Two recipes, two very different lifestyles.

3 Oct

This post is a bit long, not because I have time to write a long post (I absolutely don’t), but because I’ve had a bit of a crazy week, particularly in the food department. Also, PICTURES.

I am aware that last week I stated my contempt for yeast and my desire to never engage with it in my kitchen again. Well, I am a liar. By Tuesday I decided that I would not be defeated by a tiny packet of freeze-dried bacteria, and I really wanted a pizza. But not just any pizza: I really wanted a pizza that I had a Za with my sister 5 years ago, topped with fresh pumpkin and goat cheese, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Sadly, a plane ticket to Boston is upwards of $200 and I still haven’t gotten my graduate stipend. So it was going to be Chelsea vs. Yeast, round two. And once again, fate was against me.

The morning I had decided to make pizza there was a gas leak in my apartment. They had to turn off the gas, but reassured us it would be fixed at seven that night. So I did all the preparatory cutting, kneading, and rising. Seven came and went, with nary a whiff of gas. And the next morning, still no stove. As I use a French press, that meant no coffee. Also as I have no microwave, that meant lukewarm steel cut oatmeal that I attempted to heat up in a water bath in my crock pot, futilely. I was not amused.

Finally, that afternoon, the housing company called to say the gas leak was fixed, but that I would have to call the gas company because they need to turn on every person’s stove individually. I called when I got out of class at 7, they came at 10, and by 11 I was eating pizza. The dough had stored surprisingly well in the refrigerator. It was thicker and more dense that the dough at Za, and reminded me of the pizza dough my parents make. Cooking it in a cast-iron pan gave it a crispy, sturdy bottom and the yeasty-ness (not a word) really complemented the toppings.

But please, less talk of flour. The more I think about it, think about the bookmarked cookie recipes, the pumpkin muffins, the breads, the more I will regret a hasty decision I made two days ago to try out…Primal eating (Dun dun dunnnnn). As I am still in the process of educating myself about the lifestyle, I will direct you to this blog for more information.

First, some TM-background-I. A few months ago I started taking a certain medication frequently used for the prevention of babies, though that really isn’t the problem for me. This medication, among other hormonal issues (or something else entirely), is wreaking havoc on my metabolism. My sister has been touting the benefits of primal eating for a while now, particularly its magical weight-loss properties, and I’ve finally decided to give it a go. Any excuse to eat more bacon and peanut butter while somehow losing ~8 pounds (i.e. MAGIC).

After all, if there was every a time to go primal, it is the fall. I can absolutely give up pasta and bread and rice, so long as it is replaced by squash. Yesterday I celebrated the renaissance of my cave-dwelling predecessors by hauling myself out of bed at a god-awful hour of the morning and taking a train/bus/walking across town to the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market. Unfortunately, as I was walking along the edge of the park, my beautiful overcast October morning devolved into pouring rain. I took shelter in a church rummage sale, where I found these beauties for 25 cents apiece:

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My silly mug collection in back on track.

And also this sign, which was sadly not for sale:

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When the rain let up it was back to the farmer’s market, where I picked up a pumpkin, acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, and a jar of cranberry apple butter. I’d been threatening to make apple butter for a while, but every time I buy a bunch of fresh apples they manage to disappear before I get the chance to do any cooking. I blame the cat:

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This blog could change a lot depending on my experience with primal eating, or it might not change at all if I don’t feel like I’m benefiting from these cutbacks. I am anticipating plenty of delicious slip-ups, which will totally be worth it, as well as some slip-ups that really won’t be worth it. I told myself that Sunday would be my cheating day (waffles! oatmeal!) but since I just started, I haven’t felt the need to cheat yet. Instead I wanted to try something a little adventurous, and I happened to have a bag of garbanzo and fava flour and about six cans of pumpkin, which could only mean one thing: Paleo-Pumpkin-Pecan Pancakes!

First, the pizza recipe, because it really was damn good:
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Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Pizza dough- I used this recipe, halved, and a mixture of whole wheat an ap flour (yes, I never learn. But this time it turned out delicious so it’s all good).
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 red onion
Chopped, toasted, unsalted pecans
Salt, pepper, olive oil, cornmeal
Freshly grated parmesan

If you make you own crust, while it is rising you can lightly coat the squash cubes in olive oil, add some sea salt and pepper and roast at 350 degrees until tender. Mine took about 50 minutes. While that’s cooking, caramelize the red onion of the stovetop. I hardly used any oil since my cast iron pan is pretty well seasoned. After about fifteen minutes I started adding 1/4 cups of water and constantly stirring to keep them from burning. Once all the toppings are prepared, put the cleaned cast-iron pan in a 500 degree over and let it heat up. Take it out, hit it up with some cooking spray and cornmeal Press enough dough into the pan to cover the bottom and add the toppings. I added the squash, then the onions, then the goat cheese, then sprinkled the top with a handful of pecans, parmesan, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Stick until broiler until the top starts to brown, around 5-ish minutes. Remove, slice, and enjoy, all you jerks that can still eat grains.

Now onto the pancakes! They smelled a bit like falafel but they actually tasted delicious, and very pumpkin-y:

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Paleo-Pumpkin-Pecan Pancakes
Adapted from this recipe

I cut the original recipe into quarters, which made three decent sized pancakes that were plenty filling with a side of frittata.
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 canned pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp egg whites
1 tbsp ground flax
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped roasted pecans
Delicious toppings of choice (I used my new cranberry apple butter and some cinnamon-infused maple syrup)

Mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, flax, spices, and pecans). Add pumpkin, oil, egg, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add vanilla almond milk. I started with 1/4 cup but added a little more until it seemed like the right consistency (the recipe said it should be like cupcake batter). Heat up a pan (Cast iron ftw! Nothing sticks to that poop), spray with cooking spray, and spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan. I was able to fit all three. The cooked just like regular pancakes. I flipped them over when the edges were no longer sticky. I also cooked them a little longer than I normally would pancakes and just kept flipping them over because I feared uncooked batter in the middle. I made the horrible mistake of tasting the batter because I was curious; It was like tahini-puke, an abominable mixture of flavors that had no right co-exiting in the same bowl. The final product, on the other hand, was totally delicious. Maybe this primal-thing won’t be so bad…

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2 Responses to “Two recipes, two very different lifestyles.”

  1. Katerina October 6, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    I love pizza of any kind and yours looks absolutely mouthwatering.

  2. BellaBallestra October 24, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Jeez…I only sort of found out about this ‘primal eating’ thing a few days ago, and suddenly Everyone’s Doing It….but I like pasta…
    I’m excited by this fun experimentation with different kinds of flour though. I might have some trouble finding it at Super Fresh or Food Lion though.

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