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Off Kilter Tuesday = Kitchen Time

This morning I woke up to a gray drizzle. That sort of describes my mood for the day. My sinuses are draining, and I wasn't feeling super today. I ended up leaving work around 11:30. I never was able to get any sleep, but I did manage to get some things done in the kitchen. I made some more Red Bean & Lentil Burgers. This time I used walnuts instead of sunflower seeds, and I also added in a few splashes of liquid smoke.

I also made some bread. This French Bread recipe originally came from allrecipes.com. I have been slowly converting it into a whole-wheat recipe. Sometimes messing with the flours can completely ruin breads/baking. So far so good. Here is my updated version for Wheat Bread Machine French Bread.


Wheat Bread Machine French Bread
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tsp ground flax seeds
Sunflower seeds (just eyeball - maybe a bit more than an 1/8 cup)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Directions:
Place all ingredients in bread machine with the yeast going in last. Set machine to the "dough" setting and start.

When cycle is complete, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each portion into rectangles and roll up jelly-roll style. As an option, you can cut into smaller loafs or into roll sizes.

Place onto prepared baking sheet (I use a Silpat) seam-side down. Cover and let rise in a warm place approximately 20 minutes or until doubles.


Brush with plain soy milk or an egg wash. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.



Anytime we have fresh bread, soup or large dinner salad pops into mind. Something about bread on the side of either of those always sounds appealing. While it's not quite soup weather, I went with it anyway. I'm a rebel as you can tell. I had 2 ears of grilled corn on the cob from yesterday, so I decided on a Black Bean, "Chicken" & Corn Soup (sort of along the lines of Taco Soup Tuesday).


Black Bean, "Chicken" & Corn Soup
Ingredients:
1/4-1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, minced
Minced garlic (to taste)
2 ears grilled corn, kernels cut from cob
1 can no-salt diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or cooked equivalent)
To taste: salt, black pepper, cumin, cilantro
low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup cashews (soaked at least 30 minutes)
1/4 cup water
MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters™ (homemade Chikn' Seitan would be preferable), diced


Directions:
In large pot, saute onions, peppers, garlic until begins to soften. Add in corn, tomatoes, beans, broth, and spices. Allow to simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add water and cashews to blender and puree until smooth. Stir into soup and add in the "chicken" and allow soup to continue to thicken to desired consistency. 

This turned out really well and would go well with baked tortilla strips or a jalapeno cornbread (if you like spicy). I'll definitely be making this one again, especially when it cools down.

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