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Archive for the ‘Starch’ Category

Pancakes

This is another one with actual measurements, but there’s still room to play around with the recipe. You’ll have enough batter for about a dozen pancakes – maybe fifteen if you like them little.

Start with either 1 or 1.5 cups flour – the former if you’re planning to add an extra dry ingredient or two, the latter if you’re going for straight-up plain pancakes.

flour

Add 3.5 teaspoons baking powder, a scant half teaspoon salt, and a quarter cup sugar.

sugar

In this batch, I added both bran and quick oats – half a cup of each. Other additions I’ve tried successfully include almond flour and cornmeal.

bran&oats

Now add an egg, three tablespoons of canola oil or melted butter, and one and a quarter cups milk.

wet ingredients

Mix it all up!

batter

Now melt a generous pat of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat:

butter

And dollop out some pancakes – I just use a serving spoon, but about a quarter cup per pancake is about right if you care to be more precise. I can fit three in my large frying pan.

dollops

While they’re frying on that side, add whatever you’d like: slices of apples or bananas or strawberries or peaches, blueberries (frozen are fine!), or what I’ve used – chocolate chips.

chips

Nudge the edges of the pancakes as they cook with a spatula. When they seem to be holding together pretty well, flip them over – starting with the one you dollopped on first.

flip

You can always flip them back over again later if the first side isn’t as done as you’d like. Determine whether they’re cooked through by pressing down on the top of a pancake with your spatula – they’ll smoosh and let a little uncooked batter out through small holes in the cake if they have more cooking to do. When they’re done on each side and in the middle, scoop them up and serve them with syrup, compote, or extra butter!

servi

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Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain. It is easy to cook, delicious, and nutritious! Begin by rinsing your quinoa thoroughly in a sieve: it arrives at the store with stuff called “saponins” all over it and they are not tasty. Then, measure out about how much quinoa you’ve got, and put half again as much water or broth (with salt and the spices of your choice, and whatever liquid flavorings – lemon juice? olive oil?) in a pot on the stove. Half a cup of dry quinoa is more than enough for one person. Dump in the quinoa, too, and stir it up and bring it to a boil.

quinoa

When it’s boiling, put a lid on, turn down the heat, and let it cook for fifteen or twenty minutes. (I advise using a clear lid so you can see if the water has all been absorbed without having to pick it up. Then, take the quinoa off the heat and let it sit with the lid on for another five minutes or so before fluffing it with a fork.

quinoa

It’s pretty tasty by itself, but not all that exciting. Stir-fry it with leafy greens – kale is a good choice! – to jazz up the color and texture. You can also serve quinoa cold or under things like thick soups or curries.

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Couscous

Couscous is a fast, easy, and versatile food item. You can buy it in bulk or in a box, as you like. It comes in more than one size, but I always use the little kind.

Start by deciding how much to make. The volume of cooking liquid should equal the volume of dry couscous. Half a cup is more than enough for one person to have for dinner, but it keeps pretty well, so you may want to make extra and have leftovers. Put that volume of water or broth (or water with Better than Bouillon) into a pot and bring it to a boil, adding the spices of your choice. In this batch I used salt, white pepper, red pepper, parsley flakes, tarragon, garlic and onion powders, and a bayleaf, plus a couple squirts of lemon juice. You can also add a small splash of olive oil to the liquid if you like.

broth

When the broth is boiling merrily away, dump in the couscous, clap a cover onto the pot, and remove it from the heat (swirling it around a bit to mix the granules in with the liquid). Let it sit for ten minutes at least and then take a peek.

couscous

Remove the bayleaf, if you used one, and fluff the couscous with a fork, to mix up any spices that settled on top and to get it to a pleasant texture.

couscous

You can make couscous simultaneously with other things that cook the same way, like TVP: if you want to make half a cup of couscous and half a cup of TVP together, all you need to do is make a cup of broth and toss them in together when it’s boiling.

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