It’s a rainy evening (thankfully) and my fancy turns to food.  But in the heat, not too much sounds good.  Don’t despair! There are plenty of healthy and simple choices even when it’s hot…and for tea on a hot afternoon, or for dessert, chocolate cherry whole wheat scones.  Join us!

Here’s what we had for dinner last week when it was too hot to think about cooking something.  Starting on the left side, we had wheat pita bread from Aladdin’s Middle East Bakery in Cleveland, http://www.aladdinbaking.com/, a place I’ve mentioned before.  I stuffed the pita with nice crisp lettuce and a re-creation of Whole Foods’ fabulous faux chicken salad, a salad Megan says taste just as good as real chicken salad.  Here’s our version:

“Chicken” Salad

One package of Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Strips
celery
green onion
Veganaise (vegan mayo)
soy sauce
salt and pepper

Chop half the chicken strips into small pieces.  Take the other half and whirl briefly in a food processor.  Combine in a bowl.  Add chopped celery and chopped green onion.  Mix in enough Vegeniase to moisten and hold together.  Add a bit of soy sauce (not too much; you can always add more) and salt and pepper to taste.

*****************

Clockwise, in the red bowl, is an easy bean salad.

Two-Bean Salad with Corn and Artichokes
150 Vegan Favorites,
Jay Solomon

 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans/black-eyed peas, drained
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
4 whole scallions, trimmed and chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 can corn kernels, drained
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
2-3 T. balsamic vinegar
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
2 t. dried oregano
½ t. black pepper
½ t. salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine everything and blend well.  Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 min.-1 hr. to allow flavors to meld together.  The salad may be made up to a day ahead of time.  Serve over a bed of leaf lettuce.

Note:  I’ve added cucumber, left out tomatoes, added more scallions, left out parsley.  You could put in fresh corn kernels (cooked), if you like.  I’m sure it would be wonderful, too.

******************

Again, clockwise, the next tidbit is simple but delicious.  Fresh figs wrapped in proscuitto.  That’s it.  Yum.

Finally, an easy appetizer:  slices of peeled cucumber topped with some tapenade.  Our tapenade was purchased from Trader Joe’s but you can buy it elsewhere or make it yourself.

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As for scones, most of the ones you buy in the store are filled with butter and made with white flour.  These are made with whole wheat pastry flour and have only 1/3 cup of oil for all twelve scones.  But they’re so good that I’ve never made myself try another recipe or even adapt this one.  Everyone except my husband loves them; he says they’re too dry.  Oh, well, you can’t please everyone.  While you’re enjoying them, think about the cost, health-wise and financial, of bakery scones.  You’ll enjoy them even more.

Cherry Whole Wheat Scones

1. Preheat oven to 400.

¼ c. + 2 T. sugar
½ t. cinnamon

2.  Mix 2 T. sugar + cinnamon below and set aside.

3.  Sift ¼ c. sugar with rest of the following dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Add any remaining bran.

2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 T. baking powder
¼ t. salt

Add and stir well:

½ c. dried cherries
1/2 c. Ghirardelli double-chocolate chips or any other chips     I like these because they’re dark.  🙂

Beat:

2 L. eggs   Set aside 1 T.

Beat into remaining eggs:

1/3 c. veg. oil
1/3 c. milk

Add wet to dry and stir until just combined.  Dough will be soft.

7. Turn onto floured surface and pat into a circle 8” across and ½ “ thick.  Cut into 8 or 12 (I make 12) pie-shaped wedges.  With a dough scraper, lift and place on sprayed baking sheet, not touching.

8. Brush top with reserved egg and sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar.  Press down lightly.

9. Bake 15 min./until golden brown and firm to the touch.  This may take only about 12 minutes.  Don’t overbake.

Adapted from a recipe in Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook.

Comments
  1. billgncs says:

    my boss loves scones….

  2. I love dried cherries and chocolate! I’ll have to try out the scones.

    • Let me know how you like them. Two tips that made a big difference in the quality of the scones–the dough will be sticky and check for doneness often. If you add too much flour or over-knead the dough, the scones are drier or tougher. When a toothpick comes out clean (except for possibly some melted chocolate), time to get them out and cooling I get Montmorency tart cherries from Costco or Trader Joe’s. Yum!!

      • Okay – I made the scones! Thoughts –
        (1) Pretty good. (The dough was very wet and sticky – part of that was probably because it’s very humid today, so the flour couldn’t absorb as much liquid. Anyhow, they aren’t dry.)
        (2) I think they’re better after getting cold – I ate one while it was still warm, and the edges were dry while the middle was a bit doughy. After cooling, they’re uniformly soft and enjoyable.
        (3) Now, let’s tweak them: I may try adding a tablespoon of cocoa to the dough, and putting a cocoa-sugar topping on them instead of cinnamon sugar. Or maybe use sliced almonds instead of chocolate, and soak the dried cherries in water (or brandy!) for five minutes before adding them. Or maybe currants and pecans with cinnamon sugar…

        Anyhow, good scones that you could vary in lots and lots of ways. Thanks!

      • Great!! Glad you liked them. They’re distressingly healthy as far as scones go, too, and delish!

  3. […] has them, too.  They’re also great in the Whole Wheat Cherry Scones in this post:  https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/dinner-and-scones/, so get plenty […]

  4. becca givens says:

    No matter the shape or size — scones are my divine weakness!! Thank you for the link! 😀

  5. […] healthy.  Here’s the link to the post where I shared the recipe as well as a few others:  https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/dinner-and-scones/.  Enjoy!  And if you try them, let me know what you […]

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