Avocado Pancakes

The name sounds a little weird, right?  Avocado in a pancake?  I know what you’re thinking.  I was skeptical too, but I had to use up some overripe avocados, and throwing them into a batch of pancakes sounded perfect.  I adjusted the recipe that I found on the California Avocado website.  The batter definitely has a greenish tinge to it, but that mostly goes away when you cook them, and they really don’t taste like avocados.  The original recipe calls for mixing everything in a blender, which I actually have in my new apartment, but I wanted to make these low-tech.  As long as your avocados are super-ripe, you’ll be absolutely fine without a blender.

Avocado Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk {I used 2%}
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

  1. Melt your butter.  30 seconds in the microwave on high will definitely do it.  Just watch it so it doesn’t explode.
  2. Mix together the milk, eggs, and butter in a large bowl.
  3. Mash avocado in a separate, small bowl.
  4. Add the avocado into the milk, eggs, and butter, making sure you get the lumps out.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated, but don’t over-mix.
  6. Cook on a griddle or a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. {1/3 cup is a good size scoop.}
  7. When heated through and bubbles appear, flip pancakes over and cook the other side.
  8. Serve warm, with all of your favorite pancake toppings.
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Mix the eggs, butter, and milk.

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Mash the avocado in a separate bowl.

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Add the avocado to the milk, butter, egg mixture.

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Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

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Combine.

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Drop in 1/3 cup scoops onto a medium hot griddle/frying pan.

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Flip when bubbles appear.

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A nice stack of avocado pancakes.

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Enjoy with your favorite toppings. I used my trusty “Vertmont” maple syrup.

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And they make good leftovers!

Have you ever tried avocado pancakes?  What’s your favorite non-traditional pancake recipe, or way to cook with avocados?

Nutrition info: I just did a rough calorie count, but my batter made 11 pancakes, at about 120 calories each.

Rosemary Infused White Rice

Hi you guys!  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted an actual recipe.  Rest assured, I have been cooking, it’s just usually meals I’ve already shared.  Last night I needed something to go with my salmon, and my rosemary plant is doing so well I thought I’d snip off some to add to my rice.  This recipe is super easy and makes a great side dish, so I thought it would be a good one to share!  I used white rice, actually paella rice, since I’m trying to use up what’s in my kitchen, but you could easily swap in whatever rice you prefer.  I like to make all rice like risotto, but I’m not super-fussy about it.  I just think it cooks faster if you don’t add all the liquid at once.  I intended to make this rice like paella, and not stir it at all, but after a while it was obvious that my  stove has some serious hot spots – some of the rice was still raw and some was halfway cooked, so I gave in and stirred it a bit.  Still really easy and delicious.  The broth adds flavor that water really can’t, without adding fat and calories like extra butter does.

Rosemary Infused White Rice:

  • 1 large sprig rosemary, about 5-6 inches
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups good quality low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil and the butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the rice and let cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the rosemary.
  4. When rice has heated, add enough broth to cover the rice.
  5. When liquid has almost all evaporated, stir and add more liquid to cover.
  6. Repeat, simmering on medium, until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  7. If you run out of liquid, you can use water.  If you have liquid left over, that’s okay too.
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Pre-liquid. I like my rice to get a little toasty first.

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Just enough to cover.

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Almost done. You can see how the rice is puffing up as it cooks.

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All done. Transferred to another dish for serving.

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As I enjoyed it, on a bed of arugula topped with my market-fresh salmon. Sidenote: Is this not the skinniest piece of salmon you’ve seen? The filet was so broad that they only had to cut a little bit, but it was tricky to cook without falling over.

I ate all the rice last night, and it was so good!  What’s your favorite way to eat rice?

Poppyseed Matzoh

Happy Saturday!!  Here on Mallorca, Spring seems to have arrived.  It’s warmer out, the tourists have exploded everywhere, and tonight we set the clocks ahead an hour, losing time and sleep.  I even saw my first Spanish Holy Week procession last night.  Pictures will certainly follow in another post, and  you can judge for yourself if the participants bring anything else to your mind.  In the meantime, I’m waiting for the gas man, again.  I don’t think he’s coming at this point, and I would like to go for a run.  Regardless, yesterday I found myself in a different dilemma.  I have a whole big batch of homemade roasted garlic hummus, and I had nothing suitable to put it on, which is where the matzoh comes in.

I love matzoh.  It’s my favorite.  One time, after Passover, I got five pounds on sale at Wegman’s for a dollar.  $1.00.  It’s possibly my favorite matzoh story, but, as much as I recounted it, wasn’t providing me with any matzoh here in Spain.  Seriously, does no one eat it here?  Where is it??  I’ve been craving matzoh pb&j {peanut butter and jelly}, and had to take matters into my own hands.  Like the bagels that I made, I don’t know that I would say it’s a perfect match for store-bought matzoh, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It did remind me more of the matzoh that you could buy at Fairmount or St. Viateur’s Bagels in Montreal, especially once I added the poppyseed.  There was definitely more flavor than the boxed stuff.  It was really surprisingly easy to make, and didn’t take any time, since there’s no yeast to rise.

I found a great no-mixer recipe, and I really don’t think I would use a mixer for these, even if I had one available, since you just don’t need one.  I cut the batch in half, because I had no idea what to expect.  I think I would do a half batch again, since there’s a lot of running back and forth to the oven, and I don’t think I have the patience to do that for a full batch.  Maybe if I had a helper.

Poppyseed Matzoh:

{Note 1: This is the modified batch I made.  I already halved it, so you don’t have to halve it again.  Also, you can omit the poppyseeds, but I think they’re a worthwhile addition.}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling {it’s supposed to be Kosher salt, but I didn’t have any.}
  • poppyseed for sprinkling {or sesame seeds, or whatever topping you want}
  • parchment paper, for your cookie sheet

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 500°F {260°C}, with your parchment-lined cookie sheet inside.  {I only have one cookie sheet here, so that’s what I used.  I would start out using one sheet at a time.}
  2. Combine all of your ingredients except the poppyseed, and mix together.  Add more flour or water as needed to get a proper dough.
  3. Divide your dough into three, and roll out each ball, one at a time, on a well-floured surface.  Don’t forget to coat your rolling pin {in my case, a Saran-wrapped bottle of wine}, and your hands so nothing sticks.
  4. Roll each ball as thin as possible.
  5. Take your cookie sheet out of the oven, and transfer your rolled out sheet of matzoh to your parchment-covered cookie sheet.  I found two hands, supporting it like a half-rolled out pizza, did the trick.
  6. Poke holes all over the matzoh with a fork, sprinkle with sea salt, water, and poppyseed if you’re using it.  Use the back of the fork to gently press the poppyseeds into the matzoh.
  7. Bake for about 3 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
  8. Flip over and bake for another 3 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly on that side.
  9. Roll out your other balls, and repeat until you’ve made matzoh out of all of the dough.  The cooking time might increase slightly with each batch… your cookie sheet gets cooled down every time you take it out and put fresh dough on it.
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All purpose and whole wheat flours.

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Oil, salt, and water.

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This is what my dough looked like.

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Roll it out very thinly.

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Poke holes with a fork.

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All done. I made the first sheet without any poppyseeds.

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Poppyseed matzoh ready to bake. Remember to press the seeds into the dough so they don’t fall off when you flip it over.

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Poppyseed matzoh done.

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Finished product. Three sheets of perfectly golden brown matzoh.

Have you ever made matzoh before?  What’s your favorite way to eat it?  Straight from the oven or box, with hummus, or peanut butter and jelly?

Note: My matzoh isn’t Kosher for Passover, among many reasons because the flour I used to make it wasn’t Kosher, and it took me longer than 18 minutes to make.  I read somewhere that it has to be made in under 18 minutes to be Kosher.  Regardless, it’s yummy.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Lately I’ve been into chickpeas, and hummus.  A few weeks ago I gave in and bought the hummus from my grocery store.  I wasn’t thrilled with the ingredient list, but, there weren’t any options.  And it was decent.  I liked it.  Until the other day, when I got creative and decided to make my own hummus from scratch.  I’ve always known it was a thing, but put it off because I don’t have a food processor.  Last week, I got seriously inspired by a great hummus post I read here, and I thought I should be able to pull it off.  I don’t have a mortar and pestle.  I didn’t make my own tahini from scratch.  I wasn’t that dedicated this time.  But I did manage to pull of homemade hummus from scratch, with no electricity.  {Okay, now I’m keeping it in my fridge, which is very much electric, but the actual making of the hummus was done with no electricity.}

Roasted Garlic Hummus:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked through or, from a can/jar {about 1 – 1 1/2 cups dry before you soak them}
  • 5 tbsp tahini paste
  • 9 tbsp water
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • olive oil, for garlic.
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. If you have dry chickpeas, start here.  If you have canned or jarred, drain them and skip ahead to step three.  Soak your chickpeas overnight.  Make sure whatever you’re soaking them in is big enough for them to double in size and still be submerged.  I made this mistake.
  2. Drain your chickpeas and cook them in fresh water.  I boiled mine for about 40 minutes.  Normally I wouldn’t want them so cooked, but this time I wanted them easier to smush.  If you have water left in your pot, drain it, and transfer your chickpeas to a bowl.  If you let the water boil out like I did, turn off the heat.
  3. Sautee some garlic in a little olive oil.  I did 5 cloves, burnt some, redid some others, and it was still fine.
  4. Start smushing.  I was too lazy to take off the chickpea “husks”, and it turned out okay.  I used a big wooden spoon, and a fork, and it took awhile, but it’s doable.
  5. Add the tahini {less if you have fewer chickpeas}, and the water, a tablespoon or two at a time.  You can always add more water and tahini, but you can’t take it out.
  6. Add the garlic, and the garlic oil and mix in.
  7. Add sea salt if you want.  Remember the flavors will get stronger in the fridge.
  8. When you have the consistency you want, refrigerate it.
  9. The flavors will come together overnight.

It’s seriously yummy, you guys.  I tried the storebought stuff after I made my own, to taste test, and there’s no comparison.  Homemade is way better.  A little chunkier, but better.  And you could make it smoother with a food processor, or by smushing it more and removing the husks, if that bothers you.  Also, I love knowing what’s in the food I’m eating.  Hummus shouldn’t need added sugar and sunflower oil, and mine certainly doesn’t.  I’ve been eating it straight out of the fridge, it’s that good.

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See the note above about using a big enough container to soak your chickpeas.

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Like this one.

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Drain them.

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Cook them.

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Smush them.

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Keep smushing.

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Almost there.

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Tahini time.

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Add your garlic. Try not to burn it, like I did, when you roast it.

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Mix it all together and refrigerate.

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And you’ve got hummus!

Have you ever made hummus before?  Do you have a favorite recipe?  What’s your favorite thing to eat it on?

Pasta and Lentils

Hey you guys.  Hope everyone is having a nice relaxing weekend, and staying nice and warm.  Here’s a recipe to warm you up.  I made it for the first time on Friday, and it’s a keeper.  Pasta and Lentils.  It’s super-simple, and healthy and delicious.  Almost too good to be true!  Almost.  Here it is.

Pasta and Lentils {serves 1-2}

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound tubular pasta  {like penne or rigatoni}
  • 3/4 cup uncooked lentils
  • 28 oz can crushed/chopped/diced tomatoes/tomato puree
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and quartered {stems removed if you’re picky}
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • butter and olive oil for the pan and the pasta
  • salt for the pasta water

Directions:

  • Saute mushrooms in a little butter and oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
  • When mushrooms are fairly browned, add garlic, tomato paste, and lentils.
  • Cook a few minutes, until lentils look a little brown and nutty.
  • Add entire can of tomato {in my case puree} to the pan.
  • Fill up the empty tomato can halfway and add to the cooking lentils.
  • Meanwhile, heat a pot of water for the pasta.  Add salt.  It will make the water boil faster, and flavor the pasta.
  • When the water and the tomato sauce in the lentils cooks down and thickens, your lentils should be done.  You can shut the heat off at this point.
  • Cook your pasta according to package directions for al dente.
  • Drain.  Don’t rinse your pasta.  Try to get the pasta back in the pot before all of the delicious pasta water drains away.  It will help everything come together.
  • Return the pasta to its pot.  Add a tbsp or so of butter and stir.
  • Add the pasta to the lentils.  Stir until combined.  Top with cheese if desired and serve.

*Use a damp paper towel to wipe off your mushrooms instead of submerging them in water.IMG_2777Feb 22, 2015 IMG_2781Feb 22, 2015 IMG_2782Feb 22, 2015 IMG_2789Feb 22, 2015 IMG_2791Feb 22, 2015 IMG_2792Feb 22, 2015