Tag Archives: recipe

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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Ahhhh, autumn.  Pumpkins and squash and apples, oh my.

I borrowed an idea from Mixxedtape for an oatmeal add-in this morning.  I sautéed an apple with a little bit of olive oil and a lot of cinnamon, stirred some honey into my oatmeal, and mixed the apples in with my morning bowl of oatmeal.

I poured myself a cup of ambition, and enjoyed a yummy, comforting breakfast.

Adventures in Pumpkin

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The local grocery stores have been sold out of canned pumpkin for weeks so, when I finally spotted some yesterday, I loaded up with at least eight cans of the stuff.  I was anxious to use some right away and decided to experiment with pumpkin soup.  I browned a tablespoon of diced yellow onion in a tablespoon of olive oil.

I poured in 3.5 cups (a 29-ounce can) of pumpkin.

I mixed in half a cup of unsweetened applesauce.  I thought it might add some natural sweetness but balance out the pumpkin.

I poured in 1.5 cups of vegetable stock, added a dash of nutmeg, and dumped probably a tablespoon of cinnamon in it.  (I love cinnamon.)  I mixed everything up and let it simmer, covered, on low heat.  (Please–cover, cover, cover your pumpkin or you will quickly have a pumpkin-colored kitchen!)  There was no need to use a blender–I just poured a bit into a bowl and garnished it with roasted pumpkin seeds.

It was…okay.  It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t knocked out by it.  I definitely should’ve chopped up the onions a little finer.  Other than that, I’m not sure what I should’ve done to give it more flavor.  Left out the applesauce?  Added a tablespoon of maple syrup?  Added cream?  I don’t know.

What do you use in your pumpkin soup?

Curried Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup

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Hubby loves spicy food.  I just got an immersion blender.  How do we marry the two?  With curried sweet potato and carrot soup!

I peeled and cut up 3 organic sweet potatoes, along with 4 (skinny) organic carrots.

The pan heated up with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil while I prepared and chopped up a couple of tablespoons of leek.

I browned the leek, then added 2 teaspoons of curry, the sweet potatoes, and the carrots.  I mixed everything together and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Then, I poured 3.5 cups of vegetable stock into the pan.

The soup simmered, covered, for about 25 minutes.  Finally, I used the immersion blender to puree the soup.

It was thick with a consistency somewhere between a bisque and mashed potatoes.  Hubby loved the curry and thought it really gave a punch to the sweet potatoes and carrots.  It was tasty and very filling.  We each had a bowl, and there was enough left over for at least 2 more bowls.

Tomato Soup

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I got a new toy:  an immersion blender.  Of course, I had to try it out and make soup.  I decided to make tomato soup for the first time.  First, I poured a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a hot pan, then added 1 chopped clove of garlic and about a teaspoon of chopped onion.  (I’m not a big fan of onions.)

I washed 6 medium-sized, vine-ripened tomatoes and cut each tomato into 8 pieces.  After the onion and garlic browned, I dumped the tomatoes into the pan, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and added bits of fresh thyme.

The whole concoction was covered with 2.5 cups of vegetable stock.

I cooked the soup for 20 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Finally, I used the immersion blender in the pan to puree the tomatoes.  I ladled the soup into a bowl and enjoyed it with a hunk of rosemary olive oil bread.

It was tangy yet smooth, and truly delicious.  I couldn’t believe I actually made something that tasted so good!  I used the bread to sop up the last bits of soup from the bowl.  There was enough for about 4 bowls, so I put the leftovers into a sealed plastic container.  I’m really looking forward to leftovers at lunch!

p.s.  Sorry the photos aren’t the greatest quality.  Seems like I find myself cooking when there’s no natural light in the kitchen.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie With Almond Milk

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Seems like all the cool kids are using almond milk these days, so I decided to try it out for the first time.  Pure almond milk is made from almonds and water, but the packaged store brands usually contain some other ingredients like vitamins and vanilla extract.  Not only is almond milk vegetarian-friendly, but it has no lactose and no cholesterol (a big bonus for me).

I poured 1 cup of almond milk into the blender, along with 1 banana and 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries.

I pulsed the ingredients until smooth.  Voila–smoothie!  So simple, quick, and delicious.  It made the perfect amount for one tall glass, and it was just (naturally) sweet enough for breakfast.

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?  What’s your favorite almond milk recipe?

Lemon & Goat Cheese Veggies

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I love the combination of lemon juice and goat cheese.  It seems strange to combine the tartness of lemon with the creaminess of goat cheese but, trust me, it works, kinda like lemon pie with a meringue topping.

My latest creation stemmed from running around the kitchen at lunchtime wondering what the heck I was gonna make with the ingredients on hand.  Asparagus?  Tomatoes?  Goat cheese?  Presto–lunch!

I washed the veggies, threw the grape tomatoes into a plastic container, trimmed the woody ends off the asparagus, broke the remaining stems into pieces, and threw the asparagus into the container with about half an inch of water.

I covered the container and microwaved the veggies for about 1.5 minutes (until the tomatoes started to explode, teehee).  I drained most of the water, splashed some lemon juice into the container, and mixed in about a spoonful of goat cheese.  Yum, yum.

This dish also works with pasta.  If you use pasta, drain most of the water from the pasta, add the goat cheese, mix well, then add the lemon juice and veggies.

Quick Hot Cinnamon Dark Chocolate

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There’s a chill in the air which makes me crave warm, soothing drinks like apple cider and hot chocolate.  I’m eating healthier, but I treat myself once in a while to chocolate, so I wanted to find a healthier hot chocolate.  I tried a hot chocolate experiment at home.

I broke up six pieces of Green & Black’s 70% dark chocolate into a mug.  I nuked the mug in the microwave for about a minute.

While “whisking” the chocolate with a fork, I nuked one cup of fat-free milk, in a separate mug, in the microwave for about 1.5 minutes.

I gradually poured the milk into the chocolate mug while whisking.  Halfway through, I whisked in a generous helping of cinnamon.

Although I think it might be a tad tastier with 2% or whole milk, it was still pretty darn tasty.  Dark chocolate gave it depth, and the cinnamon was just the kick to bump it up a notch.

All of this for just 210 calories–which is 30 fewer calories than Swiss Miss Cocoa Indulgent Dark Chocolate Sensation made with fat-free milk!

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

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‘Tis the season for pumpkins and a nice hot breakfast.  I had a jar of pumpkin spice butter in my pantry and decided to finally put it to good use.

I mixed about a tablespoon of the pumpkin spice butter into my oatmeal.

As usual, I threw in a handful of blueberries.

It was delicious!  It’s amazing what a difference a tablespoon of pumpkin butter made to the oatmeal.  Sweet and spicy and very, very yummy.

Layered Tomatoes & Eggplant

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I tried a variation of homemadeadventure’s scalloped tomatoes using eggplant instead of polenta.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and coated the bottom of a casserole dish with a thin layer of olive oil.  I sliced a small-to-medium-sized eggplant and a couple of tomatoes.  A row of eggplant was laid across the dish, followed by a row of tomatoes, and so on.

I sprinkled salt and pepper over the layers.  The fridge revealed some left over Chavrie goat’s milk cheese and Montchevre goat milk cheddar cheese which I dabbed on the veggies.

I’m a sloppy cook.  I wanted to use balsamic vinegar in this dish.  Did I check to see if I had any before I sliced up the tomatoes and eggplant?  Nope.  Did I have any?  Nope.  So I improvised and used red wine vinegar instead.  I splashed olive oil and red wine vinegar over the dish.

I shredded bits of oregano and sprinkled it over the layers.

I cooked the layered tomatoes and eggplant for 25 minutes.  It wasn’t as pretty as the dish from homemadeadventure, but I enjoyed it.  The goat cheese and vinegar were a nice, tart contrast with the meaty eggplant and fresh tomatoes.

UPDATE: Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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Thanks for everyone’s suggestions on how to improve the overnight oatmeal!  I used your tips.  I mashed a banana in a bowl.

I spooned in the leftover oatmeal.

I splashed a little bit of milk into the bowl.  I wanted to add applesauce, but I didn’t have any at home.

I mixed everything up and nuked it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then mixed in some cinnamon.  (I love cinnamon–I think it makes everything taste better.)

The oatmeal tasted so much better!  I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee.  It was a good start to the day.

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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I’ve been curious about overnight oatmeal and how it tastes, especially if steel cut oats are used.  I finally gave it a try.

I poured 2 cups of McCann’s steel cut Irish oatmeal into my Crockpot.

I diced an apple and dumped it into the pot.

I covered the ingredients with 8 cups of water and sprinkled the concoction with a generous helping of cinnamon.

The Crockpot was set to low heat for 10 hours, and I went to bed.

When I woke in the morning, the whole house smelled like oatmeal.  It was a warm, cozy introduction to the day.  I peered into the Crockpot where I saw…well…watery goop.

I’m a lumpy oatmeal kinda girl, so I hoped it wouldn’t be as watery once I mixed it up and poured it into the bowl.  It was a bit thicker.  Unfortunately, it was bland.  Really bland.

I sprinkled cinnamon into the bowl, along with about a teaspoon of maple syrup.  I didn’t want to use a sugary ingredient like maple syrup, but this oatmeal needed help–stat!

I’m sorry to report that it was still very bland.  I didn’t have time to futz around with it, so I put the leftovers in the fridge until I could experiment some more.  Any suggestions on how to flavor this stuff?  Or how to cook it next time so it isn’t so bland?

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

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I love autumn.  I love the crisp air, the multicolored leaves, and the food.  Of course, a healthy lifestyle means I need to lay off the giant slices of apple pie and look to healthier options, so I experimented with butternut squash soup.

I bought a couple of large squash, washed them, cut off the ends, and cut them in half.

The oven was heated to 400 degrees.  I roasted the squash for 25 minutes.  I took out the larger pieces that seemed soft, and left the smaller, harder pieces in the oven for another 10 minutes.

I trimmed off the skin and cut up the squash into pieces less than an inch thick.  I threw the pieces into a big pot and poured about 6 cups of vegetable stock over the squash.  A lot of squash soup recipes call for onions, leeks, or celery.  I didn’t add any of those ingredients because (1) I’m lazy and (2) they were already in the vegetable stock.

I seasoned the soup with salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.  The soup simmered on medium heat for 30 minutes.  I tasted it, and added more cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

I poured the soup into a blender, in batches, and pulsed the blender for less than 5 seconds.  Voila!  Spicy squash soup.

It was spicy like pumpkin pie filling, but not as sweet.  A pinch of almond slices gave it a more complex, nutty taste.  Hubby and I each enjoyed a bowl for dinner, and we had enough left over for probably 4 or 5 more bowls.

What’s your favorite squash dish?