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Hearty Spelt Pizza Crust

I started using spelt when I was helping my Dad revamp his diet.  Spelt is known as a smart carb.  It's also a grain that people with wheat allergies can sometime tolerate.  This spelt pizza crust is a hearty, delicious base for the perfect pizza.


Spelt Pizza Crust

2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp quick-rise yeast
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
2/3 cup warm water

Stir first three ingredients together.  Add olive oil, honey and warm water to the mixture.  Stir well, and then knead til smooth.  Let rise for about 5 minutes.  Stretch over a greased pan and top with your favorite ingredients.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.

The Simple Chemistry of Beer Bread

I came across this one by accident.  I was looking for a quick and easy bread recipe online.  This recipe is super easy to make and it's kind of fun to see it all come together.  It's great with soups, stews and chili.  An especially great accompaniment to cashew chili.
Recipe yields one loaf.

Beer Bread

3 cups flour
3 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. baking powder
1 1/2 tsps. salt
12 oz. beer

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Place dough in loaf pan sprayed with buttered cooking spray.  Put loaf in a COLD oven and set temperature to 375 degrees.  Bake for 60 minutes, brush top of loaf with melted butter about halfway through cooking time.  I also like to sprinkle some sea salt and parmesan cheese over the loaf. 

Savory and Surprising Cashew Chili

One of my favorites, I found the recipe online after having an amazing bowl of cashew chili at a vegetarian restaurant.  The cashews and raisins are a surprising entry.  The flavors blend beautifully though.  This cozy dish is perfect for a night in, but make sure you have enough time to let the mixture simmer.  It takes at least an hour to bring the flavors together.
This recipe serves four generously and freezes well.

Cashew Chili

2 onions, minced
2 green peppers, chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. each of basil, oregano, ground cumin, salt, pepper
2 tbs. of chili powder
16 oz. can of kidney beans
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup raisins
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes

Heat some olive oil in a large pot.  Over a medium heat, saute the onions until clear.  Then add the green pepper, celery and garlic and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add the basil, oregano, cumin and chili powder stirring the mixture well.  Then add the can of tomatoes and mix well.  Lastly, add the kidney beans, vinegar, cashews, raisins, salt and pepper.  Mix together.  Bring to a boil and then add bay leaf and simmer with the lid on for about 1.5 hours.  Periodically give a good stir.

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