Archive for March, 2014

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Oatmeal Bake

March 24, 2014

Hey everyone,

I’ve been cooking!  Unfortunately I haven’t taken great photos, so bear with me.  You’ll have to understand I have to try to cook quickly between feeding a baby, rocking to sleep, or trying to do laundry, etc.  In order to allow me to eat breakfast quickly and easily, but still healthy… I found this delicious recipe online.

What’s great about it, is that it’s great freshly baked or reheated.  It’s flexible in the ingredients so you can make it as sweet or healthy or not as you’d like! (Check out her website for all the possibilities.  I’ll outline which changes I made, but she has tons of options.)

Here’s how it goes…

Strawberry Baked Oatmeal with Chocolate

Ingredients:
-2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used extra thick)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tbsp grated orange zest
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-1 cup sliced strawberries
-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
-2 cups skim milk
-1 large egg
-3 tbsps butter, melted
-2 tsps vanilla extract
-1+ ripe banana, 1/2 inch slices
-optional, Honey/Agave/Brown Sugar

Directions
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a 9 by 9 baking dish and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, salt, half the walnuts, half the strawberries, half the chocolate.  If you are using sugar, add it here.  I’ve added my agave here once, but it might work better in the milk mixture.  Pour this into the prepared dish.  Arrange the remaining strawberries, walnuts and chocolate on top as well as banana slices.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.  Don’t mix your butter unless your milk has come closer to room temperature.  The cold milk will cause the butter to become solid again.  Pour the melted butter over the oat mixture, then add the egg-milk-vanilla mixture.  Make sure it’s evenly distributed over the oats.  Gently shake dish to ensure it’s reached the bottom of your dish.

4. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the milk has set and the top is golden brown.  (If I weren’t trying to eliminate processed sugar, a brown sugar crumbly top would be amazing.  Just an idea.)

5. Serve warm.

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Not the best photo, but seriously delicious.

It is so delicious.  Try it once following the recipe and then make it your own.  I’ve made it twice now, doubling it the second time.  Tip for doubling: don’t quite double the milk.  It’s not necessary and just requires a longer bake time to help it set.  I think I’d like to try different fruit, maybe blueberries.  What kind of fruit would you put in it?  If you know me, I doubled the chocolate for this recipe, but you can do whatever you see fit.  Also, the strawberries make the dish really sweet, so the second time I made it, I cut those down. I mixed banana into my dish because I really like the flavor with the strawberries.

I thought it was equally delicious reheated the next day.  When I made it the second time, I put individual servings in the fridge to just pop in for breakfast over the week ahead.  So easy and healthy!

Happy Breakfasting,
Amanda

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Garlic and Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash

March 17, 2014

Good morning.  Are your taste buds ready for something good?  And y’all, this stuff is good.

I’ve been trying to figure out some good recipes that are both gluten free and delicious.  And this is seriously delicious.  Additionally, I decided this week I wanted to meal plan.  (I’ve seriously wanted to make some big life changes for the better with this Lenten season.)  While approaching meal planning, I did a lot of research and realized it’s insane to even begin this process.  How many of you meal plan?  Do you weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?  I’m so interested in this thing.  Maybe I’ll start blogging with my research, ideas, and plans!  We can do this together.

Ok, back to this recipe.  I found a great blog that had a week of meals and I quickly found this delicious recipe.  I already had tilapia on hand (see Tuesday’s meal on the blog), so we just needed some greens and the ingredients for Garlic and Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash.  Lately I’ve tried to branch out with my spaghetti squash meals away from actual spaghetti to other pasta dishes.  I made a few real good ones (and didn’t photograph them, I’m sorry), but decided this one needed to be photographed and blogged about.

So let’s get to the recipe.  It might be the easiest thing ever.  And as you know, I follow recipes loosely.  I hope that doesn’t discourage you from making it.  These things are flexible.

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Spaghetti Squash and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:
-Garlic (I used minced, about 2 heaping tsps, you can use fresh – up to 8 cloves depending on your taste buds)
– 3+ tbsp butter
-1/4 cup Dried Parsley
– 3/4 cup Olive Oil (this can vary depending on how big your spaghetti squash is and how much sauce you want)
-Salt and Pepper, to taste
-1 Spaghetti squash
-Goat Cheese (the recipe says 11 oz, I think 8 oz is plenty and I used a large squash and LOVE goat cheese)

Directions:
1. Prepare your spaghetti squash according to your favorite way.  I do mine like this, but the recipe I followed tells you to cook it whole.  Try whatever you want, but remember if you’re putting it in the oven, it takes a while so bake it early.

2. In a pan melt your butter and add in garlic.  Saute the garlic for 10 minutes.  I used minced, so I probably didn’t cook it for that long, but I did want the flavors to blend nicely.

3. Once the garlic is sautéed, add parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Blend together and heat for 3-5 minutes.  Turn off heat and set aside.

4. Once your spaghetti squash is cooked (and cooled), grab your fork and “pull” it apart.  You can leave the “spaghetti” in the squash for a bowl serving, or put it all in a large dish.  I always put mine in a large dish to help portion it out for sides.

5. Pour the butter-garlic-oil mixture over the squash and mix well.  It should coat and soak into the squash evenly.

6. Serve with crumbled goat cheese over the top.

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I don’t think I can express to you enough how delicious this dish tastes.  Sadly our squash turned a little mush-like instead of stringy, but it tastes the same, so who cares, right?  I am definitely going to put this dish into my arsenal of meals for future weeks!

Happy eating,
Amanda