Thursday, June 17, 2010

if it ain’t broke

I know I haven’t been posting anything about breakfast lately. The thing is… if it ain’t broke… why fix it?

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I cannot really remember my life before I started making overnight oats, but I can only assume it wasn’t as good.

I have figured out a default formula, and the days I make overnight oats I always make it for two (my mama is now similarly addicted).

Lele’s Overnight Oats: the basic formula

The night before, each person receives:
Half a six-ounce container of fruit-flavored yogurt (today’s was “dragonfruit”, fancy fancy. Tasted like… strawberry, honestly)
1/2 cup oats
1 T Ruth’s Chia Goodness (today I used cranberry ginger, my fave!)
Approximately half a cup of chopped fruit (this translates to 1/4 of an apple or 1/2 a small banana, I’ve found. Crunchy fruits can overwhelm all the other lovely textures in overnight oats. For this batch, I used some lovely melon and the last of the farmer’s market blueberries)
2 T water (gets everything all moist)

The next morning, add:
1 T milk (gets everything rehydrated and a bit creamy)
scant 2 T chopped nuts (walnuts are my fave!)

And there you have it. My favorite summer breakfast.

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So lunch. I’ve been craving bean dip, and had a big container of split peas I wanted to use up. I came across this recipe for split pea dip and thought “Perfect!”

So into my pot went 1 1/2 cups split peas, the seasonings, and… 5 cups of water? Really?

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Yeah um read the recipe correctly but does THIS look like dip to you?

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NO. At this point I was starrrrrving and was like “Argh, how can I get this to dip as quickly as possible? What are moisture-soaking things that go with bean dip?”

So I added:
5 sun dried tomatoes (dried things soak up liquid! And I’d seen another recipe that’d included them)
1 red potato (potatoes are starchy and thickening! And are in a traditional Greek dip, skordalia, so weren’t a totally insane addition)
the rest of the split peas in the bag (like 3 T or something ridic, but every little bit, right?)

And then I BOILED the crap out of everybody, getting as much water to evaporate as possible, for like twenty minutes.

Given a puree with an immersion blender, it actually turned out dip-y, at which point I added all the other ingredients called for in the recipe (cutting back on the olive oil, because I was afraid it’d get too liquidy).

In the end, it turned out fine.

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Relieved, I sat down and ate lunch: dip paired with some celery sticks and also stuffed in a whole wheat pita with farmer’s market lettuce.

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And to accompany, The Greatest Greek Yogurt Ever from the farmer’s market with chopped apple and cinnamon.

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At the farmer’s market last week we had bought some beetsies. I decided to mix it up a little and consult the brilliant Rosemary Barron and my beloved Flavors of Greece. I realized partway through the recipe that, durr, I was missing some of the ingredients, but I powered through at least following her technique. She has you roast the beets on a foil-lined baking sheet (to prevent stainage) at 325* for 40 minutes, with 1/4 cup of water. Before and after:

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I then added:
2 T olive oil
1 T white wine vinegar (she uses lemon juice, I was out)
1 tsp. allspice (she says this is the key ingredient to make these Cretan style. I ate AWESOME beets in Crete last summer)
salt and pepper
crumbled fresh mint

She also included red onion and olives, which I’m sure would be scrumptious.

Ze final product:

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Thoughts on this technique: baking it at the lower temperature for a shorter period, not individually wrapped in foil as I usually do, result in firmer beets. This meant they were a royal pain to peel and still retained a certain al dente quality as I ate them. The peeling was no fun, but the crunch I liked: it extended the experience of, and thus pleasure obtained from, eating the beets.

As for the allspice? Totes sublime.

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Also, olive oil mixed with beet juice= beauty. I cut back on the oil and vinegar called in the recipe, because if I were eating it in Greece I’d have some delicious homemade bread to sop everything up with and while I have a great recipe (in Favorite Recipes, actually) it takes awhiiiiiiile. So I didn’t want the yummy olive oil to go too much to waste.

As for the rest of dinner… it’ll look pretty familiar.

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Yep, total repeat. It was good. Plus, I was dining alone. I know it’s a little lame for the blog, but I do enjoy my pink and green color scheme!

Still totally lovin’ on the homemade farmer’s market pickles. Oh man they are good.

After dinner the dessert monster reared its head and I remembered I had not reviewed this:

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A (very well-loved) bag of Newman’s Own Organics (who sent me this product) Champion Chip Cookies, espresso chocolate chip flavored.

This is literally THE LAST COOKIE (and I already took a bite out of it, hah!). Please pardon my beet-stained fingers. I washed my hands a squajilion times. It’s just an occupational hazard.

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Thoughts on the espresso chip flavor: A+!

The cookie itself is exceptional- I liked it even better than the other Champion Chip one I tried, and I think, after a scan of the ingredient label, it’s because it contains OATS! There is a lovely nuttiness and toothsomeness to the cookie part that is great.

As for the espresso chocolate chips, well, Newman’s has not yet steered me wrong on chocolate, and what could be better than high quality dark chocolate but high quality dark chocolate paired with its one true love, espresso! Delish.

Dessert continued:

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This is the kefir drink from the farmer’s market I was talkin’ up.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more impressive ingredient list:

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This is made of whole milk and sugar-sweetened, so it’s definitely firmly in the “dessert” category. I served myself a luscious ice-cream-sized portion:

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With something so unbelievably rich and satiating, this really is the only serving I need: it honestly and truly left me totally satisfied.

Real food really is such a miracle: I realize that I am supremely lucky to be able to get this product that is

1. From a local farm
2. Organic, and from grass-fed cows and
3. Unbelievably delicious, I’m sure owing to the aforementioned facts.

When you have a food that was created the way food is supposed to be created- natural products, from a nearby source, unadulterated with any foreign substance- you can taste it. This stuff is rich, thick, creamy, tangy milky goodness, with warm ripe sweetness from the berries.

Oi I am getting into Danielle Steele territory with my description of a dairy product. Anyway, it’s really good.

This stuff, all-natural, local, small farm food, this is the ultimate in If It Aint Broke. Because it wasn’t broke, but then… what happened? How did we let everything turn into foodlots and factories and Frankenfood?

5 comments:

Heather (Where's the Beach) said...

LOL - I learned a long time ago to not base a meal off of having to cook beans. That's a separate project. Cooking them always makes me hungry and they always seem to take longer than they're supposed to. Love your work-around!!

Megan D said...

"If it ain't broke don't fix it" seems to be my mantra lately! Overnight oats are my favorite summer breakfast for sure. And I made bean dip (well, hummus) today too! Twins! :)

Maya said...

If it ain't broke, definitely don't fix it! I definitely go through food stages. The kefir looks delicious. It's foods like that with simple pure ingredient lists that are worth the extra few dollars because they're utterly satisfying, and you wouldn't want to waste a drop, you know?

Kelsey said...

aweeee NO that doesnt look like dip unfortunately:( definitely a soup like consistensy.. well broth maybe lol.

that yogurt smoothie looks YUMMY tho!! <3 xoxo

Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said...

Those beets look so good, I've never tried baking them but I think I really should :)