Back to School Breakfast #2: Overnight Oats

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Okay, so I’ve done it. I’ve joined the hipsters and started to try out some overnight oat recipes. So far I’ve tried two, but now that school is back on, they make for a great mid-morning snack. In fact, they are so filling, that I usually only make it through half of it, and end up enjoying it for an afternoon snack as well…

I’ve tried two recipes so far…

Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight oats

(Makes 2 servings aka 2 jam jars worth)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Small single poriton of greek yogurt
  • 4 TBSP Cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Milk or almond milk
  • 2 TBSP Chia Seeds
  • 2-3 TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 4-5 Strawberries diced

Directions:

Now this is where I feel that I was mislead. I thought, overnight oats get mixed in the cup/mason jar… NOOOO… or at least mine did not work out well that way…

In a bowl, mix the yogurt, cream cheese, almond milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup until well mixed. Add the Oats and strawberries and mix until everything is combined then spoon in to your mason jars… or tupperware if you are too scared to risk becoming a hipster. Leave in your fridge overnight and enjoy tomorrow! Will keep for 2-3 days… surprisingly, the strawberries keep their texture pretty well.

 

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

(Makes 2 servings aka 2 jam jars worth)- this one came from the side of my canister of rolled oats…

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heaping TBSP Peanut Butter ( I used a natural and sugar free one)
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1-2 TBSP Maple Syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats

Directions:

Mash the banana with the peanut butter then add and mix the chia seeds, maple syrup and almond milk until well combined. Add the oats and dish into your mason jars. Refrigerate overnight… or up to 2-3 days… it could potentially last longer…

 

I liked both of these… I mean, obviously, that’s why I’m sharing them with you all…

The best part about bringing overnight oats to work… finding out that your co-worker did the same thing, then having a third co-worker ask if you bought them at the same place…

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Basic Jar Salad & a Waterfall!

Today my sister and I went for a hike to a waterfall in the beautiful Connecticut town she lives in. For lunch we enjoyed super easy, really tasty garden mason jar salads!

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I tend to think that mason jars come in super handy- particularly when traveling. They are easy to clean, and are really sturdy. These are the quart size…This salad is pretty basic and you could really swap out the dressing or any of the veggies you like in your own favorite basic salad or whatever is in season. Since I’m at my sister’s, anything that I can get that is pre-made makes things much easier so the dressing is just a fresh bottle of store bought lemon garlic bottle my sister originally got for her whole 30 diet.

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite store bought dressing
  • Sturdy vegetables- here’s what I used:
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Cucumbers
    • Carrots
  • Romain Lettuce
  • Optional: For some extra protein you could add some feta cheese or tofu… or both 🙂

Directions:

In a clean jar pour some dressing- less than half an inch. Cut your vegetables and put them in the jar. Wash, check, and cut your lettuce and fill the jar. Then seal it up and keep it upright until you are ready to eat it. When you are ready for lunch, flip the jar and shake it up. Then you can either dump your salad onto a plate or, eat it like we did, right from the jar 🙂

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And we had a great view with our salads… Certainly made the hike worth it 🙂

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Great Snack ala Trader Joe’s!

The first thing my sister and I did was a quick trip to Trader Joe’s. I’ve spoken about how much kosher stuff they have at TJ’s before, but especially when traveling it’s nice to be able to go to one store and stock up.

We were hungry so as soon as we got to my sister’s apartment we enjoyed a great twist on the classic after school snack of Apples and Peanut butter…

I present you with: Apples, Almond Butter & Coconut!

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Ingredients:

  • Apples (we used Braeburn…)
  • Raw Almond Butter (ours had no salt)
  • Unsweetened Flake Coconut

Directions:

Cut your apple and if you do it like me… use your knife as a spoon. (Hey sometimes you’re hungry and finding the plastic silverware takes too long!). Sprinkle on some coconut and enjoy!

 

The oven is currently being kashered… stay tuned for tonight’s dinner of chicken with carrots and parsnips… I should mention that my sister is doing the Whole 30 diet this month…

Apple Kale Salad

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This creamy, sweety, tangy, and filling salad is one of my favorites. Once you’ve made the dressing, it’s easy to assemble and makes a great lunch, appetizer, snack… whatever! The recipe is adapted from one I found at: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013732-kale-salad-with-apples-and-cheddar

Since I was short on kosher sensitive ingredients like parmesan I had to make some changes, and while I have not tasted this salad as the NY Times intended, I do think mine is pretty tasty! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Lemons
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1-2 TBSP Blanched almonds
  • Dash of Nutritional Yeast (the great cheese substitute)
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • Splash of Water if needed
  • Baby Kale
  • Apple
  • Shredded Cheese ( I prefer munster, but cheddar, or chef’s blend will work well)

Tools:

  • Blender/food processor/nutri-bullet

Directions:

For the dressing, Squeeze the two lemons in to the food processor along with he garlic and oil. Process until smooth. Add 1-2 TBSP of the blanched almonds, nutritional yeast, and salt then process again. The mixture should become a creamy white color and be slightly thicker, but still thin enough to pour over a salad. If it is too thick, and looks more like mayo thin it with a splash of water. This dressing will keep in a sealed container the fridge for about a week (if you don’t eat it all before then)! I highly recommend investing in some mason jars as they are durable, easy to clean and cheap. They are also super in style with all the hipsters right now and you know you always wanted to be a hipster, right?

When you are ready to enjoy your salad, slice up some apple with some baby kale (Trader Joe’s sells a bagged baby kale that is pretty great), sprinkle with a handful of shredded cheese on top then drizzle with the dressing!*

*Sometimes my dressing turns out more white, while other times its more oily/yellow. Either is fine and tastes great,  it generally depends on the type of food processor I am using. Either way, the dressing does tend to separate a bit so be sure to shake well before using 🙂

Peaches & Cream

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Peaches are the major highlight of my summer. But travel is also a big component of my summer so when ingredients are fresh, but I’m leaving town, I’ve got to figure out what can be eaten, what can travel, and what can freeze… and how to do all that in a way that leaves me with good food …

So here’s what I’ve learned about cream. Have you ever frozen cream? Freezing milk works for the most part, but cream… not so much. When you freeze cream, you might find it looks clumpy when you de-frost it. After extensive google research, I’ve read that it’s still edible, but you will notice a difference in texture, and that difference kind of takes the fun out of cream…after all, who wants clumps in their cream?

However, if you make something with your cream, you can freeze the product and and it works perfectly. This is obvious when it comes to making ice-cream, but you might be surprised to hear that making a basic whipped cream will work too!

Basic Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • Heavy Cream
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla

Tools Needed:

  • Electric mixer or you can try an immersion blender as long as you are careful not to over whip and turn your cream in to butter… although butter will keep well too 🙂

Directions:

In a large bowl, begin whipping the cream and sugar. I generally will add about 1/4 cup sugar for 2 cups of cream, but if you like it sweeter you can add more. Be careful when whipping the cream. You want peaks to form (meaning when you lift the mixer the cream will hold it’s shape a bit) but if you over whip, it will become butter.  Toward the end add a tsp of vanilla.

This cream will taste wonderful fresh, but if you are in a hurry to leave town, or don’t want to end up eating two cups worth of fresh whipped cream all on your own, then you can keep your whipped cream in the freezer. When you want to eat it, scoop it on to you favorite fruits, cakes, pies etc. and let it sit out for a few minutes to defrost. You should find that your whipped cream will quickly return to it’s light and fluffy texture in no time. Enjoy!

Watermelon Basil Cooler

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With all the summer heat, sometimes you just want something cool and refreshing. Sometimes you want that to be something other than water. This drink is inspired by one served at Bison & Bourbon in Brooklyn. I didn’t get it exactly like theirs, but this tastes pretty good too! If you are having a summer get together, it will definitely impress your family!

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon
  • A few basil leaves
  • Seltzer
  • Crushed ice
  • (optional) Honey, date sugar/syrup, or sugar to taste

Supplies:

  • Cheese cloth
  • Blender/food processor/nurtri-bullet*

Directions:
Scoop pieces of fresh watermelon and a few leaves of fresh basil in to your food processor and process until smooth. Depending on how powerful your machine is this may take a few minutes. Strain the juice using the cheese cloth into a container with a good lid and add one to two leaves of crushed fresh basil. Let sit for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to serve, fill a glass halfway with crushed ice. Then add seltzer to the halfway point. Fill to the top with the watermelon mixture and garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy!

*I recommend the nutri-bullet if you have one. The powerful blade will help you get the most juice out of your watermelon!

 

 

Wine & Cheese Foodie Food Find!

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Growing up, good food was valued in my family. Everyone loves to show off their latest food finds and recipes, but I think my family takes it to another level. Now that I keep kosher, big family gatherings feel different. While my family has been incredibly accepting of the choices I have made, I do feel left out when they can all enjoy some amazing food that I can’t. That’s why I always try to add my own dishes and food finds to our family gatherings. That way I have something to eat, and my family and I have one more thing to gather around together. Becoming frum can make people feel isolated from those they care the most about, finding easy ways to reconnect and share common values can help you hold on tightly to the ones you love.

While I love to cook, when we have these big family gatherings I get busy just planning my own food let alone finding things to bring to share with my family. That was why I was so excited to see this cheese set sold by Natural & Kosher. I found it at my local kosher grocery store, and while I can pick out my own fancy cheese to share with family, the nice thing about this cheese set, is that it provides wine recommendations. It was great because in one store I was able to get the cheese set and pick out at least one wine for each cheese based on the label recommendations. When I met up with my family, I sliced and plated the cheese with some tart green apple slices. We opened the wine and had lots of fun trying to decide which wines went best with which of the three cheeses ( I kept it a surprise). It was a really fun afternoon & a great time with family!