The Kitchen Sink

For the love of food, life and everything in between.

Month: October, 2013

Sunrise Pizza

“Gee Darrell, sure is chilly out there today, isn’t it?”

“You bet, Frank. Next thing you know we’ll have snow.”

 “Sure are right about that one.”

 I stood in line this morning waiting for my coffee, surrounded by pumpkin bowls filled with sugar packets, orange glazed apple scones in the bakery case, pumpkin spice and apple crisp coffee brewing. These two men couldn’t possibly be serious. The word snow shall not pass my lips for at least another month I silently huffed. Then suddenly, all wrapped up in halloween spirit I realized Friday would be the beginning of November. It couldn’t be true, I dismissed the notion and hovered over my dark roast pumpkin spice a moment longer before I departed.

I walked out of the coffee shop with a list of errands as long as, well as long as a child’s wish list to Santa. Yes, these men have got me using Christmas metaphors. Damn you, Frank.

 I couldn’t help but think of my one of my favorite sayings from author, Gretchen Rubin.

The days are long but the years are short. 

How many times do I find my self wishing the days by in anticipation of the next big milestone, the first snow day, the next calendar event only to find myself wondering where those little in between moments fell to.

I often need this reminder to slow down and immerse myself in the present.

Winter will inevitably come. Bone chilling nights will warrant hot cocoa and toasted marshmallows. Standstills on a snowy I-95 will plague my commute.

 

 But today is the most beautifully brisk fall day and for that I am eternally grateful. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the seasons are in transition, take a moment to notice the autumn leaves as they now dim themselves from burning orange to gold and then finally to brown and beige, taking cover in the crevices of buildings and sidewalks as Old Man Winter sits waiting to pounce.

 Though this dish was actually my lunch today I think I’ll find myself making these for a savory Sunday breakfast sometime soon.

Sunrise Pizza

Serves 1

1 pita pocket

1 oz silken goat cheese

1 egg

2 tsp pesto (prepared or fresh)

4 or 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

salt and pepper as desired

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place the pita on the tin foil and spread a thin, even layer of goat cheese across it. Layer on pesto and then place tomato halves in a circle around the outer edge of the pita. Crack an egg in the middle. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until egg is cooked through to your liking. Plate and season with salt and/or pepper as desired.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Peanut Butter Frosting

I should warn you this post is a bit long winded.

Have you ever gotten stuck in a food rut? I am heading in a few directions with this one, so bear with me and the recipe will follow. Or scroll on by my rambling for a ramekin of goodness.

 

For starters, I am feeling a bit bored with my meals. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that this occurred out an attempt to solve my original food rut issue. I sought to simplify my meals so that I wouldn’t feel like I was constantly thinking about food.

I know I can’t be the only one.

However, it’s particularly troublesome when you’re a dietitian.

 

Some days (and lately it’s felt like most days) I can’t help but feel like I eat, sleep, breath and live food. And while the first is a given, sometimes it becomes too much of a good thing.

I once heard a coworker of mine say “when I go home I don’t even think about food.”

I couldn’t imagine.

Lately, I feel like I am always planning meals, cooking meals, talking food, teaching food, experimenting with food, writing about food and the list goes on. Turn to my pinterest boards, instagram feed and website search history and you can guess which theme seems to take center stage.

While I’m fortunate that my job allows me to indulge in my passion for healthy eating and living, I can’t help but feel like it’s too much at times. It seems as though most of my “outlets” away from work have become too closely related to work.

And so, I’ve made a few goals for myself.

  • Number one: find a new hobby and/or revisit an abandoned one (think knitting, photographing nature, jewelry making etc.)
  •  Number two: embrace the fact that caramel dipped apples, cider donuts and pumpkin pie blizzards are not the keys to my happiness and stop thinking they are going to resolve any issue, sour mood or quip I may be having.
  • Number three: plan meals and grocery shopping in a way that allows for some ease and simplicity but also still embraces the delicious tastes, textures and aromas of fall without the feelings of guilt, remorse or an upset belly.

So by now , if you’ve chosen to read this far down, you may be asking how does the aforementioned relate to today’s recipe. The common thread here is that my breakfast on my days off and weekends has pretty much flip flopped between pumpkin egg white oats and PB banana pumpkin stuffed french toast. So much so, I had almost forgotten what I ate one those days before I started buying canned pumpkin in bulk.

I woke up this morning with every intention of having eggs and toast, a smear of jelly and apple slices, after all we’ve got two giant bowls and seven varieties of apples adorning our countertop at the moment, it only seemed like the right thing to do. I also have this little “food rule” if you will, which really isn’t a rule at all, but I like to try and have something for breakfast on my days off that I can’t necessarily have at work. Think: runny eggs, stovetop oat meal, smoothies, etc. It just makes my time away from work seem that much more special.

So with an attitude of “I will not dirty a million dishes, bother with a recipe or open yet another container of pumpkin puree” I shuffled with chilled feet into the kitchen and opened the cabinet to pull out the bread. I then had a thought, a fellow blogger’s recipe for pumpkin pie baked oatmeal had been lingering in my head for days and while this would completely go against my efforts to simplify my meals and save my time to spend pursuing activities mentioned in goal number one, this breakfast sounded way better than any pre-packaged pumpkin product and would technically be a variation on my two breakfast meals that have been on repeat for several weeks now. And by variation I actually mean combination.

If the pictures don’t sell themselves let me convince you to make this breakfast.

You can bake it while you take your shower – I don’t know about you but multitasking is a big bonus in my book.

 It’s pumpkin and spice and everything nice, without sugar, processed junk or consequential belly aches.

It’s got that stick-to-your-ribs, warm you up and get you going thing going on which also means I haven’t had to turn the heat on at the house just yet.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Peanut Butter Frosting

Serves 1

Only slightly modified from Kylie’s original recipe found here.

What you’ll need for the oatmeal:

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 tsp EACH ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

1/4 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1/3 pumpkin puree

1 egg white

1/4 of a banana, mashed

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

What you’ll need for the frosting:

The other 3/4 of the banana, mashed

1 TBSP peanut butter

1 tsp pure maple syrup

What to do:

 Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 16 ounce ramekin lightly with non-stick cooking spray. {You might notice I didn’t use a ramekin but rather my go-to single serving casserole dish, which seemed to work just fine. The 16 ounce ramekin suggestion was provided by the original recipe}

In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients {oats, spices, baking powder and salt}. In a small bowl whisk the wet ingredients {pumpkin, egg white, mashed banana, milk and vanilla extract} together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour into prepared ramekin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the dish and the center has set.

While the oatmeal is baking mash remaining 3/4 banana in a small bowl and vigorously mix in maple syrup and peanut butter. When oatmeal is finished, spread frosting over top of oatmeal and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, if you can wait that long.

 

 

End of the Season: Zucchini Pasta with Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Cherry Tomatoes

Perhaps this recipe title is a bit misleading.

 

It’s October. Columbus Day is right around the corner and it’s not the end of any season.

 

In fact, autumn in New England is in full swing.

 

And from the number of empty pumpkin puree cans in my recycling bin and the plethora of vests that hang at attention in my closet, I have proof that I’ve fully embraced the season as well.

But as the landscape changes, a few pints of cherry tomatoes linger at the farmer’s market a little while longer.  Like the drowsy bumble bees that dance from each little Mum flower, the candy-like tomatoes flirt with fall in the most wonderful way.

 

With burning orange and butter yellow hues, these tomatoes seem to fit right in among their fall produce counterparts that have since replaced the peaches and raspberries.

 

This dish is so simple I was hesitant to share it. However, these tomatoes have been a staple in my diet all summer long and in order to show my gratitude for their quirky shapes and sweet, sweet flavors I’ve snapped a few photos of just one of the many uses I’ve found for them over the past few months.

 

End of the Season: Zucchini Pasta with Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 1

Here’s what you will need:

1 medium zucchini, julienned {I used a mandoline}

1 oz gorgonzola

1 TBSP chopped walnuts

6 or 7 cherry tomatoes, halved

1-2 tsp pesto (homemade or store bought) – optional

Here’s what to do:

Heat zucchini noodles in a skillet over medium heat about 3 minutes, drain off any excess liquid and plate the noodles. Toss with pesto and top with gorgonzola, walnuts and cherry tomatoes.

Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed Pumpkin French Toast

I’ve been partaking in risky behavior over the past couple of weeks.

And while I haven’t exactly been committing any crimes, dancing with tigers or jumping out of air planes, I have been watching Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on my iPad right before going to sleep.

 

This leaves my mouth watering and my mind racing with thoughts of how can I make that entree/dessert/appetizer appear in my kitchen in the next five minutes??

 

I resist temptation to scurry into the kitchen and start concocting whatever Alton Brown was just raving about. But it’s not easy because I swear, if there ever was a show that could qualify as food porn (and let me tell you I hate that term – food porn) I think this show takes the cake.

 

Just when I was ready to break the habit, switch back to watching something a little more low key like Modern Family, Selling New York or Gilmore Girls I watched some woman in some diner in some Idaho town create peanut butter banana french toast. And for the next two Saturday’s I created my own version – sans Rum and butter – and felt as though I was in absolute breakfast heaven.

 

Then fall came and I was ears deep in spaghetti squash and gourds and I started buying all things orange and yellow and pumpkin puree was going into like everything I was making. I wasn’t even sure peanut butter and bananas would let some pumpkin in on that great thing they’ve got going but the aroma that was coming off the griddle assured me I had done a good job playing match maker.

Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed Pumpkin French Toast

 Serves 1

You will need:

2 slices of your favorite whole grain bread

1/2 medium ripe banana, sliced into thin strips

1 TBSP peanut butter

1 egg

1/4 cup pureed pumpkin

ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Toppings such as (but not limited to):

Maple Syrup

Brown Sugar

Honey

Walnuts or Pecans

More Peanut Butter

Powdered Sugar

Fruit

Here’s what you do:

In a medium bowl or shallow pan whisk egg, vanilla extract and a dash of each spice (cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg). Whisk in pumpkin puree and a splash of low fat milk or water. Set aside.

Divide peanut butter between the two slices of bread and lay banana slices diagonally across one slice. Top with the other slice and dip sandwich into egg-pumpkin mixture, evenly coating all sides.

Prepare griddle or skillet over medium heat with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook sandwich over medium heat for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time so that each side is browned and just slightly crispy.

Plate and slice diagonally (all things taste better when they’re cut on the diagonal, yes?)

Top as desired.