Saturday, August 15, 2009

Very berry waffles

Here's a lunch that tastes like dessert, is as good for you as it looks, and can be made in 10 minutes once you get the hang of it. You'll need a Belgian waffle maker--the kind with high hills and deep valleys. Mine is about 40 years old and makes just one waffle at a time, but if you have a bigger one, everyone can sit down to eat fresh waffles together.

For people who don't like recipes, this is all you need to know:

First layer: one small whole wheat waffle topped with slightly sweetened plain yogurt or ricotta cheese topped with your favorite berries (hot or cold). Second layer: the same. Sprinkle sliced almonds or put a sprig of mint on top, if you like.

For people who want the details, here they are:

This recipe, loosely based on the recipe "Quick and Easy Waffles" in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, makes an ample lunch for two, a small lunch for four.

First make the berry topping.
About two cups of strawberries (sliced or halved), blackberries, blueberries, raspberries (or sliced peaches or sliced bananas or ...)

Warm variation: Lightly cook the blueberries with a tablespoon of water and sugar. (Or used sliced apples cooked with a little water, sugar, and cinnamon, or sliced peaches very lightly cooked with a little nutmeg, or ...)

Then prepare the filling.
That can be as simple as removing a small carton of part-skim ricotta cheese from your refrigerator. You'll need enough to spread over each waffle, filling the wells. You don't need to doctor it up with anything.

Variation: Use lowfat (not nonfat) plain yogurt instead of the ricotta. Mix in a little sugar--about a teaspoon per cup of yogurt--and, if you like, a splash of vanilla or almond extract. You'll need at least enough to ladle a dollop on each waffle and spread it to the edges. If you like yogurt a lot, use more.

At the last minute, bake the waffles.
While you've been preparing the fruit and the filling, you've been heating up the waffle iron, right? If not, there's still barely enough time.

In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients:
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose white, but it won't be as nutritious; or you can use regular whole wheat, but it won't be as tasty)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or Splenda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
In a small bowl, whisk the liquid ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, if you didn't use it in the filling
Spray the hot waffle iron with canola oil spray. Shut the lid.
Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Plop the batter onto the waffle iron, using about 1/2 cup for each of 4 waffles.
Bake until crisp and browned. In my ancient waffle maker, that takes only about 2 minutes.

Assemble your lunch.
  1. Waffle
  2. Ricotta or yogurt filling
  3. Berries
  4. Waffle
  5. Ricotta or yogurt filling
  6. Berries
  7. Sliced almonds or a sprig of mint

1 comment:

David Neff said...

What can I say? It was scrumptious.