Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sweet Potato Bread

I just remembered that on my last trip to the farmer's market I spied with my little eye some sweet potatoes. Since you can still find them I thought I might share my recipe for Sweet Potato Bread even though it's not exactly a quick process it is something that is good to do while studying...yummm.

Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber. Delicious orangey tubers give rise to yummy bread.

1 cup warm water (about 115 degrees F)
1 package active dry yeast (7g)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 medium sized yam or sweet potato, baked, peeled, and mashed (3/4-1 cup equivalent)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cup all purpose flour plus more for kneading
A little oil for greasing pans

Measure the water into a glass, measuring cup and add the yeast. Stir until the yeast has dissolved. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in salt, honey, and butter.
Add the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all purpose flour, stir with a spoon until incorporated. Add the sweet potato and stir again.
Add the remaining ½ cup of flour and mix with your hands to form a soft ball of dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough becomes elastic and less sticky, about 5 minutes. More flour should be added as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.
Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise. Allow the dough to rise to double (1-1 ½ hours).
Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead again until smooth and shape into an elongated oval. Place the dough into an oiled bread pan, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise. The dough should double in size once again.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425F. Once the dough has doubled put the pan into the oven and bake for 25-45 minutes (this will depend greatly on your oven) or until browned. Cool and slice, serve with butter and jam or peanut butter.

Preparation Time: 4 hours
Makes 1 large loaf

Copyright 2010, E. Lagerquist, Original recipe

Veggies and Kids

Family business took me away from Seattle this past weekend and kept me from getting to a farmer's market, even though it's a little early in this blog's life to deviate from my plan I am going to write this week about and experience I had volunteering.

I am currently volunteering helping to teach a kids cooking and nutrition class. The kids are great and range in age from 4 to 12 years old. They definitely, as a whole, haven't had a lot of exposure to the kinds of foods I hold dear but it is fun to help introduce them to a wider range of foods.

This week's topic was vegetables and we made pizza for a snack. The first task was pizza prep and the kids all helped roll out the dough and grate carrot and beets to put into the sauce. The best part of the experience was watching as these kids put handful upon handful of grated carrot and beet into the pizza sauce. Later, when we were all sitting around eating pizza and discussing the day some of the kids, who arrived after the pizza had been made, were shocked to find out there were more than just tomatoes in the sauce, one girl even tried to tell me she could taste the additions. I gave her a look and said, "you can't taste them", and she admitted that, no, she couldn't and the pizza was good.

During our veggie taste test another kid amazed me with her willingness to taste and her positive reaction to every vegetable offered. We gave them carrots, red peppers, jicama, fennel, and raw beets. She even asked if she could take some extra beets home and proceeded to eat on like an apple while she was walking out the door. I love adventurous eaters!

Working with kids can be an overwhelming and exhausting experience but every now and again they do something that makes you believe in the work you are doing. It was a good week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

This past Sunday was the perfect day for a trip to the farmer's market. It was warm and sunny so by the time we made it there the street was packed with pooches and strollers. I like to begin my forays with an initial loop to check out the selection and prices. Then I go in for the kill.

I was glad I chose to go to the Ballard Farmer's market since my friend went to the one in the University District and stood in line at 9am for asparagus, 9am!! And by the time she bought hers they were almost out! I however, managed to get a bunch without incident, or long line, at 11:30 from Ayala Farms. We then wandered over to one of my favorite's, Nash's for the rest of our produce (green garlic, red cabbage, red russian kale, and chioggia beets), and Tall Grass Bakery for some fresh bread.

Thinking of the nice pastured eggs I already had in my refrigerator I decided to make a cabbage hash with asparagus, soft boiled egg and toast on the side.

Asparagus, Cabbage Hash
I made this up on the spur of the moment, inspired by all the fresh spring veggies we found at the market. You can choose different spices depending on your personal taste. Serve with a soft boiled egg and toast.

2 tablespoon olive oil
3 stems green garlic (chopped into fine rounds)
1 pinch chili powder
1 dash of paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage (or 1/2 of a baseball sized cabbage chopped)
1/2 bunch asparagus - washed and trimmed
1/4 cup Water

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over med heat until hot, add green garlic. Saute, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until the rounds of green garlic soften.
Add spices and mix to combine.
Add cabbage and allow to sweat, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes until cabbage is coated in oil and begins to soften.
Add asparagus and 1/4 water.
Cover and let steep for 2-3 minutes. The asparagus should be bright green and tender.

Makes 3 servings

Soft Boiled Eggs (Eliza style)

When I cook eggs for eating plain I like to use local, pastured eggs, it makes me feel good knowing I'm getting a little extra omega-3 fat in my diet.

3 eggs
Water to cover

Place eggs (medium to large, not extra large) into a pot with water to cover by a couple of inches. While covered, bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and set a timer for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, drain the hot water and wash the eggs with cool water and drain. The eggs can sit until you are ready to serve them.
Peel the eggs and cut into sections. The yolk should be firm but still translucent.

Makes 3 eggs.

Here is a photo of the final feast which even my husband enjoyed once he figured out that soft boiled eggs aren't at all like hard boiled eggs. Local tastes so good.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hello World!

Welcome to the Sleep-deprived blog, kitchen edition.

In honor of the beginning of spring and the return of delicious veggies to my local farmer's market I am going to use this blog to showcase fast meals that can be made from the local, seasonal foods we, in Seattle, can find in our local farmer's markets.

I also plan to incorporate what I am learning in my master's of nutrition program to bring fun facts about the nutritional value of the foods that are available.

I hope you can all join me for the ride starting next Sunday.