Sunday, June 30, 2013

Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sprouted Spelt Crust

Spring cleaning is one of the best feelings to me. I feel lighter, more free, and funny enough more grateful for the belongings I decide to keep. I wish I had time to spring clean every month. Even just writing that down inspires me to have a 2013 Monthly Spring Cleaning Goal. Ahhh, it just sounds clean.

I have (clearly) been on this kick for some time now and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere. I have wanted to clear out items in our apartment "storage" room, items in my bedroom and especially items in the kitchen. I get antsy when I've had the same jar of grains sitting in my pantry for more than a few months. Or that jar of marinara sauce I regret buying. Especially the raisins that weren't organic but I bought them anyway. I am dying to use all these items up and buy what I really want next time. And a smaller quantity. I'm not sure where I got into a rut of buying more than I need. In regards to food, home supplies, clothes --  everything! I want to live more simply. Less stuff, better quality if possible and to just enjoy simple things. Get what I need and let it be.

When I think of food and spring cleaning the first thing that comes to mind is quiche. It's the perfect vessel for all leftover items -- vegetables, cheeses, grains, meats, etc! I made this within the last month or so and it turned out to be the prettiest, easiest and maybe the best quiche I've made to date. I think I've finally perfected the proportions and am pleasantly surprised by how few eggs I have to use. As much as I love quiche, I tend to hoard my eggs. I hate the idea of dumping all of my eggs into one dish for the week! So here we are. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Remember, switch out the ingredients for whatever you have on hand! You can add lots of extra ingredients or just keep it to a few like this one. You can use a store bought crust or make your own... the possibilities are endless!

Sprouted Spelt Flour Crust
Makes two pie crusts
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

21/2 cups organic sprouted spelt flour
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons organic ghee (or butter), very cold
1/4 cup ice cold water

Using the dough blade for a food processor, combine flour and salt in the food processor and pulse to combine. Dice the cold Ghee and sprinkle into the flour mixture. Pulse to combine. Gradually add cold water one tablespoon at a time. Blend until mixtures starts to get crumbly and stick together.

Knead the dough a few times and then form it into ball and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Halve the dough and freeze the rest for later. Once ready, roll out the dough into a large round. Be sure to flour the counter and rolling pin to prevent sticking.

Press dough into pie dish and bake at 350 for 10-15 min until lightly browned.

Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche
Serves 6-8
Adapted from Eat Live Run

2 Leeks, halved and outer layers discarded
Goat Cheese, a few ounces
1 Red bell pepper 
2 Large eggs
Milk, 1 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs (or dried) 
Knob of Ghee

Saute leeks in Ghee until soft. Slice pepper into thin slivers. Beat eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper. Chop the fresh herbs. 

Spread leeks onto the baked crust. Layer the red pepper strips. Sprinkle fresh or dried herbs. Crumble small chunks of goat cheese. Pour egg and milk mixture on top and sprinkle another layer of goat cheese if necessary. 

Bake in the bottom of an oven at 350 for an hour or until set. Cover with foil if browning too much. 

This is great with a simple side salad or over a bed of microgreens. Eat and Enjoy! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Almond Cake with Strawberries.

Well hello! I am all back from vacation and in the groove of normal life. (Yes, that's me you hear weeping...).

Vacation was wonderful. I had an entire week chocked full of time with my (best in the world) family, 3 hour naps, walks on the beach, reading great books, eating awesome food, and just good ole down time. It was one of the best vacations ever. Exactly what I needed and in much abundance. The Lord provided me with a cleared and peaceful perspective on several areas of my life and I came back feeling refreshed and more like my normal self than I've felt in quite a while.  Everything about it was great and I'm so thankful I was able to do that. : )

Now to just keep that perspective and peace in the groove of "regular" life. That's the tricky part. Thank goodness the Lord gives abundantly to those who ask. : )

Well, now that vacation is over and work is in full gear -- Oh, yep. That's me weeping again -- I am trying to figure out how to keep blogging and eating (and working... and paying bills) with the change of seasons and change of my body's energy needs. Whenever it gets warmer, my body gets SUPER sensitive to foods. I can't eat much meat, my portion size decreases like crazy, I get nauseated every time I step outside (thank goodness for electrolytes!), and I RARELY want to turn on the stove. No, instead please just feed me smoothies and very cold water.

Since the weather hasn't gotten this bad yet, I figured I would make one last hurrah(!) cake before the oven becomes my enemy and the stove is Satan in disguise. Also, since strawberry season is coming to a close I thought it would be best to send off the spring season and say goodbye to the beautiful strawberry all at once. THIS beautiful cake did the trick.

My friend Sarah is a photographer. She is so kind, that she let me borrow a  (legit) camera to shoot my photos for this post. She is teaching me a few things here and there and I can already tell a difference as previously I've been using my iPhone (I'm sure you can tell... wah waaaaah.) But I definitely have alot to learn. This is just the begining and hopefully my pictures will improve!

Anyway, enjoy the pics and make this cake. It's fabulous. The almond flour gives it a denser and nuttier flavor but the coconut whipped cream and strawberries give it an airy effect. The combination of all three is just fantastic.

I got the recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. It is without a doubt one of my favorite books and has the most beautiful photography. If you don't already have it then you need to fix that ASAP.  Trust me, you won't regret it.

Almond Cake with Strawberries

Slightly adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen
Coconut Whipped Cream from MyNewRoots
Serves 8 -10 

Almond Cake:
3 flax eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup sprouted spelt flour
1/4 cup muscovado sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract*
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Line with parchment. 
  2. In a bowl mix flax eggs, honey, yogurt, almond and vanilla extract and coconut oil/ghee. 
  3. In another bowl, sift the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and pour batter into the greased and lined pan. 
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until done. (I love the toothpick test).
  6. Let cool completely. 

Coconut Whipped Cream: 
1 can Coconut Cream (or 3 cans coconut milk, fat separated from the water)
1/4 cup whipped honey
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1/4 tsp almond extract

  1. Chill coconut cream (or milk) in the fridge to solidify. If using milk, let it solidify and separate the fat from the water. Use the fat, save the water for other dishes and/or smoothies. 
  2. Once chilled, whip coconut fat with honey and vanilla. 
  3. Let whip cream sit in fridge for 30 minutes.  

To garnish:
Sliced strawberries (let sit in their own juices for a bit at room temperature)
Sliced almonds, toasted

To assemble: 
Place the cake on a cake stand and center it. The cake is delicate so be careful. Top with the chilled coconut whipped cream, leaving a border of the cake showing. Spoon the strawberries onto the coconut  cream, towering them a little in the center. Then sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve.

*Sprouted Kitchen used 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg and gave the cake a gingerbread affect. This was fabulous! However, in the spring I think almond extract would be perfect here!

This is fantastic with some spicy hot tea.

Hope you enjoy!