Seems we all focus on the “main event” meals during the holidays, poring over cookbooks or stressing about which dressing would be best with the tofurkey (okay, I know many of you don’t eat tofurkey–but it’s such a fun word to say, isn’t it?). But what about the meals after the big meals? What about breakfast or brunch?
Years ago, I jumped at the chance to go on a date with a guy from England–his name even sounded dashing (something like “Darcy Bedford”).
Well, it was clear from the start that Mister Bedford perceived me to be a Cretin for my want of proper etiquette or decorum (and the fact that I lacked a decent stereo, as he judged it). After all, back in the Queen’s homeland, everyone grows up saying “pleased to meet you,” and “by your leave,” and “cheerio”; they don’t speak with their mouths full; and they are all very proper in every circumstance, you understand.
In this particular case, my twenty-something self was overwhelmed (I didn’t realize I should have been insulted): first, that the guy even asked me out (not only was he British, but an actor; not only an actor, but a working actor; and, most important to me at the time, he was terribly good looking–what the heck did he want with me?); second, that we went to a very posh restaurant; and third, that the table was set with a plethora of silverware.
Like an erstwhile Pretty Woman (though I, of course, wasn’t as pretty, or as tall, and I had much less hair. . . oh–and, right, I wasn’t a hooker), I had no idea which fork to use, nor which knife to grip. I followed Mr. Brittania’s lead and the meal worked out fine. The remainder of the evening, sadly, wasn’t nearly as successful, what with the bloke leaving my place in a huff almost immediately upon arrival, clearly miffed that I was not, as it turned out, a real-life counterpart to the celluloid pretty woman.
Whenever I think of British society these days, I think of High Tea and the elaborate spreads of cucumber sandwiches, bread with the crust cut off, watercress, and miniature scones with clotted cream. Clotted cream! I’ve never had the stuff, but anything rich and creamy evokes the notion of gustatory satisfaction. But it’s the scones, of course, that take the spotlight.
My mother used to buy prepacked sweets that were labeled “Tea Biscuits” when I was a kid. Inside were hydrogenated shortening-heavy biscuits studded with brown raisins. I loved their heaviness and density and the occasional sweet surprise when I bit into a sultana. To me, those were “scones” until my late twenties, until my office mate at work baked up true scones, with butter and cream–and I was converted on the spot.
These days, there’s no butter and no cream, but I still love the morning sweet breads and try to bake them as often as I can. Since the ACD doesn’t advocate too many grains (even if they are gluten-free), I’ve made these grain free (since quinoa isn’t truly a grain). After several trials, I came up with a recipe that is at once light, tender, and flavorful. The fresh ginger adds a little kick while its dried counterpart confers a warming spice; together, the flavor mitigates the sometimes potent quinoa. And quinoa makes them high protein, too–perfect for a balanced breakfast.
These are great for anyone who wants a satisfying breakfast bread without piling on too many carbs. Jolly good!
[A scone slathered with sunflower seed butter.]
Double Ginger Quinoa Scones (suitable for ACD Stage 1 and beyond)
Not too sweet, these scones are great slathered with fruit spread or a flavored nut butter. If you’re not a fan of ginger, you can certainly leave it out, or substitute another spice (such as cinnamon) instead.
3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy, almond or rice milk
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sunflower or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic
1 Tbsp (15 ml) agave nectar (omit for Stage 1; use all stevia)
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
15-25 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
2 tsp (10 ml) freshly grated ginger root
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (90 ml) light buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut flour
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) dried ginger
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda
3/4 tsp (7.5 ml) xanthan gum
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) quinoa flakes additional oil (about 2 tsp/10 ml)
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, flax, oil, agave, vanilla, stevia and fresh ginger root. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the buckwheat flour, coconut flour, dried ginger, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.; whisk to blend. Add the quinoa flakes and stir them in.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry and mix just to blend. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup (80 ml) measuring cup, place mounds of the mixture on the cookie sheets 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Flatten the biscuits slightly and brush with additional oil.
Bake 20-24 minutes, rotating the sheets about halfway through, until the scones are deep golden brown on the bottom and browned on top. Cool before servings. Makes 6 scones. May be frozen.
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