Oatmeal Drop Scones: Recipe #232

Imagine a cross between porridge and pancakes, and you’ve got oatmeal drop scones! We added blueberries in for a bit of brunchy festiveness. You do have to soak the oats overnight, but other than that it’s quick to whip these up. Thanks to Paul Hollywood’s recipe for inspiration.

And thank YOU for being part of our delicious, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($2 total for 2 dozen drop scones)

1-2/3 cups soy milk – $0.64
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
1-1/2 cups oats – $0.18
3/4 cup self-raising flour (or 3/4 cup white flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt) – $0.12
1 tsp baking soda – $0.01
2 tbsp honey – $0.28
1 egg, beaten – $0.29
1/4 cup soy milk – $0.09
1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine for greasing the griddle/frying pan – $0.15

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and allow it to curdle at room temperature for 2-3 minutes. Next, stir in the oats, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight for the oats to soak in the buttermilk.

The next morning, add the flour and baking soda to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Add in the honey, egg, and soy milk, mixing well to combine. It should be a very thick and creamy consistency. You can add a bit more soy milk if it’s too dry. Then stir in any blueberries, chocolate chips, or other ingredients you’d like to flavor the batter (optional).

2. Heat a griddle to 350F or a pan to medium heat. Spread some of the margarine over the griddle, then drop scoops of batter all around the griddle, leaving some room between each scone. Flip after about 2-3 minutes (or when the edges look dry and the underside looks golden) to cook the other side for another 2 minutes or so. Remove from the griddle and keep hot in a gently warmed oven while you cook the remaining scones.

3. Serve the oatmeal drop scones hot with peanut butter and jam, butter and syrup, or enjoy them plain with your favorite morning beverage.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Crusty Two-Tier Artisan Bread: Recipe #227

One of our coronavirus quarantine projects has been learning to make artisan bread of many kinds. Here’s another beautiful and delicious experiment, inspired by Paul Hollywood’s classic cottage loaf recipe. For our version of this crusty two-tier artisan bread, we used coconut oil instead of lard. So good!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3.50 for a large loaf)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.01
1/2 cup hottest tap water – free
4 tbsp coconut oil – $2.20
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup warm water – free
2 cups white flour – $0.32
2 cups whole wheat flour – $0.36
1 tbsp salt – $0.12

Directions for Crusty Two-Tier Artisan Bread

1. In a small non-metal bowl, gently mix the yeast, brown sugar, and hottest tap water. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom, then add the coconut oil and warm water.

In a large metal bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then add in the yeast mixture and mix until it comes together into a nice soft ball of dough. Knead it by hand on a lightly floured board for 10 minutes to work out the gluten and make it smooth and elastic. Then put it back in the large, lightly oiled metal bowl. Rise in a warm place for about an hour to double in size.

Once it’s risen, knead the dough for 2 minutes more to knock the air out so it will rise upwards instead of flattening outwards.

The next instruction comes straight from Paul Hollywood’s expertise, since it’s a bit complicated to explain:

“Tear off one third of the dough and set aside. Shape the larger piece into a ball by first flattening the dough into a rough rectangle, then rolling it into a thick oblong. Turn the dough so that the longer edge is running away from you and flatten it slightly. Now fold in the two ends to the centre and press them down, so you end up with a chunky, squarish shape. Turn the dough over, so that the join is underneath. With your palms turned upwards, put your hands on each side, slightly under the dough. Move the cob around, tucking the dough neatly under itself as it turns. You are gently forcing the sides of the dough down and underneath, to create a smooth, taut top and a rough underside. Avoid using too much extra flour during shaping.

Place the ball of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the rolling and shaping for the smaller piece of dough, then place the smaller ball on top of the larger ball. Flatten the top slightly. Dust your middle finger and forefinger with flour and push them through the centre of the loaf all the way to the bottom. Use a sharp knife to make 8 slashes in the surface of both the top and larger lower part of the loaf.”

When you’re done, it will look something like the photos below.

2. Gently cover the shaped dough with cling wrap and rise another 30-60 minutes in a warm place, just until it has doubled and the dough springs back when you poke it. Dust the risen loaf with flour.

3. Preheat the oven to 415F and put a large tray of water on a lower rack to heat up with the oven so it creates steam (this gives the bread a nice crunchy crust). When the oven is up to temperature, put the bread in on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, turn the temperature down to 375F. Bake for 20-25 more minutes, until it’s crusty, golden brown, and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy your crusty two-tier artisan bread as a snack or an accompaniment to any meal!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Strawberry Coconut Bread Pudding: Recipe #225

I had never tasted bread pudding before this, and now it’s one of my new favorite treats. This strawberry coconut bread pudding is a plant-based version that uses coconut milk for extra creaminess. It was inspired by a recipe in Isa Does It, a loaf of homemade challah bread, and some extra strawberries we had in the fridge.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7.50 for 9 servings in a 8×8″ pan)

6 cups cubed challah bread – $3
1 cup soy milk – $0.37
1 cup coconut milk – $1.49
3 tbsp cornstarch – $0.30
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
2 tbsp lemon juice – $0.20
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 cups sliced strawberries – $2.49

Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar – $0.88
1 tbsp soy milk – $0.02
1-2 tsp vanilla – $0.20
1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55

Directions for Strawberry Coconut Bread Pudding

1. Cut up the bread and put it in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the soy milk, coconut milk, cornstarch, brown sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, then pour this over the bread and mix to coat. Let it sit for 15 minutes to soak in and get all soft and moist. Then mix in the strawberries.

2. Press the mixture into an 8×8″ pan greased with a bit of margarine, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes. The top will be a nice golden brown.

3. In a small bowl, mix the icing sugar, soy milk, vanilla, and coconut oil, then drizzle over the pudding when it has cooled for a few minutes. Serve your strawberry coconut bread pudding warm, and savor each marvelous mouthful! 🙂

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Paqa’s Scottish Scones: Recipe #211

My mom used to make these for breakfast on weekends, but you could whip a batch up for a British tea time too. They’re delicate little Scottish scones that you break in half and load up with berries and whipped cream. Definitely best eaten when they’re warm. Each bite is like a dream.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2 for about 18 scones)

2 cups flour – $0.32
1 tbsp baking powder – $0.03
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1/2 cup cold margarine – $1.24
2/3 cup soy milk – $0.25

Directions for Scottish Scones

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Quickly cut the cold margarine in with a knife until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then stir in the soy milk quickly with a fork and mix until the dough follows the fork around the bowl.

2. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and knead it quickly about 8-10 times, handling it gently. Pat the dough out to 1/2″ thickness and cut circles out with a 2″ round cutter or glass, using a straight-down-then-twist motion. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, setting them apart for crusty biscuits or close together with the sides touching for softer ones.

3. Bake at 450F for 12-15 minutes until they start to separate in the middle and are lightly golden. Serve hot from the oven with dairy-free whipped cream, your favorite berries, or just some jam or honey.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Apple Date Crumble Tatin: #187 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Megan and I came up with this fusion idea: apple crumble + date squares + tarte tatin. You caramelize the fruit in a pan just like the French delicacy tarte tatin, but then instead of covering it in puff pastry, you put oatmeal crumble on top and bake the whole thing.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8.50 for a large panful)

6 apples, cored and quartered – we mixed gala and fuji – $1.79
1/3 cup margarine – $0.93
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
10 dates, pitted and halved – $2.49

Crumble:
3/4 cup margarine – $1.86
1 cup brown sugar – $0.52
1 1/2 cups flour – $0.24
1 3/4 cups rolled oats – $0.21
1 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Directions

1. Cut up your apples, then spread the margarine evenly and thickly over the bottom of the pan. Arrange the apples in a tight circular pattern, skin side up, then sprinkle with the brown sugar and arrange the dates on top.

2. Mix together all the crumble ingredients, first with a spoon and then using your hands to bring it all together. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples and press down gently to form a nice thick crust.

3. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes, until the top is nice and toasty but not too dark brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully loosen around the edges and see if it will slide around the pan. If it can, place a large plate on top of the pan and gently but quickly flip it over to reveal the beautiful caramelized apple pattern. Cut into slices and serve warm with yogurt or ice cream.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 – 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Spinach Pancakes: #172 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Savory, bright green pancakes with tomato salad and homemade hummus: I love dishes that confuse the mind and tastebuds. This was a fun, easy dinner experiment inspired by Jamie Oliver, but we made a non-dairy version.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50 total for 6-8 large pancakes)

3 1/2 cups spinach, chopped – $3.49
1 lemon, squeezed – $0.20
1 egg – $0.28
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1 cup coconut milk – $1.25
Olive oil for cooking

Tomato salad, hummus, avocado, scrambled eggs, or other savory garnishes you have on hand

Directions

1. Put the spinach, lemon juice, egg, flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut milk into a blender and process until smooth. Add pepper to taste if you like too.

2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and pour a little bit of olive oil around the pan. Scoop a ladle of pancake batter into the pan and roll it around to form a thin layer. Let it bubble and cook for a couple of minutes, then flip it over with a spatula to cook on the other side. Repeat until the batter is all used up. You can keep the growing stack of pancakes in the oven on warm if you like.

3. Serve up the pancakes hot with fresh tomato salad, hummus, avocado, eggs, or any other savory accompaniments you like. Enjoy the taste and color sensations!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Apricot Almond Bakewell Tart: #170 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Bakewell tart is a British dessert that has a crunchy pastry crust, sweet jam filling, and chewy almond cookie topping. We saw it on the Great British Bakeoff as a technical baking challenge and wanted to give it a try. You can use any jam flavor you like if you don’t have apricot on hand.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50 total)

Pastry:
1 cup flour – $0.16
1/3 cup cold margarine – $0.93
2 tbsp cold water – free

3 tbsp apricot jam – $0.48

Almond frangipane topping:
2/3 cup margarine – $1.86
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
1 cup ground almonds – $1.26
1 egg – $0.28
1/2 tsp almond extract – $0.14

Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Directions

1. Make the pastry: in a medium bowl, mix the flour and cold margarine. Rub it together with your fingers to create fine crumbs, then add the cold water and mix it together to make a dough. Chill the dough for 1/2 an hour in the fridge.

Once it’s chilled, press the dough evenly into a 9″ circular baking tin, pressing it up the side of the tin too to make a nice edge. Put some dry beans on a piece of aluminum foil inside the pastry shell, and blind bake it at 400F for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and save them for reuse.

2. Make the almond frangipane: In a small pot, melt the margarine over medium heat. Remove from heat and mix in the brown sugar. Add the ground almonds, egg, and almond extract, and stir well to combine.

3. Spread the apricot jam over the pastry shell, then pour the almond frangipane mixture over top. Make sure it doesn’t spill over the edge of the pastry.

Bake at 400F for 35 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Dilly Salmon Cakes: #164 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

When fresh fish is hard to find, or when you have some leftover fish to use up, salmon cakes are a tasty way to get your omega-3’s. These are a bright lemon-dilly treat to serve up for lunch that’s also good for your mental health and wellbeing.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8 total for 16 little salmon cakes)

14 oz can of salmon – $5.49
1 cup bread crumbs (I blended up some leftover soda bread) – free
2 eggs – $0.58
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1 tbsp Dijon mustard – $0.21
Juice from 1 small lemon – $0.20
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
1 tsp salt – $0.05
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil for cooking – $0.20

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients except the cooking oil. Mix together well. Using your hands, form the mixture into 16 small balls or 8 larger patties.

2. In a large pan, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, turning carefully with two spoons or forks to make sure all the sides are nicely browned.

3. Serve hot and fresh with your lunch. We had them with salad overtop some cauliflower mashed potatoes with mushrooms!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Grandma’s Lemon Pound Cake with Poppyseed Drizzle: #156 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

This lemon pound cake is from my British Grandma’s recipe box. In her own rating system, she had written “VG” on the corner of this one, which means “very good” – her highest rating. It is indeed a lovely lemony cake for tea time or dessert. We added a poppyseed drizzle icing for fun.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6 total)

Cake:
2/3 cup margarine – $1.66
1 1/3 cups sugar – $1.16
3 eggs – $0.87
2 1/3 cups flour – $0.37
1 tsp baking powder – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
3/4 cup milk or soymilk – $0.28
1 tsp grated lemon rind from 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice – $0.20

Drizzle:
1 cup icing sugar – $0.88
1 tsp milk or soymilk – $0.01
1 tsp poppy seeds – $0.28

Directions

1. In a large bowl, use an electric beater to mix the margarine, sugar and eggs together at high speed for 3 minutes, until the mixture gets light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Take turns adding some of the flour and some of the milk/soymilk to the main egg mixture, beating at low speed the whole time, until everything is incorporated. The batter will be very smooth and glossy. Stir in the lemon rind and juice.

2. Pour the batter into a greased 9x5x3″ loaf pan OR a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350F for 1 hour (loaf) or 40 minutes (bundt), until the top springs back when lightly touched with a fingertip or a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges and carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You can dust with icing sugar to serve or make a drizzle: put all the drizzle ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add extra icing sugar or soymilk if needed to reach your desired thickness.

3. When the cake is cooled, use a spoon to drip the drizzle all over the cake so it rains down the inside and outside of the cake. Cut some slices and enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Quick Homemade Burger Buns: #155 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We decided to make our hearty meatless burgers the other day (using beets instead of carrots since that’s what we had on hand). With only one hour until dinner, how could we possibly have fresh homemade buns to go with the burgers? Fortunately, this recipe had our backs.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2.50 total for 12 buns)

2 tbsp active dry yeast – $1.00
1 cup + 2 tbsp hottest tap water – free
1/3 cup olive oil – $0.48
1/4 cup + 1 tsp brown sugar – $0.15
1 egg – $0.29
1 tsp salt – $0.05
3 cups flour, plus 1/2 cup extra if it’s too sticky – $0.56

Directions

1. In a small, non-metal bowl, mix the yeast, hot water, and 1 tsp brown sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom, then mix in the olive oil, remaining sugar, and egg. Stir to combine. Finally, add the flour and salt and mix it into a nice soft ball of dough.

2. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it’s smooth and stretchy, then immediately cut it into 12 balls WITHOUT letting the entire dough rise. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with cling wrap or a tea towel and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

3. Bake at 425F for 8-10 minutes until they start to get golden on top and smell delicious. Cool for a few minutes, then slice in half to fill with your burger and toppings.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!