Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today, I Had Oatmeal

I had oatmeal
And tea
At a table
By a window

"Nothing is worth more than this day" - Goethe

A simple breakfast with 
steel cut Irish oatmeal 

 slowly heated
according to directions
to a smooth finish

while four bags of tea
steeped a few minutes
in four cups of hot water

steamy oatmeal
topped with milk, 
local honey

and fresh sweet berries

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Traditional New England Boiled Dinner

I'm naming this dish a New England Boiled Dinner to make the connection to the meal's past. According to American Food by food writer, Evan Jones, this was a popular meal on New England farms and was typically served in the middle of the day. The salted meat was placed in a pot over a fire in the morning, simmered about three hours while chores got done. After three or so hours, garden vegetables were added and simmered another hour.  The broth was valued for its nutrients.  It was all served together and was accompanied by cider vinegar or, more commonly, homemade horseradish sauce or mustard.

We had boiled dinners when I was growing up, but my French-Canadian family often used ham. I remember corned beef around St. Patrick's Day only a few times. It was usually a meal we would eat out. Either way, I always loved these meals and today always feel so content when I cook and eat a hearty boiled dinner with my family.

I bought all organic vegetables. They still had dirt on them and I loved the earthy fragrance!

I gently simmered Whole Foods' own corned brisket for 3 hours, then added vegetables to the pot for 30 minutes. After that, I added cabbage for another 30 minutes.  The beets were boiled separately until fork tender.

While the vegetables simmered, I made the horseradish dressing, removed beets, cooled, peeled and sliced.

I served it all together . . .

New England Boiled Dinner, from American Food by Evan Jones

3 1/2 lb corned beef brisket 
5 turns of freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 parsnip
1/2 rutabaga
3 large carrots
4 medium-sized potatoes
1/2 cabbage
6 small beets, preboiled and peeled
1 tbs horseradish
1 tbs sour cream
2 or 3 dashes of Tobasco

Method (reworded): Cover corned brisket with water, add pepper and bay leaf. Simmer the brisket over medium heat for 4 hours, but after 3 hours, add vegetables, except cabbage and beets. Before the last 20 minutes add cabbage, and before the last 10 minutes add beets. Remove corned beef, slice thin on the bias and lay out on a platter. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, cut into 4 or more serving-sized pieces and spread on the platter around the beef slices. Serves 4.  

Side sauce: mix horseradish, sour cream and Tabasco together.  

My changes:  I used a 4 lb brisket, used a whole cabbage that I quartered, 3 parsnips sliced in half lengthwise, 3 carrots also sliced in half lengthwise, 1 whole peeled rutabaga cut into 4 pieces, and I didn't add beets at the end (kept them separate).  In addition to bay leaf and pepper, I added a few whole cloves (about 6) for amazing flavor and aroma!  

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nutritious And Refreshing Breakfast Banana Split

Our first Meatless Monday was a little comical and you can see that story and recipe in my Rhode Island Johnny Cakes And Sweet Maple Brussels Sprouts post. Last night we didn't make anything special, we just had leftover Rotelle, or wagon wheels as we like to call them, with marinara, tuna, and black olives.  I wasn't sure if tuna should be considered meat. After giving the mission of Meatless Monday some thought, particularly about reducing our carbon footprint relative to meat consumption, I think fish should fall within the definition of animals here.  But for last night, at least, it was a leftover dish and I wasn't buying more fish or meat.

Here's a recipe for a refreshing breakfast, lunch, or snack idea that we had last week. More of our Meatless Monday recipes, like Cauliflower Spinach Lasagne and Rotini with Zucchini and Parsley Walnut Pesto to come soon!

Breakfast Banana Splits
We actually had these for an after school snack. My daughter loves to snack on cottage cheese so I thought she'd really enjoy this and she did. My son wasn't crazy about it. If you're lactose intolerant like me, use lactose-free cottage cheese and enjoy a calcium packed snack without the side effects.

Clean Eating Recipe: 4 medium bananas, 2 cups 1% cottage cheese, 6 tbsp all-fruit strawberry jam, 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped, 1/8 ts sea salt.

Method (reworded)
For 4 servings: peel and halve a banana and place in a shallow dish or bowl and scoop a half cup of cottage cheese on top, then drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of jam. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of peanuts all around and a pinch of salt. Do the same with the remaining 3 bananas.

My changes:
I altered the recipe a little and used fresh strawberries with honey instead of jam. I placed sliced strawberries in a bowl and mixed in some honey and let it sit while I got the bananas and other ingredients ready. Then I put some of the strawberries over only half a banana, used a little less cheese and excluded the salt (I think the cottage cheese is salty enough). I used all organic ingredients and unsalted peanuts.

This recipe is in Clean Eating's March 2011 so it's not available on the website yet.