Whole Wheat Blueberry (Almond) Bread

Summertime brings lots of fresh fruit to my apartment - or rather, it brings me to berry patches which results in me bringing home lots of fresh fruit. While I use some of the fruit quickly - eaten fresh with yogurt, stirring into scones, mixing into lemonade, or making preserves for future peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - I also store a lot in the freezer to pull out for later. A few weeks back, I was craving some blueberry bread, but wanted something healthier than the muffin-type breads I've made in the past. This loaf fits the bill - whole wheat flour, rolled oats, reduced oil content - and, of course, lots of juicy blueberries. I made the recipe twice over, once in a large loaf with only blueberries, and once in mini loaf pans with both blueberries and almonds. Both came out delicious!

Whole Wheat Blueberry (Almond) Bread (1 large loaf or 3 mini loaves)
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. skim or 1% milk (or try with almond milk, if you are lactose unfriendly or just want a different flavor)
1/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. canola oil
2 eggs
2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. rolled oats
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, allow to thaw for 15-30 minutes)
1/2 c. almonds (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease either 1 8-9" loaf pan or 3 mini-loaf pans.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, milk, applesauce, and eggs.

3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined.

5. Fold in blueberries (and almonds, if desired). Pour into prepared pan(s).

6. Bake at 350F for 45-55 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. (I found that the smaller breads took about 45 minutes and the larger bread took about 55-60 minutes). Remove bread from the oven and allow to cool for ~10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.

7. Slice and serve with a bit of butter, homemade preserves, or just on its own.


Black Bean and Corn Salad

Hello there, faithful readers (if there are any of you left)! I've been offline for a while, at least as far as The EmT Plate goes, but that doesn't mean that I have abandoned the kitchen. I'll try to catch up with some recent recipes over the next few days...starting with today's contribution.

With summer in full swing here in DC, I've been making a variation on the following salad almost every week to serve at potlucks, pack in lunches, and complement dinners. The base for this salad (black beans + corn + cilantro lime dressing) can be mixed and matched with celery, bell peppers, green onions, red onions, chickpeas, red beans, green beans, or whatever else you have handy. And if there are things on that list that you don't like, just don't include them in your salad - it will still be great. Also, the amount of dressing to make will depend on how big a salad you make and how much dressing you like in the salad - if you are using all of the ingredients for the salad, make more dressing.

A couple of weeks ago I found a package of red sweet corn at the grocery store. When cooked, the kernels fade a bit on the outside, but they are still a beautiful scarlet once you cut them from the cob and thus make a colorful addition to this salad. If you are using fresh corn, boil it for about 5 minutes in lightly salted water, then let it cool before cutting off the kernels. If you are in a hurry, you can run the corn under cool water to speed the cooling process.

Black Bean and Corn Salad (a good size for a picnic or a few days worth of lunches)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped OR 1 T. dried cilantro
1-2 T. lime juice
1-2 T. white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
1-2 T. olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
2 ears sweet corn, cooked and removed from cob OR 1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained and rinsed thoroughly
5-7 green onions (use the white bulb + some of the green stalk), sliced thinly OR 1 small red onion, diced
5-7 stalks celery, diced
1-2 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, or green), diced
Optional: 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, red beans, or green beans

1. Combine garlic, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl and allow to sit while preparing ingredients for remainder of salad (15-30 minutes).
2. Combine beans (black + any optional ingredients), corn, onion, celery, and bell pepper in a large bowl.
3. Pour dressing over salad and stir thoroughly. Ideally, allow salad to sit for at least half an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.