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Posts Tagged ‘microwave’

I started following Foodie Fiasco, a) because of the gluten free recipes and b) because she makes me laugh. So after 5 (6? 10?) failed tries to make tasty gluten free pancakes, I had a Duh! moment and searched there. I wasn’t disappointed, there is a recipe for coconut flour pancakes that is the favorite recipe on her blog! With snow expected and school canceled, it was the perfect time to try it.

I blitzed some coconut flakes in the coffee grinder (I use it for nuts and spices only, I hate coffee) to make coconut flour and tried. I took to heart the warnings that coconut flour made from coconut flakes absorbs less moisture than coconut flour, and put only part of the liquids. Obviously, making for my family, I quadrupled the recipe (3 pancakes? What would I do with three pancakes?). I put the original amount of liquids, not really wanting to put 8 eggs in the recipe, and mixed and mixed and mixed and… you get the idea. After also letting it rest during three games of TAKI with my eldest and mixing again, I got something close to the consistency recommended (still rather liquid) and started frying.

Frying...

Frying…

It was too liquid, couldn’t be flipped over easily, but I managed.

Doesn't look so good, but I had hopes...

Doesn’t look so good, but I had hopes…

And then my eldest and I taste tested it, and the result was an ultimate hands down.It had a very bitter taste. We diagnosed the baking soda as the culprit – maybe it was spoiled? Too old? I was ready to give up but my son convinced me to try again. With the 1/4 cup ground coconut flakes I had left I tried another batch, and because of the flipping problem I put tablespoonfuls in small ceramic dishes and microwaved for a minute.

Quickly, before it's gone!

Quickly, before it’s gone!

Now THAT was awesome. My kids, even my picky second, wolfed it down and were disappointed when I didn’t have any more. So I present to you Microwave Gluten Free Coconut Cakes in a bowl 🙂

Ingredients (for 5 small cakes)

1/4 cup ground coconut flakes (from about 1/2 cup coconut flakes)
1 egg
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch cinnamon

Mix everything together for at least 2 minutes. Consistency should be thick enough that if you run a spoon through it it leaves a line and you can see the dough moving back. Put one tbsp in a small bowl (I used creme brulee dishes), spread so it covers the bottom, and microwave for 1 minute. you can put a few at once for more minutes, i.e. 3 bowls for 3 minutes. Let cool and eat with a spoon!

Too late...

Too late…

Bon Apetit!

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My throat is killing me. Swallowing is mildly painful at best, shudderingly painful at worst.  But I’m somehow still hungry. We have schnitzels in the house, but the idea of eating something crunchy and deep-fried makes my body clench. On the other hand, I feel like crap, so this is not the time to take out the gourmet cookbook (I lost it ages ago anyway).

So I started with soup. (While my husband is very talented, soup is out of his league, unless it’s takeaway). I hit my first snag when I discovered I was out of my homemade frozen onion-carrot-celery mix. I hit my second when I discovered we had no frozen vegetable that could be helpful. I did get some hope when i discovered some raw chicken thighs. However, it would make pretty bland soup all alone. I continued searching and hit the jackpot: frozen fresh dill and  parsley,  and even a small bag of beef stock. Now we’re in business!

Clean out the freezer soup

Ingredients:

One chicken thigh and leg, raw
About two bunches dill
one bunch parsley
5 small carrots, peeled but not cut (you can skip peeling them.  Force of habit)
About 1/2 cup beef stock

Boil the chicken in a lot of water and skim the top until clear. Dump everything else in. Boil for 20 minutes (about). Taste. If not bland, sieve into a mug and drink. If bland, simmer more.
No picture, but trust me, it looks like clear broth  🙂

Microwave omelet

Break an egg into a small microwave safe dish. Add a splash of milk or water. Add a pinch salt. Mix with fork until yolk is blended. Cover with a plate or plastic lid (not plastic wrap). Cook in microwave on high for 30 seconds or until cooked.

image

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s quick and easy and i can swallow it. It even tastes pretty good! 😉

Of course, the best option is to call your mother/neighbour/friend and ask them for soup, which is what I’m going to eat tomorrow – there’s nothing like your mother’s chicken soup 😀

Good health to all!

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I had fennel to use up. My preferred method is to chop finely with onion in a food processor, and then sautÊ in olive oil until caramelized and sweet… mmm, yummy! But when I saw I had about 15 minutes until Shabbat came in  (at which point I need to stop cooking, preferably a bit before) I simply couldn’t use that option. What to do?

Microwave to the rescue!

I chopped the fennel, put in a pyrex with olive oil, and microwaved on high for 3 minutes. Checked the taste (I wanted it to be a bit sweet, still), and cooked for two more minutes. Then I added some salt, and the stroke of genius – balsamic vinegar. Another minute in the microwave, and voilĂ ! Side dish done!

Balsamic Fennel

Balsamic Fennel

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Lately we’ve had guests for at least one meal every weekend. So I’ve been making more chicken than usual. When we don’t have guests I rarely do it as my husband doesn’t like chicken. He likes chicken breast or schnitzel, but not chicken as is. Odd, isn’t it?

Anyway, as I’ve been doing more chicken lately leftovers are more of a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken. I just don’t like it the same way every day. On the other hand, making something new when I’ve got perfectly good chicken in the fridge is a bit pointless as well. So this time I made sauce with the chicken, and ate it over pasta. It turned out delectable.

I didn’t photograph it as my baby grew pretty insistent that she wanted to eat as well, so I didn’t have time to savour it properly, and even less time to photograph. But it’s still worth remembering.

The base for the sauce was the chicken gravy and tomatoes. As I’ve already mentioned, a delectable tomato sauce can be made pretty easily in the microwave. Adding the chicken gravy to it made it richer and smoother. I removed fat from the gravy before using it, so it wasn’t too fat, either 🙂 To top it off, I added chopped leftover chicken and chopped leftover grilled fennel, and some dried basil.  The result was a rich sauce with a surprising depth of flavor because of the chicken and fennel.

Definitely something to remember.

Ingredients:

One quarter chicken, cooked
Chicken gravy
About 15 large cherry tomatoes, halved if large
About 1 1/2 chopped grilled fennels
Dried basil to taste
One portion pasta (or rice, couscous, burgul, whatever)

Put the tomatoes in a microwave safe dish. Cook on high for 3 minutes. If tomatoes remain whole, crush them until they pop (carefully! it sprays!) and cook on high for another minute. Add chicken gravy and chicken, fennel and basil. Cook on high for another two minutes. If using pasta, add to sauce and cook for another minute on high or until pasta is warm. Otherwise serve over rice or couscous (or whatever).

Bon Apetit!

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When reheating leftover pasta for one, the first impulse is to add some ketchup, sprinkle with parmesan and eat. This is very quick and hassle free. On the other hand, it isn’t that filling, so I usually need two servings, and the overall result is less than the height of nutrition [1].  I again turned to my cookbooks for inspiration, and found a recipe titled “pasta with butter and cheese sauce”. Basically pasta tossed in butter and garlic and sprinkled with cheese. I thought, “Why not make it? Frozen chopped spinach can so easily be added to this. It can even be done in the microwave!”

So:

Ingredients

about 20 gr butter (I found it too buttery, will probably use less next time. This is still less than the original recipe, though)
1/2 tsp minced garlic, or to taste
75-100 gr frozen chopped spinach
salt
freshly ground nutmeg
one portion leftover pasta
grated parmesan  cheese

For clarity and brevity, I will refer to a “Step” as 30 seconds in the microwave on high.

Put butter in microwave safe dish (I use a pyrex. You can already do this in the serving dish, but all my microwave safe bowls were in the dishwasher when I made this so I used an extra pyrex). Put in microwave on “high” in 30 second steps until mostly melted. Add garlic and spinach, and cook in microwave in 30 second steps, stirring every step, until spinach is defrosted and buttery and garlic is fragrant, about 4-5 steps. add salt and nutmeg and cook one more step.

Spinach Sauce

Add pasta and toss, and put in microwave for last step. Add grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Easy, rich, and tasty. And the spinach at least nods towards nutritional content and is much more filling. And the whole thing takes about 5 minutes. What more do you need?

Bon Apetit!

 

 

1. As opposed to some, I don’t consider ketchup a vegetable 😉 BACK TO POST

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I get hungry mid morning and want something light yet sweet. For my kids, I sometimes make the microwaved cakes in a bowl, but for myself I was looking for something that I can finish by myself without feeling guilty 😕

I found this amazing and excellent recipe. At first I was sure something was missing as it had absolutely no added liquids. But it surprisingly works very well. As it’s based on fruit and oatmeal, it’s reasonably healthy (well… if you ignore the 1/4 cup sugar, of course 😉 ). I used cherries instead of blueberries, and added ground almonds and coconut.

My first try came out more like a pudding, because I tried to substitute part of the oatmeal with ground almonds. I heard from a friend that she regularly substitutes ground almonds instead of flour, so it made sense. However, almonds simply don’t absorb liquids the way oatmeal does and this is not a good substitute.

My next tries were more successful – in them I added extra ground almonds, and as my bananas were large I added more oatmeal as well. The result was a very satisfying fruit cake, which I ate with some yogurt or quark.

As always, my eldest loved the cake and my youngest didn’t 🙄

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, mashed

One mashed banana

1/2 cup oats (I used Quakers). More if your banana is large.
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp coconut flakes
6-7 cherries, pitted and cut , or other fruit

[No oil, eggs, water, milk, baking soda, or baking powder. Cool, huh?]

Mix all ingredients together:

Before microwaving

Microwave for 3 minutes, check for done-ness by touching the top of the cake lightly. Top should be dry (assuming you didn’t touch a cherry) and firm.

If not done, add in one minute stages until done.

Done!

Let cool and eat!

I made twice the amount in four bowls for my kids to taste. The results were awesome and looked so pretty…

Four mini cakes

I also made an amount of these without cherries, to take with me to the hospital when I gave birth. They were sweet and very satisfying as a midnight snack when breastfeeding, and kept remarkably well.

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My husband and I went to a wedding yesterday, and I promised my kids a surprise today if they’ll be nice with the babysitter. So this morning I made them chocolate cake in a bowl. After it was done, I cut it into quarters, and then arranged in each plate two cucumber slices (for eyes) two chocolate chips (nose) and a quarter cake (mouth).

My husband asked the kids, “Does it taste good?”

My eldest answered that he hadn’t tasted it yet becasue the cake was still too hot, and he doesn’t like cucumbers. My youngest, who doesn’t mind eating slightly warm chocolate cake, said “Yes!” cheerfully.

My husband asked, “Did you say ‘Thank you!’ to Mommy for making such a nice breakfast?”

My youngest said sweetly, “Thank you mummy for such a nice breakfast!”

My eldest thought a bit, and then said, “Thank you mummy for giving me cake that is too hot to eat!”

🙄 😆

Cake in a bowl

I use a bowl and not a mug, for the following reasons:

1. It cooks more evenly in a shallow bowl

2. You see how big it really is. This is a a lot of cake, so definitely more than one serving. I found that it makes 2-4 servings, and 2 is if you’re really hungry (or if your children really love cake 🙂 )

Basic chocolate cake:

4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
generous pinch baking powder (or 1/8 tsp, if you prefer)
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp water or milk
1 beaten egg
few drops vanilla
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Add wet ingredients and chocolate chips. Mix. Cook in microwave on high for 2.5 minutes. If still sticky, add another 30 seconds. Cut into quarters and eat!

Variations:

Choco-Vanilla cake: 
This makes a vanilla flavoured cake with chocolate chips. Same procedure as before, with slightly different ingredients:

6 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
pinch baking powder
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk or water
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips.

Almond-chocolate cake:

Substitute up to 3 tbsp flour for finely ground almonds or other nut. If it still seems too liquid, add more flour (almonds absorb less moisture than flour).

Banana/applesauce cake:

Substitute mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce for the oil (I’ve tried it in other cakes, not in this one, so I can’t promise… but it should work!) You can also try variations on this recipe.

Have a sweet year! And may your kids always make you laugh…

Laugh!

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“… And I try to get through to you
In my own special way
As the barriers crumble
At the end of the day…”

(my emphasis. “The Small Hours”, originally performed by Holocaust . Cover performed by Metallica. )

I’m making a lot of crumbles lately. Easy and quick, they are the perfect solution to the fruit that your kids are sure they want but eat one slice and quit 🙄 . It’s also great for the great fruits you’ve forgotten in your fridge and are now still OK, but … 🙂 To save electricity and time, I do my crumbles in the microwave. It is super easy and really tasty! My toddler loved it. My younger refused to taste it (he’s wierd that way). And I love it.

The only problem I have with crumbles is the name. I had no idea what crumbles were for most of my life and discovered them only through recipe sites (I always mistakenly thought of them as “pies”). So my first association with the word “crumble” is… Metallica.

I’ve loved Metallica since my older brother introduced me to their music at the age of about 10. There was no choice involved – if I wanted to be in his room I would listen to Metallica.

He was my older brother. I adored him. Of course I would listen to Metallica.

And it has remained with me to this day. (Most people, when hearing I like Metallica, look at me and say “I never figured you for a Metal lover” and similar.) Incidentally, I recently saw them. Wow, what a show!!!! My only complaint was that it finished too quickly, and they were more than two hours on stage!

To get back to the subject, every time I make a crumble, I find myself humming this song complete with the guitar riffs, and heavy emphasis on “crumble”. It is especially easy remembering how Hetfield changes “crumble” to “crum-bull”…

Ingredients: Amounts are approximate

Fruit of your chice, over-ripe is OK: nectarines, peaches, apricots, cherries, grapes…
Topping: for about 2 handfuls of cut fruit, e.g. 1 nectarine and one apricot, etc.
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 heaped tbsp brown sugar
few pinches cinnamon (optional)
10-15 grams butter
splash of vegetable oil (I use Canola or Soy)

Mix dry ingredients together with your fingers. Add butter and smush with your fingers. It will look like a woefully inadequate amount of butter. Add a splash of oil and mix until everything is moist. Add more oil if necessary (The idea here is to add a bit of butter for the taste, but have the main fat be oil.)

Arrange fruit in a glass or other microwave cooking platter. Sprinkle topping liberally over fruit. If there is too much topping, keeps refrigerated for a week (that’s how much I tried it, anyway).

Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Check if topping is crusty. If not, add 1 minute at a time until topping is crunchy.

Eat and enjoy! (… in my own special way, as the barriers crum-bull at the end of the day…)

Love Food - Don't Waste!

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About a week after passover I called some old friends of mine to ask them if they and their kids would like to join us at the zoo. Her answer was that they couldn’t, they were in the hospital as their youngest (16 months) has cancer.

I was shocked. Their youngest is two months younger than my youngest, and what possible reason could there be for a baby to have cancer? You certainly can’t blame it on ten years of smoking! (our friends don’t smoke either). I was speechless. Ironically, my friends are very calm about it and are calming to their friends. Instead of us supporting them, they seem to be supporting all their friends at the beginning.

I looked it up on the Internet (as I couldn’t go and ask my friend, “so…what are his chances then?”) and found to my surprise that the survival rate for children is above 70% which is good. However, the specific cancer he has is fast and violent which is very very bad. So I did what I could (including crying my eyes out for a week), which is visit them in the hospital when they were there and offer to pick up their eldest to the zoo etc. And every synagogue that heard of them is praying for them, including ours of course. But my faith was and is frankly rocked. I asked “How can this happen? What could they possibly have done to deserve this?”

My husband could not give an answer, of course (if he could, he would be proclaimed the Messiah and the kid and the leopard will lie together etc.) but he says that in cases like these he looks around and sees the effect of this on the surroundings. I looked and I saw that all their friends are coming home and saying thanks for their kids’ health, their own health, their relatives’ health. People are looking at their lives and saying “I have it good”. They are noticing things they took for granted before. They are looking at the good instead of the bad.

Granted this is good but it is a pity that it takes such a shock at the expense of some very good people to cause this.

* * *

When I was at the hospital, I asked her what they were missing. She said frankly that though people are very kind people bring too much cake and sweets. “Oh, for some cooked vegetables!” she joked. I said great, that’s no problem. I’ll also add my favorite granola bars – filling, nutritious AND sweet. She said that would be great.

Fortunately, they weren’t in the hospital long and I haven’t made it yet, but in case you ever have to visit in the hospital, or in case I might have to again (they are periodically in the hospital for chemotherapy treatments, but the baby is doing better and everyone is happy for them) here are my favorite veggie recipes and my all-time best granola bar:

Granola bar

This is based on this recipe. For convenience, I will rewrite it with the small changes I made, and some optional additions. I’ve also done this with my toddler, he loves baking!

Ingredients:

4 cups oatmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour (sometimes I substitute 1 cup of ground almonds for 1 cup flour)
1 cup coconut
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 honey (swirl the oil in the cup first for easier measuring)
chopped dried apple/sunflower seeds/chopped dried apricot

Mix everything except the honey and chopped fruit/seeds in a large bowl. As kzmom says, you should really mix with your fingers so that all is coated in the honey. If it is still crumbly, add a teaspoon more applesauce. Press into baking pan, cover (especially if using dried fruit) and bake for 15 minutes at 160 degrees C. As kzmom said, don’t wait until it’s brown. Cut while warm and keep in a closed box. I keep meaning to freeze these and see how it works but I never had a chance yet! I bring them to my son’s day-care. my friends, and we all eat them for breakfast. Highly recommended!

Easy-peasy Microwave Squash

A friend of ours ate this at our house, and as she is originally my husband’s friend this became known at her house as “leftoverrecipes’ husband’s squash”. I always find this hilarious, as my husband hates squash and refuses to touch it. In any case, this is easy and marvelous!

Ingredients

squash, peeled and cubed (not too small)
olive oil
salt

Mix all together in a microwave safe cooking dish. Cover and cook on High for 3 minutes. Mix and taste. Continue in 1 minute batches until tender. If the squash has a bitter taste, add more salt.

Exact amounts are not very important, but there has to be enough olive oil to coat the squash. Fresh squash needs less salt; slightly older squash needs more to prevent bitterness.

Upgraded veggies in microwave

This is simply the first recipe with some nice touches. Everything is optional and can be substituted for whatever you want.

Ingredients

Olive oil
salt or soy sauce
spices as you wish: oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, turmeric, cumin…

any or all of the following, chopped roughly: onion, tomato, squash, red/green/yellow bell pepper, cauliflower, frozen vegetables…

optional: canned chickpeas.

If using onion, place first in microwave safe cooking dish (either the Tupperware microwave cooking series or glass) with the oil and microwave on high for 5 minutes (if your microwave is very strong or your onion chopped very fine start with 3 minutes). Mix and return to microwave if uncooked to your taste (I like mine still a bit crunchy).  Add other vegetables and spices. Cook on high for 5 minutes. stir. Cook again until desired tenderness.

Using tomatoes is great here because it creates a tomato “sauce” with the olive oil and the spices.

You can add chickpeas and serve over couscous or rice for a satisfying vegetarian meal, or serve over pasta with Parmesan, or just eat as is!

שיהיה רפואה שלמה לכל חולי ישראל

Good health to you all

Bon Apetit

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Granola Base

I love making granola at home. It tastes better, has much less fat and sugar, and best of all I can put whatever I want. I love dried apple and am not crazy about raisins – so I always have dried apple in my granola. I love sunflower seeds and almonds and walnuts. Though I have a sweet tooth, I don’t like to indulge it all the time. I find that bought granola (and bought food in general) is much too sweet. So I adjust sugar/honey to my tastes.

Sometimes, however, I don’t have the time or patience to begin chopping nuts and dried apples, and mixing, etc. So I started making a granola base.

This is oatmeal mixed with a bit of sugar and veg oil, toasted in the microwave. The great thing about it (other than the fact that it is easy and quick) is its versatility. I can add some chopped nuts and fruit and I have granola (some people toast their nuts when making granola. I don’t as the toasting can ruin the nutritional benefit of the nut if too high, and as I make my granola in the microwave, there isn’t much control of the exact temperature). It can also be sprinkled on fruit or ice cream or pudding to add some healthy crunch. It can be mixed with puffed rice and eaten with yogurt or milk as a breakfast cereal (or alone). The sky is the limit!

Ingredients

1 cup oatmeal, (not instant or quick-cooking. I use Quakers).
1 tbsp (or to taste) brown sugar or honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix everything together in a glass pyrex or other microwave dish (I read that some people make their granola directly on the microwave platter).
Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Mix.
Microwave for another minute. Mix.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time until golden and toasted, mixing after every interval.

Note: You don’t really need the oil, you can do without very easily. However, then the granola doesn’t turn brown and it can be hard to tell when it’s ready (you know when it burns? 1 minute before that :)). You can omit the oil completely.

You need to be careful not to burn the oatmeal. However, if some does burn, it’s no big deal – just discard the burnt part (it clumps together and smells burned, even though it doesn’t turn black or anything) and keep the rest.

Store in an airtight jar with a lid. It keeps quite well for a few months without loosing its crunch. I keep old jam and honey jars for this type of thing.

Bon Apetit!

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