comfort food

Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal (for a crowd or the freezer)

While the frozen oatmeal squares may not be the prettiest picture, it says nothing about their taste. Baked oatmeal is easy to prep ahead and it tastes amazing too! This warm winter breakfast is perfect to serve to a crowd or slice and save for easy breakfasts throughout the week. You can store it in the fridge or freezer and microwave when you're ready. I like to top mine with greek yogurt or a peanut butter drizzle. 

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups soy milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg (or flax or chia egg*)
2 medium sized apples, any kind, chopped (leave the skin on for added fiber)
1/2 cup of cranberries (I used fresh, but frozen or dried will work too)
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, other other spices to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2. Lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish or line with parchment paper.
3. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
4. Spread the mixture in the baking dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Top with yogurt, a drizzle of peanut butter, or berries to serve. Enjoy!



*To make a flax or chia egg, combine:
1 Tbsp ground flax meal OR 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water
allow to sit for about 3 minutes, it will become thick and gooey like an egg white and has the same binding properties


Curry Stuffed Acorn Squash

acorn squash edit.jpg

Montana is having a hard time deciding exactly what season it is right now. We're getting 30 degree snow days and sunshine and 70 in the same week! However, the leaves are changing and I still do love this time of year. I love the cooler temps and warmer flavors that come with (a typical) fall, curry being one of them (but mostly cinnamon!!).

I prepped this meal the other night to have for lunch over the next few days. It was so DELISH on this cold, rainy day I thought I'd share! If you want to serve this as a dinner it would serve 2 (because I included just one squash). It was just me eating this and I still have extra curry mixture after eating both squash halves, so tomorrow I'll add it to either a bed of fresh or steamed greens or maybe a slice of toast.

Squash is the perfect boat for all the other food groups in your meal. Most people tend to plan meals around meat or a protein, but I like to plan mine around a vegetable if I can.

Full disclosure, I'm not a trained, professional chef or even a talented recipe developer. I try to keep it simple and tend to just wing-it in the kitchen. For the most part things turn out pretty good (I think). That being said, please see the notes in the directions below for very special instructions. Enjoy!

1 acorn squash
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup green/brown lentils
1/4 cup brown rice (or a quicker cooking grain)
1 medium sized carrot, sliced
3 small-medium tomatoes, 1 diced, 2 slightly blended (*see note; you could also use 1 - 28oz can of crushed tomatoes)
1 15oz can coconut milk (I used lite)
~1 tsp ground ginger
~1 Tbsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice your acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast at 350 for about 30 minutes or until you can easily poke it with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, heat a dash of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and heat until fragrant.
3. Add the ginger and curry.
          *Note: These measurements are total approximations, I just dumped some of each in, so you may need to adjust for taste, but you can't go wrong with either
4. Add coconut milk and canned tomatoes.
          *I used fresh tomatoes, but I blended 2 of them in my Vitamix to make it a little saucier/thicker
5. Add lentils and brown rice.
          *Brown rice takes FOREVER to cook. If you're feeling impatient I would recommend any quicker cooker grain (I have the patience of a saint ;) so brown rice for me!)
6.  Crank the heat and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken and the lentils and rice to cook.
7. When the rice and lentils are cooked through and the sauce is thickened, it's ready! Scoop the mixture into your 2 squash halves. Season with salt and pepper and serve!