Sunday, February 06, 2011

Run Swim Bike Cook: Week 1

This week's culinary challenge for Run Swim Bike Cook (where the Ironman meets the Ironchef) was to use hazelnuts in a breakfast food.

Our family loves breakfast and we love hazelnuts, so this one was easy peasy. We first attempted a hazelnut, apple-cinnamon breakfast pudding that put some leftover whole wheat bread to good use. (I'd originally intended to give it away as a thank you gift, but it turned out so dense that I was embarrassed to pass it along. Some things in life, like waiting for bread to rise, simply can't be rushed.)
Here's the recipe, adapted from Clements and Stewart's 2010 cookbook, "The Diet Rebel's Cookbook: Eating Clean and Green."

Hazelnut Apple-Cinnamon Breakfast Pudding

1/4 cup water
4 apples, washed and cut into chunks
6 slices wheat bread
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1 banana, mashed
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. toasted hazelnuts.

Combine water and apples in a saucepan. Cover and simmer until apples are soft, then mash with a fork. Tear bread into bite-sized chunks and stir into apples. Pour eggs into bread and apples and stir well. Cook on medium-low for about 15 minutes, until eggs are cooked. In a bowl, mash banana and stir in cinnamon. Pour banana into bread mixture, stir well, and fold in hazelnuts.

The plus side to this recipe: no added sugar. The downside to this recipe: no added sugar. In retrospect, I really wish I'd used sweet apples instead of my tart granny smiths. A red apple also would have created a bit more color contrast since the apples aren't peeled. Other than that, the dish was tasty and well-received by the family crowd. We sweetened it up with a dollop of freshly whipped cream initially. As a late night snack, we enjoyed it with ice cream, and the next morning it was even better heated up and served with a bit of Silk Coconutmilk. Mmmm.

Still craving more hazelnut, we also adapted an Apple German Pancake recipe from the same cookbook to use the fresh pears we'd just gotten in our Bountiful Basket. Here's our version:
Whole Wheat German Pancakes with Pear

2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
Juice from half a lemon
2 cups water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup honey
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
2 T. butter
4 medium pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Mix flour with lemon juice and water and cover with a moist towel. Place in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours. After it has had a chance to sit, add eggs, honey, salt, sugar, and soda and stir well. Preheat oven to 350. Place butter in a 9x13 pan and melt in preheating oven. When the butter has melted, remove it from the oven and layer the bottom of the pan with pear slices. Pour the batter over the pears and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve warm with a light schmear of with Nutella (hazelnut chocolate spread.)

Here's the dish naked:

And married with Nutella:

Advantages of this recipe: 100% whole wheat flour. Disadvantages: I can't really think of any. Sweet pear coupled with chocolate and hazelnut--it's the perfect combination. The whole wheat gave the dish a bit of texture and crunch, yet souring and soaking the wheat first kept it from feeling too heavy. If I were to change anything, I might cut out the sugar and use only the honey. The pears were so sweet that it wasn't really necessary, especially when topped with Nutella.

Here's an update with the exercise:

Running: 8 miles
Biking: 10 miles plus a spin class = 22 miles
Swimming: 0
Bonus: Kickboxing class

Hopefully next week I'll get in the pool!


Chou said...

This sounds like it's wonderful, and even better with cajeta on top. Just a thought . . . Thanks for playing! I wish I was closer so I could swim with you.

Susie said...