Baked Blackberry Oatmeal

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Greetings! I hope you are having a merry holiday. This time is one of my favorites, the in-between time right before New Years Eve. There may be some work involved but it is a time filled with laughter, parties, loved ones and food. This hearty breakfast bake fits in perfectly and brings a smile to your face on these chilly mornings. Resembling a fruit crumble more than oatmeal it is quite a treat! The blackberries are warm and syrupy, bursting with flavor. With a cake like oatmeal mixture in the middle and topped off with sweet crunchy sunflower and pumpkin seeds. YUM, I will start my mornings like this, please.

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Blackberry Oatmeal Bake ~ adapted from Vegetarian Everyday

14 oz fresh or frozen blackberries (thaw if frozen)

2 cups rolled oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

a pinch of sea salt

2 large eggs

2 1/4 cups milk of choice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure unsweetened honey, agave, or maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut oil + extra for greasing the pan

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (original recipe uses toasted hazelnuts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 10 baking dish and spread the berries in an even layer on the bottom of the dish and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine the oats, baking powder, ginger and salt. In another bowl add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and whisk until combined. In a smaller bowl mix the honey/maple/agave syrup, 1 tbsp coconut oil and the nuts/seeds (use your fingers to make sure all of the seeds/nuts are well coated). Pour the dry oat mixture evenly over the berries then pour the egg mixture over evenly. Sprinkle the seed mixture on top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the oatmeal is set (no liquid) and the seeds are lightly browned and crunchy. Cool slightly before serving.

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Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad

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I’m back! And hopefully I will remain so. Life has been busy but I have missed being on here. This side dish is the perfect healthy accompaniment to all the holiday food surrounding you. Its vibrant colors of red and green make it a festive, crunchy, sweet, tasty treat!

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I am still trying to master the art of removing the seeds from a pomegranate. Do you have any tried and true tricks up your sleeve? The hitting with a wooden spoon method hasn’t been very successful yet. I still tear into it in chunks and remove all the seeds with my fingers…

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Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad – from Vegetarian Everyday

2 heads of broccoli

1 small red onion (or 1/2 of a large onion) finely minced

seeds of one pomegranate

1 and 1/4 cup of raisins

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 cup plain yogurt

sea salt and pepper

Wash your broccoli and chop into small, bite-sized, pieces. Finley slice the stalk pieces as well. Place in a large bowl along with the finely minced red onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine (I used my hands to mix this, even with the yogurt) add the yogurt and toss again. Mix in the pomegranate seeds last to prevent any from bursting. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and serve! Yum!

Mother’s Orzo

From my mothers table

Everyone is always extra excited for dinner when we know my mother is making her orzo. A very simple and refreshing dish suitable for all varieties of taste-buds.

It is such a comfort to take my favorites from home and enjoy them up here…And to know nobody else will finish leftovers before I get to them myself doesn’t hurt either.

Combining the flavors of sharp salty feta, with crunchy seeds and tart lemon.

I enjoy my orzo topped with hot sauce and this dish is meant to be served warm to chilled.

Mothers Orzo

1lb Orzo cooked in vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)

 1 cup chopped fresh basil

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts (walnuts and sunflower seeds are also very good)

1 bunch green onion, diced

1 bunch chopped fresh spinach (adjust amount to your preference)

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice (can add more if needed)

1/4 cup olive oil (or oil of choice)

salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions in vegetable broth with a little olive oil. Once orzo is ready, drain, then return to pot. Toss with basil, feta, nuts/seeds, green onion, and spinach. In a seperate bowl whisk together olive oil and lemon juice then toss with orzo mixture and season to taste. I end up using a little less oil at times.

Would be a great side dish with Salmon and is also perfect for warmer weather when you’re looking for a chilled dish ~