SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E7): Uncle Gary’s Challenge

This week, we get a special fan mail request from Marie’s Uncle Gary, and she shows up with nothing but #drinkinwine. How are we going to play Swashbuckled with no ingredients?

Read on for episode breakdown.


Ingredients featured in this week’s episode:

So…back story… SUPERFAN Joe Marandola (Marie’s dad), shared our web series with his family back in Rhode Island. From that, we got our first fan request from Uncle Gary: “Here are four…Ground Cinnamon, Soy Sauce, Mustahd and Gingah. Holy sh*t, make something with that!”

We took this request very seriously, and Marie knew that I would have most of these ingredients in my kitchen, so the only ingredient she brought over this week was her favorite fancy mustard (oh, and #drinkinwine, AKA. Lonely Alcoholic White Girl Soda).

Since I had only shopped at 99 Ranch this week, as opposed to Trader Joe’s, we were very limited to things involving tofu, ramen noodles and miso paste. But the final product was a delicious, winter ramen. You can easily make the ramen eggs and broth ahead of time, and just boil the noodles as needed. It should last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Vegetable Miso Ramen

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, Grated
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp White Miso Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • Ramen Noodles of Choice (or just pick the best package)
  • Toppings: Baby Bok Choy, Thinly Sliced Carrots, Halved Grape Tomatoes, Soft Boiled Ramen Egg, Enoki Mushrooms, Sliced Green Onion, Seaweed, Crushed Red Chili Flakes

Directions

  1. Bring chicken or veggie broth to a boil and add miso paste, ginger and garlic. Let boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, add Mirin, and prepare toppings.
  2. Thinly slice baby bok choy and green onion. Use a peeler to thinly slice carrots. Halve grape tomatoes.
  3. In a separate boy, bring water to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, cook ramen noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, put noodles in bowl and top with ramen broth, desired toppings and ramen egg.
  4. For the Soft Boiled Ramen Eggs, you’ll need to prepare them at least 4 hours in advance so they can marinate.  Fill a pot at heat halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Once water is at a rolling boil, add 4 eggs (with a slotted spoon or skimmer so you don’t crack the eggs), and then set a timer for 8  minutes (if you like runny eggs, go for 7, if you like harder cooked eggs, go for 9-10 minutes). Once timer goes off, immediately transfer eggs to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Peel eggs and place in marinade of 1 part soy sauce, 1 part mirin and 3 parts water. Make sure all eggs are covered. Refrigerate for a few hours, ideally overnight.

Mustard Crusted Tofu

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard (the Grain type)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Slice tofu into thin, squares (or shapes of your choosing).
  2. In a bowl, combine mustard, soy sauce and sesame oil. Toss sliced tofu in marinade, and let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place marinated tofu in a single layer on parchment. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping tofu halfway through.

Vegetable Miso Ramen with Mustard Tofu

White Chocolate, Raisin and Oat Cookies

 

White-Choc-Raisin-Oat-Cookies-MAIN

My mother-in-law’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is something held sacred among her boys.

I, however, can’t ever get them right, even when I follow her recipe down to the most minute details. And trust me, have had lengthy conversations about her exact process, and I still really can’t figure out how she makes them so perfect each time. I have decided to stop beating myself up and attribute my past failures to the loss of 4.5K in elevation. But I still try! And, I tell ya, every time I make them, I always get a lack luster “yeah… they’re…good! But they just aren’t the same…did you change something in the recipe?”

At first…no, I wouldn’t change the recipe. But then after multiple failed attempts, I started to veer off and blaze a new trail.

Side note/Fun fact: I can never stick to a recipe. I always have to add a little this or a little that to make it more *me.* This aspect of my personality drives my other half absolutely bonkers.

Lucky for me, my daughter thinks it is super fun. If it were up to her, we wouldn’t use a recipe (or logic even) for anything we make.

Baking-Kid

Bless her heart, she just loves to be in the kitchen with me.

Most days of the week, my daughter asks if I want to make cookies with her. I know that she is ultimately asking because she is Cookie Monster’s mini-me, but I like to give her the opportunity to help out as much as possible in the kitchen and pass my knowledge on to her as often as I can. It’s a good life skill to have! So we usually make a little something together a few times a week.

Today, I had a container of oat bran staring me in the face (purchased to make Honey Raisin Oat Bran Muffins) My MIL’s chocolate chip recipe calls for oats, so I figured I would start with her recipe as a base and make a few…alterations.

First thing I did was swap out the Old Fashioned variety for Oat Bran.

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with old fashioned oats, it is just a little different than oat bran. Since I am super-pregnant at the moment, I need all the protein and calories I can get, I decided to opt for the bran (and here’s why…)

First, let’s have a closer look at oats:

WholeGrainKernel_WGC_0When oats are harvested, their inedible hull is removed and you have Oat Groats. Groats are made up of three parts: the Bran, Endosperm and Germ  (Click here for more information on those layers). In a nutshell…The BRAN layer is the outside layer, rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants and B-vitamins. The ENDOSPERM is the large middle layer that is rich in starchy carbohydrates, and also contains some protein as well as small amounts of vitamins and minerals. The GERM is the innermost layer that contains lots of healthy fats and b-vitamins as well as some minerals, protein.

Old Fashioned Oats come from a processing technique that steams the oats and then rolls them flat, giving you all three parts of the groat, thus making it a whole grain. Oat Bran is not considered a whole grain, because it is just the nutty outer layer that is full of fiber and protein.

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Looking at the nutrients side by side, Oat Bran provides significantly more fiber and protein, and has a texture closer to flour, so it works well in baked goods. Not saying one is superior to the other, they are just different.

Getting back to these delicious cookies…

Some other swaps I made were changing half of the flour to 100% White Wheat Flour, substituting honey for part of the sugar, and adding cinnamon.

The result was surprisingly delicious, probably the best luck I have had with this recipe yet!

White Chocolate, Raisin and Oat Cookies

  • Servings: 26 Cookies
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening*
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Oat Bran
  • 1/2 Cup 100% White Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup (approx) Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup (approx) White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar and honey in a mixer on medium-high speed for a few minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Add Oat Bran and Flours until combined. Add Raisins and Chocolate Chips according to taste.
  4. Space cookies at least an inch apart on cookie sheet, as they spread. Bake for 10-14 minutes (smaller cookies 10, larger cookies will need more time). With a spatula, transfer to cooling rack and enjoy!

Cookie-Perfection

 

*I really am not a huge fan of shortening, because most contain partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat) and other chemicals that don’t belong anywhere near our bodies. But I do seldom use it in some baked goods because it does create a superior texture for cookies. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have shortening (that I know of), so you can use 1 cup of butter as opposed to part butter/part shortening. OR if you have some lard on hand, try that.  I use All vegetable crisco baking sticks because they have no trans fat (the oil has been fully hydrogenated to saturated fat as opposed to partially hydrogenated to a trans fat), but they still aren’t the best option. I haven’t really found an alternative, so if you have any tips or tricks to replace shortening in cookies – leave a comment below!

Sweet Potato Waffles with Fresh Berries and Cream

sweet potato waffle

Last year for my birthday, I convinced my husband to buy me a waffle iron.

“But you never make waffles!” He would say.

“I know! That is because I don’t have a waffle iron!”

“But how often would you make waffles?”

“ALL THE TIME!”

I was really just saying whatever I could to get the darn thing, but now that I have it, I find that I really do make waffles all the time (and not just because waffles just-so-happen to be my toddler’s all time favorite breakfast food.)

The very first thing I made in my waffle iron was the whole grain waffle mix from Trader Joe’s. And, I thought it was awful. Very cardboard-y, pretty disappointing. I could do better (I thought to myself).

And so at that point, I set out to perfect a waffle recipe that did NOT use Bisquick (which is loaded with trans fat, one of the only exceptions to my “all foods fit” theory). My grandma and mom use Bisquick, so I couldn’t go to them for an amazing recipe that had been passed down from generation to generation. I was on my own for this one.

Sweet potato waffle ingredientsI tried whole wheat flour, I tried oats, I tried flax, I tried apple sauce, I tried using oil instead of butter…I think I went through every variation possible. Then I ended with this general combination, that included sweet potato in place of the fat (many recipes use a few tablespoons of oil or melted butter), and white wheat flour instead of dense whole wheat flour. I also added ground flax seed for a little healthy fat (since I had completely removed it with the sweet potato addition) and stuck with my 1% milk that I have in the fridge. I think coconut milk or almond milk would also taste great in this waffle, but, alas, I just don’t regularly stock it at my house (we are dairy drinkers around here).  In fact, sometimes I will even add shredded coconut to the waffle, for a little but of a chunkier texture, and it is great!

frozen toaster sweet potato waffles from the Fearless Flying KitchenThere are two things that I really LOVE about this waffle recipe:

  • You really don’t need to use any toppings. My daughter eats this waffle plain, and I do too sometimes. If you do feel like putting topings on, you really don’t need much. I sometimes like to fancy mine up with a tiny amount of agave maple syrup, diced berries and whipped cream. That just feels so decadent (but really isn’t that decadent, since it is a fairly healthy waffle).
  • frozen toaster sweet potato waffleEven if I make waffles for the whole family, there is always enough left over to make freezer waffles. I just use 1/4 cup (or a heaping Tbsp) of batter as opposed to a full 1/2 cup. The waffles come out in a square shape, just the right size for the toaster.

I also love that my daughter loves these, and I can feel good about serving them to her because they are full of vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and not too much sugar.

kid tested, and kid approved sweet potato waffles from the Fearless Flying Kitchen

Sweet Potato Waffles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1blogger-image--1584073228 cup 100% White Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground Flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup 1% Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Tahitian Vanilla extract
  • 1 Small Sweet potato

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Cook sweet potato in a microwave by rinsing, poking with a fork, wrapping in a paper towel, and cooking for 5-7 minutes, until sweet potato is soft.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and slowly add the cooked sweet potato (removing outer skin), mashing the sweet potato as you go. If you want less chunks of sweet potato, you could also mix the wet ingredients in a blender or mixer. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into preheated waffle iron and cook until ready.
  4. Top with fresh berries and cream or agave maple syrup.