Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cookbook Project : Book #2 - Everyday Vegetarian

This is a recent edition to my cookbook collection. I came across it after reading an article about this blog Green Kitchen Stories ( While the blog is all about vegetarian fare, it really is a food porn site. Oh. My. God. The pictures in this blog pop out and make you want to recreate them even if you’re in the mood to sink your teeth into a juicy rib eye steak.

I figured if I was going to ask my husband to take the plunge and eat a vegetarian dish, he should like what he’s eating. As I thumbed through the book, I was excited with the unique recipes I’d never find in an American cookbook. The authors live in Sweden and I find European cookbooks may use spices/herbs I wouldn’t see in an American cookbook – and they also combine ingredients I never thought I would.

I selected 5 recipes and my husband picked a breakfast recipe. I thought I’d make this the morning after cleaning up a very messy kitchen from the dinner party we had the night before. I made the right choice. This recipe required very little ingredients and hardly any dishes, so I knew I wouldn’t have another messy kitchen to clean up.

Opinion: I have to admit, I’m not an oatmeal fan, but the combination of the berries and seeds with maple syrup made the dish more like a muffin than oatmeal. The oatmeal absorbed all the berry juice as it was cooking and somehow took on more a cake texture. While I used the blackberries and pumpkins as called for in the recipe, I think I’d like to try blueberries and walnuts next time.

We both liked the dish and so did the electrician who was working on our house (he even asked for the recipe) so I’d make again. This would also make a great breakfast if you have house guests staying with you – fancy, yet casual dish.

The dish looked like this:

Baked Crunchy Blackberry Oatmeal

- 14 oz/ 3 ¼ c fresh blackberries (thawed if using frozen)
- 2 c rolled oats
- 1 t baking powder
- ½ t ground ginger or 1 t grated fresh ginger
- A pinch of sea salt (I’ve read a ‘pinch’ is 1/8 t)
- 2 lg eggs
- 2 ¼ c almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- ¼ c pure unsweetened apple syrup or honey, maple syrup or agave syrup (note: there is a recipe for apple syrup in this cookbook, but I used maple syrup)
- 1 T coconut oil (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing the pan
- ¾ c pumpkin seeds (pepitas) generous ½ c hazelnuts toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease the bottom of an 8x10 in baking dish with coconut oil and spread the berries in an even layer in the dish, then set aside.
2. Combine the rolled oats, baking powder, ginger and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and vanilla and whisk well to combine.
3. To create the crunchy top layer, put the apple syrup, 1 T coconut oil, pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts in a small bowl and mix with your fingers to make sure everything is well coated.
4. Spoon the oat mixture into the baking dish to cover the blackberries, and then pour the egg mixture over the oats so everything is evenly soaked. Sprinkle the seed and nut mixture on top and bake for 35-40 minutes. When it’s done, the oatmeal should be set and the nuts and seeds lightly browned and crunchy. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
Tip: For a vegan alternative: measure 2 T chia seeds into a small bowl and 1/3 c water. Stir with a spoon and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Use in place of the eggs.
Tip: For a gluten-free alternative, choose gluten-free oats.


Brian Miller said...

bet that made for some nice have me intrigued...might have to try and make this one...

year starting off ok for you?

Little Ms Blogger said...

@Brian - it really surprised me :-). Year is picking up. Finally getting over cold from New Year's Day and am taking a food writing class that I'm enjoying.