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Cooking From Scratch (AKA No More Processed Foods!)

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  • My grocery store was out of quartered fryers yesterday so I'm jumping on the whole chicken/Crockpot bandwagon, too. I took off most of the skin (leaving a little on the breast to keep it moist) and rubbed it with a little olive oil. Then, I had a package of McCormick Recipe Inspirations in my cupboard and rubbed it with that. (It's a package of 6 premeasured spices... in this case, paprika, crushed rosemary, minced garlic and black pepper.) The house smells heavenly! I'll let you know how it turns out.
  • Thoughts?
    I have been on a bread-baking kick lately on weekends. I am finding that I have a lot of conflicting feelings about it.

    When I buy bread at the store, I get whole wheat.

    When I make bread at home, and when I use nothing but whole wheat flour, it just doesn't get fluffy enough for sandwiches. It's good and we like it, but as far as being able to put slices of turkey on it, for example, well, it just doesn't rise that much. When I go half and half on the flour (wheat and white), it's perfect. Today I made three loaves and threw in flaxseed and sunflower seeds, 2/3 wheat flour, 1/3 white, and it's about 3" high.

    So is it better to stay away from the preservatives, etc. in store bread by making it myself, or is it better to put up with them so I can get the whole grain?

    I've heard something called vital wheat gluten will help, but I need to hunt for it at Whole Foods, as I can't find it around here in my local markets. And how does white wheat flour work?
  • Are you activating your yeast first? Vital wheat gluten will help it rise more, as will a little guar gum. You should be able to find both at your health food grocery.
  • Yes, activating yeast first. I'll check for the vital wheat gluten next time I'm on the side of town with the natural food stores and try that. At least the experiments are edible
  • Quote: I have been on a bread-baking kick lately on weekends. I am finding that I have a lot of conflicting feelings about it.

    When I buy bread at the store, I get whole wheat.

    When I make bread at home, and when I use nothing but whole wheat flour, it just doesn't get fluffy enough for sandwiches. It's good and we like it, but as far as being able to put slices of turkey on it, for example, well, it just doesn't rise that much. When I go half and half on the flour (wheat and white), it's perfect. Today I made three loaves and threw in flaxseed and sunflower seeds, 2/3 wheat flour, 1/3 white, and it's about 3" high.

    So is it better to stay away from the preservatives, etc. in store bread by making it myself, or is it better to put up with them so I can get the whole grain?

    I've heard something called vital wheat gluten will help, but I need to hunt for it at Whole Foods, as I can't find it around here in my local markets. And how does white wheat flour work?
    i always added more gluten when i used to make my own bread. my grandma told me about it & i just did it & would used 100% whole wheat & it worked for me. i also heard that in the states you should be buying bread flour as well. for some reason your flour down there is different ~shrug~ up in canada it doesn't matter so i've been told.
  • "Bread flour" already has a little extra gluten added to it, and it may also have some baking soda or baking powder added. As for American flour being different than Canadian flour, I can't say for sure. I do know that here in the north part of the US we grow winter wheat almost exclusively, you plant it in the fall and it comes up early in the spring. Winter wheat was imported to this country from Russia by Scandinavian pioneers. In the south they grow a different variety that is planted in the spring. Sorry, the farm girl in me just surfaced and tossed out her two cents.
  • Quote: "Bread flour" already has a little extra gluten added to it, and it may also have some baking soda or baking powder added. As for American flour being different than Canadian flour, I can't say for sure. I do know that here in the north part of the US we grow winter wheat almost exclusively, you plant it in the fall and it comes up early in the spring. Winter wheat was imported to this country from Russia by Scandinavian pioneers. In the south they grow a different variety that is planted in the spring. Sorry, the farm girl in me just surfaced and tossed out her two cents.
    hey thats interesting learn something new every day.
  • Turkey Chili
    I made a big pot of turkey chili last night for dinner, so for kicks and giggles I put it in to a recipe calculator this morning and holy cow it's a pretty awesome dinner for very few calories. So here's how I made it:

    1 pound ground turkey
    1 onion
    1 green pepper (diced)
    1 red pepper (diced)
    2 quarts home canned tomatoes (any variety of store bought work just fine 2 quarts = 8 cups)
    2-4 Tbls chili powder
    2 cans of kidney beans drained (light, dark, black - chef's choice so I used dark red)
    1 can of tomato paste (4 oz)
    salt & pepper
    1 Tbls paprika (optional)

    Spray the bottom of a 6 quart pot with cooking spray, brown turkey (breaking it apart as it browns) and saute onions and peppers. Then add tomatoes, beans and seasoning, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 mintues. Makes about 13 cups of chili at 97 calories/cup. YUMMMM!!!
  • Almeeker that is one terrific sounding turkey chili recipe .. I will make that this week, thanks!!
  • Hey you're welcome. We talk about turkey chili all the time here on the forum, and I think most people make it the same way they make beef chili, and just change out the ground beef for turkey. I've been using the fitday "chili beef soup" for my chili entries at 170/cup, but I figured with turkey it would be a little less. Wow was I right, it's almost 1/2 the calories of the listing I was using. So then I went through and made one for my beef chili which turned out less than the fitday listing as well, 125 cal/cup. So I think as I make my homemade dishes I'm going to input the ingredients and make a custom food for it.

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recipes, soy