1.12.2018

Cherry Coconut Oatmeal

Apparently, I'm in recipe mode lately. I don't know why. Blame the new year, maybe? But I was wanting a new oatmeal recipe for healthy weekday breakfasts a few weeks ago, and received some inspiration from a can of light coconut milk in my pantry. Before I knew it, cherry coconut oatmeal was born.



No big story, here, but I do use a few specialty ingredients. You should really look into getting yourself this stoneground oatmeal from Zingermans. I've seen steel cut oatmeal in grocery stores, but this is an entirely different animal. I know it's expensive, but this is one of those items that's totally worth it, and I go through only about two bags a year. It's less chewy than steel cut oats, but more nutritious than regular old fashioned rolled oats, because more of the whole grain is left in tact in the stone grinding process. It's homey and thick, utterly delightful. BUT, if you want to use your favorite oatmeal for this recipe, please do. Just change up the cooking method accordingly.


Second item: agave syrup. Have you used this? It has significantly fewer calories than sugar, and the nature of the sweetness it adds to dishes is a little less cloying, to me. If you don't have a bottle, use honey or sugar, but again, you'll need to adjust with more of those items - agave syrup is typically used in teaspoon measurements rather than tablespoon.



BHS Cherry Coconut Oatmeal


  • 1 Cup Stone Ground Oatmeal
  • 1 Can Lite Coconut Milk
  • 3 C Water
  • 1/2 C Frozen Whole Cherries
  • 1/4 C Dried Cherries
  • 4-5 tsp. Agave Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • A pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 C Dried Coconut Flakes (I use Bob's Red Mill, which are unsweetened)
  • 1/4 C Sliced Almonds


Put your coconut milk and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, then whisk in the salt and oatmeal. Drop the heat down to low and put a lid on it. The stone ground oats need to cook for 20 minutes, so set your timer for that.




Halfway through the cooking time, add your cherries, both frozen and dried. Give it a stir and replace the lid.


In a small, dry skillet, toast your coconut flakes and almonds. Keep a close eye on these to make sure they don't burn. If you like, add a sprinkle of salt and cinnamon to these, as well. Toast them for maybe 10 minutes, then remove to a plate to cool.






When the oatmeal is done cooking, add in your agave syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. I stir these in, then replace the lid and let the oatmeal rest off the heat for another 10 minutes, for the flavors to come together.


Portion the oatmeal into single-serve re-heatable containers for each day of the week. I get four days of breakfasts from this recipe. I also portion the coconut/almond mixture into little baggies, and add this as a topping after I reheat the oatmeal, for a crunchy element. Each portion should be around 1/3 C.




It's so yummy! The agave syrup won't make it super sweet, so add some brown sugar or muscovado sugar, if you like, or thin out with more water or milk if you like a loosen consistency. This is more of a method than a strict recipe, but the combination is utterly wonderful, and the cherries give you a great vitamin boost to your morning. Enjoy!



1.05.2018

Little Black Beans


Did you know I make the best black beans in the world? OK, OK, I don’t actually cook them from scratch, so I suppose there are loads of people in Central and South America, or the Carribean of wherever who cook dried beans with lots of aromatics and make them insanely deliciously. But I would argue that I have figured out the perfect way to make them on a weeknight, and cram them full of flavor. 


Shawn, who is rarely superfluous about such things, even has commented, of his own volition, about how good they are. So if you’d like to add these little protein bombs to your weekly in-house taco or burrito bowl night, check out my recipe.


Big Hungry Black Beans

  • 1 Can Goya Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ Packet Goya Sazon
  • 1 T Bacon Fat
  • 2 T Wegmans Roasted Tomato Salsa
  • ¼ C Water


Add all ingredients to a small saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Don’t be coy and try to sub in olive oil for the bacon grease. Just save your fat this weekend when you make bacon in a small container in the fridge, and then use it for the beans. I promise, it’s worth it


If you cook the beans for longer and they soak up the water, just add more. It’s pretty forgiving in that way. Oh, and don’t skimp on the Sazon, either. That stuff is key.