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« Day 6: start with sweet potatoes, end with Southern Summer Pesto | Main | Day 4, Week 1: make bread dough; enjoy a dinner you made on Day 2 »

Day 5, Week 1: baking day, with bean salad

Today, you either woke up with bread ready in your bread machine or you get to bake it today. Once you see how easy it is to make at home, with or without a bread machine, you'll never want to go back to manufactured bread.

If you took the hot-weather option yesterday, you probably woke up with warm bread in your bread machine. Toast a slice for breakfast and top with peanut butter if you like. Those slices are shown on the menu for lunch tomorrow, but who could wait?

If you're making Good Whisk Bread by hand (page 153 in Wildly Affordable Organic), divide the dough you prepared yesterday in half. You can bake both loaves at once, but if you are cooking for just one or two, you might want to return half of it to the refrigerator. It will keep for two weeks.

Shape the dough and let it rise as shown in the video below.

While the oven is preheating, prepare Baked Pears with Cinnamon Cashew Cream. Make a double batch of sauce so you can serve it on baked sweet potatoes for breakfast tomorrow. I used homemade yogurt, which we'll be making next week. Bake a sweet potato for each person while you bake the pears.

Making use of a hot oven is a key Cook for Good technique. That's why there's an index in that groups recipes by baking temperature, a feature I've never seen in another cookbook.


If you have fresh mint leaves, tuck them in at the top of each pear half as garnish.  Drizzle with sauce.

baked pears and fresh mint leaves for a low calorie vegan dessertbaked pears with cinnamon yogurt sauce and fresh mint leaves

When you take the bread out of the oven, remove it from the pans right away and let cool on wire racks. In the picture below, half the dough baked in a loaf pan and the other half baked free form on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

homemade whole wheat bread baked in a loaf pan and round baked without a pan

For dinner, make Bean Salad with Fresh Corn, Tomatoes, and Peppers (page 136) using the black beans you prepared on Day 3. Have Baked Pears with Cinnamon Cashew Cream for dessert.

black bean salad with corn fresh tomatoes bell peppers and basil

It may seem like we're doing a lot today, but it only takes five minutes each to shape the bread, prepare the pears and the sweet potatoes, make the sauce, and prepare the bean salad.

That's why another riding your cooking momentum is a key Cook for Good technique. While you're in the kitchen, cook! Make use of your meanwhile!

Reader Comments (2)

I don't have any pears but I might use some cut up apples with the yogurt sause - or bananas - really don't want to turn on the oven yet!

Jul 20, 2011 | Registered Commentergreg

The bread was a definite hit. Nice, light crust and texture. A little saltier than I'm used to bread being, though.

I made the bean salad, but couldn't bring myself to eat any. It is awaiting future willingness, after I have satiated my fat cravings (perhaps with the pesto). Also, I was apparently wrong about how many cups of beans to save for today, as it only took 2 cups to make this batch. Hmm.

Did not get to the pears and sweet potatoes, as emotions stemming from pregnancy hormones and insufficient animal products took over my brain for the night. (I know from past experience that eating vegetarian for too long makes me go a little crazy, but I think the process was accelerated this week by the whole gestating thing.) I think I'm going to have to figure out where to add meat into these menus. Adding ground beef to black bean stews and other mixtures is an obvious choice, but I'd like to get a bit more variety of meat, too. Any suggestions?

Aug 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
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