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Monday, 2 September 2013

The weekend...

My dear husband really is changing his ideas about food, what we eat, where it comes from, and how we prepare it.
As our youngest child will be leaving home for good in October, these days I am working on a good routine of plan and preparation for the meals both he and I enjoy, without considering her too much. She's still a KFC and Macca's girl, you see. One day I think she'll have a change of heart, but until then I just fill her memory banks with all I learn about healthy foods, so she can access it when she wants to.

Friday night I soaked oats, pecans, almonds, yoghurt, milk, water and a little honey for Saturday morning's breakfast, which my hubby agreed to try. We still have a glut of strawberries so they tend to end up in almost everything!

It was yummy, and very light on the tummy, so we'll do this again. He did say that it would take him a little getting used to as he normally has boxed cereal with yoghurt.

Surprise, surprise!
The raw buckwheat I had soaked the afternoon before, drained, and left sitting on the bench to sprout did so in just 18 hours! I know this happens faster in the tropics, but this was super fast! I bought really good organic buckwheat kernels at Sprout on Friday and I think that is why they sprouted so fast - no chemical sprays to inhibit the sprouting?

 Anyhow, the superfast sprout meant I had to bring forward my granola making morning by 24 hours.
I made up my mix this time with soaked almonds and sunflower kernels, freshly ground flaxseeds (linseeds), cinnamon, olive oil, coconut oil, raisins, cranberries, and organic honey. I've never made it with honey before - always using maple syrup previously - but as I truly am trying to use what is on hand, honey was the obvious replacement.
I filled three trays in the dehydrator...

The dried fruit soaking in tea overnight was ready to be mixed into an Irish Tea Cake....

I like this recipe because it uses no fats, and though we do eat healthy fats in various forms (olive oil, organic butter, nuts and seeds, avocado..) every day, I do like to balance that with treats that have none.
I also added only 1/2 the recommended brown sugar as I find dried fruit sweet enough. Next time I may omit sugar completely, but for the next few weeks just cutting right back on our sugar consumption is a good way to begin breaking our way out of the 'sweet tooth' addiction we've both shared in the past...

I had also soaked short grain rice on Friday, in preparation for my Nana's 'Baked Rice Pudding'.
I know Nana never soaked her rice, but I really do find it's nice to eat and better on the digestive system.
Nana had enamel pans for her puddings, and I cherish the ones I have purchased at garage sales and charity shops over the years. This pudding screamed to be baked in one...
It baked in a water bath, and I used a large ceramic dish to hold the water. A generous grating of nutmeg, and in to the oven...
Nana would be proud.

After all that work it was time to use up more of those strawberries, so I made a soy/strawberry/cacao smoothie, to enjoy whilst browsing through a new recipe book...

By lunchtime it occurred to me that we'd been eating a lot of grains this week so I threw together good old fashioned bacon, eggs, tomato and mushrooms for a protein lunch. But we still opted for a slice of sour dough toast to soak up the yummy, runny egg yolk...

Dinner plans were put on hold when the lovely couple who bought my station wagon a couple of months ago invited us over for a meal! What a blessing. 
Before we went out I still made sure I had my nightly prep done for Sunday's meals. As Sunday was Fathers Day here in Australia I decided to soak some spelt flour in buttermilk and yoghurt overnight for scrumptious blueberry and orange muffins at breakfast...

I write myself a 'to-do' list each night now, and leave it on the fridge, so I can be sure to stay on track the next day. 
I also have a list with meal ideas for the days ahead, that makes use of what we already have on hand so that nothing spoils and I don't waste those precious $$'s. I wish I'd thought to do this years ago.

Sunday was the first day of Spring here in Australia, and Fathers Day as well!
My spelt flour had soaked overnight and was ready to have other ingredients added before baking...
I popped some fresh blueberries on top before they went in the oven, and my oh my, these were yummy when baked!
My husband was rather chuffed with his Father's Day brekky!
There was still some mix leftover, so I baked another four muffins, but this time with strawberries...

 Planning ahead, I've frozen half of the blueberry muffins for quick breakfasts on busy days.
Just out of curiosity I counted how many blueberries were in the punnet, and there were 86. I was impressed.

After breakfast my granola had finished dehydrating and was cool so I stored it away...

...and the new rye sour dough starter I began on Friday had tripled in size and was bubbling like crazy so I popped it in the fridge to be used in Monday's bread baking. One brilliant side effect of tropical living is that things ferment very quickly...

Lunch was simply grilled tomato and cheese on sour dough, served with some Tea Cake from Saturday's baking.

After lunch I made a marinade of lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, and honey, and used some to marinate chicken pieces for dinner...the rest to be used in baking the chicken with potatoes in the early evening.

Dinner was wonderful but I forgot to take photos...it's something I'll be making again (and again) so I'll share the finished pics then.
The day ended with more Baked Rice Pudding, and fresh orange jelly.

Wow, when I look back over this post I think, "what an amazing weekend in the kitchen!"

What did you make that was yummy?
hugs
Jenny



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