Lunch at Work: Mung Bean Wraps

8 04 2013

Mung beans make an appearance at lunch very often for me. Especially in the winter when lunch consists of Cleansing Kitchery or Bean Soup. Lately, I’ve been making a version of Moroccan Goodness using mung beans. They are just so easy to use, full of goodness and if you soak them overnight, they cook up fast.

Two things I look forward to in the foodie world are 1) the monthly Alive magazine and 2) the bi-monthly City Palate. I picked up both new issues two weekends ago and spent some lazy moments this weekend flipping through them. Beans are on the menu in Alive this month which was perfect timing because even I get tired of the same thing for lunch now and then. It was time for a change and time to experiment in the kitchen. Eating monotony often means I’ve also been lacking in kitchen adventures which results in little to no blogging. Newly inspired, I tried the Mung Bean Pate Wraps. I had to alter the recipe because I found it bland. I can’t blame the recipe because I made mine without garlic and shallots, which is where a lot of the flavour would come from. However, I don’t like it when recipes depend on these ingredients for flavour. Even with onions and garlic, I don’t think the tomato flavour would have come through. So here is my more sattvic, pumped up version. Of course, add a bit of garlic and shallot or onion if you’d like.

  • 2/3 cups dried Mung Beans
  • 1/3 cups Walnuts
  • 1 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Soak the mung beans overnight or for several hours, the more you soak the quicker they cook. Rinse them off and bring to boil in about 3 cups of water and then simmer. If you soaked them overnight, they’ll be soft in 15-20 min, if you didn’t soak them, cover them and check them every 10 minutes until they are soft. Rinse them off in cold water. In a food processor blend the mung beans and the rest of the ingredients together. Blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon or more of water if you find it too thick. I buy a big jar of sun dried tomatoes at Costco, one of the few vegetable things that aren’t organic in our house, but you know, how can you resist the price and the amount you get!

Sun Dried Tomatoes

I smeared the pate on a spelt wrap, added some goats cheese and sliced yellow peppers for lunch. Delicious. Easy to pack to work, I just rolled up one of the wraps in plastic wrap so it wouldn’t dry out. I put the pate and cheese into a small container the peppers in another container. Sliced cucumber and other veg like carrots on the side. Lunch is served (and had my colleagues saying ‘that looks yummy’ today at lunch).

Mung Bean Pate

Have you tried mung beans yet? What’s your favourite way to use them?

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Steel Cut Oats, Muffin Size

29 01 2013

I’ve done it. I’ve found a new weekday breakfast (and managed to get a blog post up in January). Anyone that knows me, I’m a creature of habit, same breakfast Monday thru Friday. Whole soaked and sprouted grains with cinnamon and toasted mixed nuts and seeds. Oatmeal with natural peanut butter and maple syrup on the weekends, yummy. That and a green smoothie, I’m good to go.

I love oatmeal and whole oats. Oatmeal is a bit of a pain at work though because you have to add the hot water, cook it and then you’re left with a messy bowl after. The sprouted cooked whole grains (kamut, spelt, soft wheat etc) are great because you can make a weeks worth at a time. It freezes, it packs well, there’s no water required and they don’t clump, but a spoon and bowl are required. See my post about Kamut for Breakfast from awhile back. If you practice or workout in the morning, you probably eat when you get to work or school so it makes for a rushed breakfast before meetings or class (or you eat in meetings if you have tolerant colleagues, I do ;-)).

In November’s Alive magazine there was group of recipes that featured oatmeal. One recipe looked like cooked oatmeal in a muffin wrapper, I was intrigued. I tried it and it is now my go to breakfast. They are filling and nutrient dense. Here is the original recipe, I skipped the compote and made a few edits based on my experience and likes. I’ve made these every week since. They take no time at all.

IMG_1761

Muffin Size Steel Cut Oats

  • 1 cup Steel Cut Oats (soak them in filtered water overnight in the fridge and then rinse and drain them)
  • 1/2 cup Oat Bran or Spelt Flour (I’ve tried both, I am sure you could try a GF flour of some sort)
  • 1/2 cup or more of chopped Walnuts (I’ve added pecans as well)
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar (I added this to original recipe, they were a bit bland)
  • 2 Free Range Eggs (you could try the flax meal egg substitute for vegan)
  • 1/2 can of Pumpkin Puree, about 1 cup (use the unsweetened plain one)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Almond or Soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Steel Cut Oat Muffins 2

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together (drained oats, oat bran or spelt flour, walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and coconut sugar). Whisk the wet ingredients together (eggs, pumpkin, milk, maple syrup). Mix the wet with the dry. Line a regular sized muffin tin with muffin papers (I prefer this over greasing them because they are easier to pack to work).  Put in the oven, middle rack, let bake for 25-30 min. The recipe called for 20 min or until set. The first time I made them, liquid was still bubbling out of them at 20 min, I was really skeptical. I ended up baking them for 30 min and they turned out, but a bit dry. Now when I make them I bake for 25 min and then cool, in the muffin pan, for 15 min to finish setting. Remove and put on cooling rack. They sweat a little, so they need to be on a cooling rack. Freeze half, fridge the other half and take two to work a day (along with your green smoothie).

Steel Cut Oat Muffins 3

Other notes:

– I haven’t tried this yet, but I will experiment with ripe bananas and home-made apple sauce. Might need to adjust the amount of oat bran to soak up extra liquid from the apple sauce.

– I freeze the other half of the canned pumpkin. Put the lid back on the top of the pumpkin and freeze. Take out hours before using to defrost. You’ll need to drain the pumpkin a bit to rid some of the liquid. Or, just make a double batch with a can of pumpkin and freeze them. They freeze great!

– If you try alternatives, let me know!!!

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Walnut Kifli

22 12 2010

‘Kifli’ is a very common Hungarian yeast dough pastry, cut into triangles and rolled up into a crescent shape. There are savoury ones and sweet ones. I grew up with a sweet one made with a walnut filling. Kifli are a staple during the holidays and I recently made kifli with my grandma Ann. When I first got the recipe for kifli from her she explained the dough needed to rest in the fridge overnight. I thought, great, i’ll make the dough and come by the next day and learn how to roll the cookies. Before the plans were solidified she says to me ‘I think you should come here and make the dough, I don’t trust you’ll know how to do it right’. She was right (head hung). When it comes to cookies, these are a bit labour intensive, but once you get the hang of it, and are well supervised :), time flies. I’ll do my best to explain, but I agree that it takes practice, a trained eye and taste experience to know what is a ‘good’ dough, filling and end product.

***Warning, these are not my typical no sugar, whole grain treat. The experience of learning tradition and spending time with a grandparent is the treat. And besides, these are simple ingredients, low in sugar and considering the recipe will make 85-95 cookies…well, do the math, you’ll live if you eat a few of them.***

Dough:

  • 2 cups Regular Flour
  • 1 cup Pastry Flour
  • 1 – 1/4 cup regular Butter
  • I tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Egg Yolks (save the whites for egg wash)
  • 1 package of Dry Yeast, dissolved in 1-2 tbsp of warm milk
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Sour Creme (buy a small 250 ml container)
  • 1 tsp Salt

Filling

  • 1 lb Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Rinds of 2 Lemons, grated

Sift the flour and salt together (that sifter of grandmas is older than ME!). With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture. Mix the sour creme, yeast mixture, lemon juice and eggs together. Add the wet to the dry, mix with a spoon, folding over until it is blended. Then with your hands form it into a ball. On a floured surface, kneed a few times to incorporate all the ingredients, not too much or it toughens. Cut into two pieces, put in fridge over night.

For the filling, grind the walnuts, check out that old grinder. A food processor will work, but be careful not to pulverize them into powder, they need to be a course grind. Mix in grated lemon rind and sugar. The cookies call for the evil white sugar – now i’ll experiment with alternatives one day, but 1/2 cup of sugar for 85+ cookies, i’ll live. My grandma makes them low in sugar because her mother watched her sugar intake. Nice.

After the dough has sat in the fridge overnight, no longer than 12 hours, take out and let rest at room temperature for a couple of hours so you can roll it out. Roll out on a dusting of flour, turning and flipping over until dough is about 2mm in thickness? Cut into triangles 3.5″ across and about 45 degrees. Again, this isn’t going to be easy to explain here. Fill the base of the triangle with a spoon of filling, tuck the corners in a bit, roll, stuffing the filling as you go, brushing extra aside. Tip of triangle needs to be on the bottom of the roll so it doesn’t unravel while baking. Brush with egg white and bake for about 20 min in 375 degrees until golden brown. To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

That doesn’t do it justice but I don’t expect a pastry beginner to give this a shot. If you do, let me know how you do. By the way, and although she might not admit it in public, grandma said (sipping her tea and watching me) that my kifli were perfect, like i’d been doing it my whole life. Perfect. That’s right, must be in the genes.

Eat well and Be well over the holidays,

Nat