Adventures in Baking

I am crazy excited about my smoothie this morning.  I know…I need to take up extreme skateboarding or something, don’t I?

I was tossing stuff in the blender when I said to myself “Self?  If you want to figure out a tasty green smoothie that don’t use fruit, you really need to start being more adventurous!”  Yes, out loud.  How am I not single?

But I concluded that I was absolutely right.  So I didn’t pull the strawberries out of the fridge.  Instead, after I had tossed in my usual kale, milk (soy AND coconut!), tofu and cinnamon, I grabbed a lonely half cucumber instead (the photo is before I decided on the cuke).  I added a couple of good sized chunks of that guy, six ice cubes, and blended ‘er up. Man, the people downstairs must hate me (not to mention S.O. who is sleeping in the next room).  At least I wait until 7:30.  I could be extra nasty and turn on the noisy monster at six when I wake up. (And if they butt in front of me in the laundry room again, I just might!)

fruitless smoothieEgads that’s a blurry picture! Stupid iPhone…

This is ONE TASTY drink.  I just realized I forgot to add my chia seed cereal stuff, but that wouldn’t change the flavour.  I’ll just take it for a snack, instead.  See why I’m so pumped?

Oh yeah, I mentioned that I made a dessert last night, didn’t I?  Well, a lovely coworker of mine brought rhubarb to work the other day, and another coworker and I split a bag.  So there I was with a big stack of reddy-green stalks and … I’ve never baked with rhubarb in my life.

Still, I figured it couldn’t be that hard, especially with the biggest cook book of the millennium right at my fingertips!  And anyway, I already knew exactly what I wanted to make – a crisp!

I had it all planned out.  I even decided not to buy strawberries and just do a straight rhubarb crisp.  Then S.O. reminded me that he doesn’t like them.  But he loves pie.  New plan!

unbaked pie

That is the first pie I have ever made.  And I even made the crust.  And it was pretty good!  I used the filling from this recipe (mixture of maple and brown rice syrup), and this crust.  In browsing other recipes (for baking times and such), I saw mention of adding cornstarch to the filling so that it thickens up but I thought “Naw, I don’t need to do that!” (in my head, this time).

Um…I did.  It was really runny, and I ended up dumping out the liquid after I’d cut the first slice.  I did drink it – it was extremely tasty.

The other change I would suggest is either using one third to half the rhubarb, or else adding a stronger sweetener.  It is pretty tart.  I think that’s quite tasty – I’m starting to see what people mean when they say you stop craving that super-sweet when you’ve cut it out for awhile.  But it might not be to everyone’s taste.

Mostly – in the words of Cole Porter – experiment, and you’ll see!

baked pie

In other food news, I made the Sicilian Collard Greens again for lunch, although this time I actually followed the recipe instead of making it up.  You definitely want to cut off those stems, unless you have hours to chew.

They don’t include this portion in the recipe I linked, but Alicia Silverstone mentions that you can sub in pumpkin seeds for pine nuts, and soy sauce for balsamic.   In her book that’s if you are eating “Superhero”, where you’re supposed to limit nuts – and I assume the vinegar because it’s so acidic?  Since I don’t like balsamic vinegar in most things, and I don’t have pine nuts, I made the swaps.   It is SO yummy!

Sicilian Collard Greens

It was a very delicious day, yesterday was. As a cap to my bake session, I threw together a quick hummus with the beans I cooked the other day. I don’t really follow a recipe or measure anything, but it was something like this:

  • white beans (probably approximately a 15 oz can’s worth)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves (might want to cut back there, if you like people)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 T tahini
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt, to taste

I think that is all I did!  You definitely want to let this guy sit and absorb the flavours overnight.  I tried it this morning and it’s pretty tasty.  It’s interesting how different it tastes when I don’t use canned beans – so fresh.  Too bad canned beans are so easy and fast!  Look how pretty and white!

hummus 

Happy eating!

*Lou

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