Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pesto Bread, Blueberry Muffins, Mac & Cheeze Plate

I have been fascinated with bread making ever since I was a kid. Between my Grammie's yeast rolls and biscuits and my Dad's pizza crusts and breads, I have been around good homemade breads my whole life. I mentioned before that my Dad found me a bread machine at a garage sale and I have been a bread machine girl every since. I still love the idea (and practice) of mixing, kneading and forming dough with my own hands, but the bread machine does provide a consistent product. This week I merged the use of my bread machine and my own hands by making a pesto spelt and whole wheat bread. I got the general idea from one of my fellow bloggers, Have Cake, Will Travel! I added both spelt and whole wheat pastry flours with some water, vital wheat gluten, brown sugar, sea salt, pesto and yeast to the bread machine and used the Dough setting. About 2 hours later, after a thorough kneading and long rise, I formed the dough into 4 loaves and baked them in the oven for about 30 minutes until they were golden brown. The bread turned out chewy and full of flavor between the 2 nutty flours and the bright (and mind you, leftover) pesto.
Baking in the oven:
Right out of the oven and cooling:
With steel cut oats becoming a bit boring in the mornings, I decided to make some muffins. With trying to stay in line with my healthier eating, a low fat muffin was in order. So, I turned to the Damn Tasty Vegan Baking Guide and made the Blueberry Streusel Muffins but cut the oil in the recipe with apple sauce. They did indeed taste healthier, but very delicious nonetheless.
Tonight I made one of my favorite things: Mac and Cheeze! I used quinoa shells instead of a traditional white flour pasta. The quinoa pasta wasn't as good as what my palate is use to but I think over time I will eventually get use to non-white pastas. I used the Soul Veg Mac and Cheeze recipe (the one they use at the ATL restaurants) I found online here, which is very naughty but between portion control and using a healthier pasta, I didn't feel as bad eating it. To go with the Mac and Cheeze I roasted some very sweet (and cheap!) asparagus and made a salad with mixed baby spring mix and cherry tomatoes.


Anonymous said...

Mmmm. That mac and cheeze looks so creamy!! And your bread looks fabulous. =)

VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness, the pesto-bread loaves and muffins look FABULOUS!

Liz² said...

can you come cook for me?? I've been so uninspired and everything looks so good! I've never tried naughty mac and cheese OR quinoa pasta, but I can practically smell it!

Leigh said...

Hey...I made those very same muffins tonight! Weird.

And I'm with you on the portion control thing with the Soul V mac & cheeze. I mean, sure it has a cup of oil in it, but who's eating an entire batch of it in one sitting?

missblueberry said...

Your post about bread made me think about something I used to make: Chili Bombs!!

We would mix up a bowl of chili the day before bread baking day and use the left overs to stuff inside the last bit of dough remaining after we made our lot of loaves.

Your photos are great! And I think I might ditch dinner plans for tonight and just grab a loaf on the way home from work.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Oh man, those loaves of bread look wonderful. I can almost smell that 'fresh out of the oven' scent. I either need to get over my fear of making dough, or get Brett to make something like this since he likes to make dough so much.

Blueberry streusel muffins, wow, yum!

That Mac and Cheeze plate with all those veggies is seriously making me drool. Why do I have to have a job? Why?! I could be at home making all the yummy stuff I see on all these blogs!

Melody Polakow said...

that mac and cheez looks great!

Also, your bread looks wonderful.

Vegyogini said...

I really love quinoa pasta. I hope it grows on you! I was just looking at the Damn Tasty cookbook yesterday, thinking that I have to make something from it soon. I'm glad you were successful with cutting the oil with applesauce because I was concerned about the fat content of a lot of the recipes.

Rural Vegan said...

Your bread is beautiful. Making more homemade bread has been on my "to do list" for a long time now, I just need to do it already!

I'm with you on the white pastas. I have to force myself to eat anything else, it just tastes like cardboard! I am slowly getting used to whole wheat, but I'm not happy about it. I've never seen quinoa pasta, but I'll keep an eye out and try it too.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Wow, that looks like the creamiest mac and cheeze I've ever seen!

How's your arm, by the way?

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Mmm, tasty! I love making bread as well.

Crys said...

Bread is my weakness, which is part of the reason I was also a pleasantly plump vegan for several years. I became a vegetarian around eleven or twelve, and a vegan after my first son was born. Both boys are also vegans.

Thanks for recipes and healthy eating tips. I don't do diets; I do lifestyle changes.

Take care. Great blog.


Jennifer said...

your food looks delicious!

i was randomly googling for some vegan pesto ideas (we have basil plants growing out of control!) and i found your blog. it cracked me up too because i've got one of a similar name ;)

Sven said...

Good Job! :)