FOOD fit for a Rockstar

Deena Kamm's recipe book and always evolving food philosophy

My World Famous, Multi-Grain, Homemade Pancakes

January20

I have been making a lot of pancakes lately for a lot of people.  Not exactly sure why, but it’s helped me to refine my recipe.  So here it is in case you want a healthier version of the traditional fluffy, white, buttermilk pancakes you’re used to eating.

Truth be told, these cakes are not white – or fluffy.  They are dense and brown.  Sounds appetizing, eh?  Try them anyway – you’ll be surprised how your eyes trick you into thinking they look terrible, but your brain tells you they taste great!  I actually adapted this recipe from my trusty little cookbook that came with my Kitchen Aid Mixer.  The recipe in the book looks nothing like mine, but it was a great starting point and I still open the book before I make any pancakes or waffles.  I just change EVERYTHING about the recipe while I’m making it.  So here’s my version:

First off – get yourself an Iron Skillet if you don’t already have one.  You must make pancakes, and everything else in your kitchen in an iron Skillet.  If I could do it all over again I would ditch my (very expensive) All Cladd pans and get every shape and variety Iron cookware (very inexpensive compared to most good cookware)
You have your skillet out? Heat that girl up on Med-Low. Let it cook for a while before you put anything in it. It’s like a slow moving barge – it takes a loooooong time to really get going properly.
Combine the following ingredients in a mixer or by hand if you don’t have a mixer:
1/2 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 cup Buckwheat Flour
1/2 cup Almond Flour, Quinoa flour, or Millet flour or any combination of those
1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added – just apples please!)
1 1/4 cup rice milk or Soy Milk
3 tablespoons Shortening – melted (Please don’t melt your shortening in the microwave! Get a little pan out to melt it in and do the extra dishes – it’s worth it and it takes no time at all)

Now your ingredients are combined, crank your skillet up to medium heat and spray some cooking spray on it. Pour about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake. Cook 2-4 Min or until the little bubbles start to pop and the cake looks dryish on top. Flip and cook other side about another 2-4 min.

I always preheat my oven or warming drawer to 170 and throw the cooked pancakes onto a cookie sheet to keep them warm. Works great and then everyone gets to eat together.
I also always heat my plates in the 170 degree oven and Maple syrup too. We usually make a Blueberry or Strawberry (if in season) compote to pour over them. Basically we throw some chopped fruit (or whole frozen blueberries) into a saucepan. Dissolve about 1.5 tablespoons of Agar Agar (or corn Starch) with some water and add to the pan. Add a little sweetener of your choice – I use coconut palm sugar, my husband always uses Maple Syrup. bring to a boil and then let it simmer and reduce and thicken. Stir a lot. The Agar Agar will clump, as will Corn Starch, so keep stirring until it’s thick and yummy. Then you can let it sit until you’re ready to serve. I like to put the compote in a gravy boat so you can just pour it over your pancakes. Yum.  This recipe usually makes just enough for the three of us.  So if you have more people double or triple it!  They also reheat nicely in a toaster.

As always – let me know if you like it! The comment section should be working now – so fire away!!
D-

Husband Rating 4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star gold-star stars : “Guilt-free breakfast happiness.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces: “Mommy, can you make pancake’s for breakfast – pleeeeeeeeeeease!”

Chocolate Sesame Cookies for my girls (all three of you)

April28

My amazing friend Ellen has just requested this recipe, but I know Erin and Madey have also asked for it – and since you are my girls, I am posting it before all the other stuff I have drafts of….. These cookies are crazy good. I have done them both vegan and non vegan… Here’s how:

8oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (this is one time I make a sugar exception, but London doesn’t like these so it’s fine)
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
3 Tbsp. Tahini (Organic only if possible!!! Seeds are very heavily sprayed)
2/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour (I have also used Spelt and Quinoa mixed)
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Applesauce (*or 2 eggs – more on this later)
3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds

Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat stirring frequently. Remove from heat RIGHT after it is all evenly melted (if you wait it starts to harden/thicken) and add in the Tahini. Set aside.
Combine flour(s) baking powder and salt in a small bowl – set aside.
in a large mixing bowl or Mixer beat together applesauce, sugar, vanilla, then add chocolate mixture. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
Cover and chill in Fridge until the dough hardens up… anywhere between 1/2 hour to an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast Sesame seeds in a flat iron skillet or frying pan until slightly brown and they start to pop out of the pan.  Let the seeds cool off a bit.  Roll dough into small balls (I use a small ice cream scooper when I am NOT using eggs, but with eggs you can make them bigger balls) Roll the ball in the sesame seeds to coat. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for around 10-15 minutes. If using applesauce you may need to bake them for up to 20 minutes.  You will know they are done when they bounce back slightly when touched OR when they just don’t depress when touched and don’t look wet anywhere.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.

*Note about the eggs – the first time I made this I used eggs because I had them in the house from a friends Chickens down the street (I don’t usually purchase eggs. Terribly cruel industry – I can’t support it) SO they remained balls and came out almost like a brownie ball. I also made them much bigger – about 2 inches in diameter. They were admittedly amazing. However when I made them without eggs and used applesauce instead, they came out like flat, thin, chocolate brownie cookie crisps and they were also amazing. So I think both are great, but I prefer not buying, eating, or using eggs, so I opt for the vegan version. The applesauce version also took longer to cook which surprised me. Just go with the flow and let the cookies tell YOU what to do. Don’t be afraid. Even if you screw it up, it’s still gonna taste good and then you can change it next time. Baking is not THAT much of a science (like I was raised to believe.) Experiment and enjoy eating the fruits of your brave labor!

Let me know how they work for YOU!

D-

Husband Rating 4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star gold-star“Open your mouth Sesame – cuz these are delicious.”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces “Mommy – I don’t like those seeds on there.”

11 year old tells it like it is… better than I EVER could!!

January10

If you aren’t convinced that you need to buy organic., maybe this little dude can help you.  I wish I was as cool as he is.

And I am happy to say that my 3 year old is already on the way to being as savy about his food as this little man.  WATCH IT!!!
…and please buy organic food whenever possible.  We’re all killing ourselves otherwise.  Stop acting like it’s not important and not real.  YOU ARE EATING poison and it’s destroying the world.
D-

 

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

January8

I used to buy these cookies every single time I went to Whole Foods.  They charge a very unreasonable amount of $1.25 per cookie and they are individually wrapped in saran (which I am NOT a fan of – that stuff is omitting god knows what kind of pvc chemicals right onto our food!!  Here’s a link to some basic info on that, if you’re interested) AND they are not organic!!!  What!!  Why am I paying for these??  But I was lazy and didn’t want to add something else to my list of things to do in the day so I kept buying them.  Until… one day Zeke asked the nice people at WF’s if he could buy some unbaked dough so we could make them fresh (because they always seemed too hard) and that’s when we found out that they are baked, frozen, shipped and then thawed and put on the shelf.  No wonder they are hard as a rock!  Why are we still buying these???

We aren’t… anymore.  Because I straight up stole the recipe and figured out my own better, healthier version, amounts, and bake time.  They are THE easiest dessert I make now and I can give them to London guilt free and even sometimes for Breakfast in a pinch because they are pretty healthy.  So here’s how I do it:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the following ingredients together in a mixer or bowl:

3/4 Cup – Maple Syrup
1 1/2 Cup – Almond Meal
1 Cup – Oat Flour
1/2 cup – Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup – Safflower Oil (or Sunflower, or Walnut,… – just stay away from Canola as it is highly processed and hard on your blood)
1/2 Cup – Finely Chopped Walnuts (you can/should use a food processor for this, if you have one.)
1/4 Cup – Quinoa Flour (Grind whole Quinoa in a [coffee] grinder for this if you can’t find Quinoa Flour or don’t want to spend the money.  Or you can also use Barley flour, but Quinoa is so much healthier and tastes identical in this recipe.)
1/2 Tsp – Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp – Nutmeg (ground)
1/4 Tsp – Sea Salt
One or more Jam, Jelly, Fruit Spread of your choice (I only use Jams that contain NOTHING but fruit. Trader Joe’s carries several great organic fruit jams, as well as Whole Foods. You just have to read the ingredients before you buy!! BUT, we love the Fiordifrutta brand and order many of the varieties by the case. They only use apple juice to sweeten so it is lower fructose.)

Using a regular size ice cream scooper, scoop out a ball of dough, round it out with your hand, flatten it half way on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (if you don’t have paper, just do without it. No big deal) take a small spoon, like a demitasse spoon, or your thumb (thus the name) and create an indent in the middle that you will later fill with jam.
Bake unfilled cookies for 5 minutes, remove from oven and fill with Fruit Spreads, continue baking for another 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Make approximately a dozen cookies.

This is the above recipe DOUBLED.

This is my nutty son eating his second cookie right off the rack.

What a face! Crumbs and all.

 

Husband Rating (a very dramatic) 10 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “ Thumb-prints? Print out this recipe because these are the best cookies ever!”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “Mommy – I only like the strawberry but I want one of the lemon because it’s reeeeeally good.”

Thanks to Whole Foods for listing the ingredients and giving me a huge head start on this one!
Enjoy!
D-

Orzo Salad

May4

This was a quick salad I made with random items in the fridge (where 50% of my ideas come from) when my mother in law was over and I hadn’t planned out any food because I too busy with the Whopping Cough.  Suddenly I realized it was the middle of the day and there was nothing to eat for lunch.  So I threw this big pasta salad together with fresh veggies and pantry stuff in about 15 minutes.  Super easy and it was so good I made it the following weekend for a BBQ we were invited to.  Here’s what I did:

Boil one package of Orzo Pasta, drain, rinse, throw in a big salad bowl.

While the pasta is boiling, put a steamer pot over the water and quickly steamed cut up carrots (2 or 3 medium), and broccoli (about 1 cup cut up small)… throw those in.  (or steam them separately – cut them small, thin, and evenly so they cook fast)

One cut-up yellow (red, green, whatever) bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped Kalamata Olives

Cheese of your choice – I used low fat string cheese because that’s what I had in the house – I just cut it into bite sized rounds.  about 1 cup or so.  Whatever ratio you like.  It’s a salad – who cares?

2-3 leaves of finely cut up Kale.  Health it up – you won’t even taste it and it looks great!!

mix together with some olive oil and red wine vinegar.  I also added sea salt, and Braggs 24 seasoning (love that stuff).

The longer it sits the better.  Overnight is great, but eat it cold or right after you make it when it’s still slightly warm. The thing is – put whatever you want or like in this, and do whatever you want with it.  It’s salad.  Be adventurous.  Great replacements are vegan cheese or Ume Plum vinegar, Sesame Oil, rice pasta… the list goes on.  I imagine every time I make it will be a slightly different dish.  But the above ingredients worked great the first time!!

Remember: ALWAYS USE ORGANIC EVERYTHING!!!  If you have the money to buy diet pills, fancy face creams, detox powders and $150 jogging shoes, you can buy organic food.  It’s more important for your health than anything else you will spend money on!!!

Husband Rating 5 star:  gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “Yum.”

Morrocan Cous Cous Dinner!

May31

I accidentally made this pretty great meal the other night because I had a box of organic whole wheat couscous that I didn’t know what to do with. I just used what I had in the house along with some Moroccan spices and whamo – so good. I’m adding it to my list of favorites…
(picture to come – haven’t had time to download/upload it):

1 box whole wheat couscous – prepare it according to package only use veggie broth instead of water and set aside until you are ready to serve.

saute 1 onion cut in chunks in olive oil, add in chopped zucchini, bell pepper, Kale and garlic (at the last minute) with some sea salt.

Sprinkle in about a teaspoon or two of cinnamon and coriander, and a little cumin to taste. I like a lot of these things, but they are all strong flavors, so just use your nose as you’re doing it and find a good balance and aroma that makes your brain happy.

Meanwhile steam some carrots and the stems (chopped up) from the kale until soft. Throw those into the saute pan with everything else. Add cubed tofu, raisins, and chopped almonds.

Serve the veggie mixture over a bowl of coucous and enjoy!
We had fresh corn on the cob with this dish and it went perfectly. It didn’t need it though. I think it stands on it’s own nicely.

Husband Rating 4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star gold-star “Surprisingly delicious.”

Organic Reminder!!

January15

Just a reminder to read my post to ALWAYS BUY ORGANIC whenever possible. It’s so important for so many reasons!!

And try to stop eating meat – you won’t miss it that much and you will be doing yourself a huge favor physically (as long as you replace the protein) just try to eat a few meals a week that are vegetarian. It won’t kill you and it won’t kill that animal an it wont kill the planet and it won’t kill your budget.

Okay – enough preaching. Buy organic because I love you and want you to feel good and live long and healthy lives!!!

Deena

In case anyone is actually reading this –

September18

I always buy everything I can organic! I always cook with Organic whenever possible. I support organic, and eat at restaurants that serve organic. ORGANIC! ORGANIC! ORGANIC!

Look for this label on food you buy!!

Look for this label on food you buy!!

I’m serious about this. It’s not THAT much more expensive. A few cents here and there, aren’t you worth that??

And just as an FYI – once we started eating solely organic food we realized that our taste buds were dead from chemicals. You really can taste the difference, but mainly because the food taste alive instead of dead. AND now if something is NOT organic it has a very off taste about it – like something is wrong, but it’s not that it’s spoiled. That, my dear readers, is chemicals.

Please cook with orgniac ingredents. You deserve it. We all do.

D-