Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Apple raisin spice oatmeal

I wanted to share  my latest breakfast obsession.  It's not new or revolutionary or anything, just darn good & a real time saver!  What is the miracle of AM eatery you ask?  Oatmeal!  No not those nasty packets of instant wall paper paste, no I'm talking about old fashioned or steel cut oats, cooked slowly with fruit and spices.  Don't let the 'slowly' word scare you, it takes less than 30 minutes and you've got breakfast for a week. 

Due to my apple obsession I went with apple & raisin spice.  It's good people.  Darn good.  The oats pick up the flavors of the apples & spices so you don't have that paste flavor that so often can hinder oatmeal. The apples are softened but still have some body to them.  The spices warm your tongue and excite your palate while the sweet brown sugar and perfume of vanilla  add their compliment it all perfectly.  Once the oats have cooked the raisins have reconstituted and are plump grapes again.  Delicious! 

Now let's chat about the oats. Not all oatmeals are created equal.  This recipe calls for old fashioned or steel cut.  Make sure you follow the directions on the package for the oats regarding ratios of water:oats as well as cooking times.  (Oat information source: fitsugar.com

Steel cut oats, also called Irish or Scotch oats:  these are cut, not rolled. They look like chopped up rice, take the longest to cook, and have a slightly chewy consistency.  These are usually in a box, large can or bulk in the grocery store.

Old fashioned oats, sometimes called rolled oats:  these look like flat little ovals. When processing these oats, the kernels are steamed first, and then rolled to flatten them. They take longer to cook than quick oats, but are quicker than steel cut oats.  These are usually in a large tall cylinder or in bulk in grocery stores.

Quick oats, also called instant oats:  these oats are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled. They cook in a few minutes when added to hot water, and have a mushy texture.  These are also in large tall cylinders as well as boxes of prepackaged oatmeal in the grocery stores.  AVOID.

Apple & raisin spice oatmeal
makes 8 servings
3-4 apples, Honeycrisp is the best choice, but Granny Smith and Golden Delicious are good, also
1/2 c raisins
1/2 stick (1/4 c) butter, unsalted
1/2 t kosher salt
2-3t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/16 t fresh ground nutmeg or 1/8 t regular ground nutmeg
1/2 c brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 c water
enough oats & water to make 6 servings of oatmeal, follow instructions on box
(Silver Palate old fashioned oats is what The Witch uses, 1.5 c oats, 2 c water)

Peel and dice the apples.  Heat up a large soup pan and melt butter.  Once it's melted add the apples and stir well.  Add the spices, sugar, water, and plumped raisins, stirring well to mix the water in.  Cover & cook 5 minutes.

Stir the caramel spice apple sauce.  Add the oats and water, stir well.  Cover & cook according to manufacture directions, until oats are soft (that takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on the type of oats you use). Add vanilla and stir well.  Cool and refrigerate oatmeal overnight for flavors to meld and oats to fully hydrate.  Reheat oatmeal in microwave.
Nutrition Facts calculated at SparkPeople recipe calculator 8 Servings Amount Per Serving Calories 266.5 Total Fat 8.1 g Saturated Fat 4.0 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g Cholesterol 15.5 mg Sodium 26.9 mg Potassium 166.7 mg Total Carbohydrate 52.0 g Dietary Fiber 4.3 g Sugars 28.7 g Protein 4.2 g

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Broccoli Soup

This makes the 3rd broccoli soup recipe on this blog.  We like our broccoli soup around here, obviously.  This one has a few more veggies in it than previous versions.  Similarly to previous versions, it's kept this side of healthy by using evaporated milk instead of heavy cream.  You'd never know that there wasn't cream in this soup, however,  it's so rich, thick and velvety in texture.   This soup comes together in about an hour, perfect for weeknights or weekend lunches.

Broccoli Soup
makes 8 servings
1 10 oz bag frozen chopped broccoli
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into small florettes and stalk sliced into small chunks
OR 1 2lb bag of broccoli florettes
1 small onion
1 carrot
1 rib celery
4-6 c chicken broth OR 4-6 c water and 3-4t chicken base/boullion
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
4T corn starch
3-4T butter
1-1.5 t kosher salt

Heat a large soup pan over medium high heat.

Cut carrot, celery and onion into 8 chunks.  Chop the broccoli stalk into chunks, reserve the fresh florettes.
Melt butter in the pan and add the chopped veggies, sautee about 10 min or until the onions start to get brown on the edges, then add 1t kosher salt.


Add the frozen broccoli and 4-5 c chicken broth, enough to cover the veggies by about 1 inch.  Simmer over medium low heat until veggies are soft, about 30 minutes.  Remove the vegetable solids and transfer to a blender, adding 1 c of the cooking liquid.  Puree until velvety smooth.  Add puree back to the cooking liquid, add the reserved broccoli florettes and any additional chicken broth if needed so the florettes are covered by liquid.  You may or may not need the additional liquid.  Bring to a simmer and cook until broccoli is tender.

Mix the evaporated milk with the corn starch, stirring very well to avoid lumps.  Slowly add the milk starch mix to the soup, stirring well.  Soup will thicken, taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper as needed.

If desired you can garnish with cheese.

Nutritional information provided by SparkPeople
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 177.5
  • Total Fat: 10.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 28.9 mg
  • Sodium: 841.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 15.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 7.7 g
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