Experimentations

Heavens to bitsy, it’s been a day and a half. Don’t worry – that’s a good thing!

I didn’t actually intend to get much produce from Hannafords when I ran in yesterday – but when a beautiful array of vibrant, fresh nectarines were the first things to greet me – aside from the screaming babies -, I had to snap up a few.

And they were still in mind when I rolled out of bed this morning. I love nectarines – it’s the perfect solution for a peach-fuzz hater that still loves the taste 🙂

My usual waffles – almost, at least. I used Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffed Cereal to replace the millet I’d used up. Just as splendid!

And I topped it with a chopped nectarine that I microwaved with a splash of almond milk and maple syrup as well as some chopped Turkish figs. Deerish! Also joining the party was some sunflower seed butter, pecans, and a drizzle of honey.

and what could go better with that than a big gulp of a southern pecan? I love being reunited with my Green Mountain!

It was quite a relaxed morning, and I did a bit of yoga while waiting to go see the cutest guy I’ve seen to date. It’s funny how I used to wake up so late that I didn’t have to wait to go to the barn…now, if I left when I was ready, they wouldn’t even have had breakfast yet! They get fed later in the morning on weekends.

Baby in a cradle.

Regardless – eventually it was time to head out…and this is how you can tell. Banana? check. Alas, it was forgotten about.

Mr. Ponykins did lovely today, and is really catching on 🙂 I just wish animals could talk – I would love to know why he ended up where he did, and what he’s done with his love before! It is obvious someone but time and training into him at some point.

My mom is getting to be quite the photographer, no?

”]By the time we [my mom and I] got home, it was quite clearly lunchtime – but first I was greeted with a package!

I know, I know – tons of you reading don’t ride. But I know there’s some of you who do, and I like to give credit where credit is due…VTO Saddlery is hands-down the. best. place. to order tack from! Great prices and sales, flat-rate shipping, and I got my box today – that I’d just ordered on Thursday! Now maybe I’ll get to ride in my dressage saddle tomorrow 🙂

Another Hannaford’s find yesterday was a new kind of Snyder’s! These were on the list, don’t worry 😉

Click to read

I think I took a good ten minutes waffling between these 8-grain, the honey wheat & oat, and the plain wheat and oat. Decisions, I tell ya what!

Click to read.

That fact that I am so indecisive I can hardly decide on a salad dressing when I’m asked probably didn’t help my case. Eventually the 8 grains won over – and just check out those stats as to why! And they taste just as amazing – I am in love. They’re also eco-friendly! Of course – that comes at a price. This is, quite possibly, the loudest bag I’ve ever touched. You’re not going to be sneaking these at night, that’s for sure. You’ll wake the whole house!

Even if you don’t like pretzels – next time you see these in the store, touch the bag.

You’ll realize I’m not as crazy as I currently sound 😉

I enjoyed some with some garlic hummus, but they didn’t need the hummus to be outstanding. They were great alone, too!

I also had a fantastic sammich with fresh lettuce from our own garden, slices of gala apple, seitan, and apple BBQ sauce.

Unfortunately, things came to a rolling stop in the afternoon – it started to rain, and thus house arrest began. I made the most out of it by whipping up some more bars!

I made a substantial number of changes from what I’ve been doing, and I like the direction – but it’s not there yet. I’m going to be picky on this hunt! I went for an “oatmeal raisin” theme this time, though – and while they could use more cinnamon as far as that goes, it’s definitely a flavor to keep in the line-up!

It goes without saying that one was enjoyed STAT!

And a short while after (re: lots of blog-reading, random veggie-roasting, and other time-killers) I set to work on dinner.

And I had a plan.

Who hasn’t tried Jenna’s lentil-walnut loaf besides myself? That’s what I thought. It’s popping up everywhere – and I’m not surprised. It looks fantastic! I was thisclose to getting around to making it tonight, but I was still apprehensive because I didn’t have walnuts. Just about every other kind of nut. Just no walnuts.

And while I’m all for substituting things – this just seemed like it needed the walnuts. So, I improvised. And came up with a chickpea-quinoa casserole loaf…thing. Wanna make it? Okay.

Sautee onions in evoo, add tomato paste and spices.

I started with the quinoa, with thoughts of a kind of quinoa-pilaf, similar to the Veganomicon recipe my mom loves and I do as well.

I simple sauteed half a medium onion and two cloves garlic in some olive oil for a couple minutes before adding in approx. 1 tablespoon tomato paste and some dried basil and dried chives.

Add in quinoa.

Once the onions were soft, I added in 1/4 c. rinsed quinoa and sauteed for a few more minutes.

Add in 1/2 c. water and let simmer over medium-low heat until the quinoa is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.

chickpeas, veg

Meanwhile, mash 3/4 c. chickpeas with a fork – so that it’s not complete mush and there’s a few still whole.

add in approx. 1/4 c. diced, balsamic-roasted eggplant, ~1/4 c. diced roasted red pepper, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, dried basil, dried chives, dried parsley, and pepper. Mix it well. I also added a dash of crushed red pepper flakes.

All combined.

When the quinoa is all done, add that to the bowl, in addition to 1/8 c. rolled oats, a flax egg (1 T. milled flax + 3 T. water, stirred and let to sit a couple minutes to thicken) 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, and 2 tablespoons mediterranean herb crumbled feta.

Ready to bake!

Press the mixture into a greased pan/loaf/something, and bake about half an hour at 425*. I used a toaster oven, for what it’s worth – and broiled for the last couple of minutes to get a better crust on top.

Voila!

My mom and I both loved this. I had mine with some farmer’s market kale that I sauteed with a bit of Ragu, and some broccoli also with Ragu for dipping. The chickpea-quinoa stuff actually didn’t need the sauce for dippage – it was plenty flavorful all on its’ own!

Since I wasn’t following a recipe, just an idea – it’s not perfect, but the flavor is certainly there. I think it would do better in a bigger pan so it spread out thinner and gets a nicer crust – because the crusty portions were heavenly. It is quite moist, which I think less of the flax-egg and maybe some breadcrumbs/more oats might help with. I’d also probably add some more pine nuts – while there were enough as it was, there wasn’t some in every bite…and I wanted there to be 😉 If anyone plays with it, you’ll have to let me know the results 🙂

_____________________________________________

Chickpea-Quinoa Bake

First:

  • 1/4 c. rinsed quinoa (dry measure)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. water
  • seasonings to taste: dried basil, dried chives, salt, pepper
  • olive oil – to coat bottom of pan

Heat olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add in onion and garlic, let soften a couple of minutes. Add in tomato paste and seasonings, saute 2 more minutes. Add in the rinsed quinoa, and saute ~3 more minutes before adding in water. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cooked and water is absorbed.

Meanwhile…

  • 3/4 c. chickpeas
  • 1/4 c. diced balsamic-roasted eggplant
  • 1/4 c. diced roasted red pepper
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1/8 c. rolled oats
  • 1 T. flax mixed with 3 T. water, and let to thicken for a couple minutes
  • 2 T. crumbled feta
  • 2 T. pine nuts, toasted
  • seasonings: salt, pepper, dried parsley, dried basil, cumin, dash crushed red pepper flakes

Mash the chickpeas with the oil – leave some whole. Add in the veggies and balsamic vinegar and combine.

Add in the oats, flax egg, feta, seasonings, pine nuts, and then the cooked quinoa mixture.

Spread into a dish, and bake ~30 minutes at 425*, broiling for the last 5.

___________________________________________

Dessert most certainly ensued, and then I played nurse for Mr. Jiggy. He must have bumped his eye or rubbed it on something – it’s all puffy! Hopefully it will get better soon.

Oh Yeah – and don’t forget to send me your bulgar recipes!! You guys are snoozin’ on this one. It’s like you’ve all got more important things to do than play with bulgar or something! 😉

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24 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

24 responses to “Experimentations

  1. You waffles always look so golden and delicious!! Mine always turn out really cakey! That’s not a bad thing, but crispy looks/sounds delicious!
    Lentil-walnut loaf! I’ll have to try it! I have a TON of lentils that need to be used!

  2. You are on a serious kick with those granola bars! Not that I’m complaining- they look wonderful! 🙂

  3. I was going to try to make Jenna’s loaf this week but I think I will try this instead. I don’t have any lentils and I do have quinoa! It looks really good. I am trying to eat quinoa more often anyway so I am excited.

  4. you are so gorgeous, girl! and even look rockin’ while ridin’ 🙂
    -rebekah

  5. You must must MUST try the lentil loaf!!!! But your casserole, um yum?! You’re so creative girl! You put me to shame 🙂
    The pretzels sound gooooood!!! I love the honey wheat ones!
    Yes, I have a love of nectarines too. Really, what’s not to love? They are amazing. I can’t WAIT untily my work’s nectarines come in.. i’m going to have a field day! And have you ever had a white peach? they are delicious!
    Love you girl!

  6. I hope Jiggy’s eye feels better tomorrow! You and your pony are just too cute! Since my sister does the horse thing, I will share that site with her! I love you sharing you horses! It is part of you and that is what this is all about! Have a great night! I hope you have beautiful weather tomorrow!

  7. I just bought some nectarines and I too prefer them to peaches! Oh, and my boyf totally loved the seitan…you rock lady! Oh, that quinoa chickpea casserole sounds like the perfect dinner to me!

    Have a great weekend lady! I love the photos of you and your boy, both look so cute!

  8. Yes – i too just had my first white nectarine of the season – i love white nectarines!!!! Your granola bars look delicious as well as the chickpea casserole.
    Great pictures of you and the pony are adorable – your mom is quite the photographer as well!!!! Have a great Sunday and thanks for the recipes!!! xoxo aim

  9. I always thought it was “Heavens to Betsy”! Haha who knows. Your casserole looks WONDERFUL! I need a way to use up a bunch of quinoa…

  10. I love to read about the time you spend with your mom. My mom and I are also very close, but unfortunately she is really sick. It warms my heart to see the close relationship the two of you share. Beautiful day, love!

  11. Ever since I saw Jenna’s Lentil walnut loaf earlier this week, I KNEW I had to make them this weekend (probably tomorrow)! Yours look delish as well!

  12. i know right.. who hasent tried that loaf! okay well me but thats okay. i just love how everyone who’s been making it has had it turn out so delicious! and most look quite similar.. which means that its pretty easy to follow!

    haha my mom totally is my photographer.. she was just bragging not too long ago about how her skills are really improving 😉

    yay for our moms haha ❤

  13. Teddie has lovely confirmation! He’s a very beautful horse/pony 🙂
    I haven’t tried Jenna’s lentil loaf thing yet! Is it really that good..? I like the sound of your loaf better 😛 it looks amazing! Has it got its’ own recipe page? Actually, I could just look…:P
    Have a good day!

  14. Those bags are SO loud! They are like the Sunchips new bag. It’s a great idea, but like you said people can hear you coming from miles away! I haven’t tried Jennas loaf either, but it looks so good I’ll have to try!

    and I enjoy reading your riding stories, even if I don’t follow along with every thing 🙂 Have a good weekend!!

  15. I didn’t realize how small Teddie was…he’s adorable! When I took the girls I babysit to their riding lesson last week, they rode ponies and it reminded me of you 🙂 That loaf looks like a great twist on Jenna’s recipe, I love how you always make recipes your own! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  16. Aww I didn’t realize Teddie was so tiny. He’s so cute!

    I wish I had your confidence in the kitchen. I can’t believe you manage to make such delicious meals by improvising! That chickpea quinoa loaf sounds amazing!

  17. Hehe.. I love that he is so tiny ad chunky at the same time 😛 What a doll!

    I think your loaf looks increible. I looked at Jenna’s walnut loaf while ago, but honestly thought it would be a bit too complicated for me to make. I should try something similar though 🙂 Wonderful idea!

    ❤ Tat

  18. That could be a really good diet trick – noise making packaging! It could possibly stop everyone’s late night snacking problems 🙂

  19. Katherine: What About Summer?

    grains and seeds in pretzels- what will they think of next!?

  20. Ah!! I’m really excited about that quinoa bake! Looks fantastic!

  21. Dee

    oh my goodness! I’ve been wanting to try Jenna’s recipe too! Yours looks yummmms!

  22. Ohhh Teddie is SOO ADORABLEEE, I’m so jealous!! You two look so cute together 🙂

    And uhh Jess, stop being so amazingly inventive with your creations – you’re making me doubly jealous hehe! 🙂

    xx

  23. Your mom is getting to be quite the photographer, of course I also think you are pretty photogenic haha.

  24. What a GORGEOUS pony. The photos are SO lovely, your mom is doing a standup photography job 🙂

    I’d definitely be a fan of that loaf “thing” of yours. Sometimes the best meals are created just randomly on a whim with no plans in mind. Culinary art!

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