Tag Archives: breakfast

INSPIRATION: quinoa puffs

quick little inspiration:

quinoa puffsInstead of starting your morning with rice krispies, try crisped quinoa.  It has more protein and is probably less processed, which means that it’ll leave you fuller longer and be easier to digest.

If it’s not available in your local health food store, try finding it here:

united states: the gluten free shoppe

france: greenweez

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gluten-free teff BAGUETTE

cooked baguetteswhen the goin’ gets teff… (first and last bad joke, I promise)

brushing oil teff breadoh baby

teff milkTeff flour has been one of my favorite substitutes for wheat flour for a while now.  Teff milk was a new discovery today: I’m not sure that rice milk is the best thing to consume out of the lactose-free milks as it’s basically just sugar.  It’s not bad, but it’s not rich, either.  Teff milk has now been my favorite dairy-free milk for one day.  A whole day.  And now night.

It’s real here: baguette is something that surpasses stereotype.  It surrounds the daily function of the Parisian, clings to the backs of those dedicated enough to leave an opening in their backpacks for the long strand of yeast-risen staple, breaks beneath the fingers of the eager who cannot make it home without finding the tip missing.  Yup, baguette’s a thing.  And today I wanted one real bad.  That’s when I found teff flour for the first time in grocery stores here.  Sha buy yah roll call

teff bread demi baguetteI think you’ve gotta be a bit of a geek to make it in this world.  Tech-y stuff is all over, and what’s slightly paradoxical is that I’ve found the more I give up my old ways of traditional-is-better-because-it’s-more-human, unless I actually want to go Neanderthal, it’s hit me that these new advances in images and sound and things with computers and wires can actually make the human things we do more interesting.

shaping baguetteIt’s not like the computer made the baguette.

I say this because you may notice that these pictures look slightly better than the past.  That’s because technically they are.  I’ve succumbed to, with the greatest pleasure, an actual camera.  It’s manual, I control things like aperture and shutter speed, and photoshop is now something taking up space in my hard drive.  In between washing off the teff flour and gluten-free yeast from my hands,  I spent my first day with my new ally in the kitchen.  And then ate some baguette so I’d have something pretty to share with you.  Of course, that was the only impetus to construct a plate like this.

plated breadExcuses are lovely sometimes.

Teff Baguette

-vegan-

-gluten, nut, soy, dairy, egg, and corn free-

ingredients: 2 tbs (21 g) flax seeds, 3 tbs (41 g) hot water, 1/4 cup (50 g) + 1/3 cup (75 g) teff milk [can substitute water], 3/4 cup (90g) teff flour, 3/4 cup (100 g) brown rice flour, 2 tbs (16 g) arrowroot starch/flour, 8 g yeast, 1/4 tsp (a large pinch) sea salt, 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar

method: In small bowl, pour hot water over flax seeds.  Let soak 20 minutes.  Combine flax seed mixture with 1/4 cup teff milk (or alternative dairy-free milk or water) until puréed.  Set aside.

flax seed mixCombine all dry ingredients in large bowl, adding salt at the very last second before you add liquid.  (Salt will kill the yeast if left too long without the sugar to feed on.)

dry ingredientsAdd flax seed mixture and half of the teff milk.  Knead with hands.  Add honey/agave nectar and remainder of milk and more if needed to get a moist dough that is not sticky.  If too dry, add more milk or a bit water.  If sticky, add a bit of rice flour.  Knead for about 5 minutes, form into a ball, and let rise in bowl covered with wet towel.

kneading doughcovered rising doughKnead again for 5 minutes, separate into three balls for mini baguettes, two balls for demi baguettes, or keep whole for a large baguette.  Roll into a cylinder, then taper out the edges.  Place on a prepared baking sheet (silicon mat and a light oiling will do quite well) and flatten a bit in the middle, and then fold in both edges (see photo at beginning of post).  You’ll make a bit of a smushed taco.  Flip over (the smush is the bottom of the baguette) and make lines with a small knife on the top.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise about 1 1/2-2 hours minimum.*  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Bake bread for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with a fine layer of oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place back in oven turned the other way, for even cooking, and bake another 10 minutes.  If the inside or bottom is not cooked through, reduce heat to 375 F (185 degrees C) and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  This really varies upon the size of your baguette and your oven.  Remove from heat, let cool to touch, and consume within a day for freshness.  To keep longer, keep it in the freezer until use.

*If preparing the night before, keep covered in the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours the next day.

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Homemade Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bars

oat bar with creamy seed butterIt’s almost like I just want to slide down the middle of this bar.  You know… imagine it.

Food can inspire strange behavior.  No food inspires even stranger, so let’s carry on now.

I find caramel made from honey to be a delightful little composition.  Especially if there is some form of sea salt added to it.  Perhaps a little oil.  Oh, lookey here, there’s both!  This recipe for a healthy and gluten-free granola bar has no refined sugar at all and is high in fiber (good for your arteries, yeah!).  A really nice natural energy boost by itself if you’re pragmatic, a healthy way to get that sweet fix after a meal if you’re a touch more hedonistic.  Like, a touch.

wrapped oat bars

Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bar

-gluten, nut, soy, corn, egg-free.  Vegan with substitutions-

1/4 cup neutral oil

1/2 cup honey (or 1/3 cup agave nectar for vegan)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla (optional but good)

1 1/8 cup gluten-free oat bran (available at health food stores or online here, also known as “son d’avoine”)

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cook time: about 4-5 minutes

Serves about 10-12 easily (makes a plaque of bars)

honey caramel1. Heat oil, honey, salt and optional vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  If you have a thermometer, insert it and bring mixture to 135 degrees F (270 degrees C) or until it bubbles like shown at left and starts to turn a little darker in color.  Immediately remove from heat.

oat bars2. Add oats to pot and stir with spatula until coated.  Let sit, stirring every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes to cook the oats to make them more digestible.

silpat granola3. Spread on a silicon baking sheet (or an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper) to desired thickness.  With spatula, or a dull knife, outline the shape you want to cut.  Let cool then cut and wrap individually to be all precious.

Since you cooked your sugar to a “soft-crack” phase, meaning it will be a harder caramel, let it cool to solidify a bit so it’s not just a gooey mess.  I’ve been storing my bars in the fridge, as it’s warmer out now, but you can store them room temperature if you want to keep them more taffy-like with the heat.  Ah, that sounds nice, too.

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Inspiration: SHREDDED MANGO

shredded mangoI don’t know if we can use the term “Indian Spring” like “Indian Summer”, but if there is such a thing, that is this in Paris.  It’s sunny out.  The gray sides of the buildings must be terribly confused, the flowers on my balcony are either wilting or reaching up to the rays depending on their seasonality, and I got tan today.  Never, ever, did I envision a bronzing skin in March.  I suppose it’s an early birthday present (2 days, 2 days!  March 12!!)

Anyways, I found a new toy, and the very kind lady who sold me this toy brought up a dynamic idea that serves as today’s inspiration: Shredded Mango.  It goes well with sunshine.  And rice.

kiwiThis little Kiwi brand professional cutting tool functions as a mini handheld French mandolin.  You run it down the side of your fruit or vegetable and it makes very thin juliennes… it’s ridiculous easy and I am not grating all of my vegetables into tiny pieces.  I hope it stops soon.  We do have teeth for a reason, but I just can’t get enough of this texture!

Anyways, for those who have carrot allergies, and cannot have that delightful salad normally served with dim sum of carrots and green papaya grated, try getting an under-ripe mango, peeling it, and then turning it into thin batons.  Toss it with some sesame oil, a splash of lemon juice, pinch salt, and sesame seeds for something fun.

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Somewhere Between Congee and Dreaming

millet with honey cinnamon milkCongee is a Chinese specialty that is basically rice in water.  Oatmeal is a heart-warming invention that comes from wheat.  Both are wonderful for cold days.  While one may be Bubble Child friendly, for some reason I think we can do better than rice in water.  Oatmeal should technically be gluten-free, as the oats themselves do not contain gluten, but through cross-contamination and over-processing, they’re not safe for those with Celiac or strong gluten intolerances.

congee<–meeehhhhh

Which is why millet is so great.  My morning inspiration was to use leftover millet I had from lunch yesterday (naturally gluten-free with a sweet taste much like corn), and heat up some lactose-free milk with honey, vanilla, and cinnamon.  It was a warm morning.

millet breakfastINSPIRATION: Millet with Honey Cinnamon Milk

Ingredients: 1. Millet: 2 cups water, 1 cup uncooked millet, a hearty pinch sea salt.  2. Honey Cinnamon Milk: 3 cups lactose-free milk of choice, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (or whole, remove after heating), 1 tsp. pure vanilla, 1 heaping tablespoon vanilla, pinch sea salt

Method: Much like rice, bring 2 cups water and salt to a boil, add millet, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Simmer (covered) for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.  Set aside to cool and hold a bit.  Heat milk over medium heat with seasonings.  Once just boiled, add millet, stir once, reduce heat to low, let simmer 1-2 minutes to infuse flavors.  Divide into bowls, and receive your morning.

(serves 3-4)

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