (yeast and fermented foods will be cleared out next). Rice or noodle bowls are a great place to start.
[Barley and amaranth base; grilled red pepper strips and onions; steamed broccoli; sprinkling of cashews and sunflower seeds; topped with tahini-miso sauce.]
Meals-in-a-bowl like these have become very popular at health-food restaurants and stores around North America. There’s a local haunt that serves an amazing bowl called, appropriately, “The Mish-Mash Bowl.” Every meal contains either brown rice or quinoa, topped with your choice of four toppings from three categories (protein, veggies, or good fats), then drizzled with your choice of one or two dressings.
My own variation on the Mish Mash is a quartet of at least one healthy grain plus a protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrate (ie, veggies). I was amazed at how satisfying–and how filling–a clean, healthy bowl can be. The marriage of fresh, colorful veggies with chewy grains and the crunch of nuts or seeds is entirely enchanting (almost as enchanting as that vixen, chocolate–though in a different way, of course).
In putting these together, what I discovered rather quickly is that “the sauce makes the bowl.” A grain bowl sans effective topping is sort of like a perfect outfit without the right shoes or accessories–it may be good quality, it may be tailored , it may even sport a designer label, but without the proper accoutrements, it’s just a length of beige, beige, beige.
With a winning sauce, however, these bowls are stellar; they’re delectable; they evoke impatient yearning; they’re Zagat-worthy. And, much like those lines of toddlers’ clothing that allow the kids to dress themselves by choosing one top and one pre-coordinated bottom, they’re fun to mix and match, just to see what comes up.
The combinations here are simply starting points to get you going; play around with different grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, veggies, and sauces. Use these sauces with any combination you please, or go with my mixes–either way, you’ll be treating yourself with love.
**I asked this question entirely tongue in cheek–so please, no need to send me emails detailing how unhealthy a 40-pound weight loss in 8 weeks would be! I have no intention of actually losing that much. Besides, at the rate I’ve been going this past year, a FOUR pound loss by May would be nothing short of miraculous.
Light and tangy, this sauce would also be perfect with raw veggies or in a sandwich.
2 tsp (10 ml) freshly grated ginger root
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp (10 ml) pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp (30 ml) tahini (sesame paste)
1 Tbsp 915 ml) light miso
2 Tbsp (30 ml) water
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whir until smooth. Makes enough for 3-4 bowls.
Almond and Curry Sauce
Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, this substantial sauce goes well with cooked root vegetables and adds a protein punch to your bowl. I used a food processor for this batch, which was chunky; I think I’d use a blender next time (or even use almond butter instead of fresh almonds).
6-10 dried dates, roughly chopped, to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (90 ml) boiling water
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (90 ml) natural almonds, with skin
1 tsp (5 ml) freshly grated ginger root
1/2 tsp (5 ml) mild curry powder
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce
1 small clove garlic, minced
pinch chili flakes
Place dates in a blender and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend until you have a smooth sauce. Makes enough for 3-4 bowls.
Orange Fig Sauce
Delicious over bowls when a higher protein content is provided by the ingredients in the bowl. This also works beautifully on a tofu omelet.
1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
one 2″ (5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp (5 ml) light miso
2 tsp (10 ml) tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) agave nectar
2 large dried figs, stems removed, chopped
Whir all ingredients in a blender until perfectly smooth. Drizzle over your bowl as desired. Makes enough for 3-4 bowls.
Last Year at this Time: Bittersweet Salad with Apples and Dandelion Greens
© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs