Archive for June, 2013

Red White and Blue Baked Oatmeal

For me, breakfast consists of oatmeal on the weekdays and eggs on the weekends. On holidays though, I like to make something a little more fancy- like waffles or pancakes. For 4th of July this year, I’m doing baked oatmeal! But not any baked oatmeal, themed baked oatmeal! Yeah, it’s a little corny and I know my dad will laugh at me, but oh well. Whatever floats your boat right? Even if it’s carefully constructing a flag out of fruit 🙂

Red, White and Blue Baked Oatmeal

Red White and Blue Baked Oatmeal 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup organic whole milk

2 tbsp organic pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

Bananas

Strawberries

Blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8×8 baking dish with cooking oil. In a bowl, mix together oats, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, maple syrup, vanilla and egg. Add in dry oat mixture and mix all together. Stir in 3 tablespoons each of chopped bananas, chopped strawberries, and blueberries. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with more bananas, strawberries, and blueberries to make flag (see picture) or a red, white, and blue “firework” dots. Bake for 25 minutes.

Leftovers? Let oatmeal sit out until hardened. And then, ta-da! On-the-go oatmeal squares! Just store in the fridge.

Red White and Blue Baked Oatmeal

Happy 4th! 

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Chocolate

From living near the Jersey Shore, I get to see the trends that come and go every summer on the boardwalk.

Lots of times it’s neon colored T-shirts reading messages such as “free hugs,” “YOLO,” and “lifeguard.” I even remember the first summer I began seeing the “futuristic” Dip ‘n Dots everywhere.

A few years ago, I started seeing a bunch of signs for chocolate covered bacon. I thought it was the oddest thing at the time.

But what do you know, the trend stuck.

I’ve never actually had chocolate covered bacon, but it’s one of those things that I eventually want to make.

Since I’m still housesitting, I’ve been eating odds and ends all week. With the stuff I had on hand, I decided to play around with chocolate flavors. Unfortunately, I had no bacon 😦 I did, however, have goat cheese and strawberries. Chocolate goes with strawberries and strawberries go with goat cheese, so why not?

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Chocolate

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Chocolate 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted

1 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp dark cocoa powder

4 tsp fresh organic strawberries, chopped into tiny pieces

2 tsp finely shredded raw goat cheese + extra for topping

Directions:

Whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Add in coca powder. Quickly follow by mixing in strawberries and goat cheese. Spoon chocolate onto parchment paper and shape into bars/squares/balls. If desired, sprinkle with extra goat cheese. Place in freezer for 5 minutes, or until hardened. Store in refrigerator.

Sesame Broccoli and Carrot Stir Fry

For the next week, I’m going to be “housesitting.” This means I’m living at someone’s house while they’re away on vacation. I’ve done this so many times that I feel like this house is my second home. Unfortunately, the house is a little far away from where I live, meaning I’m in complete isolation most days.

Thank you gas prices.

It also means that I have ample amount of time to experiment in the kitchen. Yesturday, I made a whole bunch of snacks and treats (recipes to come after some slight adjustments). This meant that by dinnertime, I wasn’t really hungry. Not to mention, I only had random food at hand. As a result, I decided to make a quick stir fry.

The awesome thing about stir fry is that there’s so many options. In fact, I feel kinda bad about posting this cause I don‘t really consider this a recipe as much as just a side dish idea. However, it turned out so good that I figured it might be useful if someone needs a last-minute food inspiration.

Note: If you want it as a main dish, I recommend adding more veggies or some chicken or shrimp.

Sesame Broccoli and Carrot Stir Fry

Sesame Broccoli and Carrot Stir Fry 

Ingredients:

1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 head of broccoli, chopped

1 and 1/2 cups carrots, sliced

1/4 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

2 tsp sesame seeds

Pepper

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Mix in broccoli, carrots, curry powder and pepper flakes. Cover with a lid and let cook for 5 minutes, mixing every minute or so. Stir in soy sauce and place lid back on. Cook for 12 minutes, again mixing every so often. Add in mushrooms, sesame seeds, and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes before serving.

 

Avocado Lime Ice Cream

By now, everyone knows about banana “ice cream.” So amazingly tasty, right? Well, I decided to play with this concept and make avocado “ice cream!” The word that comes to my mind every time I have this is “refreshing.” So, so refreshing. Like biting into key lime pie. Just in time for summer too. All last weekend, my dad and I were outside planting this year’s garden. After some sunburn, soreness, and sweat, I so needed a pick-me-up. Thankfully, I had the foresight to put some avocados in the freezer that morning 🙂

Avocado Lime Ice Cream

Avocado Lime Ice Cream 

Ingredients:

2 avocados

3 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut or almond milk (dairy milk would work too)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

Directions: 

Cut the avocados into pieces and freeze for at least 6 hours. Afterward, combine the frozen avocados in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. To make it look more “ice cream-ish,” serve with a ice cream scooper.

 

Ham and White Bean Spaghetti Squash Casserole

On Thursday, I went to my first ever zombie run at the university I’m attending this fall.

Not only was it the first time I was chased by zombies, but it was also my first race. I ended up being a “survivor” (a runner that the zombies try to catch and steal a flag from). Survivors are released about 20 seconds before the “zombies” and have to make it to the end of the race without “zombies” catching up to them.

And guess what?

I made it to the end with my flag still attached!

I guess I’m a sucky friend though- I abandoned my friends right after we were “released” to get as much distance between myself and the zombies (to be honest, I also thought that if I got ahead of some survivors early on, the zombies would go for their flags first).

Yup, I’m a bad friend.

Especially cause they were both “killed off.” It makes me wonder, would I be that human everyone would hate if I was on The Walking Dead?

Funny thing is, I don’t know how I wasn’t caught. I’m a spinner, but no runner.

Maybe it was the fact that I felt that my life was at stake cause some of the “zombies” looked like football players off the varsity team and very capable of tackling me to the ground for my flag.

I dunno, but I ran hard.

Granted, it was only a 1.3 mile race. And I know, all the running fanatics are rolling their eyes at this right now, but hey, that’s a lot for a newbie. Especially in a 97 degree heat wave.

Now, to the food.

A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store and saw organic spaghetti squashes. I haven’t seen spaghetti squash, let alone organic ones, in awhile, so I was quick to buy the largest one there 🙂 Since this squash ended up being ridiculously expensive (something I really should have foreseen), I wanted to do something special with it instead of just serving it with meatballs and sauce.

The end result: a casserole!

I was especially excited to get the chance to finally use my mom’s fresh herbs (although, I have to say, it is annoying cutting up small leaves).

The verdict? Definitely worth the splurge!

Ham and White Bean Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ham and White Bean Spaghetti Squash Casserole 

Ingredients:

1 5oz spaghetti squash

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp fresh basil

1 tbsp fresh parsley

1/2 tbsp dried thyme

1 and 1/2 cups precooked organic ham, cubed

1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

2 tomatoes, diced

4 cups fresh spinach

1 cup mozzarella cheese + extra for topping (topping is optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Pierce spaghetti squash with a knife several times. Place in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Let cool, about 20 minutes, before cutting open. With a fork, scape and place “spaghetti” into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Spray a large baking dish with cooking oil. Heat olive oil in deep skillet over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic, basil, parsley, and thyme. Cook for 7 minutes. Add in ham and beans. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add in tomatoes and spinach and cook until spinach has wilted (it may help to add the spinach a little at a time so you don’t have an overflow). Add mixture to mixing bowl. Add in 1 cup cheese, salt, and pepper and mix altogether. Spread in baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. If desired, sprinkle more cheese on top and place back in oven until melted.

Ham and White Bean Spaghetti Squash Casserole