Friday, February 5, 2016

No-flour Blender Pancakes turning Wheat to Pancakes Without a Grain Mill

So another crazy thing I do...among other things, is make pancakes from the whole grains of wheat, without flour
You read that right too. Chef approved!  This one uses soft wheat, so that you get fluffy pancakes. Soft wheat is lower in protein, so it makes delicious light pancakes. It's worth trying at least once, but I think you will be pleased with how easily they come together. 

Soaked wheat goes from soaked grains of wheat...
to these delicious pancakes!

With your blender ...and some goodies. The batter cooks up just amazing!

  Chef Tess Blender Whole Wheat Pancakes

You will need:

  • 1 cup soft wheat (red or white)
  • 1 cup milk or soy milk
  • 2 eggs, or 1/2 cup egg replacements
  • 2 T cold pressed oil--or the oil of your choice
  • 1T honey (or 2 T sugar)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest
1. Soak 1 cup soft red or white wheat in 3-4 cups warm water overnight, about 8 hours.
Soft wheat has a lower protein content and will make light pancakes,while hard red works, but it is a little tricky to get a fluffy end result. I love these with soft white wheat if you can find it.
2. Drain wheat well. Don't soak longer than 18 hours, or it will be funky!
3. Put drained wheat and 1 cup organic vanilla soy milk/regular milk in a blender
4. Blend 3 minutes on Liquefy setting Leave blender on, just open the little top thing (sorry this is so technical).
5. Add remaining ingredients: 2 eggs,2 T oil ,2tsp baking powder.1/2 tsp salt, 1T honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla, dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh orange zest (micro plane)Continue to blend about 2 minutes. Total 5 minutes blending. If you don't blend long enough, the wheat will be chunky instead of a smooth batter.Pour right from blender onto a hot griddle. Yields about 12 4 inch pancakes.

There you go! Try these!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, January 30, 2016

How to Cook Amaranth on the Stove Top

If you've been with me in the past you know of my absolute obsession with grains and getting to contribute here on Preparing Wisely's blog, I am going to be sharing a lot of those well as preparedness tips. The grain obsession started as a mild crush and now I'm totally addicted. Grain and seeds add such a remarkable depth to your meals. I'm a huge fan. So, it won't come as a surprise if I share some more basics here right? Meet Amaranth. My darling friend on the left. On the right we have brown teff.
If you've never had Amaranth, it's an amazing super-grain and one of my favorites. Now I call it a grain, but technically it's a seed. Not all seeds are grain. Only seeds that are members of the grass family can technically own the name of grain. It's a very fun and technical thing. The good news on amaranth is that it's gluten free, high in protein and has all necessary amino acids to be considered a complete protein...30% more protein than rice, wheat or oats. In it's glory, it can grow a million-ka-billion seeds (give or take). I find it  absolutely delightful and mild in flavor. It's become one of my favorites for breakfast. 
I'll simply cook it on the stove top and when it's cooked, drizzle it with a smidge of honey or even better, fold in some yogurt and fruit to the cooked grain.

It's simple to cook on the stove top. You will need a quart size sauce pan with a tightly fitting lid. Bring 3 cups water to a boil. I add a pinch of salt to the water. Add 1 cup of amaranth to the pot. Reduce heat to very low. Cover with a lid and allow the amarnath to simmer 25 minutes. The seeds are still rather small when cooked, but they look so ding-a-dang crazy-cool.
I love a little drizzle of honey. My personal favorite is a maple hazelnut honey.
Even though it looks like caviar, it doesn't taste like it. Hooray for that! you can see it really close up.
My final note. My most recent love...freeze dried yogurt bites and freeze dried fruits folded into the cooked grain. Oh my stars. It's a creamy little nugget of joy in a sea of goodness. How's that for a cool new happy food?
There you go. Make some amaranth! 

  Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Amazing Baked Oatmeal!

Hey y'all! This is Chef Tess again, ready to share another great recipe for food storage.

I love oatmeal.  It is a fantastic addition to food storage and wonderfully versatile for baking and cooking.  I've often taught How to cook oatmeal 101, along with some of my Top 10 Ways to Cook Oatmeal in several cooking and baking applications.  However, I have been working on this recipe for baked oatmeal for a while. 
Let's talk baked oatmeal.  I've been long on a search for the best baked oatmeal recipe.  I've tried a few that a bad way. They were glorified glue in a pan.  Disgusting! I wanted chewy, hearty, baked oatmeal that was fast and easy. I wanted something we could eat a few times a week and never get bored.  
I stopped looking for a few years.  
 Then  two years ago, a dear friend shared her recipe with me for baked oatmeal.  It was the most perfect baked oatmeal I'd ever had.  For the last couple of years, I've made her recipe again and again. Still perfect every single time.  So, now it gets a place of glory here on the blog. I've added my own touches and made it my own, but I think you'll be pleasantly in love with it from the first batch.  It's really quite perfect. Change out the berries for whatever you have on hand. Add crushed pineapple or shredded carrots in place of the fruit for a carrot cake baked oatmeal. It's incredibly versatile. 
This is it.
 Simple Baked Oatmeal 
  • 2 eggs (or 1/4 cup powdered egg plus 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats or 6 grain rolled cereal (gluten-free oatmeal works)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chef Tess Wise Woman of the East Spice blend
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cranberries, cherries or blueberries
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut (optional)
  • Brown sugar for topping
Directions: In a large bowl,beat eggs and brown sugar until they are thoroughly mixed.  Add coconut oil, milk and vanilla.                  

Add the remaining ingredients (except the additional brown sugar for topping). 
 Pour the oatmeal mixture into a greased 9 by 13 inch casserole pan.
 Sprinkle with brown sugar on top.
   Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes uncovered.
Do not over-bake.
There you go my darlings. Delicious, hearty and wholesome baked breakfast. 

See you soon at one of our Preparing Wisely Classes! Most of them are free and always very informative!

144 S. Mesa Drive Suite G, Mesa AZ 85210     (480) 964-3077

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, January 11, 2016

Perfect Quinoa Cookery!

Hello darlings! This is Chef Tess!  The good folks at Preparing Wisely have asked me to start adding my thoughts and recipes to their blog and I'm excited to be back to my roots.  This is where I got started teaching classes, and yes, I will be back in the store soon for more cooking with food storage adventures.  This week I thought I'd share my thoughts on one of my favorite super-grains and give you the basics on how to cook with it.

What in the world is quinoa anyway? 2013 was declared the The International Year of Quinoa. Did you miss the memo? Are you three years late?  If you haven't yet tried this remarkable super-grain you're going to be in for a few surprises.  I hear a lot of questions about how to cook it and what to do with it.  Here's what you should know about the nutrition of Quinoa.
It is a complete protein and a wonderful source of fiber.

How do you cook it?
 You will always need to rinse and drain quinoa thoroughly in cold water before cooking, unless it is in a package that says, "pre-rinsed". I made the mistake of thinking that the rinsing was optional, and boy was it a mistake! The grain tasted bitter an horrid.  Come to find out, that it was a natural part of quinoa.  It is easiest rinsed in in a  finer meshed colander. This is a smaller grain and it will easily slip through the cracks. 

Rinsing is not an optional step. Why?

 In its natural state quinoa has a coating of saponins, which gives it a bitter taste. This bitterness can have beneficial effects in terms of cultivation, as it is a crop that is relatively untouched by birds and thus requires minimal protection. The presence of saponin is obvious by the production of a soapy looking "suds". This also represents the major antinutritional factor found in the grain. Fortunately, most of these saponins are concentrated in the outer layers of the grain (seed coat, and a cuticle-like layer) which facilitates their removal industrially by washing the grains with water. (See more here)

Basic Quinoa

2 cups red or white quinoa, rinsed well
4 cups water or chicken broth
salt to taste


Pressure Cooker: In a 2 1/2 liter pressure cooker add the Basic Quinoa ingredients. Bring to a boil. Seal lid and pressure at high for 5 minutes. Allow pressure to drop on its own. Store cooled quinoa in the fridge for up to a week. 

Conventional:  In a 1 and a half quart (6 cups) capacity heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, boil the water and the salt, that is when the bubbles don't stop even when you stir it. Add the grain, cover the pot, and turn the burner to the lowest setting. Set your timer for 15 minutes. Don't stir it. Just let it simmer. This will produce perfect grain every time if you follow the instructions.

Now, if you feel pretty crazy and confident, try using chicken or vegetable broth in place of the water. It will add a lot of flavor. Some people don't like a flavor to their grain, beside the grain. We also like using coconut milk in place of the water in Hawaiian dinners, along with 1/4 cup minced onion. Garlic adds a nice touch too, even just one or two cloves pressed into the broth as you add the grain.

One final note. You can use quinoa anywhere you use rice. It is also remarkable added to your baked goods in small amounts. Keep it to about 1/2 cup of cooked grain to every dozen muffins or pan of quick bread.  

See you soon at one of our Preparing Wisely Classes! Most of them are free and always very informative!

144 S. Mesa Drive Suite G, Mesa AZ 85210     (480) 964-3077