Toad's Kitchen

(mostly) healthy recipes for the family

Archive for the category “Low Sugar”

Yeasted Pancakes…or, I don’t live under a rock any more

I have always made pancakes. Everybody in my family loves all the types of pancakes I make, ranging from crepes to pannekoek/pannkaka to fluffy ones. But always, they are made with baking powder and/or soda. I am always on the lookout for good pancake recipes, as our little grandson, Ben, loves them cooked in his special “jungle animal” mini-pancake pan 🙂

Before attending our youngest son Dane’s wedding in Oahu recently, we spent a week in Maui – just the two of us. I am now in love with Hawaii, and I love the different foods and drink I got to try! Our favourite breakfast/lunch place there, the Kihei Caffe, had many delicious offerings. One of their specialties was recommended to us by oldest daughter (and former flight attendant) Camille, who had enjoyed many yummy meals at this establishment while on layovers…”you guys *have* to try their pancakes!” Indeed, said pancakes come with all sorts of “not-so” to “quite” exotic toppings…I had banana and macadamia nut, which was lovely, but the pancake itself was what grabbed my attention. There was this lovely, yeasty aroma to them and the texture was bubbly and different from the pancakes I make at home.

So, once back at home, I wandered the internets looking for recipes to try, and there were so many! How had I missed them?! I make lots of yeast breads and cakes and don’t know how that happened. Anyway. I found this recipe on a great blog called Food Wanderings, and they stated they had adapted it from a Red Star Yeast recipe. I like this recipe as it does not need to stand very long, and the flavour is wonderful. I also like that they are quite impressive looking when done – they hold their round shape and rise nicely.

Adding a handful of blueberries to the batter didn’t hurt!

2 cups flour
2-1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (one-1/4 ounce packet) – I used “instant” yeast for bread machines
2 heaping tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
pinch salt
oil for the griddle/pan (I used coconut oil with great success, and it adds a little “je ne sais quoi” to the pancakes!)

In a large bowl, combine one cup of the flour with the yeast and one tablespoon of the sugar, and whisk well. Heat the milk and water together until very warm and add to the flour mixture. Whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated. Cover and let rise for one hour.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs well. Add the melted butter to the eggs and whisk until combined.

In another bowl, combine the remaining one cup of flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking soda and salt.

Heat your pan/skillet over medium heat until a few drops of water dropped on it bounce before evaporating. You want the griddle hot but not *too* hot, which would result in the pancake overcooking on the surface but remaining raw inside.

Beat down the yeast mixture, and add the egg/butter mixture and whisk until blended. Add the flour/sugar/soda mixture gradually to it, stirring gently just until incorporated.

Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter per pancake, over medium heat. They will remain uniformly round and will brown beautifully. Flip the pancakes once bubbles appear on the surface and the edges look dry-ish. They flip nicely, and are firmer than “regular” pancakes (as I am not the most talented pancake flipper, I really appreciate this).

The recipe also doubles nicely.

Serve to your favourite people, with all the favourite toppings and lots of maple syrup! ♡

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Chickpea Garden Salad

This recipe started out as Jamie Oliver’s recipe, but ended up being morphed into something a bit different (as usual!). His “Summer Chickpea Salad” involved a bit of cooking but for a hot weather fast salad I thought this one was pretty good, and I had to sub out some of the ingredients, anyway.

I love Jamie’s recipes because they are generally so flexible and his style of writing them is so inspiring. I hope you like my “mods”!

1 small onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 large tomatoes
1 yellow pepper
large can (around 500mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
handful fresh mint, cut in ribbons (chiffonade)
handful fresh basil, cut in ribbons
200g feta cheese, crumbled
juice of one large lime
olive oil (EVOO)
sprinkle chili pepper flakes (to taste)
dash Tabasco (to taste)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine first eight ingredients in salad bowl, mixing well. Dress with remaining ingredients, adding “hot” ingredients sparingly until you get the “heat” you like – you don’t want to overwhelm the other flavours in the salad.

Enjoy al fresco!

Quick Green Pea Soup

When you say “pea soup” to people, most think of the “split pea and ham bone” kind. As delicious as that is, it does take a while to make. This pea soup is made using frozen peas and has a lovely “fresh” taste. It is very pretty, very fast and easy – perfect for either a quick supper after work or as a soup course for a dinner with friends. It is delicious both when fully vegan or with the dairy and or bacon add-ons.

2 cups frozen peas (don’t have to defrost)

1 litre vegetable stock  (can use chicken stock)

salt and pepper to taste

a few leaves of mint (amount is to taste)*

2-3 green onions or equivalent amount of chives, chopped

crumbled cooked bacon bits (optional), to sprinkle

heavy cream (optional)

Bring stock and peas to boil and cook until peas are soft – don’t overcook them. Puree with immersion blender (or in conventional blender) with mint leaves until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whiz in a bit more mint if you like.

As a garnish, you can a) sprinkle a few leaves of julienned mint leaves with the green onion on top, b) sprinkle the green onion with the bacon bits, or c) beat the cream slightly and put a dollop on top (with some mint and or onion).

*Basil would also be tasty in place of the mint.

Fish (of your choice, you choose the seasonings) with Lemony Quinoa

The fish I used in this dinner was a fillet of steelhead – a delicious and cheaper alternative to “regular” salmon, which we love also. The steelhead is mild enough to go with many different types of seasonings, and makes a regular appearance on our dinner table.

The quinoa I made used plain cooked quinoa I had in the fridge – I have taken to making a large batch of quinoa, cooked with water, and using it up over several nights, in different recipes. It is convenient, and seeing as quinoa is so versatile, it inspires me to be inventive because half the work is done 🙂

The lemon in the quinoa complements pretty much any baked fish. I was pleased with this dinner because it was pretty as well as tasty – the black, red and green in the golden quinoa looked good with the pink fish. We had it with carrots! Very colourful 🙂

For the Fish:

For four servings, you will need one fish fillet (by this I mean one side of the fish) or piece of fish weighing about a pound or so – of steelhead, salmon, halibut, your choice. You could always use fish steaks and adjust cooking time accordingly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line your baking pan with tinfoil to save on cleanup time and mess later. Drizzle a thin line of olive oil down the centre of the tinfoil centre and lay your rinsed and dried fillet of fish, skin side down, on this. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of it, and brush it all over the surface of the fish.

Sprinkle your seasoning of choice over the fish – it can be as simple or as exotic as you like. You could also just top it with chopped green onions and minced garlic which have been tossed in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper for something simple and flavourful. Alternately, a Malaysian-style seasoning called Nonya (from Victorian Epicure), which has a fair amount of cayenne pepper in it, is tasty. Mediterranean type seasonings would also be good. Be creative!

Once oven is heated, place fish in oven and cook for about 15 minutes (slightly more than 10 minutes per inch) or until fish tests barely opaque at thickest part.

While fish is in oven, prepare the quinoa:

3 tbsp. pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups plain cooked quinoa

3 tbsp. black olives, chopped

juice and grated zest of one juicy lemon

2 tbsp. chopped chives or green onions

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1/3 cup dried cranberries

salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy frying pan, toast pine nuts over medium heat until fragrant. Once they smell yummy, add olive oil to the pan, wait until it heats up and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until translucent.

Add quinoa and stir gently until oil mixture coats quinoa thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, heat through over medium heat and serve with fish and a side veg or salad.

African-ish Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup

Recipes for this soup have always intrigued me because they are such eclectic combinations of ingredients, all of which I love. Today, finding I had ingredients I could work with, I came up with this version 🙂

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbsp. medium curry powder (use less if your curry powder is “hot”, or to taste)

2 large orange yams, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

4 cups vegetable broth, or low-salt chicken

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes

3/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut

1 teaspoon (or to taste) Asian “hot” chili-garlic condiment (or use cayenne pepper to taste)

3/4 cup *natural* peanut butter (do not use the homogenized, icky kind with icing sugar in it, use the “just peanuts” kind)

juice of one lime

1 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves

In large pot, heat oil and saute onions and garlic. Sprinkle curry powder over top and mix in, and fry for a couple of minutes. Add yams and fry for a couple more minutes. Add coconut, canned tomatoes (with their juice) and broth, and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the 20 minutes has elapsed and the yams are soft, stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavours and melt peanut butter completely into soup, and serve. Yum 🙂

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