Tag Archives: prepare ahead

Slow-Cooked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

30 Apr

Of my non-essential kitchen tools, my slow cooker is the one I use the most. (Maybe I should take it off the non-essential list.)  I love it because it can be used to make so many dishes from breakfast right through to dessert. Currently, it’s mostly being used for overnight oatmeal. I’ve tried out a few variations but my favourite is a version of apple cinnamon oatmeal that smells incredible in the morning when you get up. I am in no way a morning person so anything I can do to make those groggy moments a little easier is good for me. Just throw the ingredients in the night before et voilà: healthy, filling, warm breakfast that requires little more than scooping it into a bowl….although you can’t go wrong adding a little bit of quality maple syrup to your oatmeal in the morning. Just sayin’.

I make a double batch so we have enough for several meals. I highly recommend doing this. It’ll keep in the fridge for a few days and you can always freeze it. (If you do decide to make the larger batch, I recommend adding a little bit more than double the cinnamon.) The recipe below is based on one over at The Yummy Life.

Ingredients

3 apples, peeled & cubed
1.5c milk
1.5c water
1c uncooked steel cut oats
2 tb brown sugar or maple syrup
2 tb butter, cut into small pieces
1 ts cinnamon
1 tb ground flax seed, optional
1/2 ts salt

Directions

1. Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD. You will need a drill to remove the cooked on oats if you don’t coat the slow cooker.  Trust me.
2. Add in all the ingredients and stir.
3. Set the slow cooker to to low and cook for 7-8 hours. (If doubling, give it an extra hour.)
4. In the morning, inhale the goodness that awaits you. Scoop some into a bowl, add a little milk, and you’re good to go. You could opt to add more maple syrup, brown sugar, walnuts, raisins or anything else your little heart desires.

Foil-Baked Salmon

22 Aug

In the never-ending quest to find more delicious, easy fish recipes I came across Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for salmon baked in foil. I had a quick look through the ingredients and decided it was worth trying out. Picked up some beautiful salmon at New Seaway Fish Market in Kensington (where they will cut you a filet to any size you like – just ask! And ignore the curmudgeonly fishmonger’s attitude. He’s actually really funny.) as we were down there anyway. This is the kind of recipe that makes the most out of a few delicious ingredients. Try to use the fresh herbs if you can, but the dried ones work well, too, and pack a lot of flavour. Wrap it all up in foil, throw it in the oven and 20 minutes later you have melt-in-your-mouth salmon!

As a side note, you can prep these ingredients and have everything ready to go for up to six hours ahead of time, so this would be a great dish for company. Just keep it in the fridge and put it in the oven when you’re ready.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

2 tomatoes, chopped OR 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 shallots, chopped
2 tb + 2 ts extra virgin olive oil
2 tb fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 1/2 ts fresh oregano OR 3/4 ts dried oregano
1 1/2 fresh thyme OR 3/4 ts dried thyme
1 ts salt
3/4 ts pepper
4 salmon filets

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, shallots, 2 tb olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, oregano, 1/2 ts salt and a pinch of pepper.
3. In the centre of a sheet of foil, spoon 1/2 ts of oil. Place the fish on top and then coat. Season with salt & pepper and spoon 1/4 of the tomato mixture on top. Fold the sides over the fish and seal  tightly. Repeat for the other filets.
4. Place all on a baking sheet and cook 20-25 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and unwrap. Using a spatula, carefully lift the fish from the packet and plate.

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Spice-Rubbed Pulled Pork

15 Nov

Tasked with making dinner for my father-in-law this weekend, the decision was made that it should be a southern feast: pulled pork, cornbread and coleslaw. But having made the the same pulled pork for a while now, I felt like I  needed a new recipe. After some searching, I came across a great spice rub which I altered slightly to make my own.  Last night, we sat down to a dinner that was undeniably a huge success: both in-laws, J and I ate far too much. The pork came out beautifully: sweet, a little bit spicy, very well-rounded. And the kicker? Just a touch of smoke. So. Good. Everyone go make pulled pork RIGHT NOW.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

Rub

2 tb black pepper
1.5 tb cayenne
2 tb chili powder
2 tb cumin
2 tb brown sugar
1 tb dried oregano
3tb paprika
2 tb salt
1 ts white sugar

1 3-4lb pork butt
1/4 c water
1/2 ts liquid smoke* – optional, but very tasty
1.5 c barbecue sauce
1 lime

Directions

1. Mix the spices for the rub in a small bowl.
2. Thoroughly coat the pork in the spice rub. (You  may have some left over: it’ll be great on any protein.) Wrap up the pork as tightly as possible in plastic wrap and put in the fridge anywhere from three hours to a full day. The longer you leave it, the more the spices will infuse into the meat.
3. When you’re ready to cook, get out the slow cooker and set it to low.
4. Add in 1/4c water, the liquid smoke and the pork. Set the timer for 8 hours and walk away.
5. Remove the pork from the cooker into a large bowl, pulling it apart with two forks. Discard fat.
6. Put the pork into a pot big enough to handle it.  Add the bbq sauce about 1/3 of a cup at a time and incorporating some of the liquid left over from the slow cooker until you get it as saucy as you like. (Stop making jokes….)
7. Serve with a wedge of lime – or, if you’re making sandwiches, squeeze some lime juice into the pork before you serve it.
8. Get out of the way of the stampede to the table!

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