Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer spaghetti with quick lemon ricotta

The recipe comes together in a snap and can easily use produce from the garden if available. This was my first attempt to make my own ricotta and I was astonished how easy and delicious it was! The
lemon in the ricotta was a little too grown up for my 5 year olds, but my husband and I loved it and let the kids just sprinkle parmesan on instead. Feel free to leave out the lemon rind if that suits your family better.


  • 2 cups
     2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • small yellow squash, chopped
  • small zucchini, chopped
  • pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup small fresh mint leaves
  1. 1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a microwave-safe 1-quart liquid measuring cup; microwave at HIGH for 4 minutes. Stir to form small curds. Strain through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth; let stand for 5 minutes. Discard liquid. Scrape cheese mixture into a small bowl; stir in rind and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. 2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, and drain. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add squash and zucchini to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth and pasta to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing to combine. Place 2 cups pasta mixture in each of 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle each serving evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture and 1 tablespoon mint. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

100% whole wheat bakery style sandwich bread

I have been questing for a really good and super easy 100% whole wheat bread for about a
year now. I have finally found it! I have experimented with lots of stuff including recipes that include soaking, lots of time, and a variety of flours, but in the end the best recipe is often the simplest. This has the least ingredients of any recipe I have tried and requires little time commitment. It is vegan with no added oil too, but I think that is what makes it work. The best part is that it reminds of the whole wheat sandwich bread I would buy at a bakery, dense with an excellent crumb. It won't fall apart when you put your turkey and veggies on it. This recipe works best in a large loaf pan (1.5 lb). Enjoy!

1 1/2 Tbl. instant yeast
2 c. warm water
1/3 c. honey
3 - 5 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. any add-ins (oats, sunflower seeds, 
       ground flax seeds, etc.) I use instant oats

Combine yeast, water and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer; let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy and bubbly.  Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, any add-ins and salt and mix until combined.  Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you get a soft dough.  The dough should barely pull away from the sides of the bowl and it will still be a little sticky.  Using the dough hook, knead for 4 minutes on low, cover and let rise until doubled, 60-90 min.  Punch down dough (spray hands with cooking spray) and put in a greased loaf pan.  Let rise again until doubled, about 30 min.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove loaf and cool completely.   

*If you use freshly ground wheat flour, you might need to add more like 5- 5 1/2 cups of flour.