antioxidant power oatmeal

breakfast, autumn, vegetarian, vegan, winterRachel SandersComment

This isn't exactly a recipe, but it's my favorite thing to eat for breakfast when camping or backpacking (this is what we ate on the Amethyst Basin backpacking trip). Oatmeal gives me the warming boost I want for my belly (and my hands) in the morning, and it gives me enough energy to carry me through until a late-morning snack or lunch on a high-activity day. Adding in trail mix with lots of seeds and berries makes it flavorful and texturally interesting, while the nut butter makes it creamy and luxurious and even more stick-to-your-ribs-y.

There aren't solid quantities in this recipe because you should make as much or as little as you want to eat, and add as much and as little trail mix/nut butter as you want to have! The world is your oyster.

Serves 1

rolled or instant oats
hearty trail mix (see below for my favorite add-ins)
nut butter

Put about 1/2 cup of oats into a bowl. Pour some boiling water over the oats (a lot or a little, depending on how thick you like your oatmeal) and let sit for a minute or two to soften the oats.

Stir in as much trail mix and nut butter as you want. Now, eat it!

My favorite trail mix for this breakfast usually contains most or all of the following:

pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
goji berries and/or cranberries
currants and/or raisins
walnuts and/or cashews and/or almonds
cacao nibs
candied ginger pieces

baked oatmeal with apples, rhubarb, almonds, and pepitas

autumn, breakfast, desserts, spring, sweet, winterFieldandForest1 Comment
baked oatmeal | field + forest

I know, I know... what, pray-tell, is this apple and nut-crumbly topped thing doing here in May. Would you believe that the Northern Utah high desert, land of the fourteen-day spring, has developed a Seattle-esque languor of thunderstorms and wind? That we've been slathering on sunscreen in the morning only to throw on our rain shells and boots in the afternoon (or vice versa)? That I haven't had to water my garden once in the past week and a half? That the ski resorts have closed for the season even though we've had an additional 16 inches of snow in the mountains in past 72 hours?

It is crazy-town.

But it's reinvigorated our desire for baked and braised and stick-to-your-ribs things for the time being, as we are feeling these feelings of homebody-ness and the need for thick socks and weekend mornings spent on the carpet with bowl food and Calvin & Hobbes anthologies. This oatmeal has been in the back of my mind since I received this book as a gift two years ago, and I am face-palming myself for not making it earlier. The original recipe calls for bananas and walnuts, but I'd encourage you to try this version while rhubarb is in season. It is like eating apple crumble and creme brulée and oatmeal all at the same time, and it has just enough cinnamon and nutmeg to make it feel warm and cozy even when eaten leftover straight out of the fridge.

Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Rhubarb, Almonds, and Pepitas
adapted from Heidi Swanson - serves 6 generously, or 12 as part of a larger brunch spread
This is the dream brunch dish, as you can prep the rhubarb compote the night before, and then easily prep the rest of the ingredients in the morning. Put it in the oven about a half-hour before the meal is slated to begin (it cooks for closer to 40 minutes, but in my experience people are generally a few minutes late to brunch), and it will fill your kitchen with all sorts of lovely smells before people arrive. I've given you proportions for an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish, but you can easily 1 1/2 or double the recipe to suit your headcount or available baking dish size. I ended up 1 1/2-ing the recipe to fill my oval baking dish; if you do the same, aim for 5-6 apples instead of 3-4.

2 cups rolled oats (not instant oats)
1/2 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar (granulated sugar), divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-4 large apples (Fuji, Pippin and McIntosh apples will all keep their shape when cooked) cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges or slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Rhubarb Compote (recipe follows)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped crystalized ginger, optional

To serve:
Fresh fruit or berries (blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries would all be delicious)

Preheat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter an 8-inch square baking dish, and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the rolled oats, pepitas, flax seeds, chia seeds, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, half of the melted butter, and vanilla.

In a third bowl, combine the apple slices with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the lemon juice, and toss to combine. Arrange the apples in the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Spoon the rhubarb compote over the apples (make sure it is distributed relatively evenly). Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk-egg mixture over the oats, and gently give the baking dish a couple of thwacks on the counter so the milk evenly soaks the oats. Scatter the sliced almonds and the crystalized ginger, if using, across the top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top, and serve warm with yogurt and fresh fruit.

Rhubarb Compote (makes 1 1/2 cups)

2 cups sliced rhubarb (about 3-4 stalks)
1/4 cup sugar
a generous pinch of cinnamon

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of water in a heavy-bottomed pot. Set the pot over low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb begins to break down and turns rosy in color, about 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary (I like my compote slightly tart).

tin roof sundae with brown sugar ice cream

autumn, desserts, sweet, vegetarian, winterFieldandForest8 Comments

This recipe is for my momma, who loves a good Tin Roof sundae! It was (and probably still is) her dessert of choice at one of the restaurants she and my dad would (and probably still do) frequent for celebratory purposes. I think it was the first restaurant I visited as a child where I noticed things like the white tablecloths and starched napkins and fancy silverware, and ate things like fried mushrooms and chicken cooked three-ways and salads with drizzles of truffle oil.

In all honesty, I probably ate only one of the three-ways in which the chicken was cooked and hid the salad leaves in the folds of my napkin. I was not an adventurous lady when I was ten years old.

But I ate a lot of fried mushrooms and Tin Roof sundaes because both items were, according to my mom, non-negotiable facets of dinners at this particular restaurant (and what ten-year-old doesn't love ice cream and things that are fried?). If I remember correctly, the chef once came out to our table during our dinner and brought my mom the recipe for the fried mushrooms because SHE LOVED THEM SO MUCH. She and my dad have since made them at home to many rounds of applause from those lucky enough to be in the mushroom-eating vicinity. But, as she never did get their recipe for the sundae, this recipe approximates that particular dessert quite well, if not better (because brown sugar ice cream!!).

If you are familiar with the basic elements of a Tin Roof Sundae (which specifically involve peanuts), you are probably thinking, "What the heck are those almonds doing there?" They are there because my mom loves the chocolate/almond combo, but you can put peanuts on your sundae, yes you can! You can do whatever you want!

That being said, you absolutely MUST put hot fudge in the bottom of the glass before you put in the ice cream. This is both an insurance policy against anyone sharing your sundae who might decide to take more than their fair share of fudge off of the top, and also a reward for eating a ton of ice cream! Nothing says "Hey, we made it!" like a glass-bottom full of hot fudge.

And the fudge on the saucer? Yeah, I really don't know why it is there, but I like it when ice cream parlors put a giant puddle of sauce underneath my ice cream glass, so why not do it at home? If you're going to have a sundae, have a freaking SUNDAE.

Brown Sugar Ice Cream (makes 1 quart)
Adapted from Prune, by Gabrielle Hamilton

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, OR 1 tablespoon good-quality vanilla extract

Beat yolks with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment OR by hand with a whisk until light in color, ribbony, and doubled in volume.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, milk, cream, and vanilla bean or extract, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.

With the mixer on (or while whisking continually), slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream to temper the eggs.

Pour the egg-yolk milk mixture (henceforth known as custard) back into the pot and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber or wooden spatula to prevent scorching/curdling (don't use a whisk). Bring to 180˚F, or cook until the custard coats the spatula. (I usually test my custard with a wooden spoon by coating the back and dragging my finger through the custard. If it leaves a clean-ish stripe of spoon that doesn't get quickly filled in by the custard, it is done.)

Remove from heat and strain into a bowl or container with a lid. Let cool, or speed the process by placing the bowl/container into an ice bath and mixing the custard to bring its temperature down. Cover, and place in the refrigerator to thoroughly chill (at least 2 hours, or overnight). Spin in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from Bi-Rite Creamery
A few quick notes: using a dark cocoa gives hot fudge sauce its signature color! While Dutch-processed works well for this purpose, the flavor will be richer and more chocolatey with a naturally dark (less-processed) cocoa. I know how we all feel about sifting, but do sift the cocoa powder, or you'll get little nuggets of unsweetened chalkiness in your hot fudge sauce. The corn syrup business is there because it is an invert-sugar (meaning not crystallized), which helps give the sauce a glossy appearance and smooth, fudgey texture.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (such as Valrhona) or Dutch-processed cocoa powder, measured, then sifted
1/4 cup corn syrup, glucose, or tapioca syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 60% cacao), finely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium non-reactive saucepan, stir together the cream, sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, cooking just until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in both chocolates and the vanilla until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is completely smooth. Use a spatula to smooth any lumps by pressing and smearing them against the bottom of the pan.

Serve immediately, or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. Rewarm over low heat on the stove, or in the microwave at half-power for 30 seconds to 1 minute (it only takes a few seconds for the sauce to boil when on high power).

Salt and Sugar Almonds

1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds, and toss to coat with the butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the almonds begin to color and turn golden brown (and smell reeeeeaaally good). You may remove the almonds from the heat at this point, or cook them for a few more minutes if you prefer a deeper color and nuttier flavor.

Transfer the almonds to a bowl or plate and let cool for a few minutes (this keeps the warm butter from melting the salt and sugar, since I like the look of sugar granules on the nuts). Sprinkle the almonds with the salt and sugar and toss to evenly coat. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons - 1/4 cup powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you'd like your whipped cream)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

Whisk together the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Using a balloon whisk (or the attachment of your mixer), beat the cream at least until soft peaks form, and up until firm peaks form (depending on how stiff you like your whipped cream on your sundae). Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, rewhipping if necessary.

To assemble your sundaes:

Step 1: Chill your sundae glasses, warm your hot fudge sauce, and assemble your loved ones/friends/deserving acquaintances!

Step 2: Place a good dollop of hot fudge sauce in the bottom of each sundae glass, and top with a couple of generous scoops of ice cream. Drizzle more hot fudge over the ice cream, making sure to get some in the nooks and crannies between the ice cream scoops. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a generous sprinkle of almonds. Place on plates coated with even more fudge sauce and almonds. Enjoy every moment of your amazing sundae!

Step 3 (optional): Nap.

kale and brussels sprout salad with chickpeas, almonds, and pecorino

autumn, salads, vegetarian, winterFieldandForest2 Comments

If you are what you eat, then I am currently cookies. Every holiday season, I go on a bit of a bender as I try to get my fill of chocolate dreidels and pepperkaker, and this winter was no exception. And while I enjoyed every crumb to the fullest, I am, shall we say, not feeling super-duper amazing as a result. Maybe you are in that boat, or an adjacent one. Perhaps you are currently cake, or pie, or candy. Or perhaps you are smoothies, in which case, maybe you should stop reading this and go get a cookie?

As my New Year's present to you, I give you the dish that I turn to when my body feels meh and I need a pick-me-up. Every time I eat it, I think "This is exactly what I want to be eating right now." No joke. I have even had this for breakfast with eggs and toast. In fact, I would recommend that you try that exact breakfast sometime! I have a hunch that it will make you feel awesome for the rest of the day.

Sidenote: The above photos are of me doing one of my favorite things in the world, which is simultaneous reading cookbooks/writing/eating. Richard just looked at the second picture and said, "I wonder if anyone will comment on how weirdly you hold a pen." I guess we'll find out, won't we?

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Chickpeas, Almonds, and Pecorino
adapted from Epicurious; serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as a side salad

2-3 small garlic cloves, minced or finely grated with a rasp (microplane)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon (preferably Meyer) juice
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
generous pinch (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (I prefer my dressing on the brighter side, so I usually use 2 tablespoons)
1 bunch lacinato (dino) kale, washed, stems removed, and thinly sliced
1/2 pound brussels sprouts, cleaned of outer leaves and tough bottoms, and thinly shaved or sliced
2 cups cooked chickpeas (approximately 1 can) OR 1 1/2 cups cooked French or Beluga lentils
1/4 cup sliced almonds, fried in a little olive oil until golden brown and sprinkled with a pinch of kosher salt
scant (or, if you're me, generous) 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or other sharp, aged cheese

In the bowl in which you plan to serve the salad, combine the minced or grated garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and salt.  Whisk briefly, and let sit for 5 minutes to mellow the garlic and let the salt dissolve.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously. Continue to whisk after the oil is added until the dressing thickens. Set aside.

Add the kale and brussels sprouts to the bowl, and toss to evenly coat with the dressing. Using your hands, give the leaves a few brief squeezes, like you're massaging the shoulders of someone you like.  You'll notice the leaves soften slightly; this is a good thing!

Add the chickpeas or lentils and almonds, and toss to combine.  Add the pecorino, and toss to evenly coat the salad with the cheese.  While this is best served immediately, it keeps extremely well; pack leftovers (if any) in an airtight container and eat for lunch the following day.

raw choco-muesli with blueberries and ginger

autumn, breakfast, snacks, spring, summer, vegetarian, winterFieldandForestComment

I studied abroad in Germany during the summer between my junior and senior years in college. While I did eat a lot of traditional German foods (and drink a lot of traditional German beverages), my diet mainly consisted of gelato (which was 1 euro a scoop and came in flavors like "French!" and "Smurf!") and muesli, which was served each morning in the Alban Stolz Haus where I was staying.  The morning muesli rotated each day, varying the nuts, seeds, and fruit mixed in with oats, but my FAVORITE muesli by far was what was known as choco-muesli. Yes, this is muesli with chocolate, and yes, it is as amazing as it sounds.

Choco-muesli is usually oats, a nut (the one served at ASH had almonds), and maybe one or two other rolled grains, plus tiny little squares of "light" or dark chocolate (or sometimes you could even get boooooooth, so delicioussssss).  And the chocolate was GOOD.  I know this because I kept a box in my room for mornings when I slept through breakfast and, on a particular night when I went out for some traditional German beverages, came home and ate all of the little squares of chocolate out of the muesli in the box. It was overwhelmingly enjoyable at the time, and also very disappointing the next morning when I woke up to realize that a) the traditional German beverages had caused me to sleep through breakfast, and b) I had eaten all of the chocolate out of my emergency muesli.

I packed two boxes of choco-muesli in my suitcase for my return trip, ended up eating half of one on the plane, and finished the other box-and-a-half within a week of arriving back home. It is rare that I find choco-muesli ready-made in the States (though I certainly stock up when I do), so I've been making my own version with raw cacao nibs and other goodies.  While it lacks the novelty of tiny, perfect chocolate squares and the sense of youthful gluttony that comes with eating candy for breakfast, I daresay I like this as much (if not better) than the original.

Raw Choco-Muesli with Ginger and Blueberries
makes 6-7 cups

2-3 cups rolled oats (depending on your preferred oat-to-nut ratio; you can always start with 2 cups and add more later!)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
1 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl, and store in a lidded jar or airtight container.  Properly stored, the muesli will keep for up to 1 month.

Traditional Preparation (for one serving) - soak 1/2 cup muesli in liquid (milk, yogurt, quark, coconut milk, plant milk, juice, or water) in the fridge overnight.  Top with fresh fruit before serving.

Short-On-Time Preparation (for one serving) - soak 1/2 cup muesli in liquid for a minimum of 5 minutes (I usually start my muesli soaking right after I wake up, and it's ready in the time it takes me to wash my face and get dressed).