Oh, but I’ve never been one to play by the rules. At least not always. Well, at least not that one rule that I just made up about the acceptable frequency for discussing oatmeal. In any case, I give you one last savory oatmeal to get you through the winter.
I think it’s safe to say that J and I have made hundreds of pots of oatmeal in the past decade, if not more. Now I wish that I had counted, so we could celebrate that 1,000th pot properly. It’s coming soon, if it hasn’t already come and gone unnoticed.
I meant to eat chocolate cake for dinner tonight. It was just one of those days. J kindly intervened and made me this instead. It was so good. Salty, creamy, hearty–and it even used up some of our CSA peppers. That man knows what I like. It was perfect for a chocolate-cake-for-dinner kind of night. Continue reading →
I don’t think of myself as a huge fan of fusion food, whatever that is. I like a certain harmony in the flavors of a meal, and I think that can be harder to achieve when you bring wildly diverse cuisines onto the plate at once. But every once in a while I go there. And every once in a while it works. Take this pizza.
As a mostly-vegetarian (if you’ll forgive the term), I tend to organize my meals a bit differently from omnivores. And frankly, I am occasionally envious of the ease with which a meal comes together around a piece of meat (and we do sometimes cook fish), because then all you have to worry about are salads and sides. And hey, I sure do like salads and sides.
So I get excited when I can have it all in one place: my vegetables and my whole grains, nestled in with tofu and cheese, scented with garlic and spices. Maybe even with a great salsa on the side. Yes, it’s true: I made a casserole.
The basic premise here is that flavorful, doctored-up brown rice and tofu are layered with tomatillos and tomatoes. The rice and tofu sop up the juices as the tomatoes and tomatillos soften and it all bakes up into one big pan of late-summer comfort. There are a few more steps involved here than in our usual recipes, but it’s quite manageable if you take it a step at a time: Make rice. Chop vegetables. Cook onions, garlic, and corn, then add tofu, spices, rice and cheese. Layer this mixture with thickly-sliced tomatillos and tomatoes, and scatter feta on top for an extra bite of tang and salt. Bake. You can do that.
The last thing I’ll recommend is that you try making this dish with tofu that has been frozen and then defrosted. It gives the tofu a bit of a spongy texture, which is more appealing than it sounds. Nobody will expect to find tofu in this dish, but it contributes flavor and texture as well as protein. If you’d prefer to leave it out, you could whisk a few eggs into the rice instead, but then I’d recommend baking the dish covered and maybe for a little longer.Continue reading →
Now that I have confessed that I have a minivan, I might as well tell you about another way in which I’ve become an old fogey without even noticing: these days, I like having parties in the morning. The kids are in good moods, the house hasn’t been wrecked yet by the the daily tornado of family life, and you can drink mimosas. But most of all, brunch is such an easy meal to prepare for a crowd. All you need are big bowl of fruit, a cake (or two, in the case of J’s recent birthday) these eggs, and lots and lots of coffee.
This dish, or something like it, is one of the easiest ways I know to cook up a dozen or more eggs at once. You can vary the filling by adding any vegetables, cheese, or meat you’d like. I kept this one simple because I love the flavor combination of sharp cheddar and cooked-until-sweet onions…and also, I will admit, because monochromatic foods are usually a hit with the kids and we were expecting many, many kids.Continue reading Cheddar and Onion Egg Bake for a Crowd (click for recipe)
Think of this as a springtime warmup to the full-on Caprese salad ahead. In a few months, we’ll be slicing thick slabs of heirloom tomato to layer with buffalo mozzarella, juice pooling across the plate, a true summer salad. This is that salad’s young green cousin, made before the arugula bolts, sweet with quick-ripening cherry tomatoes and enriched by a handful of creamy bambini bocconcini. If you have a bottle of good syrupy balsamic vinegar, I recommend using it here.
Need a salad to bring to a party? This one travels well (undressed, of course) and rates favorably on the seems-fancy-but-is-a-snap-to-prepare scale.
It’s been much too long since we’ve had a pizza recipe on this site. Weeks! I hope that you’ve been carrying on with your weekly homemade pizza night–do you have one of those? If not, do you have another special meal that you serve on a regular basis?
Whether homemade pizza is an occasional or regular indulgence for you, here’s a recent favorite of mine. Roasty-toasty broccoli, creamy-salty feta, perfect saucy egg on top. You might have to work on the timing to get your egg cooked perfectly to your liking, but in my setup (long-preheated 550 oven, hot pizza stone, thin homemade crust) the egg is still just perfectly runny at the moment that my crust crisps up, after about 5 minutes in the oven. Now that’s good fast food.
I wrote yesterday about how a homemade bread can jazz up any other humble dishes to make a meal. Well, whether or not you made your bread from scratch, I hope you have some handy. Because you’re going to be wanting some as an excuse to eat this spread.
Heidi Swanson describes it as “Dill Butter” in her Super Natural Every Day cookbook, but I like to increase the ratio of goat cheese to butter to play up the tangy creaminess (and so that I feel like I can spread it a little more thickly). This recipe makes a good amount, and although you’ll be happy to have it in the fridge all week long, you might want to halve it if you’re not making it for a party.
You can also play around with the herbs, of course. As made, the dill flavor predominates deliciously, but a wander through the garden might inspire you to take this combination in a different but equally alluring direction.
It’s time for another hearty vegetable salad, although if you want this one last long enough to have for lunch the next day you had better at least double the recipe. It’s that good, and beautiful to boot.
Raw kale salads are run-of-the-mill these days, but this salad hails from an era when even people like us were a little skeptical about eating raw kale. It is a “massaged” kale salad that appears to have been all over the internet in 2009 with earnest promises that massaging the kale with salt would break down the cell wells and render it so tender as to be virtually cooked.
Somehow, however, this precise salad didn’t come to my attention until today, when my friend sang its praises and urgently requested the recipe from his sister via text message. Thank goodness. And now I’m sharing it with you in case it also escaped your notice in 2009.
As far as I can tell, this recipe is originally from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair, and she got it from a colleague of hers at Bastyr University. If you want a demo of the technique, you can watch her video here, but it’s pretty basic: add salt to kale ribbons and gently knead and squeeze it in for a couple minutes, then add a ton of other delicious stuff, too.