Monthly Archives: February 2015

Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat Bread-Copycat

There is an art to bread making. There are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way that I want to share with you today so that you don’t make the same, frustrating mistakes I made, ending up with a product that looks very disappointing and to which your kids say things like, “What happened to that?” or, “Is that bread?” Uh, yeah. Not the kind of response I’m looking for after having spent two hours in the kitchen working on it. This bread is different than most whole wheat recipes out there because, like the Great Harvest Bread, there are only 5 ingredients. 5. That’s it! Do you know how rare that is to find? I don’t think I’ve ever found it in a store bought bread; most have added sugars and high fructose corn syrups along with a bunch of preservatives. Several of my kids eat 2-3 slices of bread each day(toast at breakfast, sandwich for lunch) and so I don’t want all that extra added stuff in there when I know it’s not good for them.  I actually gave Great Harvest a call just to be sure that what I’d heard about their five ingredient bread was true, and they reassured me that yes, there are only 5 ingredients, to which I asked, “And there’s really no oil or butter and you really don’t add vital wheat gluten or dough enhancer?” Nope, they really don’t use any of that, just wheat flour, water, salt, honey and yeast. 2015-02-19 15.51.58 For this bread recipe, you’ll need one, 8×4 inch loaf pan. It’s not the large 9×5 loaf pan that is more standard, and it’s not the mini one, it’s the one right in between. This is the size Great Harvest uses for their bread. If you use the larger 9×5, you won’t have enough dough for it to rise above the pan. This recipe is just enough for the 8×4. I don’t ever measure the flour first, because the amount of flour changes depending on how dry or humid the climate is that day. First I measure and warm my water, either in the microwave or over the stove, and I use my candy thermometer to make sure it’s around 110-120 degrees F. I put this water in my Bosch with my dough hook attached (you can use another mixer like kitchenaid, or you can make your bread in a large mixing bowl and knead it by hand; that’s what I did until I got my Bosch a few years ago). Next, I add to my water one cup of wheat flour, my yeast and honey, and mix it just to combine. Cover it and let it stand for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Mostly I want to be sure my yeast is still good, because if it’s not, you’re bread won’t rise and you’ll end up wasting 2 hours of your time and I hate wasting time. Once the yeast is proofed, add in your salt and another cup of wheat flour and mix. Keep adding more flour, 1/2 c up at a time, until the dough starts to cling to itself more than to the bowl. It’ll form into a loose ball and begin to clean the inside of the bowl. Once it does this, you’ve added enough flour. It should still be slightly sticky to the touch. Allow your dough to knead in the bosch for about 5 more minutes. Also, I should add that I’m at a higher altitude, living in Colorado, so the amount of flour you add might be a little less than mine. But the same rules apply which is to keep adding flour until it starts to clean the bowl, that it will be sticking to itself more than to the bowl, but the dough will still be slightly sticky to the touch. This video shows the consistency of the bread dough once you’ve added enough flour. Keep in mind that I was making enough dough for four loaves when I made the video.

Take your dough hook out, cover your bowl and allow it to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. (If you’re quadrupling the recipe, to make four loaves, you’ll need to take the dough out and let it rise in a larger mixing bowl; and it’s always good to grease it first) 2015-02-19 12.00.10   If you’ve ever made bread before, you might have made it like me where I would just allow it to rise once, in a warmed oven, and it was good to go. Well, you can’t do that when there are only 5 ingredients with no vital wheat gluten or dough enhancer to ‘help’ that rise. If you do, you’ll end up with a very large and long hole in the top of your bread that separates the crust from the bread. Kind of like this: 2015-02-09 16.11.09

You’ve got to do it the old fashioned way and allow the dough to rise until doubled,

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grease your hands and punch it down(I just lather my hands with coconut oil), form it into a loaf,  put it in a greased loaf pan,

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Here is a video I made which demonstrates how to form bread loaves.

cover it with a small towel,

2015-02-19 13.05.51 and then let it rise again until it rises above the top of the 8×4 inch pan. While it’s rising, preheat your oven to 340 degrees F.

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 At this point you’ll stick the loaf into your preheated oven, and bake it for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and it’s not doughy.

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 Take it out of the oven but leave it in the pan for about 5 minutes.

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 Use a knife around the edge, and then turn it onto a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting.

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 This bread will store in the pantry for about 5 days. You can also freeze loaves, but when I do, I always double bag them (usually I put the bread in the loaf bag, inside of another grocery bag.

2015-02-19 16.19.02 THE RECIPE:

Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat Bread Copycat
*makes 1 8×4-inch loaf

1 1/4 C warm water (110-120 degrees F)
1 c whole white wheat flour
1 Tbsp yeast
1/4 c honey
1 tsp sea salt
2-4 c whole white wheat flour (could be up to a cup less if using store-bought flour, so watch)
Combine warm water, one cup of wheat flour, yeast and honey, and mix it just to combine. Cover it and let it stand for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Once it’s proofed, add in your salt and another cup of wheat flour and mix. Keep adding more flour, 1/2 c up at a time, until the dough starts to cling to itself more than to the bowl. It’ll form into a loose ball and begin to clean the inside of the bowl. Once it does this, you’ve added enough flour. It should still be slightly stick to the touch. Allow it to knead in the bosch for another 5 minutes.Grease your hands with coconut oil and take your dough hook out, cover your bowl and allow it to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes(If you are quadrupling the recipe, you’ll want to take the dough out and put it in a larger, greased bowl to rise). With greased hands, punch down the dough, form it into a loaf,  put it in a greased loaf pan, cover it with a small towel and then let it rise again until it rises above the top of the 8×4 inch pan. While it’s rising, preheat your oven to 340 degrees F. Stick the loaf into your preheated oven, and bake it for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and it’s not doughy. Take it out of the oven but leave it in the pan for 5 minutes. Use a knife around the edge, and then turn it onto a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting.

*To make their Dakota Bread, knead into the dough 2 Tbsp each of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

2015-02-23 12.09.36 *You can easily quadruple this recipe by quadrupling water, salt, yeast and honey and then adding enough flour until the dough starts cleaning the side of the bowl but it’s still slightly sticky to the touch(it’ll be close to the quadrupled amount but probably not exactly). Be sure to put your dough in a larger, greased bowl for the first rise; if you leave it in the bosch it will overflow. In my four loaves pictured below, when I was forming them into loaves, I added seeds to just one of the loaves, kneaded them in for a minute or two,  and then baked them. I keep one loaf out and freeze the rest for another day/week. 2015-02-23 12.43.04 2015-02-23 13.19.57

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One Pan Pasta

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An old friend and roommate of mine was visiting from California last summer when she told me about the wonder of One Pan Pasta. I looked it up and found a recipe by Martha Stewart that we tried out. We loved it! I made a couple small changes or substitutions, but it’s mostly the same.

I love that this recipe is fast and simple, that there is very little mess involved, and that it’s healthy and nutritious.  As the recipe title suggests, you only need one pan and the only prep work you need to do is cutting and chopping the onion and tomatoes, and I always have chopped onions on hand in the fridge, for this type meal, which makes it even quicker. You will put all your ingredients into your pan, minus your basil and Parmesan which you will add on top of the pasta when you serve it in individual bowls. Bring it to a boil over high heat(add your optional cooked chicken here. I keep frozen cooked chicken cubes in a freezer ziploc so I can just pull out the frozen chicken and dump it in the boiling water and it’ll be ready when the pasta’s ready), turn it down to medium heat and cook until the pasta is done, about 9 minutes. And that’s it!
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THE RECIPE:

One Pan Pasta lightly adapted from Martha Stewart
serves 6

12 oz whole wheat uncooked spaghetti (can use fettucini, linguine, or anything similar)
1 c or about 8 oz grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil (I substituted this and minced garlic with my garlic olive oil)
2 cloves minced garlic (I use the already minced garlic jar from Costco)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 1/2 c water
2 sprigs basil or 1/2 tsp dried basil
freshly grated parmesan for serving
optional: cooked chicken cubes or strips

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, red pepper flakes, basil, garlic, oil, salt, pepper and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add optional cooked chicken. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes. Divide among 4 bowl and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

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Festive Whole Foods for Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day which is this Saturday, here is a recipe roundup of some of our favorite fun, festive, foods we like to eat to celebrate the holiday.

Breakfast Ideas:

Granola with yogurt and some blueberries and strawberries would be delicious, filling and beautiful! Fruit smoothies are considered a treat at our house because usually I make green smoothies :). I don’t mind having a fruit smoothie for breakfast every once in a while, and I think it’s a fun and pretty way to start out Valentine’s Day. We love this Heart Smoothie.

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Berry Banana Smoothie is another great smoothie for Valentine’s Day.

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls cooked in a red foil heart pan (pan not pictured below because I forgot to take a pic when we did this on Valentine’s.)

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These are always a BIG hit.

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Whole wheat pancakes or waffles topped with fresh strawberries or with a strawberry and banana cream cheese sauce.

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Lunch Ideas:

I don’t have any pictures of this one but you could make heart shaped sandwiches using a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, served with a side of fresh strawberries. I love this bread recipe.

Dinner Ideas: 

We really only do pizza for dinner on Valentine’s. It’s tradition and it’s a family favorite. But on Valentine’s we shape our dough into a heart which makes it a little more festive. Here is the Best whole wheat pizza dough recipe ever!

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You can serve it with some of the red(pomegranate) Izze drinks, which are basically sparkling juice. IMG_8207

Dessert Ideas:

There are lots of great Valentine desserts out there, but we try and keep it somewhat wholesome since we know the kids will most likely be getting a bunch of sugary treats at school (we let them pick out a couple of favorites from the valentine’s they bring home and everything else goes in the trash). We love these Peanut Butter Cups . They take a little time to set up in the fridge so make sure you plan ahead.

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Another idea is to make heart-shaped Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies. There are not very many cookie recipes out there that taste great with all whole wheat flour, but these are the exception. These whole wheat, honey and maple syrup sweetened cookies are amazing!

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My ten-year-old daughter who is in fifth grade, asked if she could make some of these and bring them to her four closest girlfriends for their valentine. I thought it was a brilliant idea and was happy to help. We turned them into giant, heart-shaped cookies…three cookie scoops of dough in each cookie.

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We cut out some cardboard squares and covered them in foil so that our giant heart shaped peanut butter cookies wouldn’t break when she transported them to school.

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Our weekdays are crazy busy and I knew I wouldn’t have much time to whip them out the day before their school Valentine’s celebrations on Thursday, so we made them the week before, sealed them in quart ziploc bags, and froze them. She will take them out of the freezer Thursday morning and they should be thawed and ready to eat within an hour.

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We’ll also be making some chocolate covered strawberries on lollipop sticks this week to bring into my daughter’s first grade class…she’s turning 7 soon and wants to bring these in for her birthday treat to share, which will also be on the Thursday when they celebrate Valentine’s so we thought we’d bring something festive. Happy Love Day!!!

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Heart Smoothie

This fruit smoothie would be perfect for Valentine’s Day breakfast, or with dinner, or as a dessert. It’s pretty and purpley-pinkish (made up word) and there are no added, refined sugars which is always a plus in my book! Smoothies are quick and easy which I love and they’re always a kid-favorite. This recipe calls for frozen mixed berries and frozen strawberries, but you can make this smoothie with just one type and it’ll still taste great. And actually, if you want it more pink colored and less purpley, you can substitute more strawberries for the mixed berries.

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THE RECIPE:

Heart Smoothie

1 c unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 small ripe banana
1 1/4 c frozen mixed berries
3-4 frozen whole strawberries
2 Tbsp agave or pure maple syrup
optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla

Add ingredients to blender, in order, and blend until smooth. Add more milk if too thick. Add more ice/frozen fruit if too thin. Can garnish with fresh strawberry. Serve immediately or refrigerate in glass jar with lid and shake well before serving.

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Chicken Tikka Masala (vegetarian option)

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I shared a Massaman curry dish on here a few months back, and this is another Indian or Thai-type dish that we love and make regularly. We serve this with the same Indian Rice and Naan that I posted with that other recipe as well.

When we go out to Indian restaurants, I usually order the Paneer(cheese) Tikka Masala. It’s basically cubes of paneer, this white soft cheese, in a red, cream sauce. I love it! Scott likes to order the Chicken Tikka Masala and the Butter Chicken. They are similar, though the butter chicken usually has more veggies and sometimes cashews and raisins. I would sometimes reach over with my fork and grab some of his veggies and nuts and add them to my masala, and that’s how this dish came about. It’s a combination of our favorite Indian dishes :).

In a large stir fry pan over medium heat add your coconut oil.  Add cubed chicken and raw chopped veggies.

You can use a variety of veggies. I like you to all different colors so I have some yellow and red bell peppers, white and red onion, orange carrots, and many times I’ll have cubed sweet potato. The golden raisins and cashews we’ll set aside and add once the sauce is ready.

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Stir and cook chicken until it’s no longer pink, adding a little water at a time as needed so the veggies and chicken do not scorch. If you’re not cooking with chicken, then just cook the veggies until they’ve softened up a little, for about 5 minutes.

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Add coconut milk  and/or cream(I’ve used one and both and a mixture of the two and love them all…usually I do 1 can coconut milk and the rest cream), tikka paste or other curry paste if you can’t find Tikka at your grocery store, and bring to a boil.

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When my local grocery store is out of Tikka paste, I’ll often substitute in one of these, or a combination of the two. And I’ve even had a little bit of Tikka left in my fridge so I combined that with the others and it all tastes great, my kids can’t even notice a difference.

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Here is our boiling sauce.Turn the heat down to low, add nuts and raisins, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little. Taste, then add red pepper flakes, stir and taste again to see if it’s as hot or mild as you’d like. If too spicy, add more milk/cream, if not spicy enough, add more red pepper flakes, about 1/8 tsp at a time. The veggies will continue to soften as the sauce simmers.

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Serve over Indian Rice and with Naan Bread.

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THE RECIPE:

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

1 Tbsp coconut oil
optional: 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, uncooked, cubed
1 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 med-large white or yellow onion, sliced
optional: 1 c sweet potato, cubed
1/4-1/2 c water
2 cans coconut milk (or 1 can and 1 1/2 c heavy cream)
4 Tbsp Tikka paste
1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 c whole cashews
optional: 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (can do a little more or less or not at all, depending on how you like it. We like a ‘medium spice’ and that’s what this 1/4 tsp gives you.

In a large stir fry pan over medium heat add coconut oil.  Add cubed chicken and raw chopped veggies. Stir and cook chicken until no longer pink, adding a little water at a time as needed so the veggies and chicken do not scorch. Add coconut milk  and/or cream, tikka paste or other curry paste, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, add nuts and raisins, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little. Taste, then add red pepper flakes, stir and taste again to see if it’s as hot or mild as you’d like. If too spicy, add more milk/cream, if not spicy enough, add more red pepper flakes, about 1/8 tsp at a time. Serve over Indian Rice and with Naan Bread.

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