Oatmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Lemon Maple Compote

2014 Food Blog0201Sunday morning, it’s the best day for breakfast of the week.  Sleeping in and baking hearty pancakes with berry drizzled goodness on top was at the top of our short list of accomplishments today.  I love making healthy pancakes, that don’t taste healthy.  They fill you up, have great texture and flavor and won’t leave you starving an hour later when you are busy accomplishing other tasks for the day.  Our favorite combination over here lately has been lemon and blueberries. I made muffins just yesterday including these two favorites as well.  It’s a fantastic combo that brings a bit of bright fresh summer in these bleak cold winter days.  These pancakes were adapted from The Flour Sack blog, I altered many things to make it perfect for our tastes. Enjoy!

Make 12 pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup Quick Cooking Oats

1/2 cup Orange Juice

3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 1/4 cups fat-free milk

1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup wheat flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine oats and orange juice, let sit for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile in another medium bowl sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In your liquid measuring cup, slightly beat the eggs, add to small bowl with oats, stir to combine.  Add melted butter, milk and molasses to the bowl egg/ oat mixture.  Add the wet to the dry mixture, stir together gently until combined, the batter should be slightly thick with air bubbles popping at the surface.

Preheat oven to 250 and place a pie plate in the oven, this will keep your pancakes warm as you continue to cook them all.

Heat a 10″ pan over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed on the pan.  Add a small amount of butter or cooking spray to the pan.  Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, mound batter in to the pan, 3 should fit nicely at this size.  Let cook for 3-4 minutes until bubbles are forming at the top then flip and cook for 2-3 additional minutes.  Then transfer to the pie plate in the oven and continue to cook the remaining batter.

Blueberry Lemon Maple Compote

Ingredients

1 cup frozen blueberries, divided

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup water

1 lemon, juiced and zest

Directions

In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup blueberries, syrup, water, lemon juice and zest.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, to thicken.

Remove from heat and strain the mixture through a small mesh strainer over a liquid measuring cup.  Press and mash berries into the strainer to extract all the juices.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup berries to the syrup to combine.  Serve over pancakes.

 

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Budget Meal: Brown Rice and Black Bean Pilaf with Chicken

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Today is an easy budget friendly super healthy meal that is bursting with flavor and texture and leaves you full and happy.  Getting tons of protein and whole grain staying power to fill you and warm you up is important with this cold weather.  We had rice and black beans at home so I quickly just googled to see if there was anything different I could do with them.  Of course I gravitated towards an Ellie Krieger recipe- especially because we had every single ingredient on hand.  I added in chicken and extra carrots and it turned out perfect.  I timed everything so while the rice cooked we chopped and cooked the veggies, set it aside.  Seasoned then cooked the chicken,  set it aside.  A little clean up and the rice was complete, so everything got mixed together to eat!  Leaving the kitchen clean, plates full and we were ready to go.  That’s how you do a weeknight meal my friends.

Rice and Black Bean Pilaf adapted from Ellie Krieger

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 large carrots, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 (15.5 ounce) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves

Directions
Place rice and chicken broth in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook rice, covered, until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes.

While the rice cooks, prep your veggies, then heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, celery, carrot, cumin and chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not mushy, about 6 minutes. Stir in black beans and parsley then cook until just warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.

Remove rice from heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork.

Combine hot rice into the pan with the onion-black bean mixture and stir to combine.  Serve with chicken if desired ( below).

Quick Chicken Breast Recipe:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half to make 4 thin ( 1/4″ thick) cutlets or pounded so all one thickness, place in pie plate drizzle with olive oil and season with a little of sprinkle of each based on your taste preferences: cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano.  Heat a large pan over med/ high heat, add chicken when it’s hot, cook for 2-3 minutes per side until no longer pink at the thickest spot.  Remove from heat and let rest until you are ready to serve.

Our Favorite Meatloaf

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With the frozen tundra of winter we are experiencing in Chicago, comfort food that warms you from the heart is a must.  Meatloaf not only fits the bill for comfort food, but it is also very budget friendly and this one in particular happens to be healthier for you.  This is of course thanks to the recipe we alter slightly from Ellie Krieger called Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf.  The best part of her loaf is the addition of tomato sauce on top with sliced onions that caramelize while it bakes.  The original recipe calls for all ground turkey, but in an effort to get more iron, we have been mixing ours with 90/10 ground beef ( or better).  We served our meatloaf tonight with a baked potato and steamed broccoli.  This recipe makes a large loaf with 2 pounds of meat, but leftovers are always welcome here.  Making meatloaf sandwiches the next day is so gooood!  So crank up the oven and make this easy, budget friendly, heathy, delicious and favorite recipe of ours:

Adapted from Ellie Krieger, The Food You Crave , Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf

Makes 8 large slices

Ingredients
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup skim milk

1 medium onion, peeled

1 pound ground turkey breast

1 pound 90/10 Ground Beef, or better

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats and milk, let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients:  Quarter your onion, then thinly slice 1/4 of the onion and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion.  Add chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper to the turkey, beef, oat mixture. Mix just until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high, with a flat top. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions. Bake for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to15 minutes before slicing.

Oatmeal and Molasses Dinner Rolls

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There’s something special about making bread at home.  The process is really meditative and so simple, even throughout your day, and when these are baking the delicious smell is something you can never forget.  I was drawn to this recipe because they looked exactly like the type of amazing roll my mother-in-law makes ” Grandma Cisco’s Dinner Rolls”for the holidays.  I tried making the family recipe- even after helping and closely watching her make them, to “learn”, but mine ended up terrible, dense, with a hard crust and nothing like her perfect light rolls.  Making these exactly as directed by this recipe resulted in perfect flavorful beautiful rolls, so this must be easier, and they have added healthy ingredients which makes me super happy.  Jason’s even requested that these make regular appearances around here.  The oats on top make a gorgeous presentation and photo, but they made it messy to eat, so you can omit them if you’d like.  

Oatmeal and Molasses Dinner Rolls 

Adapted from Food52.com

 

Serves 8-12

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2-3 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose or bread flour)
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted butter for brushing tops of rolls
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand until bubbly. If it doesn’t get bubbly, throw it out and get some new yeast.
  2. Scald milk then add it to the butter in your mixing bowl. When butter has melted, add brown sugar, rolled oats, molasses, and salt. Blend thoroughly and cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add egg and mix well. Add the yeast and mix to incorporate it. Then mix in 2 ½ cups of the flour. Add what you need to of the remaining ½ cup of flour until the dough loses its sheen. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and put it in a greased bowl. Turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. It can sit overnight as well. It doesn’t rise a lot.
  5. Turn out the chilled dough on a floured work surface and knead or fold and turn the dough slightly. Cut dough into 12 balls. Press each ball into a flat rectangle with your fingers, then roll up and tuck ends under. Place seam-side down in a well-buttered 9 inch round pan. Brush all over with ½ of melted butter and sprinkle with a little of the rolled oats. Let rise until doubled in size in a warm place, about two hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned and sound hollow when you tap their tops. The internal temperature should be 190 degrees. Remove from the pans and brush generously with remaining melted butter. Let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm…with salted butter!

Peanut Butter Brown Rice Crispie Treats with Chocolate Frosting

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A little square of heaven, not a single one of these EVER goes to waste.  This recipe is made from memory of a similar treat my friend’s mom used to make when I was in high school.  I have no clue what her proportions were but recreating it was pretty simple, these are semi- homemade and SO delicious.  I like to think they are a healthier version of cookies/ cakes/ brownies, especially after finding the Rice Crispies brand makes Whole Grain Brown Rice Cripies.  They work perfectly all topped with frosting and a hint of peanut butter, mmmm I wish I made more.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
  • 2/3 cup Peanut Butter
  • 6 cups Kellogg’s® Brown Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal
  • 1 jar Chocolate Frosting

DIRECTIONS

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Add in peanut butter to combine, then remove from heat.2. Add Rice Crispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered hands evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool.

4. Spread chocolate frosting on top
5. Cut into 2-inch squares ( or large 3″ squares!).  Best if served the same day or cover well for up to 4 days

Braised Chicken with Shallots, Dates and Apricots

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Although this recipe has to cook for an hour, it is such an easy meal to prepare.  Not much chopping, not a lot of stirring, just let the chicken cook down freeing up time for you to enjoy elsewhere.  This recipe reheats really well the next day.  The chicken fell right off the bone and had nice flavors from the wine and shallots; the contrast with sweet dates and apricots was really nice but maybe needed a bit of something salty to really bring this home- capers maybe…   Overall very nice meal, great way to cook chicken for a change, and a perfect way to eat brown rice.  Enjoy

Recipe serves 4

Adapted from Williams and Sonoma “Taste” cookbook

 

Ingredients

8 Chicken Thighs, bone in

salt and fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

10 bay leaves

4 large shallots, cut in 1/4″ rounds or half moons

2/3 cup dry red wine

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

8 dried dates, pitted and halved

8 dried apricots, quartered

2 cups cooked brown rice

Directions:

1.  If preferred, trim the fat and skin from the chicken. Rinse, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.

2.  Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid (to be used later) over medium-high heat.

3.  Add chicken and bay leaves and cook until browned, about 7-10 minutes on each side. Add a 1/2 cup water, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 35-40 minutes.

4.  Pour off pan juices and reserve. Pile chicken on one side of the pan, raise the heat to medium and add the shallots. Cook until the soften, about 2 minutes.

5.   Add wine and vinegar, and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add dates and apricots, then redistribute the chicken in the pot.

6.   Add the reserved liquid and simmer until chicken is heated through and tender, about 12-15 minutes.

7 Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve immediately over brown rice

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cookies

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Pinterest strikes again, I couldn’t resist trying this recipe.  AND it happens to be the winner of the best cookie ever ( and I’m never allowed to make any other cookies, which would only pale in comparison), as proclaimed by Jason.  This decadent treat is the perfect texture- soft inside with gooey chocolate chips and a slight crisp outer edge.  They have a very rich chocolate flavor, intensified by the unique Guinness addition.  I used a small ice cream scoop to make about 45 perfect cookies.  If you are making these, and don’t have self control, make them for a party/ work/ friends because you won’t be able to stop eating them… until they are all gone, which would be sad.  I used 1/2 whole wheat flour in ours but if you don’t have it, just use 2 cups AP flour.  I like to add whole grain where you can, and in these cookies there is NO way anyone would think there was anything like that in there 🙂

Adapted from: Heather Christo via Pinterest photo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup Guinness
  • 1 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounces Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare air bake cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and creamy

3. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy

4. Add the Guinness and mix until fully combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary

5. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the batter, add in the chocolate chips and mix well

6. Scoop the batter onto the sheet pan using 2 spoons or a small ice cream scooper, and bake the cookies for 11 minutes.

7. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for 2 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack, then enjoy!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 11 minute(s)