Coconut Breakfast Cake with Stewed Berries

I am pretty certain that a few days ago my daughter asked if she could have cake for breakfast and my response was a harsh swift “NO!” followed by a typical “Eating healthy is important” speech.

Two days after that I let her eat some doughnuts for breakfast. Today I made coconut cake for breakfast. When you take a moment and look at the situation a little more closely I think that breakfast and cake can potentially get along just fine. Sweet pastries have been a breakfast staple around the world for a long time…… right?! People regularly eat crepes stuffed with nutella and covered in icing sugar, muffins full of fat and sugar, cinnamon buns, etc for a first meal of the day. While I cannot possibly justify eating sweets every morning (not only for fear of the diabetes, but also because I can’t handle the sugar rush coarsing through my veins right now) I will concede that perhaps it is ok to indulge from time to time.

Subsequently! Here is the recipe for Coconut Cake with Stewed Berries which I just ate three fourths of for breakfast. Note: I am an overeater. I would suggest that four normal people could share this quite happily. Enjoy!

Coconut Breakfast Cake with Stewed Berries

Coconut Cake

Add 3 Tbsp of butter to an 8″ ovenproof nonstick (or seasoned cast iron) pan and place pan in cold oven. Turn oven on to 400*F. Meanwhile prepare the batter.

Combine the following:

3 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Mix well until homogenous. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Add the butter to the batter and stir well to incorporate all of it. Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining butter up the sides of the hot pan. Return the pan to the oven for 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the batter all at once, smoothing the top with a spatula to distribute the batter to the edges of the pan. Return it to the oven and let cook for 15 minutes (which gives you time to make the Stewed Berries).

Check with a toothpick to ensure doneness. Allow to cool several minutes before loosening sides and bottom of cake with a thin flexible spatula. Carefully invert the cake onto a plate and then flip it again onto another plate so the top remains the top. Sprinkle with icing sugar and garnish with Stewed Berries.

Stewed Berries

1 cup whole frozen strawberries
1 cup assorted frozen other berries
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
Tbsp butter

Combine berries, honey, vanilla and first amount of water in saucepan. Heat over medium high until they begin to boil. Continue cooking on medium heat until strawberries are softened and release their juices (about 10 minutes). To thicken those juices: combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl (mix until dissolved). Add to the stewed berries and stir gently. Allow to boil for 1 minute to cook out the starch. The liquid should be clear. Allow to cook on medium low for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in a tablespoon of butter. Leftover Stewed Berries can be stored refrigerated for several days and are pretty amazing to have around for your morning smoothie bowl.

Happy breakfasting everyone. Have a great day.

 

 

Kraut!

As per my previous post I am trying to roll a wider variety of food choices into my diet. My challenge for the month was Sauerkraut. In all fairness, I  began thinking about it when my mom asked if I could or would eat Sauerkraut. Mom’s know. I figured the funky fermented cabbage would likely make my tummy and intestines pretty happy and I was right. So far, so good. Thanks Mom!

Here’s a recipe that is very approachable and works well for those of you that might not want to eat a face full of kraut on a sandwich. Alternately, it is a great use for that bit of sauerkraut that has been in your fridge since you last DID crave a face full of kraut on a sandwich.

I had braised some ribs and used all that sweet sexy braising liquid for the pork stock called for in this recipe. If you don’t have pork stock on hand feel free to substitute with chicken or beef broth.

(Because Kraut has so much tang and flavor I am guessing that subbing beans for the meat, adding some garlic, veg broth instead of pork stock and an extra tsp of paprika would make this a damn fine vegan recipe. Jody – looking at you.)

Make it up. Peace yo.

Sauerkraut Soup

1 tbsp pork fat, or oil

2 onions, peeled and diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced **leaves and all dammit. go there.**

2 pork sausages (I used bratwurst again)

1 L pork stock

1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and chopped

1 tsp paprika

1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves picked and lightly chopped

2 L water

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, add the pork fat or oil and sweat the onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat, stirring often. Meanwhile throw the sausages on a plate. Cut down the center of them and squeeze the raw meat out of the casing. Pinch little fingernail sized chunks off and put them in the pot with your veggies. Stir all that up until the meat begins to brown and it smells amazing. Add the sauerkraut. Add the stock and water. Add the paprika and thyme. Let it come to a boil then turn the heat to medium low and let it simmer for at least 40 minutes (or all day because it is Sunday, so why not).

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Eat with all the crusty bread your body can handle.

Cheers

–  k.

Year of the pulse

Exciting year – 2016 – Year of the Pulse! Pulses are the dried beans and seeds of some podded plants and therefore are shelf stable for a very long time.They are nutritious food products being naturally high in protein and fiber, rich in minerals and low in fat. Pulses tend to be easily digestible. They are also extremely inexpensive. Some common pulses you are likely familiar with would be dried beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. Go to pulsecanada.com for great information on these little powerhouses.

Soaking or direct cooking your own beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas is immensely healthier for you than using a precooked canned product. Lentils benefit from soaking but cook quite quickly without.

I picked up a 10 lb bag of brown lentils at my local store for about 8$. I have been soaking and sprouting them, using them in soups, salads and stews for a several months. I still don’t feel like I have put a dent in that 10 lb bag. Apart from their affordability pulses are downright delicious. They are easy to prepare and are an excellent way to add some variety to your diet.

Here is a recipe using delicious brown lentils you can easily make for a weeknight supper.

Brown Lentils “Cassoulet Style”

1 cup brown lentils

2 cups water

Combine in an ovenproof casserole and bake for 1 hour at 350*F to cook lentils. 

4 pork dinner sausages – bratwurst or English style bangers

Cook sausages in oven for 20 minutes, until internal temperatures reaches 160*F. 

Meanwhile prepare the garnish. 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion

Splash white wine (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

2 fresh tomatoes, diced small

Splash white wine (optional)

In a heavy bottomed pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion. Let cook several minutes while stirring. Add a splash of white wine if desired. Add garlic and thyme. Add tomatoes. Turn heat down to medium and let cook until onions are completely cooked through. 

Once lentils are cooked fold them into the pot with the onion and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve lentils together with the roasted sausages. 

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