Tag Archives: simple

Maple Oatmeal Muffins

2 Jun

It’s Friday night, 9pm. I have just finished off a quick dinner after putting the foodNURDling to bed and gardening for a bit. Thoughts turn to the weekend and what I’m going to eat for breakfast. Out of bagels, not in the mood for slow-cooked oatmeal and wanting something more substantial than cereal, I hit upon muffins. I hadn’t tried out a new muffin recipe in a while and wasn’t really enthused at the idea of cheese muffins (though they are pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself). I scoured the interwebs for inspiration and found it: maple oatmeal muffins. The recipe is pretty basic and lends itself to creativity: you could add chopped pecans or walnuts, chocolate chips, flax seed for a health boost or, as a friend suggested, crumbled bacon. That last option is one I will be exploring in the near future, no doubt.

Makes 12.

Ingredients

1 c rolled/quick-cooking oats
1/2 c milk
1 c flour
2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts salt
1/2 ts cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c butter, melted
3/4 c maple syrup

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400F and pop liners into your muffin tin (or butter/spray each cup).
2. In a medium bowl, mix the oats & milk. Let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile,  stir together the flour, baking powder, salt & cinnamon in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
3. Add the egg, butter & syrup to the oat-milk mixture. Combine thoroughly and then add to the dry mixture. Stir until JUST combined.
3a. if you’re going to add walnuts, pecans, bacon or chocolate chips add a 1/2c at this stage and then top with the remaining 1/2c.
4. Spoon into the muffin tins. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

IMG_6109

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Turkey & Avocado Melts

17 Mar

A couple of months ago, a friend started tweeting pics of quick & easy dishes she was making from Michael Symon’s book, “5 in 5.” She is a busy mom of two small fries who loves to cook and we tend to gravitate toward the same kinds of food. When her pictures started to appear, it piqued my interest and I ordered the book for myself after she swore I’d like it.

I’m now a little obsessed.

I am blowing through this cookbook at breakneck speed.  True to her word, the book contains 120 recipes that can be done in a pretty short amount of time, none of which require a lot of ingredients. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve made from chicken satay to the ridiculously addictive  caramelized banana sundaes (frigid weather be damned!).  A particularly hearty yet simple dish is the turkey & avocado melt which can be thrown together in about ten minutes flat. The crunch of the bread, the smoothness of the avocado, the decadence of the earthy gruyère and the sharpness of the Dijon make for a satisfying sandwich. Try it: I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

8 slices sourdough/any bread you like, thick-cut
1 lb  turkey, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
4 slices gruyère
2 tb Dijon mustard (approximately. You may need more.)
2-3 tb mayo
Kosher salt & pepper

Directions

1. Preheat a pan or griddle to a medium heat.
2. Lay out the slices of bread and spread the Dijon on each piece.
3. On four pieces of bread, layer the turkey, then avocado. Sprinkle with salt & papper.
4. Layer on the gruyère and the second piece of bread.
5. Spread mayo on both outer sides of the sandwich and place on the pan/griddle, cooking until golden brown on both sides & the cheese has melted.

Portobello, Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad

23 Aug

As I mentioned in my last post, I received a copy of refresh for my birthday. I have been making my way through it, greatly enjoying the results. After a particularly meat-heavy dinner on Tuesday, I thought it would be a good idea to eat a little lighter the next night. I was craving crunch and when I saw the portobello & walnut salad I knew it would work for me. As I often do, I made a couple of changes to suit my tastes but it was a good jumping off point. It came together in 15 minutes – including prep time – which is a big bonus on top of it being a healthy vegetarian option. (To make it vegan, just omit the cheese.)

Serves 2.

Ingredients

4 portobellos, cleaned & sliced
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, scored on the top
1/2 c walnut pieces
2 tb extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greens
2 tb balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
4 c greens
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan to medium. Toss in the mushrooms and the vinegar. Sauté until the mushrooms soften, roughly 5 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper.
2. Add in the walnuts and scored tomatoes. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes start to split.
3. Split the greens over two plates & drizzle with olive oil. Place the cooked mushrooms, walnuts and tomatoes over the greens and top with crumbled goat cheese.

p, w & c salad

Nutella Brownies

22 Oct

It’s 10pm on Sunday night and I want chocolate. Problem: we have no easily-accessible chocolate. We do, however, have Nutella. Contemplating but ultimately discarding the idea of simply opening the car and pouring the Nutella straight down my throat (spoons be damned!), I opted instead to make the Nutella brownie recipe I’d had my eye on for a while! It took as much time to preheat the oven as it did to mix the batter. Four ingredients. No fuss, no muss (and almost no clean up). Perfect. With this recipe, you are no more than 20 minutes away from gooey, chocolatey brownies. You know you want it.

Many thanks to Dulcet Devotion for the inspiration!

Makes 12.

Ingredients

1c Nutella, warmed a little in the microwave
2 eggs
10tb flour (just over 1/2c)
1/4 ts salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the two eggs and warmed Nutella until smooth.
3. Add in the flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix!
4. Split evenly among lined muffin tins and bake for 12 minutes.

Easy, Fresh Asparagus & Corn Salad

20 Jul

We’ve made this tasty, simple salad at home a few times and it always goes down a treat. Now is the perfect time to make it, too, with fresh corn, asparagus and basil in abundance! (My mother-in-law happened to have both green and purple basil in her garden, so that’s what he used in this incarnation.) J made it as part of my birthday dinner last week for a few of us up at the cottage and everyone commented on how much they enjoyed it – I’m sure you and your guests will, too.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

4 ears corn, shucked
1 bunch asparagus, washed, trimmed
1 small red onion, diced
1 handful of basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade (very thin slices)

1/2 c sugar
1 c rice wine vinegar
1 ts salt
1 ts black pepper

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Toss in the corn and cook 3 minutes. Remove and place in an ice bath to halt cooking process.
2. With the water still boiling, add the asparagus spears. Blanch again, for 1 minute. Remove and place in an ice bath.
3. Carefully remove the corn kernels from the cobs and place in a large bowl.
4. Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces and place in the bowl.
5. Add in the red onion and basil.
6. In a small, separate bowl, mix together the sugar, vinegar, salt & pepper. Pour on to the vegetables in the big bowl and mix thoroughly. Season to taste, if necessary.

Quick, Healthy Vegetarian Curry

6 Mar

Back from vacation, it’s my turn to cook and…there’s just about nothing in the fridge. I have the chance to go the grocery store, but won’t be home for a while nor near a fridge so meat and cheese are out. What’s a girl to do? Make a simple, healthy, flavourful curry, that’s what!

I’ve made a number of curries before but they tend to be coconut milk-based and require a number of ingredients. This time, I wanted to try something that was a little healthier but just as delicious. Enter: simple veggie curry. Lots of healthy ingredients and it only takes about 20 minutes total to make. I topped mine with a spicy mango chutney that balanced out all the flavours nicely.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 tb canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tb fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 ts curry powder
1 ts garam masala
1/2 head cauliflower florets
15 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
15 oz can of diced tomatoes, including juice
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c frozen peas

Directions

1. Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan to medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger,  curry powder and masala. Stir and cook til fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the cauliflower florets to the pan and toss to coat. Then add chick peas and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place a lid on the pan and simmer til cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes.

Cooking away...

4. Add in frozen peas and stir. Cook til they’re warmed through, 2-3 minutes.
5. Serve on basmati rice. If you desire, top with yogurt and/or mango chutney.

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