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Lindsay

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Entries in Recipes & how-to's (57)

Wednesday
Jan162019

Recipe: Naturally Sweet Overnight Oats

Growing tired of hard boiled eggs for breakfast, I decided to start looking around to observe what some of my healthier colleagues were noshing in the mornings.  Save for the rail-thin dude who breaks his daily fast with a Maison Kayser chocolate croissant, oatmeal - or some sort of porridge - seemed to be the overwhelming item of choice.  OK, so oatmeal is healthy enough, right?  Sure, when it's in its simplest form - plain and made with water.  Yawn.  But when you add Craisins, chocolate chips, sliced almonds, milk, butter, honey, banana slices, granola (I always found this to be a strange addition), and brown sugar, this hearty cereal becomes as calorically dense as an ice cream sundae! 

For the new year, I made two goals: 1) Attempt Dry January again (this would be my second year), and 2) cook more of my meals at home.  Hell, I have a freaking CULINARY SCHOOL DEGREE - it's about damn time that I put it to use!  Plus, making my own food gives me the peace of mind in knowing every single ingredient that goes in to what I'm eating.  And that helps to put my rampant mind a bit more at ease.

Speaking of, I've been trying to pick apart my favorite recipes and make them a bit more healthy (cutting the oil in half, using less sugar, playing around with different spices, etc.).  With that, I have created the easiest, tastiest, waistline-friendly overnight oats recipe using coconut water (because plain water is so boring and I think that almond milk sucks) and dates (which add natural sweetness and texture), a fruit that I fell in love with during my trip to the Middle East last year. 

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Ingredients

1 packet of Quaker Instant Oatmeal Original    

1/3 cup coconut water

3 pitted dates, chopped

Optional: a pinch of salt, dash of cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla extract

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Method

Combine all three ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Refrigerate overnight.  Enjoy!

...

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
Oct092018

Recipe: Maple-Roasted Whole Carrots

Gorgeous photo credit: Photo Case
When my friend and kitchen mentor, Maria, served an elaborate home-cooked meal for one of our recent volunteer meetings, her heavenly roasted carrots lingered on my mind for days.  Fork-tender, savory and sweet, this was a side dish that I wanted to mimic just as soon as I could.  So, I decided that as a post-surgery treat, I would recreate Maria's roasted carrots for myself.
 
Prior to my scheduled procedure, I made sure to take care of as many errands as I possibly could, knowing full well that I'd be out of commission for quite some time.  I purchased all of the ingredients a few days prior to surgery with the lofty goal that I'd be able to cook after about a week's time.  Being in the kitchen was something that I could certainly look forward to!
A little over a week post-surgery, I was able to whip up this quick and easy recipe.  While I opted for whole-grain mustard, I think that Dijon would be equally as lovely and add a spicy, savory kick.  And for those a bit more daring, consider subbing Mike's Hot Honey for maple syrup.
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Ingredients
  • 1 bunch organic carrots (if you can, choose rainbow over orange - they're so pretty!)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Scrub carrots thoroughly to remove dirt - pat dry.  Remove the top stem and the bottom nib (do not worry about peeling).

In a small cup, mix coconut oil, mustard, and maple syrup together.  Pour in to a pan that's large enough to fit the carrots, length-wise.

Add carrots to the pan and toss to evenly distribute mixture. 

On a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper (I prefer the latter), lay carrots and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set pan with remaining mixture aside. 

Roast for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and flip the carrots over.  Re-season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Roast for 25 more minutes or until tender with the pierce of a fork or sharp knife.

Remove from oven.  Add carrots back to the pan with the remaining coconut oil/mustard/syrup mixture and gently toss to evenly distribute.

Serve immediately, or allow to cool and enjoy later as a side dish or chopped for a great salad topper!

...

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

Thursday
Sep202018

Recipe: Savory Heirloom Tomato Pie

 

Outside of the sweltering summer, my colleagues and I make every effort to host a monthly bake/cook-off; we've done chili, cookies, quiche, dip, to name a few.  This month, we decided to do a "pie-off."

Forgoing a traditional sweet pie, I decided to take a savory route.  And, being that September marks the non-official end of our local tomato season (and summer, for that matter), I decided to make an old-fashioned Southern tomato pie using a bounty of colorful heirlooms.

I spent last Sunday morning gathering ingredients, prepping vegetables and pie dough (pre-made, don't judge), and baking.  This pie was rather simple to make and, aesthetically, resulted in a gorgeous and sturdy masterpiece; but the real question at hand was, how would it taste

To be honest, I don't think I was prepared for just how deliciously delectable this pie came out!  I was pretty concerned about the tomatoes becoming watery and the savory creation morphing itself in to a wet and soggy mess.  However, I could not have been more wrong: The tomatoes remained intact/not watery, the blend of chives and arugla married beautifully, the sauteed onions added a luxuriously rich flavor punch, and the seasoning was spot-on.  My coworkers and I indulged ourselves in seconds and thirds (I think someone had fourths?), literally, until the pie was completely gone (save for a few crumbs of crust).  

Plenty of you have asked for the recipe, so here it is!  I hope that you will love it as much as me and my coworkers. 

... 

Ingredients:

Pie crust for a 9 inch pie (I buy the pre-made dough because I’m lazy and lame.  The brand that I use is Immaculate.) 

Filling:

  • 2 1/4 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. canola or olive oil
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh arugula
  • ½ cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper 

Method:

Bake the pre-made pie dough/your homemade dough according to the directions.  Set aside to cool.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Cover the surface of a large cookie sheet with paper towels and top with a layer of sliced tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt.  Place single layer of paper towels atop the tomatoes and repeat the previous step until all sliced tomatoes have been placed atop paper towels and salted.  (This will literally resemble a "paper towel and tomato" lasagna.)  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat oil and sauté the chopped onion on medium heat until tender, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Combine cheeses and mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine ¼ cup each chopped chives and arugula and set aside.  Reserve one teaspoon of chopped chives for topping.

Assemble your workspace: Pie crust, tomatoes, chives and arugula, onions, black pepper/mill.

Pat tomatoes dry with a (yet another) paper towel.  Layer tomatoes, onion, and herbs in the prepared crust, seasoning each layer with fresh black pepper. 

Evenly-spread cheese and mayo mixture over the pie. 

Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until topping is lightly browned, shielding the edges with foil - if need be - to prevent excessive browning of the crust (note that I did not have to do this because my crust did not pop out further than the filling).  Finish by sprinkling the remaining teaspoon of chives atop the cheese.

Serve hot, warm, room-temp, or cold!  You simply cannot go wrong.  Bon apetit, y'all!   

...

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

Monday
Jul022018

Recipe: The Best Banana Bread You've Never Had

Having never made banana bread prior, I researched tons of recipes before settling on a rendition that one of my dear colleagues had sent me with the affirmation that "this is the best banana bread recipe ever!" While many of the ingredients/methods remain the same, I amended the recipe with some of my own creative additions...

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