Last week was about cookies, so maybe this week we should balance that out with some healthier but still delicious foods. I love to have sweets around, but I do feel better when I eat plenty of fruits and veggies too.
This first recipe is a great way to use some of the fabulous strawberries that are in season right now, and as a bonus you get to enjoy their sweet taste on some leafy greens. This is a super simple dressing to make, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now. I made this to go with our Easter dinner, and everyone really seemed to enjoy it (even my salad-hating brother-in-law). If you’ve got some berries languishing away in your fridge why not turn them into something springy that’ll perk up your healthy lunch.
Strawberry-Herb Dressing (from Cafe Johnsonia)
1 1/2 c. hulled strawberries (You could even use thawed frozen berries if they’re not in season yet in your area.)
2-4 tbsp. sugar (Start on the low side and adjust to the sweetness of your berries.)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pinch pepper
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree til smooth.
Now this next one is even more exciting. It’s a whole new way to eat oatmeal. I’m a bit of a contradiction when it comes to oats. I love a good oatmeal cookie, oatmeal pancake, oat bar, or similar treat, but I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal. I don’t know if I just don’t cook it right (though my hubby likes how I cook his) or if it’s just that I eat it too slowly and it becomes gluey. Whatever the reason, you’ll rarely find me sitting down with a bowl of it. But this recipe immediately grabbed my attention. I’ve pan-seared angel food cake and pound cake, so I probably should have thought of this on my own. Still, now that I’ve found it, I’m not going to give it up anytime soon. What I really love about this way of cooking the oatmeal is that the outside gets really crispy and buttery while the inside is nice and creamy. I also like that you do the majority of the cooking ahead of time, and then it only takes a few minutes to fry it up in the morning. And though she eats it with fruit and yogurt on top, we loved it all by its crispy, buttery, little self. Don’t believe me? Go try it for yourself.
Pan-Seared Oatmeal (from Rachel Cooks)
1 1/2 c. steel-cut oats (sometimes called Irish oats)
2 c. milk
2 c. water
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1. In a large, deep saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes or til thick. (Be careful since it will bubble and spurt violently as it thickens, hence the deep saucepan.)
3. Grease an 8×8 pan, pour in the oatmeal, smooth the top, and chill overnight. (Personally, we prefer ours to be even thinner for a greater crispy to creamy ratio, so I’d use a couple of smaller pans.)
4. To sear, set a frying pan over medium-high heat and add a pat of butter. Slice the oatmeal in squares and fry about 5 minutes per side or til golden-brown and heated through. Serve topped with yogurt, fruit, syrup, honey, or whatever else sounds delicious to you.
How do you change up your routine to be more healthy?