Holiday Nog Oatmeal + Guide To The Best Oats Every Time

DSC_0224I am one of those people that really just jumps in head first to all things Christmas during this time of year. I can’t help it!! I love decorating our home, trimming the tree, and putting up the lights and I never forget to do so while listening to the Holiday hits next to a lit fire. My husband always laughs because I bust out all of our Christmas movies the first day of December just to get us in the spirit. He probably thinks I am a little overboard, but I think it’s just the right amount of cheer. I cherish all the Christmas nostalgia close to my heart and I can not wait until next year to share it all with our little baby girl. Another tradition we usually imbibe in, is holiday egg nog brandy cocktails while adorning the tree. This year, I didn’t partake, for obvious reasons (by the way, this preggo lady is so ready for any kind of libation! Just 2.5 more months!). Although, I didn’t sip a Holiday Nog cocktail (sad), I still was able to enjoy all the flavors because I made this oatmeal. It is seriously one of the best (super easy and healthy) festive breakfasts I have had in a while. The most important part of this recipe, that I hope you take with you for the rest of your oat-cooking life, is the step-by-step guide to making perfect oats every single time. Now, I did not come up with this method, but after I learned it I have never strayed. The tip to this perfect oatmeal comes from Megan Gordon, author of the book “Whole Grain Mornings” and the blog “A Sweet Spoonful”. I have followed her blog for a few years now and am always inspired by her recipes. Her book is one of my go-to’s when making breakfast in my home because I am always looking for hearty and healthy twists on classic dishes. If you don’t already own her book you should go out and get it now or at least add it to your Christmas list. So what are these perfect oatmeal tips and tricks, you ask? Well I have listed them here, concisely, so that you will never forget:

1. Always toast the oats first. The toasting brings out the nuttiness of the oats (and nuttiness = flavor). 

2. Use a big pot when toasting the oats. The bigger the pot the more room the oats have to spread out and cook evenly. 

3. When you have added the milk and water and everything is boiling together, only stir the mixture once or twice. Stirring the oatmeal too frequently breaks those fragile little oats up and they become gummy. Gross. 

4. Turning the heat off, covering the pot, and letting the oats soak up the liquid without disturbing them for 7 minutes allows them to stay in tact and to cook to perfection. 

Sounds pretty simple, right?? Well it is! It’s pretty great because it is a hands-off recipe that is perfect for those busy mornings! I made a few adjustments to her recipe; like making sure to brown the butter before adding the oats (more flavor!) and then doing all the cooking in the one pot (because I am a hater of washing dishes) and the oats still came out just as great.  I also altered the flavors to make it holiday worthy and so that I could indulge in that nog I had been craving! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy! 

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Holiday Nog Oatmeal

Serves 2


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Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
7 min

Total Time
12 min

Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
7 min

Total Time
12 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  2. 1 cup rolled oats
  3. 1/4 cup holiday nog (see note*) (or any milk or nut milk of your choice), plus more for serving
  4. generous pinch of salt
  5. pinch ground cinnamon
  6. 3/4 cup + 1 TBSP water
  7. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  8. 1/4 cup raw pistachio nutmeats (slivered almonds or toasted pepitas are also great!)
  9. fresh berries or brown sugar, for serving
Instructions
  1. 1. Brown the butter; in a large saucepan, add the butter over medium heat. Let melt and cook until a brown hue is visible (about 5 minutes). Add the oats and toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to smell fragrant and nutty for about 5-7 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the water, the 1/4 milk (nog), salt, and cinnamon. Stir the oats into the liquid TWICE (careful not to stir the oats too much). Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Allow the oats to sit for 7 minutes untouched. Don’t peek. Don’t stir. After the 7 minutes, uncover and serve immediately. Serve the oats with a splash more holiday nog (or milk), the dried cranberries, pistachios, and berries. Enjoy!
  3. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days. Reheat with a bit more liquid as the oats tend to dry out a bit.
Notes
  1. I am absolutely in love with Califia Farms Almond Milk Holiday Nog. You can find it at Whole Foods or Hanson’s Market. Any non-dairy nog would work though; there is a delicious coconut milk nog that you can find at most grocery stores. I have not tried these oats with real egg nog, although I would imagine it would be a bit heavier and more rich, yet still delicious! If you are making these oats any other time through out the year, substitute the nog for your favorite milk or nut milk!
Adapted from Megan Gordon- Whole Grain Mornings
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

 

Sesame Soba Noodles

DSC_0155Remember in college how hungry you were all the time? And, how poor you were? And, how nothing should take you more than 10 minutes to make because you just didn’t have that kind of time? And, how you could eat ramen for every meal like your life depended on it? Well at one point, I decided that there had to be a better dish than the classic ten cent ramen noodle bags because there was no way that stuff was good for you. I forget how I stumbled on the recipe, I think I may have even gotten it from one of my fellow soccer team members, but one thing is for sure; I would never forget it. It has been ingrained into my memory due to the fact that I made it so repeatedly. Hey, at least I remember something from college, right? Kidding (kinda). Soba noodles were the perfect star ingredient when I decided I needed to change up my noodle game (because they are made from buckwheat, which is gluten free, and they are packed with protein and manganese!). The sesame garlic soy sauce is incredibly flavorful too and only gets better as it sits in the fridge. That brings me to my next point; these noodles are EXCELLENT served cold straight out of fridge (which is sort of my favorite way to eat it!). The recipe makes about 4-5 servings so there will be plenty leftover for lunch or a midnight snack or whatever! Enjoy! 

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Sesame Soba Noodles

Serves 4


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Prep Time
6 min

Cook Time
4 min

Total Time
10 min

Prep Time
6 min

Cook Time
4 min

Total Time
10 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 package organic soba noodles (9.5oz)
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 1 TBSP sesame oil
  4. 2 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar
  5. 1 tsp canola oil
  6. 1 tsp chili garlic paste (or Sriracha), optional
  7. 3 cloves garlic, finely diced and then minced (use a fork if you don’t have a mincer!)
  8. 1 TBSP minced/grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  9. 2 green onions, diced
  10. toasted sesame seeds, garnish
  11. sriracha for serving
Instructions
  1. Cook soba noodles per package directions. While the water is boiling, prepare the sesame sauce.
  2. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, canola oil, chili paste, garlic and ginger and whisk with a fork until well combined.
  3. When the noodles are ready, drain and return to the saucepan. Pour the sesame sauce all over the noodles. Add the green onions and toss again. Serve with toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of hot sauce if needed.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Vegan Pozole Rojo w/ Hominy & Quinoa

DSC_0479I don’t know if many of you know this, but I when I was little I had a Mexican nanny. She lived at our house with us and because my parents worked nights (and had to sleep during the day), she was our caretaker for most hours of the day. She didn’t know any english when she first arrived (I was only three years old) therefore my sister and I learned to speak spanish to communicate with her. Her name was Angelica and she was beautiful in so many ways. She was a sweet nurturing little lady who taught me more than I will ever be able to recount. She left our home when I was about eleven or twelve and I haven’t spoke to her since. I think she went back to Mexico to be with her own family. Angelica was an incredible lady with the kindest heart and I miss her dearly. Although she isn’t in my life physically, she is often with me in memories. Her food is something that I remember fondly. She often cooked for my sister and I and sometimes for the whole family. She enlightened us with traditional Mexican flavors and frequently introduced us to her own favorite meals. There are a few dishes I will never forget; her homemade tamales, this strawberry, sugar, and sour cream dessert she always treated my sister and I to, and of course her amazing Pozole Rojo. Pozole (sometimes spelled Posole) is a Mexican stew typically made from chicken or pork and hominy (dried maize kernels, otherwise known as field corn kernels). There are different versions of the broth too; some are red and some are green. The truth is, they really are all so good! It seems that you can’t mess it up, so I that is why I wanted to try my own vegan version, and it turned out just like I had thought; DELISH! It is honestly one of my favorite soups I have ever made. My mother had a recipe for red Pozole with pork, and when Angelica left, she made it often for us. I used her recipe, as a guideline, and changed and adapted it accordingly to fit the vegetarian rendition I was going for. It is amazing my Mom has saved this recipe for all these years; it was clipped out of the newspaper and has stains all over it. Classic signs of a well-liked meal! I wanted to add something to the soup that bumped up the nutrition content and figured that quinoa, that protein-packed little seed, was the perfect addition!  I hope that you enjoy my take on the classic and warm-up with it real soon! DSC_0482

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Vegan Pozole Rojo w/ Hominy & Quinoa

Serves 4


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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 15 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 15 min

Ingredients
  1. 2 medium yellow onions
  2. 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  3. 3 quarts of vegetable broth
  4. 2 30oz cans hominy* (see note below)
  5. 2 whole dried California chiles* (see note below)
  6. 1/4 cup (about 1oz) dried California red chili pepper powder* (see note below)
  7. 1 cup dried red quinoa (or any color quinoa you have on hand)
  8. extra-virgin olive oil
  9. dried oregano
  10. ground cumin
  11. salt & pepper
  12. 1 cup water
  13. 1 TBSP flour
  14. juice of a small lime, plus extra slices for garnish
  15. 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  16. 1 avocado, diced
  17. 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
To make the soup
  1. 1. Chop up one yellow onion and mince 4 cloves of garlic. Open the two cans of hominy and drain and rinse the hominy in a large colander and set aside. Also, pour 1 cup dried red quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and rinse well under cold water and set aside for later use. In a large stockpot add two TBSPs of extra-virgin olive oil of medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and garlic with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and sauté for a few minutes. Add 1 tsp oregano and1 tsp cumin and stir. Add in the two whole dried chiles (with their stems removed) to the pot. Add in the drain and rinsed hominy. Pour in about a half of a cup of the vegetable broth to start, and scrape up all the little brown bits from the bottom of the stockpot (this is called de-glazing the pot and all those little brown bits are incredible flavor that you don’t want stuck to the pot and not in your soup!). Then add all the rest of the broth. Raise the temperature to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pot and reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 45 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, make the red sauce
  1. 2. In a bowl, add 1 cup of water and about 1/4 cup of the dried California red chili pepper powder, whisk to combine and set aside. Dice up about 1/4 of the other yellow onion (save the rest of the onion for another use). Dice up the last two cloves of garlic. In a small saucepan, add 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the diced onion and garlic with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add about 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp oregano and stir. Add 1 TBSP of flour to the onion/garlic mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the dried chili powder and water to the pot and stir it all together well. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the pot for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce is thickened add in the juice of a small lime. Turn the heat off and set the red sauce aside.
  2. 3. Once the 45 minutes is up on the soup, add in the cup of rinsed quinoa to the large stockpot. Cover the pot again and let the quinoa simmer over medium-low heat into the soup for 15- 18 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the two whole dried chiles and discard. Add about half of the red sauce into the soup and save the rest of the red sauce for a later use* (see note).
  3. 4. Divide the soup among the bowls and serve immediately with garnishes; shredded cabbage, chopped avocado, diced cilantro and lime wedges! Enjoy!! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week, reheat and freshly garnish each time!
Notes
  1. These three items are found at your local grocery in the “Latin foods” aisle. Make sure to get California or New Mexico whole dried chiles and dried chili powder.
  2. You really only need about half of the red sauce for this recipe, but not to worry because the red sauce is incredible on scrambled eggs or on homemade nachos!
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

 

 

Autumn Harvest Salad w/ Brussels & Delicata

DSC_0187‘Tis the season! Fall has drifted upon us! Hooray for pumpkin (everything), sweaters, and boots! 

The prior sentences were said entirely in jest and utter sarcasm, because it has been so brutally hot here in Southern California with no hope for any type weather change and, frankly, I am incredibly bitter about it. It has honestly been 90 degrees since February.  We are currently experiencing one of the worst droughts of California history and it has forced the state into a pretty dire situation. The dryness accompanied with the never-ending sweltering heatwave has been almost unbearable. Once October rolled around I was so ready for the adjustment in seasons I honestly couldn’t stand it. I thought to myself “I better get home and bust out my flannels, oversized sweaters, and maybe a couple beanies! It’s going to be cold!” I was so very disappointed when instead the weather man came on the news and announced that yet another heatwave was in the forecast. Can’t a hormonal pregnant girl catch a break?! Sheesh! Anywho…enough complaining already. Soon enough I will layer up and all will be well in the world again (at least in our little SoCal world). 

I decided that the first recipe of the season needed to be something light yet still encompassing a few of our autumn produce selections. It would be a California style harvest meal. This salad is super easy to make and full of some of the season’s best bounty. It comes together in no-time and with little effort making it one of my favorite last minute meals. It is fabulously healthy (especially for any other preggos out there!) because it is packed with nutritous and vitamin-rich veggies. Enjoy it my friends! 

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Autumn Harvest Salad w/ Brussels & Delicata

Serves 4


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Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
25 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
25 min

For the Salad
  1. 1 Delicata squash
  2. 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  3. 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1 5oz bag of mixed greens
  9. 1 avocado, diced
  10. 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (toasted pistachios would be delicious too!)
  11. 1/4-1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
  12. salt & pepper to taste
For the Maple Vinaigrette
  1. 2 TBSPs extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 TBSP maple syrup
  4. 1 TBSP spicy brown mustard
  5. juice of one small lemon
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Prepare the squash by slicing in half lengthwise and then scooping out the seeds in the middle. Slice in 1/4″ pieces and arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet. Prepare the brussels sprouts by slicing them in half and then arranging them on the baking sheet with the squash. Pour the olive oil and white balsamic vinegar over the squash and brussels sprouts. Sprinkle them with 1/2 tsp salt & pepper, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Toss to coat. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  2. While the squash and brussels roast, prepare the maple vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients together and set aside. In a large bowl, add the mixed greens. Pour a bit of the vinaigrette all over the greens and, using tongs, toss to coat. Top the salad with the roasted squash and brussels, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate seeds. I added a bit more dressing over the top with a little sprinkle of salt and pepper to finish. Divide among individual bowls and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I made this salad for just Kris and I so I had dressing and salad leftover. The dressing will last up to a week in the fridge in an airtight container or jar. Store leftover brussels and squash in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat the veggies and add to greens and top with leftover dressing!
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Multigrain Zucchini Date Loaf + Big News!

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There are few things in life that deserve an all out celebration. It just so happens that today, we are celebrating TWO very important milestones. The first milestone that had to be shared with you is….that this post right here, is the 100th post for Honeyed Home! That is 100 recipes that I have put truly hard work in to. I have to say I feel very proud. I am proud of myself for the effort, the time, the sweat, the tears, and often times, the strenuous struggle. Although, the past 100 posts were occasionally difficult, they were also true accomplishments and incredible triumphs made right in my kitchen. I can not wait to see what the next 100 posts will be and where I will be by then. It all seems so surreal. I feel extremely satisfied in my work and appreciative for the people who have stuck by me through the entire process. I honestly could not do it with out the support of so many friends, strangers, and of course, my rock…my husband. Oh my gosh! Speaking of husbands…My husband, Kris, and I also wanted to share with you some other BIG and important news! We couldn’t be more excited to announce that we are expecting! Our little one is joining our clan in March of 2015. That is why there have been minimal posts around here lately. Frankly, I have been too sick to even look at food. Normally, I scour the internet and look for inspiration from some of my favorite food bloggers (whom are listed on the right-hand sidebar of this page) but during the last month I couldn’t bare the sight of any food photographed in any way. I was genuinely disgusted by most things. Even salad! Salad! Usually, this is my first choice for a quick meal any time of the day but when the nausea set in, a piece of lettuce looked revolting. That was when I knew I was really struggling. So, I am sorry for the lack of visits the last few weeks, but now that I am beginning my second trimester I am feeling more and more like myself every day. I am back folks and probably more excited to cook and eat than ever before! Here is to celebrating the two most fabulously important landmarks that Honeyed Home has yet to to come across! Cheers! 

This multigrain zucchini date loaf is so worth every ingredient. It is packed with nuts and whole grains and is perfectly sweet while the zucchini keeps it super moist. It is one of my favorite things to make as I often have the ingredients already on hand. If you don’t have a loaf pan, a regular sized muffin tin does the trick and then you are left with individual little portions. So delicious either way. This is a magnificent recipe for a brunch or breakfast gathering. Enjoy friends! 

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Multigrain Zucchini Date Loaf

Yields 8


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Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 10 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 10 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  2. 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 cup finely chopped and pitted, fresh medjool dates (about 6 dates)
  7. 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
  8. 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  9. 3/4 cup oat bran
  10. 1/2 cup almond meal
  11. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  12. 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  13. 1 tsp baking soda
  14. 1 tsp baking powder
  15. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  16. 1/2 tsp salt
  17. 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Place the walnut pieces on a small baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes and then set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the walnuts.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar. Let that mixture sit for a few minutes until it becomes frothy and semi-curdled. Add the melted butter, the egg and the vanilla and whisk until combined. Add in the finely chopped dates and the grated zucchini.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together with a fork. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
  5. Pour into the greased loaf pan*(see note). Bake at 350 for about 55 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool before slicing. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. It seems there are a lot of ingredients here but every thing can be found conveniently at your local Trader Joe’s.
  2. If you do not have a 9×5 loaf pan, a regular muffin tin would work just as well for zucchini date muffins!
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen’s Multigrain Carrot Date Muffins
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/