Vegetarian (or not) Instant Pot Ramen

Similar to my IP Lo Mein of recipe, this is a vegetarian recipe but can easily be served with leftover meat if desired.

This can also easily be a one pot meal if you sauté the veggies in the IP liner before and remove them before cooking the noodles. If you are short on time though, set the noodles to cook in the broth and sauté the veggies on the stovetop to mix in once the noodles are done.

Vegetarian Instant Pot Ramen:

If you want a one pot meal, start by sautéing the vegetables of your choice. Today I used the ones listed below. This is a great recipe to use up little bits of a variety of vegetables that need to be eaten.

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup chard or celery stems, chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped

1 cup diced mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic, diced

4 cups chopped kale or chard

Sauté veggies in the liner of the IP and remove before adding noodles. Or sauté in a separate pan on the stovetop.

After the veggies have been removed if you sautés them in the IP liner, add….

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos

8 cups of chicken or beef broth, or 8 homemade bullion cubes and 8 cups of water (the liquid should come a little less than halfway up the sides of the pot)

1 – 1 1/2 pounds thin spaghetti (I used regular spaghetti noodles the day I made this and took the pictures as I didn’t have think spaghetti on hand.)

Break the noodles in half alternating directions. The noodles don’t have to all be completely covered by the liquid but they should all be moistened. Do not stir or compress the uncooked noodles.

Lock the lid on the pot and seal the pressure valve. Cook on High Pressure, Warm setting OFF, for 3 minutes. Quick Release.

Immediately stir the noodles and add in the cooked veggies. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the past to absorb some more of the liquid.

Add meat if desired. We like to serve this with chicken strips on the side.

Homemade Granola

I haven’t made this in ages. I used to make it every week for my husband’s breakfast, but since COVID the poor man has been mostly stuck with store bought cereal. Time to make another batch.

Granola:

First mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

6 cups oats (I prefer regular, not quick-cooking) Note: If you have an oat allergy, substitute spelt flakes for the oats.
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (You can use any nut you like or have on hand. I usually use walnuts but almonds or pecans even work.)
1 tbls. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)

Stir the dry ingredients until mixed well. Then mix in following.

1 cup mild- tasting oil (whatever you’ve got – coconut (melted), canola, light olive oil, etc.)
1 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir well until all the oats are coated. Put in a baking pan with sides and bake on 350 for 20 minutes removing at the 10 minute mark to stir. When you stir be sure that you are careful to pull it away from the sides as the honey burns easily along the edges otherwise. When it has cooled off, stir in 2 cups of raisins. Makes a yummy breakfast or snack.

Sourdough Waffles

It’s a tower of waffles. Sourdough this time. Using my favorite cast iron waffle makers.

If you want to give this recipe a try, follow my basic waffle recipe here, but use half the oil, 3 cups of regular milk rather than the 4 cups of buttermilk (or soured milk), and add 1-2 cups of sourdough starter.

Happy breakfast!

Banana Chocolate Chip Baby Muffins

110 baby muffins to be exact!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

3/4 – 1 cup of sugar

2 tbls baking powder

Chocolate chips

Blend dry ingredients.

In another bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, add…

2 cups milk, milk substitute or water

1/2 cup light flavored oil

4 eggs

2-3 mashed bananas

Mix wet ingredients and then add them to the dry, mixing until just combined.

Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. this recipe will make about 5 dozen baby muffins, or 2 dozen regular sized muffins.

Garlic Herb Sourdough Batter Bread

 

 

This batter bread is delicious, savory, and filling. Trying as a surprise side dish with dinner. It’s great way to use up your extra sourdough starter.

Garlic Herb Batter Bread:

3/4 cup sourdough starter

1 tsp. salt

1 cup water

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbls garlic powder or granulated garlic

1 tbls Italian seasoning

handful of sliced black olives

Add all purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time until the batter resembles a stiff buttercream frosting.

To bake, spray a casserole with oil. Pour in the batter and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes.

Banana Chocolate Chip Sourdough Batter Bread

Try this with your mature sourdough starter. (Note: If your starter is not mature yet, you can still make this. Double the starter and baking soda and decrease the water half.)

1 cup activated starter (this means starter that has been fed within the past 2 hours)

1 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

3 mashed bananas

Mix all these wet ingredients. Then add….

2 tbls cocoa powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp baking soda

Handful of chocolate chips

Add flour until the dough resembles a stiff buttercream frosting.

Pour into an oiled or buttered casserole. Let it rise, covered, in a warm place until it reaches the top of the pan, or about 2 hours.

Remove the cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Poured into casserole. Ready to rise.

Risen for two hours. Ready for the oven.

Minimalist Pancakes

If you have someone in your household that can’t eat anything, then these pancakes are for you. Only five ingredients. My son will verify that they are quite tasty. Only prerequisite is that you need to be able to have a gluten based grain.

2 cups flour (For added nutrition use sprouted grain. I use sprouted spelt.)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbls baking powder

1/4 cup oil

2 cups water

If using whole grains mix and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Stir vigorously to develop the gluten until it is a smooth, stretchy batter.

Cook at medium high heat on a lightly oiled skillet. Freeze excess or store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Sourdough Batter Bread

We’ve been playing with sourdough at my house lately. If you’d like to learn how to make your own, I highly recommend the Art of Homemade Bread Class taught by Carolyn Thomas at Homesteading Family. She has a whole section on sourdough that is excellent. She breaks it down into simple steps that so that the follow through is easy.

My daughter even decided to do sourdough as her science experiment this year. We have had 10 different starters growing at our house. Which means we have been baking A LOT!

Here is my latest favorite.

Apple Cinnamon Sourdough Batter Bread:

Add 3 approximately 2.5-3 cups of immature (or mature) starter to your mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, and about 1/2 cup flour. Stir to combine. Let this mixture sit and bubble while you butter your casserole and chop your apples.

Generously butter a glass casserole dish and set aside. Peel and chop 3 apples. Pour the chopped apples into the bowl with the batter, and add 1 tsp of cinnamon, dash of cloves, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup mild tasting oil, 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir to combine. Then add flour 1/4 cup at a time until your batter is stiff like a cold buttercream frosting. It may not take much flour if your starter is thick. I added less than 1 cup to mine. Once you have achieved the right texture, pour into your prepared baking dish and sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the top. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes. Then back at 400 for 40-45 minutes.

About 3 cups of immature spelt starter.

Buttered casserole.

3 Opal apples. Use a sweet apple like Fuji, Gala or Braeburn, rather than tart.

Peeled and chopped.

Add to batter.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Be prepared. The baking soda will make the mixture foam and bubble.

All combined.

Poured into pan, covered and set to rise for 30 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven.

How to make batter bread with a mature starter:

You can also use a mature starter to bake batter bread with just a few modifications. Take 1 cup of your mature starter and add 1 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 cup flour. Let this mixture sit and activate for 2-2.5 hours. While it sits peel and chop the apples. Add the apple, cinnamon, cloves, oil, and 1 tsp baking soda to the batter mixture. Stir and add flour until the dough is a stiff batter. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and let it rise 2-3 hours. Bake 400 for 40 minutes or until the dough temperature is 190 degrees.

August 29, 2020

Edited to add that this also comes out great in a loaf pan. I like to make it in loaves when I want to have extra to freeze.

Creativity in your Kitchen

As a general rule, I like to solve problems in life. And as a general rule, these are the only times that I would consider myself to be creative. I get to practice this a lot in my kitchen figuring out recipes and food substitutions for my food sensitive kid. So, in my life, creativity only expresses itself out of some need.

Yesterday, I was forced to be creative in my kitchen for lunch and dinner because 1) I forgot my what my original meal plan was. And 2) Neither backup plans worked either.

Now, this is where most people would pull out a box of Mac & Cheese and call it good. That’s great if you have an easy option like that. But, about the only things I can buy pre-packaged for our food sensitivities are flour tortillas and graham crackers. That doesn’t make for much of a dinner.

So, I had to use what was on hand and make it ready within about 30 minutes. What I came up with is below. Not my best cooking ever, but it was hot, healthy, and homemade, and I’m proud of that. How do you show your creativity in the kitchen?

This was lunch. Flour tortillas, crisped in the oven to be quesadillas, lentils cooked and smashed to substitute for refried beans, leftover Jalepeno lime chicken from the the fridge, topped with homemade herbed ricotta, seasoned toasted pumpkin seeds, my homegrown herb garlic dehydrated cherry tomatoes, and some fresh chopped Jalepenos. It was actually tasty.

See below: Dinner consisted of turning the innards from our carved pumpkin into pumpkin bisque courtesy of our Instant Pot, cooked sausages from the freezer, and cabbage sautés with onion. It made for a good fall combo.

Have you come up with any creative meals lately?

Sprouting Grains

Sprouted and ready to store in the freezer.

I’ve been sprouting spelt for the last 9 months to grind to make our bread each week. I was so intimidated by the idea when I started. And I really couldn’t find any reliable information or consistent techniques online. But, now that I have it figured out….. it’s so easy! There’s really nothing to it. Once you have it worked into your routine, you can easily sprout a batch ahead, and always benefit from the additional nutrition that sprouting makes accessible to your body in your breads and baked goods.

Easy Steps to Sprouting Grain:

(These steps work with any grain.)

  1. Soak your grain in a large bowl overnight, or for about 10-12 hours.
  2. Drain into a mesh colander and rinse.
  3. Return the drained grain to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel.
  4. Rinse every 6-12 hours, depending on how fast it dries out until you see little tails at the tips of each seed.
  5. Spread on your dehydrator and dehydrate 110-120 degrees (I usually do 115) until the grain is hard and cannot be indented when pressed upon by the end of your fingernail.
  6. Store in sealed mason jars in the freezer if you don’t plan to grind your grain within 2 days.

That’s it! Give it a try. Sprouted grain makes a softer flour, is easier to grind than unsprouted, and I think makes lighter baked goods.

Unsprouted spelt berries.

Cover with water and soak for 12 hours.

 

Sprouted. See the tiny tails on the tip of each seed?

IMG_0214

Before dehydrating.

IMG_0215

After dehydrating.

Dehydrated and ready to go in the grain mill.

In the mill. About to become flour.

Compare: Left – after dehydrating, Right – before dehydrating.

The Benefits of Baking Day

I have a page in the “Kitchen” on my blog called “Baking Day.” In it I wax poetic thinking of Ma Ingalls and my great-grandmother, Maggie, working in their kitchens. I imagine them in their vintage aprons, leaning over their wooden kitchen tables, kneading their bread. They have flour dust on their faces from swiping back the wisps of hair from their faces that have fallen down.

Not many people have a baking day anymore. Each day is much the same as another, running from one errand or activity to another. But, for the last 2 years or so, Saturday has become my baking day. I often will go grocery shopping in the morning, and spend the rest of the day cooking. It’s exhausting but rewarding. Sometimes it’s hectic. Especially when we have another activity that day that cuts into my baking time. But, I’m learning to guard my time on Saturdays as much as possible. That time in the kitchen is valuable to me. And it can be quite pleasant. If the kids are outside, I can sing, listen to music, listen to a podcast, or just get lost in my own thoughts. The kitchen is a good place for that. I’m finding that between technology, daily appointments, and the responsibility of teaching and caring for the kids (all of which have their place in life), I don’t have enough of that quiet time in my head.

Baking day helps me be well prepared for my week. On a typical baking day, I produce a lot of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and sometimes dinner prep that help me survive Monday through Friday when I just don’t have the time to devote to the kitchen. Below are some photos of what I typically make. Would a baking day make your life easier? I’m finding that I really do need mine.

Sprouted Spelt Bread

Banana chocolate chip muffins.

Snacks for the week.

Sprouted spelt waffles for breakfast.

Granola for hubby’s breakfast.

Elderberry herbal syrup.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This was dinner tonight. Give it a try.

Start with enough sweet potatoes for the size of your family. I did one per person and had leftovers as they were large and not everyone ate a whole one.

Wash the sweet potatoes and prick all around with a fork.

Bake at 400 for 1-1.5 hours depending on the size of your potatoes.

While they bake, assemble your filling.

Filling: ground turkey, chopped onion, garlic, celery, cabbage, red bell pepper, salt, pepper, seasoned salt, sage, oregano, olive oil, flour, and water.

Brown the turkey meat. When cooked through, add a little olive oil to your pan and sauté the onion, celery, garlic, cabbage and red bell pepper. Now add the salt and pepper to taste, a sprinkle of seasoned salt, and the oregano and fresh sage. I used about 1 tbls. of fresh sage but you could use about 1 tsp of ground as well.

Next, a couple of tablespoons of flour into your meat mix and stir until the flour has absorbed. Then add about 2-3 cups of water. The addition of the flour and water will create a sauce which will keep the ground turkey from becoming too dry. Turn off the heat once the sauce has thickened.

When you’re sweet potatoes are soft when squeezed, remove them from the oven and place on a cookie sheet and slice open. Butter and lightly smash the insides. Then top with the meat mix. I sprinkled buttered homemade crumbled bread on the top. Return to the oven on 400 for about 15 minutes until the bread topping is toasty. Sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles to serve.