Tag Archives: steel cut oats

It Cooks While I Sleep…

 I’ve always loved cooking…but I have a secret to admit: I have never been great with the crockpot! I know, I know. It’s supposed to be the simplest way to cook ever, but I seem to fail with this method. I either cook it too long or add too much liquid or it doesn’t get all the way done…. It’s a curse!

But desperate times call for desperate measures. And I am in a season of life where there isn’t much time for meal prep between when I get home from work and when Kyle goes down for bed…and we both need to eat sometime in there. And then there’s the part about kids waking up in the middle of the night…especially (it seems) when you’re already at your tiredest. So, I’m taking the plunge and attempting to cook with the crockpot! I even started a Pinterest board just for crockpot recipe ideas: Crockpot Meals (aka Working Mama Nom-Noms!).

Thankfully, I’ve stumbled across a few keepers (which I’ve modified or merged a couple of recipes together).

The Roast: 5 red potatoes (quartered), 1 small bag baby carrots, 1 onion (peeled and cut into 8), 3 cloves garlic (peeled and minced), 1 box beef broth over veggies, salt-pepper-cornstarch rubbed on the 2 pound roast and seared for 1-2 minutes on each side, then topped with fresh rosemary, basil, parsley, and sage, 1-2 Tbsp. each of honey, soy sauce, and worchestershire sauce. 10 hr. on low.

The roast I made for a friend who’s had sick kids and been discouraged recently, and I literally prayed over the crockpot! (Maybe that’s the real secret.) The recipient commented: “Well my plain ol roast will never taste the same. Delicious!” Great. Now I want pot roast. :/

Peaches ‘n’ Cream Steel Cut Oats: 1 small bag frozen peaches, 1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar,
Pinch salt, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 c. steel cut oats, 4 c. whole milk.
Do not stir; cook on low for 8-9 hr. in slow cooker. Top with coconut butter or cream and a drizzle of maple syrup or fresh berries.

Breakfast Casserole: 1/2 bag frozen hashbrowns (so 15 oz.), 8 oz. block pepper jack cheese (shredded), 8 oz. breakfast sausage (cooked and crumbled). Sprayed crockpot with oil, then mixed the above ingredients in crockpot. This basically filled my small/med crockpot…but…Then I whisked the following together and dumped it over the top and it filled in all the nooks and crannies…12 eggs, 1 c. milk, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, fresh basil, rosemary, and sage (torn by hand and tossed in). Covered on low for 8 hrs.

Both breakfast dishes were super simple (though they made 3x the amount we need, but at least there’s leftovers). And Kyle loved it all too! They all turned out good enough to repeat! And I am very thankful!

What are your favorite crockpot recipes?

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Weekly Meal Plan for Two

This week, I decided to try to make a menu plan with what we got today and what we had left from last week’s basket, along with a few of my own random items.

This week’s basket: parsnips, a head of lettuce, 2 tomatoes, potatoes, bok choy, mushrooms, strawberries, pears, oranges, 3 apples, red pepper, ginger root.

 

ON HAND:

PRODUCE: a few organic shallots, 2 organic carrots, 2 organic yams, 2 organic oranges, 1/2 head of organic cauliflower, 1 organic mango, and half a bunch of organic scallions from last week’s basket, some organic celery (already washed and chopped into snack sizes), 1 green pepper,  2 organic apples, 2 lemons, 2 limes, garlic, 2 red onions, 1 pomegranate.

FRIDGE: all-natural eggs, organic milk, all-natural almond milk and soy milk, Trader Joe’s Blueberry Pomegranate all-natural juice (with hidden veggies!), organic whole chicken (on sale at Publix for $1.99/lb. right now), organic carrot juice.

PANTRY: organic steel cut oats, organic quinoa,  all-natural peanut butter, organic brown rice, organic canned black beans (and other varieties, dried), whole-wheat all-natural pasta, all-natural tomato paste, all-natural marinara sauce, organic low-fat coconut milk, raw honey, Multi-grain Cheerios.

FREEZER: Organic Edamame, all-natural frozen mixed berries, chopped all-natural walnuts and pecans, homemade chicken broth.

Grocery list: mozzarella (for pizza), dijon mustard and 4 oz. sharp white cheddar (for cauliflower sandwiches), graham crackers and 1 pint heavy cream (if I decide to make the key lime pie and lemon tart).

Menu Plan:

RECIPES: (click on titles for recipes)

Quinoa with Berries and Nuts

Baked Yams: rub with oil, sprinkle with sea salt, bake at 450F for 40 minutes. serve with 1 tsp. butter, 1/2 Tbsp. cane sugar, 1/2 c. chopped walnuts.

Creamy Parsnip with Ginger Soup

Bok Choy Salad (if I choose not to do the traditional salad with the soup)

Lettuce Wraps

Mango Salsa: chop and combine red bell pepper, red onion, mango, cilantro, lime peel, dried crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional: avocado, black bean, corn, pineapple)

Cheesy Cauliflower Sandwiches

Key Lime Pie

Stirfry

Strawberry Shortcake (avoid whipping cream and serve with milk)

Ginger Honey Tea: Peel and finely chop 1″ of fresh ginger root. Put in tea ball and steep in hot water for 3-5 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp. honey. Enjoy! (or try Sunny’s Ginger Pear Tea)

Steel Cut Oats

Vegan Chili (use fresh tomatoes and tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes)

Lemon Tart (using Lemon Curd recipe) or Lemon Cake with Lime Curd and Pomegranate

Tomato Caper Pasta (turkey feta meatballs, optional)

Brown Rice Bar

Lemon-Lime Sugar Cookies

Other Options for this week’s basket:

Mashed Potato ‘n’ Parsnip

Crab Rangoon (uses bok choy)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Seared Ahi Tuna with Blood Orange Sauce

Fruit Leather (uses apples, pears, and lemon juice)

Strawberry Yogurt Soup

Ina’s Ultimate Ginger Cookies (add fresh ginger instead of crystallized if you like)

Recipe: Steel Cut Oats

I’ve heard for a couple years now how healthy steel cut oats are. So, a while back I bought some out of the bulk bin at EarthFare. The only bad part about the bulk bin is that it doesn’t have instructions for preparation on the side of the container. And I sadly let that be an excuse for too long. Well, I finally gave them a try on Monday night for dinner. I had researched them earlier that day and had my action plan. So, I read through three or four recipes online and here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. organic steel cut oats (note: do not try to use quick oats for this recipe; they will either burn or turn to mush)
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 c. almond milk (you could use organic milk or soy milk here)
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract (homemade by my friend Gina)

Toppings:

  • organic unsweetened, reduced fat coconut flakes
  • flax seeds (you might try using almond butter or peanut butter for your healthy fats)
  • cinnamon
  • all-natural blueberries (you could use any kind of fruit here: apple slices, dried berries, bananas, raisins, etc.)
  • raw and natural blackberry honey (agave nectar or brown sugar would work here too)
  • slivered almonds (you could use any kind of chopped nut: pecan, walnut, etc.)

Instructions:

In medium saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium low heat and add steel cut oats. Stir constantly for a minute or two. You should smell a toasty, nutty scent. Add 3 c. water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 c. almond milk and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until most of the moisture is absorbed. Stir in vanilla, top with your favorite ingredients and serve warm.

I listed my toppings above, but the possibilities really are endless. I ate one bowl for dinner and then put the next three servings in glass containers for quick breakfasts to take to work. Reheat in microwave for 4 minutes at power level 3 (I rarely heat anything over power level 3). If you’re heating at full power, you probably don’t want to go for more than a minute.

Serves 4.

Bon Appetit!