Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SaKula Yoga Recipes

Lentils with Black Sesame Encrusted Tuna
(couldn't help diving into both!)
Several weeks ago, I met the owner of the SaKula Yoga Studio, Bonnie Kistler Beresford, when talking about supporting the Fuccile Foundation.  We had a great discussion and started to talk cooking - its an affliction!  Bonnie told me about a recipe book they had printed which included 'delectable recipes, inspirational quips, quotes and sayings.'  In flipping though it, I was instantly interested in many of the healthy and flavorful recipes - they are hard to find - and decided right there to make several of them for the family.

The kale looks great - but then it might
have something to do with being served
in one of Amy's stained glass bowls
The first recipes I used were for some side dishes.  Amy and I love Kale, although the kids are lukewarm about it, so I decided to do a Braised Kale which was based on a Braised Spinach recipe in the book.  Also, we are working on healthier side dishes since fried or mashed potatoes are too oily/buttery and rice gets overused, so I decided to tackle the Lentil Salad - altered to serve it warm rather than chilled.

The reaction?  The lentils were devoured!  The son took three helpings and the daughter two.  They loved it and talked about how much they enjoyed the taste and texture (I usually overcook lentils, but the recipe had a foolproof way of not doing so!)  The kale on the other hand got another lukewarm response (1/2 serving eaten by the son, but avoided by the salad-eating daughter.)  I think I'm ready to just stick to spinach.

Lentil Salad:
1 lb. dried lentils
3 bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic (half a head)
1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil (perfect amount.  balanced texture, not oily)
2 tsp mustard (Dijon is great.  I used a spicy brown)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Scallions - chopped

1) Wash lentils and remove stones.  Place lentils, bay leaves, whole cloves of garlic and salt into a large pot and add enough water to be 3 inches over lentil level.  Heat to boil and boil for 2 minutes.  Turn of burner, cover and let sit for 20-35 minutes (sample every five minutes until lentils are firm, but creamy when chewed.) Drain when done.

2) Mix the dressing ingredients well in a large bowl.  Pour drained lentils into bowl and fold dressing into lentils.  Let stand 2-3 minutes and serve.  I like lentils warm, but feel free to put them into the refrigerator for a chilled version.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gingerbread Waffles

I will admit my personal tastes are unusual and eclectic - but they're mine!  I love black jelly beans and Sambuca which both have heavy anise flavoring, but am not a fan of black licorice - a close cousin.  I love molasses cookies far more than sugar cookies because of the earthier, unrefined flavor.  I'm not a fan of polished, processed foods.  I'd prefer a plate of red beans cooked on the stove all day with hunks of garlic and hot chiles, to canned beans with spices or home made sour cranberry sauce over the sweet, can-shaped stuff.

With that in mind, I recently made some Gingerbread Waffles.  They were very delicious and topped with real, maple syrup, too.  Even though they were great, I would probably make some Scott alterations.

Ingredients (for about 10 12" waffles):
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar (Scott alteration: remove and add 1/4 cup molasses and 1/4 cup more flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
less than 1/4 cup molasses

1) Mix dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until fully incorporated
3) Add the wet to the dry ingredients while whisking together
4) Heat waffle iron and cook accordingly
5) For an extra kick of molasses...mix 1/4 cup molasses with 1/2 cup maple syrup in a medium sauce pan and heat slowly until warm; stirring well.