STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM
This recipe is adapted from the package insert for Sure-Jell Certo Fruit Pectin, so that's why it calls for liquid pectin. This makes approximately 4 cups of jam, far more than you'd need for one meal!
1 quart ripe strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
2 tbsp lemon juice
Wash strawberries and discard stems. Mash them thoroughly. Measure exactly 2 cups of mashed strawberries for making jam. (If you have extra, use them for something else, like strawberry shortcake.) Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix together the pectin and lemon juice in a separate small bowl. Add the pectin mixture to the strawberry mixture and stir for at least 3 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy.
Immediately fill clean freezer jars or other freezer containers to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe off top edges of the containers and close tightly. Let stand undisturbed at room temperature for 24 hours. The jam can be used immediately, refrigerated for up to 3 weeks, or frozen for up to a year. Let frozen jam thaw in the refrigerator before using.
WHOLE WHEAT SANDWICH LOAF
This recipe is adapted from the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so this recipe will actually make several loaves.
5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast
3/4 tbsp sea salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
4 cups lukewarm water
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (I use a 5 quart ice cream pail with lid, so I can refrigerate it in the same container I mix it up in). Mix in the water using a spoon. Use wet hands to get the last of the flour mixed in. Don't knead! Cover the dough loosely and let rise at room temperature 3-4 hours. Refrigerate and use within 14 days.
On baking day, dust the top of the dough with flour and cut off a grapefruit sized portion using a bread knife. Dust the ball with more flour and shape it into a more uniform shape by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides . Elongate the dough ball into an oval and place it into a greased loaf pan. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 hour 45 minutes. A half hour before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a broiler tray on the bottom rack. Right before baking, paint the top of the loaf with water. Use a bread knife to slash several parallel diagonal cuts, 1/4 inch deep, on the top of the loaf. Place the loaf in the oven, near the center. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a rack.
HEARTY CORN AND POTATO CHOWDER
This recipe is originally adapted from an old version of 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes, but my version isn't necessarily low-fat (since I use whatever milk is on hand) or vegetarian (since I usually use chicken stock). This recipe is supposed to serve 4 (but with that hearty bread as a side, you may be able to stretch it out more, even as good as it is!).
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed, or fresh
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2-3 tbsp flour
1/3 cup water
1 3/4 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute corn and onion in oil in a large saucepan until the onion is tender, approximately 5-8 minutes. Process 1/2 of the vegetables in a blender or food processor (or if you discover after starting the recipe that your blender is broken, like I did yesterday, just omit this step) with the stock until finely chopped. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
Add the potatoes and thyme to the saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Combine the flour in water in a separate container; mix together well. Add the flour mixture to the soup and return to boiling. Boil and stir about 1 minute, or until it thickens. Stir in the milk and cook until it is heated, about 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.