Thursday, March 13, 2014

Friday's Faves....A Healthier Irish Soda Bread and A Favorite Spring/Summer Salad

My very first friend as a married lady refused to have any sugar or white flour in her home.
Everything was made with whole grains and sweetened with honey.
Of course, at the ripe old age of twenty,
I decided if I was to be a good wife and mama I must do the same.

I had never even heard of Irish Soda Bread before meeting her.
All these years later I've only ever had it the way I've always made it,
with her healthier whole wheat and honey recipe.

My whole grain and honey phase lasted quite some time.
My grown children still murmur about the "buckwheat" pancakes I used to make them eat.
But nobody ever griped about this simple and delicious bread!

Years later,  when my children were elementary, junior high and high school ages,
another good friend was one of those ultra couponers.
Again, I decided a good wife and mama clips coupons and spends all day going from store to store so she can get bags of groceries for mere pocket change.
Unfortunately, most of the coupons were for things we never used to buy
like sugary cereals and prepackaged foods.
So, no sugar and only whole grains became a thing of the past when I went through
 my couponing phase.
Eventually I gave up my couponing "career" and we resumed a more healthy lifestyle.
Now, we try to eat relatively low carb and focus our diet on lean meats
 and fresh fruits and veggies.
However, I do keep sugar and white flour around for the occasions when I make sweets.
(Let's face it, those honey and whole wheat cookies really weren't all that great.)

My daughters are grown and feeding their children organic and Paleo.
My grandchildren are the ones grumbling to their mamas about the healthy things they have to eat now!
When they come to Nana's house they head straight for the pantry and the Honey Nut Cheerios and  Goldfish Crackers. 
(A Nana's gotta do what a Nana's gotta do to keep those little darlin's happy and spoiled!)

The Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread made with baking powder and baking soda,
not yeast.
It's extremely easy to make.
I ate a piece warm from the oven topped with some homemade raspberry jam.

You might want to make some for St. Patty's Day to serve with your corned beef and cabbage 
or your hearty Irish stew.

We ate our soda bread with this healthy salad that is a favorite of ours during the spring and summer months.
It's simply fresh spinach, pieces of chopped pear, crumbled feta cheese, toasted pine nuts or some candied walnuts or pecans and chunks of oven roasted chicken breast.  
 Dress the salad with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.
It's healthy, yet my "anything but health food loving husband" always comments that it's his favorite salad.

And now for the 
(the "healthy" version)

 1 Tablespoon soft butter
and 1/2 cup honey

4 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

(It is optional to add 2T caraway seeds and 1 C dried currants or raisins in Irish Soda Bread.
Some also add orange zest.  All of the above would made a fabulous breakfast bread.)

the butter and honey mixture
2 cups buttermilk

BAKE in preheated 350 oven 
in a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet that has been sprayed with non stick spray.
Bake for 1 1/2 hour. ( mine was done in one hour )
(I brush the top of the bread with a little butter when I take it out of the oven.)
Remove from pan to cool.

Well, it's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED Weekend!

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  1. This bread sounds really good. Must make some for our Ladies meeting Sunday where the theme is Irish Food!! Thanks!

  2. Yummy! I am going to try the salad. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Oh, just pinned this! I've never made soda bread, but if you say this is good, then it must be a keeper! I bet your kiddos loved your sugary coupon phase! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded my friend!


    1. Thanks for hosting the link, Alison! I hope you try the soda bread and that it doesn't disappoint!

  4. Mmm... it all look delicious Elizabeth. We are big salad eaters here too as we live in a year round warm tropical climate. I'm definitely trying the salad and the bread is similar to one I used to make when my girls were younger. You've inspired me to get the recipe out again.


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