Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Oatmeal French Toast

Brunch is often the highlight of my weekend. I don't know if it's the idea of combining two meals into one, or the fact that drinking is encouraged before noon, but I love it. When cooking at home, I always try to whip up something based on what I have on hand. Sometimes it works and sometimes it flops. My system goes something like this: 1) Find ingredients, 2) Combine ingredients that work together, 3) Figure out how to make it healthier. This delicious creation was the result of indecisiveness: French Toast or Oatmeal? We shall have both! And this my friends, was not a flop.
What makes this bite better? Add fiber to meals whenever possible to keep you fuller longer. Oats, flax meal and nuts all snuck into this dish to provide extra fiber and protein.
Loaf of bread (preferably a day or two old)
4 eggs
1/4 c Milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1 c Oats
1/4 c Flax meal
Butter, as needed
Nuts, fruit and maple syrup (optional)
Directions: Cut the bread into 1-inch pieces (thicker if you like). Mix eggs and milk in a large bowl. Add salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. On a separate plate combine the oats and flax meal. Heat a skillet to med-high and add 1T of butter. Coat the bread in the egg mixture, ensuring it soaks all the way through. Place the bread into the oats mixture, coating on both sides and then place it in the pan. Heat on both sides until cooked through and crispy on the outside. Work through the loaf and keep the pieces in the oven on warm until you are done. Top with fruit, nuts and maple syrup, if desired. Serve and enjoy :)
Note: You may have to adjust ratios based on the size of the loaf and staleness of the bread.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kale and White Bean Soup with Bacon

The holidays have come and gone. Now I'm just freezing, broke, and a few pounds heavier. Luckily, soups are part of my ultimate post-holiday rescue plan. Soups are warm, yummy, hearty, healthy and cheap. This recipe is one of my favorites made with kale, white beans and bacon.  The homemade croutons add the perfect crunch to a soup that is filling and easy to make. You can pretty much add any other veggies (or meat) and it will still be delicious. This is a great recipe to make on Sunday afternoon and let simmer all day.  The smell fills the house and you will have leftovers for lunch all week!
Kale and Cannellini Soup with Bacon
1 small onion {diced}
2 cloves garlic {minced}
3-4 slices of bacon {more if you like}
4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 bunch kale {rinsed and chopped}
3-4 carrots {peeled and cut}
1 can cannellini beans {drained and rinsed}
Olive Oil
Bread {optional}
Parmesan Cheese {optional}
Homemade croutons and parmesan cheese are the perfect finishing touches
Recipe: Cut bacon into small pieces, trimming large areas of fat, and sauté in a large pot over medium heat. If there is a large amount of excess fat, drain off leaving just a coating in the pot.  Add diced onion and garlic and sauté until the onions start to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and bring to a low simmer.  If more liquid is needed, add water 1 cup at a time. Add the thinly sliced kale and reduce the heat. Add the beans and allow the soup to simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.  In a small pan, heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil to medium high and add the pieces of cubed bread. Cook until crispy, flipping sides as needed. The soup is ready to serve but the longer you allow it to simmer the more intense the flavor gets. Serve with homemade croutons (or grilled bread) and grated parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!