recipe

Oatmeal Stuffed Baked Apples

Prep Time: 2 hours      Cook Time: 30-60 min     Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings

 WHAT YOU NEED

  • 3 firm apples 
    • Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Braeburn if you like 'em sweet
    • Gala, Granny Smith, or Jonagolds if you like 'em tart
  • 2 cups steel cut oats (rinsed, soaked for 2 hours, then drained)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • zest of 1 mandarin (optional...if you're feeling zesty!)
  • 7 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tbs ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I got for walnuts or pecans) 
  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or plain milk + 1 tsp vanilla bean) 
  • pure maple syrup or raw honey for drizzling

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Wash and core your apples. If you don't have a corer, like me, use a paring knife and cut a 1" square around the center of the apple from the top and bottom. Then push the cut portion out through the top. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the soaked (but fully drained) oats and milk and mix until well combined.

  4. Put your apples in a deep baking dish greased lightly with butter. Mmmmmm.

  5. Fill each apple with the mixture and then spoon all of what's leftover around the apples. Pack it all down too. 

  6. Place dish on the center rack of your oven, uncovered. If your apples are small, they'll probably take about 30 minutes to bake. If they are large, they could take close to 1 hour. Peek in on them around the 30 minute mark. You'll know they're ready by how they smell and look, how easily a knife penetrates through the apple, and whether or not the oats have soaked up all the liquid and are set in the dish. 

Get creative with how you enjoy this dish. It could easily be part of a dessert as well! Have fun! 

Overnight Oats

Prep Time: 5 minutes Yield: 1 serving

 

I'm on this new "early bird gets the worm" kick and I'm loving it. I've wanted to be an early riser for YEARS now but my body just wasn't having it. So, I took it upon myself to use my jet lag from my recent trip to Europe to my advantage and I've been getting up near 6am everyday. It's M-A-G-I-C. 

Having an easy breakfast option is the key to this process for me. I don't like sweets in the morning, and I don't like heavy foods like meat or eggs. Enter: overnight oats. No cooking required, unlimited variations of recipes, super quick prep time, and I get to eat out of a mason jar like a cool little hipster! 

There they are, all pretty and ready for the fridge! Breakfast for M-F in 5 minutes! 

***Revision 10/15/15***

I actually started soaking and rinsing my oats before I pack them up in individual servings. In the morning, I scoop out 2 cups (4 servings) of oats into a large mixing bowl and submerge them in water. At the end of the day, I strain the oats, rinse them in the colander, and then scoop them out into 4 mason jars. Because they have been soaking, they've absorbed water so each jar now gets about 1 cup of soaked and rinsed oats. From there...I follow the instructions below except with HALF AS MUCH LIQUID. If oats ever make you feel a little bloated or anything like that, try it this way! 

 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats (soaked and rinsed as mentioned above) 
  • 1/2 cup liquid (we use vanilla soy milk because it makes the oats creamy and adds more protein)
     
    • recycled class jars (around 16 oz each)

Fun Add-ins

  • cinnamon
  • vanilla bean
  • chia seeds
  • nuts
  • unsweetened dried fruit (raisins, dates, apricots)
  • fresh fruit
  • frozen fruit
  • nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, coconut butter, etc)
  • PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
  • unsweetened dried coconut
  • fresh coconut
  • protein powder
  • hemp seeds 
  • anything your heart desires

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Place all ingredients in your jar and shake vigorously for about 1 minute until well combined. No cooking required, enjoy the oats straight from the jar! They last up ti 3 days in the refrigerator. 

How to: Perfect Spaghetti Squash Noodles (Squoodles)

EVERY time I post a photo of spaghetti squash noodles, I get a ton of messages about how I get them to be so PERFECT. Why...thank you! They are indeed perfect. In fact, I haven't made a "bad" batch of squoodles in years! So, because I'm such a nice person, I decided I should share with you all exactly how I make my squoodles. This method may have a few more steps than folks are used to but it's worth it for perfectly al dente squoodles without a pile of mush and a puddle sitting at the bottom of your bowl (you know who you are...)

 

P.S. A quicker alternative to this would be to microwave the squash. Check out my Instagram video on how to do that here

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 450F. Take your spaghetti squash and poke it multiple times all over with a fork. Then, place it on a baking sheet.

Step 2

Bake your squash for 20-60 minutes (depending on size) or until a fork can be pierced through the skin into the flesh with just a bit of force. You do not want it to slip in easily, the squash should still be a little firm! 

Step 3

Wearing gloves or using a hand towel, transfer your squash to a paper towel lined surface. Cut it in half widthwise, and use a large metal spoon or fork to scoop out the inside seeds and soft inner flesh.

Step 4

Using that same fork or spoon, scoop out the entire contents of each half by running your utensil along the underside of the skin from the top edge, down to the bottom. Then, use your hands to break apart the intact squoodles and spread them out over the paper towels. This will prevent them from cooking any further and will allow the moisture to steam off. Excess heat and moisture are the main culprits for overcooked squash! 

Step 5

Enjoy! I love to toss them in olive oil and fresh chopped basil or add your favorite pasta sauce like pesto or tomato. If you are not planning on using your squoodles right way, allow them to cool COMPLETELY before transferring them to a container for the fridge. 

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Cast Iron Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes        Cook Time: 20 minutes        Yield: 12" round

 

Folks, this stuff is the bee's knees! And I've included a a dairy-free version...doesn't get much better than that! 

Side note: I recently discovered that "bee's knees" may have derived from "business"...meaning this stuff is the BIZ-NASS!!!! 

WHAT YOU NEED

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups cornmeal, medium ground
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1.5 cups (12 oz) sour cream
  • small can of corn, drained (you can use more or less it's up to you!)
  • 4 tbs butter, melted + a little more for greasing 
  • 8 tbs (4 oz) raw honey + a little more for drizzling 

ools

  • 12" cast iron skillet, or 8" square/round
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • silicone spatula
  • toothpick

If you have issues with dairy, I recommend plain non-dairy yogurt (like So Delicious Cultured Almond Milk Yogurt) instead of sour cream and ghee instead of butter.

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Grease your skillet or baking pan and set aside.
  3. Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  4. Do the same for the wet ingredients in a separate, smaller bowl. 
  5. Pour the wet stuff over the dry and mix well.
  6. Using your spatula, transfer the batter into your greased skillet or pan and shake the skillet to smooth the surface out until it's all uniform in the dish. 
  7. Drizzle some honey over the top. Hell yes. 
  8. Place on the middle rack of you oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  9. Enjoy! This is the perfect time of year for homemade cornbread on the side of a big bowl of chili! 

Black Bean Chipotle Hummus

BLACK BEAN CHIPOTLE HUMMUS

Prep Time: 15 minutes           Yield: 10 servings

Who doesn't love hummus? Seriously. I love the texture, the versatility, the satiability, the taste...everything! And just because I favor a dietary lifestyle which doesn't regularly include beans does not mean I don't still enjoy them from time to time. And this hummus, my friends, is certainly something to enjoy! 

Just FYI, I'm a huge fan of not wasting food. And I also really enjoy using what I have as opposed to acquiring new ingredients to make something different. I wanted to make this hummus because I'll be camping this weekend and it's a quick, easy, nutritious and delicious food to bring with me. I was quickly overwhelmed looking at hummus recipes online because many called for only a portion of a can of beans (what do I do with the rest?), or tahini (I don't have any, nor do I have enough sesame seeds to make it myself), or chipotle chilies (nope, don't have those either). So, I improvised and came up with my own recipe...as I always do. 

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WHAT YOU NEED*

  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 2 oven-roasted garlic cloves
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle
  • (1) 15-oz can of garbanzo beans
  • (1) 15-oz can of black beans
  • a few tbs of water
  • Himalayan salt or sea salt to taste
    • food processor
    • silicone spatula
    • strainer
    • measuring utensils

WHAT TO DO

  1. Add sunflower seeds to your food processor bowl and process until a paste is formed. This will take several minutes. 
  2. Add lemon juice and process until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl if necessary. 
  3. Throw in the garlic cloves and process until smooth. On my prep days, I roast garlic along with my sweet potatoes, beets, green beans, and whatever other yumminess I care to roast. So, I had a roasted head of garlic in the fridge from last week and I used cloves from that.
  4. Add olive oil (tbs by tbs), cumin, and chipotle and process until well combined. 
  5. Strain and rinse the garbanzo beans until the water runs clear. Add them slowly to the food processor while it's running and process for about 2-3 minutes or until a smooth, thick paste is formed.
  6. Repeat step 5 with the black beans.
  7. While the food processor is still running, add water 1 tbs at a time until the desired consistency of the hummus is met. I used 3 tbs total and I prefer my hummus thick! 
  8. Season with salt to taste and store according to the photo caption below.

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