Hungry, Hunrgry Sourdough Tutorial

Yesterday I raved about my new New England Sourdough. I also shared how I am terrible with following written instructions, so I thought to share a tutorial. Now your sourdough starter will undoubtedly come with instructions of it’s own. Please read them carefully incase they are different than the ones from Cultures for Health. Here is a basic tutorial on how to feed your baby sourdough starter. Like all babies they are hungry, hungry, hungry!

For this tutorial we will stick with a 1/2 cup of sourdough starter.

For this tutorial we will stick with a 1/2 cup of sourdough starter.

Place your starter in a non-reactive bowl.

Place your starter in a non-reactive bowl.

Pour in 1/2 cup of room temperature water. The water can be slightly warm, but not hot or cold. The extremes can kill your starter.

Pour in 1/2 cup of room temperature water. The water can be slightly warm, but not hot or cold. The extremes can kill your starter.

Stir the starter to incorporate the water. It will look like a sloppy, cloudy mess.

Stir the starter to incorporate the water. It will look like a sloppy, cloudy mess.

Add a scant cup of flour to the water sourdough starter.

Add a scant cup of flour to the water sourdough starter.

Stir again to incorporate all the flour.

Stir again to incorporate all the flour.

Now the starter will look wet and lumpy.

Now the starter will look wet and lumpy.

Cover with a paper towel or a tea towel and place in a warm area. It should be at least 70 F, but no more than 85F . Trying to save money on heating? Place the bowl in a cold oven and turn on the light. The light from the oven should keep it sufficiently warm.

Cover with a paper towel or a tea towel and place in a warm area. It should be at least 70 F, but no more than 85F . Trying to save money on heating? Place the bowl in a cold oven and turn on the light. The light from the oven should keep it sufficiently warm.

New England Sourdough

After my last post, I received my New England Sourdough Starter from

Cultures for Health. Now I’ve tried sourdough a few times before without success. I researched trying to find the easiest, most forgiving sourdough, because face it I had all but thrown in the towel. Finally I found this starter and was encouraged by the reviews. I have found it to be everything that the reviewers claimed. Now on a side note, I did manage to kill this sourdough, through no fault of it’s own. Thankfully I had some starter saved back in the fridge and was able to make a new batch.

So my starter arrived in the mail in this cute little box with instructions. I have to admit, I was hooked. Unfortunately I am not one for following directions, somehow something always seems to get lost in the translation. I did great the first couple of days. I discarded everything but 1/2 cup of starter 3 times before I realized I didn’t have to do that every. single. time…..see lost in the translation! Thankfully I had set the excess aside in the fridge. My goal was to use the excess to make sourdough pancakes and sourdough crepes . However my plans were for naught.

The night before I was going to make the pancakes, I started hemorrhaging from my miscarriage (it wasn’t complete at that point) and had to be rushed to the hospital. Thankfully after almost 24 hours, a procedure in the ER, followed by a surgery, I was allowed to go home. Unfortunately I lost a lot of blood and was suffering from acute blood loss anemia. So I spent the rest of the week in bed. Finally on Friday I felt strong enough to venture into the kitchen and much to my dismay the starter was dead. Now before you judge me, I had at that point known we lost our baby 4 weeks prior. I had time to adjust and mourn our loss, and at that point needed some normalcy for my own sanity. I wasn’t very hopeful that anything could be salvaged. I scooped out some of the reserved starter and fed it. Much to my amazement it grew!

Refrigerated sourdough starter

Refrigerated sourdough starter

Now I know everyone deals with grief differently, but for me the sourdough has been very therapeutic. I have to nurture the starter for it to grow, and experiment with it to produce anything worthwhile. In turn it allows me to nourish my family, which somehow produces a sense of satisfaction. It is something that I can control, when so much in my life has been beyond my control lately. The children have also really gotten into it and love helping me feed the starter or bake with it. Sourdough has become a family affair!

Into the oven (no heat, but oven light is kept on)!

Into the oven (no heat, but oven light is kept on) we go!

While I have yet to try the pancakes or crepes, I have tried other delicious recipes with success. I can’t wait to share them with you! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we have. Do you like sourdough? Have you ever tried growing your own starter or baking with one? I would love to hear your experiences or try your recipes!

6 hours later we have a beautifully fed sourdough, ready to be used!

6 hours later we have a beautifully fed sourdough, ready to be used!

Coconut Rice

I have to admit that I cheated on my coconut rice. I’ve been very tired and busy with last-minute prep before the baby is born. Here is my quick and easy cheat for coconut rice. You can still make this with regular rice, just wait until the rice has almost absorbed all the liquid before adding in the shredded coconut.

Ingredients:

2 Tb Coconut Oil

1 pkg of pre-cooked frozen jasmine rice

1/4 c shredded coconut

Salt

 

1. Melt coconut oil in a pot.

2. Add frozen rice, tossing in the oil, coating all the rice.

3. If your frozen rice has any directions to add water do so now. I add 1/4 c water and cook for about 6 minutes.

4. Just before the water is completely absorbed  add the shredded coconut in and continue to cook until all the water is absorbed (another 2-6 minutes).

5. Add salt to taste and serve!

Greek inspired quinoa salad

“More! More!”…”Me too! Me too!” Those words are music to a mother’s ears….especially when heard at the dinner table! I’ve put off making quinoa because the last time I made it the kids wouldn’t eat it. I decided to give it another go this time using the white quinoa instead of the red. The white is more mild in flavor, which seems to be a hit 🙂

Ingredients:
2 cups of quinoa soaked overnight and rinsed until water is clear*
3 cups of water
olive oil
1 cup of cucumber de-seeeded and diced
1 Tbsp of minced red onion
1/2 c of diced & de-seeded tomato
10 olives (your favorite) cut in half or quartered
1 1/2 cups of baby spinach sliced into ribbons

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c olive oil
1 Tbsp of greek seasoning
salt & pepper

*Make sure you rinse your soaked quinoa until the water runs clear….if this step is skipped your quinoa will be BITTER! For more information on soaking your quinoa visit http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2012/01/basic-quinoa-soaked.html

1. Place quinoa in a pot on medium heat with the 3 cups of water. Cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork, and drizzle with olive oil to prevent clumping.

2. In a bowl add the quinoa and the rest of the salad ingredients. (Other optional veggies could be colored bell peppers, artichokes, or even capers.)

3. In a separate bowl prepare dressing. Squeeze in lemon juice, add greek seasoning, and SLOWLY pour in olive oil, whisking until emulsified. It should take about 1/3 c of olive oil, but watch carefully! Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

4. Pour dressing over salad, toss, then taste to adjust salt & pepper to taste. **tip the more salty the olive you use, the less salt you will need to add in, the same goes with the capers 🙂 Enjoy!

This post was shared as a part of the Pennywise Platter. http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2012/01/pennywise-platter-thursday-119.html

Warm Mediterranean Rice Salad

I love this salad! It has the brightness of summer, yet the warm-ness of winter. A perfect combination for a springtime meal. Use it as a side or add chicken on top for an entrée. Serves 3-4.

Salad ingredients:
1 2/3 c brown rice *see note
2 c. loosely packed torn spinach
20 cherry tomatoes halved
2 mini seedless cucumbers, thickly sliced and quartered
2 oz of ricotta salta or feta cheese, crumbled
10 basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
salad dressing (listed below)

1. Cook the * brown rice according to the package. When most of the water has been absorbed add the spinach and cover. Total cook time should be about 45 minutes, adding the spinach doesn’t change the rice’s cook time.

2. After the rice and spinach have cooked, remove from heat and remove cover. You want to allow the rice to cool a little so that it is warm but not hot. While cooling put the rest of the ingredients (except dressing) into a large bowl.

3. Once rice and spinach have cooled a little, add to the bowl and gently toss.

4. Just before serving lightly drizzle with salad dressing. Depending on the texture of the rice you may not need all the dressing. You will want a light coating, but you do not want the salad to look really wet.

*Note* This is a great way to use up leftover rice. To save time, when you prepare rice for another meal, cook extra and set it aside for this recipe. Then steam the rice and spinach together until spinach is wilted, about 10-15 minutes.

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
~ 1/4 c olive oil
1 garlic clove finely minced
1/4 tsp cracked red pepper
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup squeeze in lemon juice. The amount of juice will determine how much olive oil you need. Wisk the lemon juice, while slowly adding olive oil. When it has emulsified you have enough olive oil. My lemon had a lot of juice, so I needed more oil. Whisk in rest of ingredients tasting as needed. *tip go light on salt until after you have added to salad, you can always add more if needed.

This recipe is a part of Nourshing Gourmet Pennywise Platter. For more information please visit:
http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2011/03/pennywise-platter-thursday-310.html#more-3928