Whole Wheat & Seed Bread

I was in dire need of some good whole wheat bread yesterday – and the grocery store bakery just wasn’t delivering on all my cravings. I wanted rich and nutty aromas, a bread chock full of nutrients, and deliciously guilt-free. So to the kitchen I went, to concoct the bread my mouth was watering for.

Whole Wheat & Seed BreadYes, this is healthy bread that’s full of bird seed  flax and sesame seeds. But it’s also good bread. It can side a bowl of soup, goes great with butter and honey, or can be the ideal ends (and middle…) to a fantastic Club Sandwich. Something a little like this :club Sandwich

Whole Wheat & Seed Bread

  • 1 1/2 C. warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 C. rolled oats
  • 1/4 C. flax seeds
  • 1/4 C. sunflower seeds (roasted)
  • 1/4 C. sliced almonds
  • 2 – 3 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and honey. Allow to proof for 5 minutes. Add in salt, oats, flax, sunflower seeds, and almonds. Mix on low with the dough hook for 1 minute. Add in 2 cups of flour and stir on low until combined (scrape down sides of the bowl as needed). If needed, add in more flour 1/4 cup at a time. Dough will be tacky, but should form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Pour in oil while mixer is running. With the mixer on medium-low, knead for 7 to 10 minutes.

Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough, lightly knead in the bowl for 2 to 3 minutes. Place dough into an oiled loaf pan, and  allow to rise until dough crowns over pan by 1 inch (about 1 hour).

Bake bread at 375F for 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on a rack before removing from pan.

Club Sandwich

Layer, from bottom to top :

  • Toasted bread
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices deli meat (rotisserie-style chicken)
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Tomato, thick sliced
  • Toasted bread with mayonnaise
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 egg, over easy
  • Toasted bread with whole grain mustard
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Lemon & Honey Grilled Chicken

After a trip to the Savannah Bee Company, I’ve been mildly addicted to their Sourwood Honey. The local store is a favorite of ours. Beyond the great honey and products, they have a live hive inside (no, the bees don’t fly around the store…but you can watch them work through the clear walls!) and a children’s “hive” for coloring and reading. While shopping one day, I indulged in no less than 8 samples before deciding I really ought to buy some of the liquid gold.

sourwood honey

Even if you don’t have a jar of sourwood, you should try using some good honey the next time you fire up the grill. Lemon & Honey Grilled Chicken combines the tang of lemon (which tenderizes the meat during the marinating time) with the sweetness of honey to create a flavorful departure from your standard grilled BBQ chicken.

Lemon & Honey Chicken

Marinade

  • Chicken (thighs, trimmed)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 C. red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 T. dried Italian herb blend
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a food processor or blender. Pulse until well chopped and blended. Pour marinade over chicken, and refrigerate for a few hours (I did 4).

Lemon & Honey Glaze

  • 1/4 C. lemon juice
  • 1 T. honey (sourwood)
  • 1 T. butter, melter
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Whisk all ingredients together. Brush onto chicken in at the end of the cooking time.

Strawberries & Pretzels

Strawberries are on sale this week at my local grocery store – 3 pints for $5! That’s a steal! So of course I bought 3 pints, and needed to brainstorm ways to use them before they spoiled. Blender drinks came to mind, but it was only 8 in the morning (and we are out of rum…). My next thought was pie.

Strawberry Pie

If pie can be healthy, this is a healthy pie. I’m not saying it’s good for you or will aid in whatever diet/weight loss plan you subscribe to. But in a dessert world full of butter, cream, and sugar, this pie is relatively low on all three. So in my humble non-scientific opinion, this pie must be healthy. To start, it has 2 pints of strawberries. They are sliced thin and piled high. You are guaranteed to eat at least 6 strawberries with every slice. Next is the crust – it’s pretzel! Pretzels are considered a “healthy” salty snack, much preferable to potato chips or french fries….and it’s lower in calories and sugar than the traditional go-to for crumb crust – the graham cracker. Finally is the topping. It may look like whip cream, but it’s actually yogurt and sour cream. So there….it’s healthy….for pie.

Strawberry slicer

One quick tip before we get to the recipe. I suggest everyone invest (all of $5) in an egg slicer. It’s this cool contraption with 10 wires used to thinly and evenly slice hard boiled eggs. It can also be used to slice strawberries, kiwi, mushrooms or any other soft (and small, the cutting area is only 2 – 3 inches wide) food. I perfectly sliced 2 pints of strawberries in about 10 minutes (including the hulling part). Not too bad!

Strawberry Pie

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 package (.3 ounce) sugar-free strawberry gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pretzel crumb crust
  • 2 C. yogurt topping

In a medium saucepan, combine  cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil and whisk for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add strawberry gelatin and sugar. Whisk until dissolved. Add in strawberries then pour into cooled crust. Allow pie to cool then refrigerate for 2 hours. Top with yogurt topping and serve.

Pretzel Crumb Crust

  • 1 1/2 C. pretzel crumbs*
  • 6 T. butter, melted
  • 1 T. honey

Combine all ingredients. Press into a lightly greased pie pan. Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes or until starting to brown. Allow crust to cool before adding in the strawberry filling.

*This is an estimate

Yogurt Topping

  • 1 C. French vanilla yogurt
  • 1 C. sour cream
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.

Strawberry Pie recipe modified from Taste of Home.