Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bouillie Froide - Cold Oatmeal

I first came across a version of this recipe when I was in college, doing an internship at a health and fitness club.  Needless to say, it was very popular.  It's a great, easy, and flavor filled summer breakfast.  You prepare it the night before and it makes about six servings.  It is essentially oatmeal that sits in the fridge overnight and it's served cold.  It's simple to make into a vegan dish and it's one of my favorites.  I love oatmeal but in the summer, sometimes it's just too warm outside for a hot breakfast.  This definitely hits the spot.  It's creamy, sweet and you can add any toppings you like.  I also make it with honey or agave nectar which eliminates any processed sugar.  It's a super tasty breakfast to try over these last few days of summer.  Enjoy!   

La Recette:
3 cups Gluten Free Oatmeal - I like Bob's Red Mill quick cooking oats 
4 cups skim or soy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey

-Mix everything together in a large bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap.
-For toppings, you can choose whatever you like:  almonds, walnuts, bananas, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, prunes, raisins, cranberries, etc...Gabby suggested swedish fish but I had to put my foot down with that one ;)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mac and Cheese Cups

Little hands are ready to eat
Just out of the oven
A perfect dinner and they pop out of the trays so easily        

I love this dinner and the best thing about it is that there are hidden edamame inside!  My kids love these mac and cheese cups too and I, like many other Moms out there, always struggle to get my little pumpkins to eat their veggies!  By putting a random number of edamame in each mac and cheese cup, I make a game out of eating the "green stuff".  Whoever gets the most edamame gets a prize.  The prize can be a book, game, or even a popsicle.  Regardless, it gets them exited to eat veggies.  That being said, this is the most creamy, gooey, mac and cheese you have ever eaten.  It is so good!  I've combined sharp, rich cheddar with nutty gruyère.  The crunchy, buttery bread crumbs and crisp grape tomatoes are a perfect topper.  I'm still working with Mason and Gabby to eat tomatoes but I'll have to take one step at a time :)  Please make this dinner for your kids and you'll have them excited about the edamame game too!  If you are serving adults as well, a simple mixed greens salad on the side is a great compliment.   I like to play the edamame game too but my prize is a glass of Pinot Noir.  The Rodney Strong 2011 Pinot paired perfectly!  Enjoy.   

La Recette:
*Two non-stick muffin trays
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
12 oz. gluten free pasta (regular pasta will work here too) - I like to use Penne
2.5 cups 2% or skim milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup rice flour (all purpose flour works too if you don't need to make it GF)
8 oz. gruyère, grated
8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup of frozen shelled edamame, rinsed and thawed
1 cup fresh gluten free bread crumbs

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray two muffins trays with canola oil spray.
-In a large pot of water add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.  Bring the water to a boil and cook the noodles al dente (firm but not hard).  Drain well.  
*Don't let the pasta sit drained for more than a minute or two.  Try to time it so that you drain it and put it into the cheese mixture.  If needed, add a splash if extra virgin olive oil so the noodles don't stick.  
-Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.  While the butter is melting, heat 2.5 cups of milk in the microwave for 2:00-2:30 minutes.  I like to use a large glass pyrex measuring cup here- it minimizes clean up.  
-Set the milk aside and add about 2 tablespoons of the rice flour mixture to the melted butter.  Whisk well and continuously.  The mixture will become thick.  Slowly add in the milk, and continue to whisk.  Do not let the milk boil.  Slowly add in the rest of the rice flour and keep whisking.  The sauce will become smooth and thick.  Remove from heat.  *You are really making a bèchamel or white sauce.  This part should take 5-8 minutes.    
-Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.  Add and the grated cheese and mix well.  Finally, add the edamame and mix until incorporated.  The cheese mixture should become smooth.  Add in the drained pasta and mix until combined.
-Spoon the pasta into the muffin trays.  
-Put 1-2 slices of grape tomatoes on top
-Put a tablespoon of breadcrumbs on each cup.
*For the breadcrumbs - 
-Mix a cup of fresh breadcrumbs with a tablespoon of melted butter.  Add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 freshly ground pepper and mix well.  *Never buy breadcrumbs!  I take the ends of my bread loaves, 2-3 pieces, and put them into my food processor.  A perfect way to use up those ends!  
-Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbly.
*Makes 18-20 cups.
*These freeze and reheat really well in the microwave or oven. 
*This recipe is very versatile.  You can also put the pasta in a 9x12 inch baking dish, leave out the tomatoes, etc...
 Bon appétit!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

This salad is so refreshing!  It's a great starter to any summer meal.  The cool, sweet watermelon and the salty feta create a match made in heaven.  Combined with the zing of red onion and lime, and garnished with a chiffonade of fresh mint - a summer salad doesn't get much better!  My kids love the watermelon/feta combination and it's completely palate pleasing for adults too.  Enjoy this taste bud tantalizing dish!

La Recette:
 4 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
2 cups feta cheese, cubed
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint, chiffonade 

1 teaspoon shallot, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or any white wine vinegar)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

-The salad serves four so place a cup of cubed watermelon in each bowl.  Next arrange the 1/2 cup of feta in each of the four bowls and throw on a few slices of the thinly sliced red onion.
-For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined - about 15-20 seconds.  Drizzle the dressing over each salad and garnish with the mint chiffonade.  

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