Category Archives: Recipe Roundup Yee Haw

Sourdough Yogurt Pancakes

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A few sourdough enthusiasts have asked how to make pancakes from the starter.  Check these out.  You have to use up a good deal of your starter (a cup and a half) but the flavor of these pancakes is well worth it.  Plus, starters need to be used up and rebuilt to stay healthy. Full instructions on how to create and care for your own starter can be found by clicking here and giving Cookus Interruptus a small donation.  That’s right, we need some dough to stay alive here on the web.  Production and maintenance costs for a site like ours with mucho content mount up and we could use your help. Continue reading

Hope for Picky Eaters

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Apparently I was a picky eater growing up. I had an aversion to fine foods. Little did I know, this was not my fault. I did not arbitrarily shy away from certain foods, and I am happy to report that years later, much of my hated foods list has become part of my favorite foods list.

Hated to Favorite #1: Beets

Come on, who really likes canned beets? So not yummy. And those beets were the only ones I knew. Thankfully, I have discovered freshly roasted beets. Try them. You’ll thank me, and your body will thank you.

Hated to Favorite #2: Sweet Potatoes/Yams

I always associated sweet potatoes and yams with Thanksgiving, which meant they were candied. Turns out sugary potatoes aren’t my style. However, roast these root veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, and I will eat them like candy.

Hated to Favorite #3: Quinoa

I feel like quinoa is the one food everyone has to be in love with in order to declare oneself a healthy eater. I could not jump on the quinoa train, though, and I really tried. Then I discovered quinoa cooked in coconut milk, which gives it a miraculous new flavor and makes for a choice breakfast item.

Hated to Favorite #4: Walnuts

I think I despised walnuts because my baby-sitter made picking black walnuts out of the yard an after-school activity. That woman was a saint on earth, but picking walnuts was not fun. My devotion to walnuts now is as immense as was hers, and I am oh-so-thankful. I top everything with walnuts.

Hated to Favorite #5: Yogurt

Low-calorie flavored yogurt is gross. It is sour and unsatisfying. I gave yogurt a second chance in the form of creamy, organic, plain, whole-milk yogurt. I spiced it with cinnamon and sweetened it with maple syrup and fell in love. Try it- love may be just around the corner for you, too.

So, you see, there is hope for picky eaters. Check out the videos below to see other ways to enjoy some of my now fancied foods. Have some patience and be curious, and your hated foods may become your favorite foods, too.

People who tell me they hate this vegetable reconsider, maybe even fall in love, when they taste pressure-cooked beets. The magic pot renders them tender and silky. The gritty texture and sometimes dirty flavor goes away. Cmon.  Give ‘em a try. We use these in oodles of dishes – massaged kale salad, tossed green salad, rice and quinoa dishes, rolled into chicken breasts. And they make an exceptional snack, appetizer or gift. Let Steve show you how to make a jar today! Hip hip hooray, brightly colored vegetables! Roasting sweet potatoes makes them super sweet. Combining apples and kale is divine. Put them together and what can we say?  Fabulous vegetable dish coming your way.

Perfect Party Appetizers

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Tis the season for potlucks and dinner parties. If you’ve figured out what to wear but are still stressing over what appetizer to bring or serve, worry no more. We’ve got recipes that can double as appetizers, and they are sure to knock your friends’ holiday stockings off.

We’re all about being healthy–during the holidays and always, but we’re also all about being refreshing and original. This year, instead of defaulting to the dreaded vegetable tray in an attempt to be health-minded, go for something much more exciting–like sauerkraut on crackers with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Or one of these creative blended veggie apps (Carrot Puree, anyone? Maybe some Winter Squash and Walnut Spread?).

Check out the videos and descriptions below for some non-boring appetizer inspiration. You’re sure to add a little extra holiday cheer to the party by sharing one of these tasty treats.

Need an easy, unique appetizer? This blend works well as a party dip for crackers and vegetables or as a sandwich spread on whole wheat toast with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise – throw on some pickled red onions or caramelized onions to make it scrumptious. For the recipe, click here. If you enjoy the deep flavor of kalamata olives, you will savor this traditional Provencal dish. It is a popular food in the south of France, where it is generally eaten as an hors d’œuvre, spread on bread. To print the recipe, click here. This delicate fish should be barely seared. The black pepper crust and the fruity sauce elevate the fish dish to rockstar status. Alone or atop a cracker, it’s a delightfully refreshing appetizer to serve to guests. Click here for the recipe.

Recipes Children Like

Feeding kids can be a really fun thing. Even if your kids are picky eaters, experimenting with different foods and recipes is often a rewarding experience. It may mean that dinner ideas come and go, but if nothing else we learn what doesn’t work. After all, kids are honest, and that’s why we love them.

There are days, though, when the adventure that comes with culinary exploration just isn’t appealing. Lack of time and energy prevail over the desire to be the hero who introduces the latest and greatest kid-friendly creation. It is on those days that we rely upon sure-fire dishes to please the whole family–especially the kids.

If you’re thinking that these palate-pleasing, kid-friendly dishes will be either painfully boring or disturbingly unwholesome, think again! We’ve got a slew of tried and true recipes that kids LOVE. And you’ll love everything about them, too. Look below for a few of our foolproof favorites, and click here if you want to learn more about teaching kids to love healthy food.

Who doesn’t like cheddar cheese sauce? Let Jane show you how this simple addition can make blanched vegetables oh-so-yummy. Serve alongside roasted chicken and you’ve got dinner for everyone. To get the recipe, click here. Frosting really makes everything better. And this one is loaded with golden-orange color, sweet earthy flavor, and A and C nutrients. A great way to utilize leftover yams and sweet potatoes. Frost up Pumpkin Pecan Muffins, ginger cookies, carrot cake or raisin bread and you will become very popular. For the recipe, click here. For whatever reason, kids love noodles, and these are no exception. Super easy to make, and you can even do them gluten-free. Add some fried tofu (another kid favorite) to the mix and dinner is ready. Click here for the recipe.

Mother Nature's Magic: Edible Mushrooms

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Ever stop to wonder about just how awesome and efficient Mother Nature is? I sure hope so. But if not, let me give you a real quick reason to: Mother Nature has got our backs, and a perfect example of this is the abundance of Vitamin D rich mushrooms found in nature during dark and dreary days.

The human body can make Vitamin D (super important!), but it has to be exposed to sunlight to do so. As you can imagine, Vitamin D manufacturing is a little bit of a problem when sunny skies and warm weather are scarce. Fortunately for us human folk, mushrooms contain this nutrient and have no problem growing in dark, cool, and damp conditions. How handy! It gets better, too- these guys may help to fight sickness by boosting the immune system, which is also quite convenient during winter weather (AKA cold and flu season). Good lookin’ out, Mother Nature.

Some other fun facts about mushrooms are:

  • Ancient Egyptians considered mushrooms to be a food reserved for royalty only.
  • A mushroom is a fungus–not a vegetable or an herb as is commonly thought.
  • Mushrooms are 80-90% water.
  • One portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.
  • Ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle.

So, what are you waiting for?! Get to cooking with these royal edibles! Look below for some tasty recipes to get you started, and check out this article if you want to learn about how to maximize your Vitamin D intake via fungi.

Farro (aka emmer) is a chewy, satisfying whole grain. Soak it and cook it slowly to maximize flavor and tenderize the texture.  The fresh herbs and mushrooms add amazing aroma. For the recipe, click here. Toasted buckwheat groats (aka kasha) is a superior gluten-free grain that is underutilized. Cynthia shows you how to make it with potatoes, mushrooms and onions added. Yum! Click here for the recipe. This succulent entrée is crazy simple.  The mirin (sweet rice wine) and tamari meld with the chicken to make a dark sweet sauce. The oven does all the magic. To print the recipe, click here.

Thanksgiving Table Greenery

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I recently heard a friend say she was so excited to make rich side dishes and desserts for Thanksgiving that she was thinking of foregoing the turkey completely. Though maybe a little exaggerative, I think this is a common thought of many folks. And don’t get me wrong- I love sides and desserts just as much as the next guy, but there is something wonderful about a balanced table, even on Thanksgiving.

What is a balanced table, you ask? Simply put, it’s one with variety, and the benefits of this variety are numerous: aesthetically pleasing, inviting and satisfying, just to name a few. Oftentimes table diversity is overlooked on Thanksgiving, and commonly the forgotten element is the gorgeous greenery. How sad!

We all know that greens are good for us, so let’s make this year the year they’re not left in the crisper on Thanksgiving. See below for a few of our favorite dark, leafy greens recipes (good for any occasion!). Each is also great for making ahead if you’re looking to save time on the big day.

Wild rice, local seasonal greens, fennel and red cabbage, melded with a clean lemon olive oil dressing make this a northwest favorite. A great way to add color and freshness to any table. To get the recipe, click here. The BEST cooking method for assertive greens like kale and collards. Renders them tender and tasty. For the recipe, click here. By massaging salt into kale, the bitterness disappears and the leaves become tender. Dress it with olive oil and apple cider vinegar after adding fresh apples, currants, nuts and crumbled cheese. A HUGE favorite for any occasion. To print the recipe, click here.

Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Recipes

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Thanksgiving is a time for fellowship, good food, and fun. Or at least it should be. Too many times, though, people spend Thanksgiving feeling stressed, tired, and inadequate- mostly because of food preparation. And it doesn’t have to be that way, I promise!

Tension surrounding Thanksgiving can be significantly reduced by preparing some fare ahead of time. Side dishes like pickled beets, sweet glazed nuts, cranberry apple relish, wild rice, and homemade cinnamon applesauce can all be made in advance. Each is a wonderful item to include on a Thanksgiving menu and can be prepared as early as Monday before Thanksgiving.

Take a look at a few of our favorite make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes. They’re guaranteed to decrease the pressure surrounding the day and ensure you have the happiest of Thanksgivings.

A Thanksgiving classic. These sweetly spiced beets will glamorize the meal and pretty up the dinner plate with their deep red color. For the recipe, click here We use these in oodles of dishes and they are perfect as a Thanksgiving garnish. They also make an exceptional snack, appetizer or gift. Let Steve show you how to make a jar! To print the recipe, click here. This relish is a superb accompaniment to turkey and stuffing. A seasonal fruit dish with the perfect combination of sweet and tart, it will make your plate and your palate happy. To get the recipe, click here.

Cinnamon Rocks and Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonIf you’re like me, the cold and darkness have got you wanting to grab a blanket and cozy up by a fire until Spring. Fortunately, since it is not reasonable to spend all of Fall and Winter like this (too bad!), there are other (and more socially acceptable) ways of finding warmth and comfort.

Often times one of the best alternatives is through food and drink. Typically we think of hot foods like soup when wanting something to take away the chill, but spices can be a great way to heat things up, too. One such invigorating spice is cinnamon. It is a pantry staple with a flavor that is sometimes overlooked, and it’s got some pretty cool traits, too:

  • Cinnamon sticks are the dried bark of an evergreen tree.
  • In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used to preserve dead bodies.
  • Cinnamon can be used to repel ants.
  • Cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage and fights against E. coli.
  • Cinnamon contains manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Many people automatically think of sweets like cinnamon rolls (and we’ve got a rockin’ recipe for that) when thinking of the spice, and while it does have its place in sweet treats, cinnamon can also be the perfect addition to heartier dishes like chili. So, whether you’re looking to ignite your insides with something sweet and spicy or repel pesky ants, cinnamon may be just what you need. Want to find out even MORE about cinnamon? Check out this enlightening post from well-being secrets.

For some cooking-with-cinnamon inspiration, watch the videos below.

You can feel good about eating sweets that are made from whole foods. These beauties are filled with whole dates and raisins to give them natural sweetness and ample fiber. They take a little time – but don’t most good things? To get the recipe, click here. Star anise, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom pods and whole cloves buzzed in a small grinder to release flavor, simmered with fresh ginger and served with honey and milk. This is the real deal. To print recipe, click here. A combination inspired by Southern hemisphere gods, perfect for a northern hemisphere fall or winter supper. Roast and dig in!To get the recipe, click here.

Why Buckwheat Noodles Can Aid Post Vampire Attacks

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Hey! Let’s give it up for this relative of the rhubarb plant. That’s right. Despite the name these triangular-shaped groats have no relationship at all to wheat, but are the dried and split kernels of an herb related to rhubarb.Buckwheat is high in fiber (twelve grams of fiber per cup) and low in calories and fat. It is also rich in lysine, an amino acid not present in most grains. And it’s even gluten free! Buckwheat contains the bioflavonoid rutin which is thought to strengthen blood vessels and inhibit hemorrhage. So be sure you’ve had some soba before a vampire comes down on your neck,The word “soba” actually means Japanese buckwheat noodle so using soba and buckwheat noodle (like soba buckwheat noodle) in the same phrase is redundant. No matter what you call them, they’re tasty and versatile.

Soba noodles are typically made with part wheat flour and part buckwheat flour, but one can purchase 100% soba which means there is no wheat in the noodle, just buckwheat. The 100% guys are definitely heartier and have a coarser texture than the versions made with wheat.

Here are three of our favorite dishes using soba buckwheat noodles. One of our favorite viewer comments ever came from Tomena who wrote, “Yum…LOVE your site. My kids and I always watch your web show (I have 5 under 10). My little girl calls Yaki Soba…Yucky Sofa. Thanks!”

Vegetable Yaki Soba is one of my go-to meals when I can’t think of anything to make. It’s easy. It’s inexpensive. Young and old love this one-dish meal. Maybe Doris would like it too. To print recipe, click here. Buckwheat (soba) noodles, sesame seeds and fresh vegetables are tossed with a strong sesame dressing. To make the meal complete add grilled steak strips or fried tofu. To print recipe, click here. A beautiful composed salad with soba noodles, fried tofu, blanched edamame, fresh cabbage and carrots with a zippy Asian dressing. You’ll want more. To print recipe, click here.

Vegetarian + Gluten-Free Recipes

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In our never-ending attempts to please our Cookus audience, we offer a choice of main entrees this week that are both gluten-free and meatless. All three are staple meal entrees in our home.

Hope they can be favorites in your home too.

Besides learning how to cook three delicious dishes, you’ll find out other stuff about the Cookus family by watching these videos. Answer these three questions in the comment section below and those who give the right answers will automatically enter to win a hardcover copy of The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home: The happy luddite’s guide to domestic self-sufficiency. Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson spread the spirit of antiquated self-sufficiency throughout the household. They offer projects that are decidedly unplugged and a little daring such as how to make acorn crepes, pomegranate molasses, smoked trout and ALSO craft your own soap, broom and a braided rug. There’s not another book like this!

1. What’s the name of the hotel Steve and Cynthia discuss going to?

2. What kind of job does Jane get (for a short period of time…)?

3. Who’s tie does Jane borrow for her work outfit?

Remember, you have to be a Cookus Interruptus subscriber to win (home page upper left) . Contest ends Friday October 12 at 5pm. Winner will be contacted soon after (check your email!).

Those tiny French lentils become majestic when joined by sage, scallion and currants sauteed in butter then drizzled with Queen Balsamic. Click here for printable recipe. My MOST favorite fall stew. At the peak of early fall fresh corn, dried beans and winter squash emerge together. Collect the harvest of these three sisters and prepare this cinnamon and chili kissed warm stew. Click here for recipe. People who think they dislike tempeh change their minds after tasting this flavorful dish. We usually serve it with a whole grain such as Quinoa . Click here for recipe.