Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Multi-Grain Bread

Here's a delish bread recipe, that incorporates some amazing ingredients. I'll go into more detail on some of them in later posts. This recipe is based on one I got from my big sis, but modified by yours truly to pack in even MORE goodness.

5 cups hard white wheat berries
1 cup oat groats
1/2 cup buckwheat
(Or just 6-8 cups flour. I use 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white)

2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp SAF instant yeast
2 tbsp amaranth
2 tbsp quinoi
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp millet
(amaranth through millet are optional)
1/3 cup coconut oil
(I use vegetable oil because I can't afford coconut)
1/3 cup raw honey

1 1/2 tbsp dough enhancer
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
(Dough enhancer and wheat gluten are SO IMPORTANT for chewy bread, especially if you're using wheat flour.)

Grind the wheat, oats, and buckwheat together to make a medium-coarse flour. Pour the water into your mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil, honey, and yeast. Mix in 3 cups of the flour you just made. Add remaining grains - the amaranth, quinoi, flax, chia, and millet. Mix well and let the mixture sponge for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Add your fresh flour, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture forms a soft dough that cleans the sides of your mixing bowl. Continue kneading dough for about 10 minutes to activate the gluten in the flour. (I always mix in my kitchenaid.) Divide dough into 3 equal portions and form into loaves. Grease 3 medium loaf pans with coconut oil. Place the loaves into the pans, and let raise to almost double. Bake at 350 for 27 minutes or until done. (I know 27 minutes is a weird number, but I find that 25 leaves it a little gooey and 30 minutes dries out the crust. Your oven may be different.)

You could certainly add different grains to this recipe. Spelt or kamut are good wheat substitutes for those who are gluten intolerant. You could also add some rye to your flour mixture to make a more tart bread. I have tried it with a little bulgar wheat added, and I really didn't like it. It changed the texture and flavor considerably, and not in a favorable way. Compared to the original recipe (which I will post later because it is also delish), you will find this bread to be a little less chewy and a little more moist, due to the oats in the flour. The buckwheat adds a little bit of a nutty flavor. The additional whole grains give a good multi-grain texture and add lots and lots of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins that you can't get in wheat alone. This bread also freezes well, so if your family only eats a loaf at a time, you can freeze your other two loaves to keep them "fresh" until you're ready to eat them.

Definition of terms:
Let the mixture sponge: This means you just leave it alone. It will thicken and the yeast will activate and it turns the dough into something that looks like a big sponge. This makes it so you don't have to let the dough raise twice.
Cleans the sides of your mixing bowl: That means the dough no longer sticks to the sides.  Also, when the dough is still too wet, it will kind of pool in the bottom of the bowl. so when it is lifting from the sides AND from the bottom, you have enough flour. I don't add a full cup at a time at this stage, because that's how I always add too much flour.

3 things she left out:
Start the dough using your regular mixing blade. Switch it to your dough hook when it becomes too hard for your machine to keep mixing.
As part of "cleans the sides of your mixing bowl," you are also watching for the dough to make arms. It will look like there is a little marshmallow person in your bowl with these dough arms flopping around.
You know the gluten has activated (gluten makes the bread chewy) when you can take a little gob of the dough and stretch it out and it stretches thin instead of breaking.

Personal Notes:
I make this using wheat flour that is pre-ground from the store. The kind you buy in bags is red wheat. It is harder to digest, so if you eat a ton of it you'll get diarrhea. That's why I half it with white flour. You can buy the white wheat at Winco in the bins. I haven't done this yet, because I have a ton of red wheat to get through first. The white wheat definitely tastes better, and fresh ground tastes better than pre-ground.

I'll try to post pictures or video of the stages next time I make it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork, Tangy Grilled Pineapple, and Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat Chipotle Recipe)

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Serves: 10 (Yields about 3 oz. each serving)
Weight Watchers Points+ Plus:Old WW Points: 3
Calories: 171  Fat: 7 g  Cholesterol: 67 mg  Sodium: 744 mg  Carbohydrates: 0 g  Fiber: 2 g  Protein:  25 g

One pork tenderloin, about 2.5 pounds
1 Tbsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke (either Hickory or Mesquite flavors are fine)


Prepare pork tenderloin by placing on a clean cutting board. Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke holes all over the tenderloin. Rub salt over the tenderloin.

Place the tenderloin in a slow cooker/ CrockPot. Cook on low for 5-8 hours. (Mine always cooks in five hours, but CrockPots tend to vary in temperature.)

Remove pork from CrockPot, and allow to rest for five minutes. Using two forks, shred meat. Serve with a bit of your favorite BBQ sauce on top. Or add to your favorite buns for a yummy sandwich! (Adding BBQ sauce and/or buns may change "Points" values.)

Expect sexy results!

Tangy Grilled Pineapple

Serves: 8 (Yields about 1 spear per serving)
Weight Watchers Points+ Plus:Old WW Points: 1
Calories: 70  Fat: 2 g  Cholesterol: 0 mg  Sodium: 1 mg  Carbohydrates: 14 g  Fiber: 1 g  Protein:  .3 g

1 ripe pineapple, fresh (will make about 4 cups in volume)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey


Chop off leafy end of pineapple. Chop off bottom of pineapple. Standing pineapple up on a cutting board, slice off the outer skin of the pineapple, working from top to bottom. Slice pineapple in half, vertically. Slice each half into quarters, and then eighths. Slice out the hard core from each spear.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cinnamon, lime juice, olive oil, and honey. Place pineapple spears in bowl and toss to coat. Preheat grill on med-high. Place spears on grill, and allow to cook on each side for a few minutes. Using a brush, coat with remaining marinade every now and then. Turn once or twice more until cooked to your liking.

Expect sexy results!

Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

Serves: 16 (Yields about 1/2 cup each serving)
Weight Watchers Points+ Plus: Old WW Points: 1
Calories: 99  Fat: 0 g  Cholesterol: 0 mg  Sodium: 74 mg  Carbohydrates: 23 g  Fiber: 0 g  Protein:  2 g

2 cups, basmati rice, uncooked
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped


Pour water into pot, bring to a rolling boil. Add rice and let water return to boil. Cover tightly with a lid and reduce heat to low. Allow rice to simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove rice from heat, but do NOT open the lid. It's going to be tempting to peek, but this is the part of the steaming process where the rice gets really fluffy! Set timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove lid. Fluff with fork. Add salt and lime juice and toss with fork to combine. Add in cilantro last and toss again.

Expect sexy results! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Melinda's smoothie

7/8 cup water
1/8 cup unsweetened cranberry juice (yes, unsweetened)
1 cup berries (raspberry, strawberry, blueberries or blackberries)
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp flax oil
1 serving vanilla whey protein
Sweeten with stevia as needed

Mix in blender.

Variation1: Add 1 cup of spinach.
Variation 2: Replace the flax with Chia seeds.

I've been making this smoothie for years.  I love it.  I got it from the Fat Flush plan.  It is a very nutritious and well balanced meal.  It is super easy to prepare.