Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mango Quinoa Pudding

      It may not be the most highly regarded dessert joint, but I came to really enjoy Pudding on the Rice when we lived n Portland. Novelty perhaps but there was something very satisfying about the colorful and wonderfully sticky globs of rice that your average cup of topped frozen yogurt couldn't compete with. I have to believe this has something to do with rice pudding's certain affinity to comfort food, but a dessert comfort food. 
      As with most comfort food, rice pudding does not rate highly on the nutritional scale. But what if that white rice was switched out with a very healthy grain instead and milk was exchanged for say almond or coconut milk? In keeping with our dietary restrictions this month Hollin prepared a sugar free, gluten free, vegan dessert that really hit the spot for me - my rice pudding spot. Mango is always a great pair with coconut milk but I have to wonder what other fruits might be equally delicious to try in this recipe. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Field Trip: San Francisco

   This past summer, we had the opportunity to visit some friends in San Francisco. Because Tartine Bakery is located in San Francisco I was especially thrilled to make this trip. Last spring I was gifted the Tartine Bread book and ever since I have desperately desired to make this bread. I've had some issues and have not completely been successful, but I was pleased to find out that the flavor that I achieved at home was similar to Tartine's own bread. If you are ever in the San Francisco area, I can't recommend Tartine enough. The croissants alone are reason enough to visit. While the staff may not be the friendliest and you will most likely have to wait in a long line that goes out the door, you'll forget about all this once you're biting into the flakiest croissant you've ever had or what I feel is simply the best bread ever produced. 
   A note about the bread. If you do plan on picking one up, you will need to know that the bread comes out of the oven at 5pm. It is said by the staff that they do run out from time to time, so be early or pre-order a loaf (or three). I highly recommend the rosemary olive bread. Don't let the $7 dollar loaf shy you away, it's a large loaf and completely worth it. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


     Mjadra, Mujadarra,  مجدرة‎, and other variants in spelling are some of the several words used to describe variations of rice and lentil dishes found in Near to Middle East cuisine. I would like to draw your attention to the Lebanese rendition, Mjadra. I first had Mjadra at Nicholas Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. I've had it since at other mediocre Lebanese / Mediterranean restaurants since but none has risen to the perfection of Nicholas'. After some research and experimentation I think I can safely say that my version comes close to what I remember Nicholas' version tasting like. Give it a try! This dish exemplifies what this blog is about: cheap and healthy eating. Lentils, Rice, Onions, Simple but a perfect way to get your lentil/brown rice protein in. Here we go: 


1/2 c. uncooked lentils
2 c. water
3 lg. white onions, julienned
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/8th teaspoon dried garlic (or use some minced fresh garlic, I don't see why not)
Salt to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 cups cooked brown rice (or basmati for more of an authentic feel), (from about 1 cup dry)

1. Wash/rinse rice and cook (I like to throw in some salt and some oil (a tsp of each) for this dish). 

2. Place onions in a large frying pan with enough olive oil to fully coat the bottom of the pan. The goal here is to caramelize the onions. This can be achieved by slowly cooking them away on a medium low heat. This typically works well for me but I have seen more elaborate ways to caramelize onions these techniques will usually ask for you to add sugar, something that isn't necessary as the onions will release their own sugar. For this recipe you do not need to really add any salt in here as most caramelized recipes will call for. You'll know your onions are ready when they are brown and rather slimy.  

3. While the onions and rice are doing their thing, bring water and lentils to a boil, continue to boil for about 20 minutes or until the lentils have fully absorbed the water.

4. If everything is timed out right, you should be able to season the cooked lentils with cumin, coriander, garlic, salt and lemon juice right before throwing in the caramelized onions. If not just let things sit covered off the heat. 

5. Mix all ingredients well before topping the rice. Serve. Enjoy. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chickpea Salad Stuffed Bell Pepper

      After an adventurous three month vacation in California tasting culinary delights from Bouchon to Tartine, the wife and I have arrived back home to Montreal fattened and hungry still. We may have had too good of a time eating in California (not to mention the feast that was the Northwest) this summer. So the wife started speaking of a cleanse, something a friend told us he did for twenty-one days. When hearing the suggestion of a cleanse my initial thoughts were "Oh great, here comes the honeyed lemonade." But fortunately it is not one of those types of cleanses. It's actually outlines foods that are not that different than what we normally consume--well, that's not exactly true. . .

Here's what's excluded:

Dairy / Animal products of any kind (honey, gelatin, etc. )

I would also argue that most of these things should be excluded at all times, so why not go along with the wife and try this cleanse. The weak spot for me is gluten, I love bread and cannot be fully convinced of the damage a whole wheat loaf might inflict. Yet like undergoing any such diet it is important not to think about the can't haves and more about what the regiment will force you to explore. With this type of thinking I do not simply bump wheat off the list but instead add something like quinoa, a grain I typically do not get enough of.

I want to share a dish that Hollin found and adapted a bit from the ever delicious Smitten Kitchen. I loved this stuff. Light, refreshing and somewhat creamy, and reminiscent of potato salad.  And it is not only because it's vegan and gluten free that it is something to get excited about, it's tremendously flavorful.

The Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil
zest and juice from half a lemon
couple good pinches of salt
a few grinds of black pepper
3-4 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2-3 red bell peppers, halved (for serving).

1. Simply mix all ingredients mashing up the chickpeas slightly with a fork or potato masher, just enough to form a texture similar to that of potato salad.

2. Dish into the bell pepper boats. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pizza Napolatana

Video accompaniment for a previous recipe and method I posted back in December. You can find it here: Pizzette Neapolitan

Sunday, May 29, 2011

EFTROU Video Series Coming

Ever since I began baking bread I have noticed how difficult it can be to learn by reading about the process of breadmaking. I suppose this is a fairly obvious observation to make considering that we always hear about the best bakers making a pilgrimage to the French countryside and apprenticing with experienced boulangers. The process involved in some food preparation can just be too complex to express verbally. 

It is no surprise that there are countless hours of food making videos posted on YouTube alone. Food videos have grown especially prominent showcasing recipes, techniques and often just food porn. I think the best food videos combine all of these elements (yes, even food porn can be important if it functions to provide a motivation for cooking). So while food videos are by no means new, I would like to contribute to the body of cooking videos by making a few of my own. So hopefully over the summer I will be able to post a few recipe videos. Right now, I am in the process of editing a video demonstrating the method for my favorite pizza recipe. Today I put together a trailer to kick off this series. I promise that the future videos will offer better soundtracks (probably one that I didn't compose), but as for this trailer, just have fun with it. 

Eating For The Rest Of Us Video Series Trailer from Eric Whedbee on Vimeo.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Chili

      As I had mentioned in a previous post, I have been trying to find a good chili recipe. My search subsided after I found the chili recipe that I had posted previously even though I was not completely satisfied by it. Perhaps it was because the weather started to change as spring approached (it's still approaching here in Montreal) but I forgot about my quest for a good veggie chili recipe. But as with the best recipes, they usually just fall into your lap, through experimentation or from something as simple as talking to your mom on the phone. Recently I was on the phone with my mom and she told me about some chili recipe that she had heard about and tried. It sounded amazing so I soon found myself at the store gathering some simple ingredients including an orange. Yes, an orange for chili. This, my friends, is a sweeter chili than we are usually accustomed to. It's perfect for the spring time when you are still looking for something to warm you up during a cool evening.

      As you can see, I chose to serve the chili on french fries. I hesitated to show this one on a blog that prides itself for healthy eating choices, but the wife and I often eat chili this way especially when we are a little burnt out on having rice (typically we eat brown rice 5 or so times a week). Perhaps the desire to eat it on french fries also has something to do with nostalgia I have for the cafeteria that we ate at together in college. They would often have a "fry bar." This would consists of fries, beans, tomatoes/salsa, sour cream etc. Basically your average taco condiments but served on a nest of fries. It may sound a little repulsive, but I have to admit I looked forward to "fry bar" day at the cafeteria. This exceeds the bland bean blend at the cafeteria and even my beloved Trader Joe's canned chili on fries. The sweet potatoes and the orange zest in this dish affords this chili a very flavorful (and healthy) melange despite the simplicity of the recipe. 

The Ingredients:

2  T. vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped
1  T. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
2 Cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 zest
salt & pepper

1. Heat the oil in a 4-6 qt.dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the chili powder and cumin, then add the broth and sweet potatoes and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, the cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and beans and to simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is heated through and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes more.

5. Stir in the orange zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Serve the chili atop brown rice or french fries. Optionally top with green onions, cilantro and/or sour cream.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baking Supplies

Baker's Supplies

Inspired by the Tartine Bread book that I recently acquired for my birthday, I am rounding up my bread making tools. This is a list of supplies that will get you going on your quest to make a beautiful artisan loaf.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vegan Brown Rice Waffles

I was a little hesitant about whipping these waffles up. I've never made batter from brown rice but the method seemed interesting so I became curious to see if the waffles would actually turn out. Not only did they turn out, they are quite tasty. 

This recipe requires that you start the batter the night before by soaking the brown rice. You'll be happy about this when you are rushing to make breakfast before work. As a note, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by substituting conventional vanilla extract with a gluten-free extract such as McCormick's Vanilla Extract. Better yet, use vanilla bakery emulsion instead of extract altogether to ensure a gluten-free recipe. (recipe after the jump)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cherry Tomato Trofie Liguri

       Recently a friend of mine gave me a box of Trofie Liguri pasta. He purchased this pasta rarity (at least I've never seen this type before) from an Italian specialty shop in NYC. The shape is interesting- it's essentially a rolled up pasta. I have been looking forward to making a dish with it ever since I laid my eyes on it. We decided to go with an old family standard. Perhaps our favorite pasta dish. The unique shape of the Trofie Liguri pasta provided the perfect pasta-to-sauce ratio. This recipe was shared with us by sister Keiko. Her talents extend far beyond providing us this great recipe, you should check out her blog A Small Adventure to see what she's been up to.