This is a very ME post. It incorporates local foods (which sheep that I am, I have fully embraced), and baked goods (specifically, what I might consider to be my signature baked good, muffins).
It is particularly classic and old school because it includes actual RECIPES, which I haven’t posted in eons.
In fact, I realized that said recipes are actually new versions of the two dishes I posted in my first ever blog post. Crazy! It’s kind of cool to think how far I have come mentally, culinarily, and blog-ily (yes, of course that’s a word) from where I once was.
A few things are new:
Ingredients and finished dishes are (slightly) more attractively photographed with a (slightly) better camera.
And made in a real kitchen with nice pans instead of in my college apartment.
And filled with classy ingredients only subsidized by very nice people sending me free stuff for my blog (thanks NuNaturals for the stevia baking mix!) and my mother subsidizing me because I’m a useless member of a useless generation who is stuck living with their parents after graduating with basically useless degrees.
So while some things have changed, I will always be the kind of girl who cleans out her refrigerator by making a nice dozen muffins.
My sister went on a business trip (hahaha at the tender age of 20, I love it) and it gave me an opportunity to deal with the stuff she frequently abandons in our fridge. Half-eaten yogurt and applesauce, boom.
We’ve had some ground flaxseed for QUITE awhile now, and though we buy the kind in the opaque bag to extends its shelf life, it was still really sort of rancid. Finished off that puppy to make my flax “eggs”.
And in one beautiful fell swoop, finished off a thing of canola oil, baking powder, and a bag of oldish carrots. Why exactly is that feeling so satisfying to me?
Finally, upon returning home after a rawther intense workout (the arc trainer alleged I had burned 910 calories), I had opened a bag of granola (a free sample courtesy of Galaxy Granola) and eaten RAWTHER a lot, hand to mouth style. I decided it would be fortuitous to use up the rest of the granola, in some sort of healthy application, as quickly as possible. Fortunately, I love granola in muffins!
Clean Out the Fridge Muffins
1 c granola
1/2 c milk
2 T ground flax
1/4 c water
1 c WW flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 T stevia baking mix (or your choice of sweetener- these were barely sweet so you may want to add more)
1/3 c. apple sauce
3 T or so yogurt (I used flavored, you could use plain)
1 tsp. canola oil
3 tiny carrots, very finely diced
Combine granola and milk and let soak to soften granola. Combine ground flax and water in a separate small bowl and let sit until thickened.
Combine dry ingredients (flour through stevia). In a big bowl, combine wet ingredients (applesauce through oil). Add granola and flax mixes to wet ingredients. Then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Then fold in carrots.
Bake at 350 degrees in a greased muffin tin for 20 minutes.
Got the job done.
The best parts (for moisture and flavorfulness) were carrot bites! I actually ended up making an impromptu “icing” (light cream cheese+honey+cinnamon) that greatly enhanced these. I recommend. Steve seemed to be a fan, too, as he ate 3.
Another fun recipe: BUFFALO! I am so into buffalo right now. I have also (guiltily, furtively, but quite intensely) been craving meat. So I’m trying to stretch it with veggie fillers and buy the kind of meat I can be happy about; specifically, local, from a nice small farm who I feel good supporting, from an animal that doesn’t eat corn. Buffalo’s also great cause it’s mad lean and simultaneously mad delicious.
I began by browning up my buffalo in just a tad of peanut oil (it’ll release a buncha fat, which I drained and you are welcome to, too, but you need the initial oil to get it going). It’s important to only do this on medium heat, because since buffalo is so virtuously lean, it’s also easy to overcook and toughen.
I took out the browned buffalo crumblies with a slotted spoon, drained off the fat, and added another tsp. of peanut oil. At that point, I sauteed green onion, ginger, and garlic.
Then in went finely diced carrot..
… and a whole buncha ‘shrooms (I really love mushrooms as a flavor extender of red meat because they have that great earthy richness of flavor)
I returned the buffalo to the pan along with s’more seasoning (hoisin, soy, and of course Sriracha) and plated it up.
This filling was FANTASTIC. I was unbelievably pleased at how well this recipe came out (and that I wrote down the ingredients and quantities, something I’ve been too lazy to notice for awhile now!). Buffalo has such a lovely tender sweet flavor that I didn’t want to mask it. I loved the interplay of the Asian flavors that stayed nice and delicate, and veggie textures that stayed mostly soft. It let the buffalo be the star while enhancing all the yummy things about it.
And out it went with beautiful local purple cabbage leaves for wrapping! Gosh, I forget how fun lettuce wraps are. It’s so fun to make your meal as you go. Somehow the ritual of eating that way makes the food you eat so much more satisfying.
And purple cabbage made for a FAB color combo.
Buffalo Cabbage Wraps
2 tsp. peanut oil, divided
6 oz. ground bison
3 green onions, white and green parts, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 carrot, finely diced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 T hoisin sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 tsp. orange zest (KEY! DO NOT OMIT! IT MADE THE DISH!)
lettuce or cabbage leaves, for wrapping
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil on medium heat. Add bison to the pan and crumble with a spoon. Cook until browned on the outside. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Drain fat and wipe out pan with a paper towel.
Add remaining 1 tsp. peanut oil. Add green onions, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add carrot and mushroom and cook until mushrooms are golden brown.
Reduce heat to low and return buffalo to the pan, and add hoisin sauce, soy sauce, Sriracha, and orange zest. Stir together and heat through.
Plate with lettuce leaves for wrapping!