Tag Archives: make ahead

Vegan Baked Oatmeal

I’m on a little oatmeal kick recently…well, at Costco I bought about a zillion RAW oatmeal packets that come together in a jiffy and have quinoa, chia, flax, oats and great taste without all the sugar that Quaker has.  I came across this idea from a friend’s Facebook page today while procrastinating.  I made it and LOVE it.  If you are a non-oats person because of the texture of hot or cold oatmeal, this will cure you of your oat-phobia (yes, of course that is a technical term).  A quick, warm breakfast on a cold day is possible.  Try it for Christmas morning so you can dedicate time to your gifts and not the prep of your breakfast.  With this in your belly in the AM, it’s basically permission to eat cookies for the other two meals of the day.  Cheers!

Baked Oatmeal

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk (any nondairy milk should work here, I used unsweetened nonflavored almond)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds (any nut will work)
  • 1/2 cup dried Michigan cherries (or other dried fruit of your choice)
  • 1 large un-peeled Honey Crisp apple, grated (apple should be firm)
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup (you choose, but use natural, not a syrup made with artificial sweeteners-Agave is a good sub here)
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Coat a 3 quart (large) casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray
3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
4. Place mixture in the casserole dish
5. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes

Feel free to toss Chia or Flax in there too…a little sprinkle won’t hurt.

*Makes 6 1-cup servings (divide other servings into small containers for a quick grab-n-go breakfast next week for work!!!)

Curry with Cashews

Confession:  I love cooking, but I could LIVE on take out.  In particular thai take out.  My fave place in GR is Angels Thai on Monroe Center.  This is my “go-to” curry recipe adopted from Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com.  I add some more num num’s and make it for a crowd so that I have leftovers!  Curry lasts surprisingly well in the freezer and makes a great quick meal over rice or quinoa in a hurry.  I picked some hearty veggies and a sturdy bean so they stand up well later going from freezer to table later.  You can add just about anything you want into this dish.  Clean out the fridge if you like.  Just be sure to write it all down if it tastes awesome, or you won’t be able to recreate it later…this happens to me more times than I care to mention.

  • 2 cups lite coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs HOT curry powder (I use Penzeys)
  • 3 Tbs Mild or Sweet curry powder (Penzeys here too)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp fine grain sea salt (to your taste)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 block firm tofu, pressed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (one large head)
  • 1/3 cup cashews, toasted
  • a handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Toast the cashews in a wok briefly, until just browned.  Remove the cashews and allow to cool.  Next, toast the curry over LOW.  Do not burn it or your pan will smell and taste like burned curry for all time.  For real.  Add to the toasted curry, half of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Whisk in the rest of the curry powder and salt, working out any clumps. Now stir in the chopped red onion and garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and the water, and then the tofu. Cook down the liquid for a couple minutes before adding the green beans, garbanzos, and cauliflower. Cover and simmer for just about one minute, maybe two – or just until the cauliflower and beans lose their raw edge and cook through a bit. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cashews. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt / curry powder) if needed. Serve with a bit of cilantro topping each bowl over rice or quinoa.

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Chickpeas, please.

Ever since I began making chickpeas from a dried state, I have been obsessed with them.  I eat them by the handful like they are popcorn.  They’re delicious, nutty, versatile, freezable, and CHEAP (check them out at a Supermercado near you).

Here’s a super quick, frugal recipe to laugh Asian take-out prices right out the door.  It keeps well in the fridge for about a week and tastes AWESOME inside of a flour tortilla too.

Island Chickpeas

Adapted from Happy Herbivore

  • 4 C chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 C teriyaki sauce, use your fave from a bottle or better yet, make it
  • 2 T Szechuan sauce
  • 4 C cooked brown rice
  • 2 bunches Kale
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • lime wedges
  • canned mango salsa
Combine chickpeas, teriyaki sauce, Szechuan sauce in large frying pan or wok.  Allow to marinade for 5 minutes.  Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat.
In  a saute’ pan, heat oil and garlic until sizzling, add the kale.  Saute’ until bright green and just wilted.
To plate, take 1/2 cup of brown rice, top with some kale a scoop of chickpeas and a squeeze of lime.  I also put a dollop of leftover mango salsa on mine.  Delish.
Pictured under the chickpeas is a Boca chicken patty as well.

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Faux Chicken BBQ Pizza

I’m not a huge faux meat fan.  I don’t eat meat because, I don’t want to, not because I want to eat something that tastes like it, but isn’t it.  Did that make sense?  At any rate, there are a few things I do miss about being vegetarian:

1.  Bacon

2.  Chicken Hot Wings

3.  Tuna Steak

4.  Barbecued Turkey

I discovered this product at Whole Foods on my last jaunt to Ann Arbor, and thought I’d give it a try.  That trip was about 5 months ago, so it keeps well in the freezer although I think it was sold in the fresh case, by the lunch meat etc.

Mostly, gardein bbq pulled shreds tasted like, well bbq sauce.  The “meat” didn’t have flavor, in fact, after I ate it, THEN I went back to see what it actually was, you know like any responsible consumer-vital wheat gluten, or Seitan in the veg world, which I can make at home.  All-in-all, not an offensive product.  I think it gave Mr. Wonderful his bbq pork/chicken fix for a little while and it was a quick dinner after a long day.  I love this idea of “pulled pork” or whatever and think next time, I will try my own homemade bbq sauce which is much lower in sugar and “pull” my own Seitan.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Faux Chicken BBQ Pizza

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat up bbq shreds according to package directions, from frozen it took just 3 minutes on high.

Put naan directly on oven grate for 1-2 minutes until a little crisp.

Add bbq shreds, onion, grated cheese onto the naan then pop back into the oven until cheese is melty and naan is crispy.

Don’t forget your napkin.

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Celebration Sunday!

This is a two for one blog post today.  Last minute plans had Mr. Wonderful and I running to Lansing for the weekend to celebrate his kid sister FINALLY (as her father puts it) graduating from MSU, Mother’s Day, Mr. Wonderful’s mother’s birthday, and my new job.  Whew!  Nice to celebrate!

I’m going to air a little dirty laundry, The Wonderful Family is a little bit difficult to pin down in terms of actual PLANS, so late Friday night we decided on brunch at the Wonderful’s Farm (#walterthewonderdog loves it there).  My portion of brunch was relatively painless and I made it ahead.  Goat Cheese & Asparagus Strata and Paula Deen’s Baked French Toast Casserole.  Win-win.

Warning these are not healthy recipes!

PAULA DEEN’S FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

  • 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla,cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

PRALINE TOPPING

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

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Goat Cheese Asparagus Strata

Adapted from Epicurious.com’s Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Strata

  • 18 slices firm white bread (original recipe calls for English muffin bread crust free, I used French with crust)
  • 1 # asparagus tips, chopped
  • 8 ounces Dancing Goat, goat cheese from Dogwood Farms in Byron Center , crumbled
  • 4 ounces provolone, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 6 T thinly sliced fresh basil or 3 T dried
  • 6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced*
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 c half and half
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 T butter, melted

Line bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish completely with 1 layer of bread, cutting some slices to fit. Arrange half of prosciutto evenly over bread. Sprinkle half of goat cheese and half of provolone over. Sprinkle with half of green onions and half of basil. Top with second layer of bread. Layer remaining prosciutto, goat cheese, provolone, green onions, and basil atop bread. Cut remaining bread into 1/4-inch cubes. Sprinkle over top.

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, and salt in bowl. Season with pepper. Pour egg mixture over strata; press down on bread with spatula. Drizzle melted butter over strata. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover strata and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake until center is set, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler. Place strata under broiler until top is golden, about 30 seconds. Cut into large squares and serve.

*for your meat-eating friends

Calling All Butternut Squash For Role In Pasta Dish

I purchased 8 huge, I mean HUGE butternut squash from the orchard last week. I began processing them this weekend in an effort to eat them, or store them before they go bad.  I cut up two of the bad boys and baked them, then I pureed them to an astonishing 13 cups of golden deliciousness.  They now are secure in 1 cup measurements in the freezer ready to use in a pinch.  So awesome!

I reorganized my recipe heap, yes, heap this weekend and came across this one from an old Rachael Ray magazine-so what if it’s from 2007, I mean I’m getting to it at least!

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Penne with Squash Cream Sauce

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2T butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 C squash puree (butternut, pumpkin, etc)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or thyme (sage might be good here too)

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the squash and cream and bring to a boil. Return the pasta to the pot, along with the reserved pasta water, and toss. Stir in the parmesan; season with salt & pepper.

Top pasta with herbs and more parmesan to serve.

I know that so many people have such a love/hate relationship with Rachael Ray. I admit, I don’t watch her shows, nor do I like a lot of her recipes but this one is YUM-O (okay, that was sarcastic, sorry).

Oh, I almost forgot, the side dish pictured is my fave way to eat cauliflower. Break into smallish pieces, toss with EVOO (another Rach-ism) some kosher salt and bake until browned at 400 degrees.  Here is my second fave way to eat cauliflower.