Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Power breakfast: TastyKate's Oatmeal

Have you noticed that single-serving commercial oatmeal is often excessively sweet and lacks the great texture of old-fashioned stovetop oats? This really frustrates me. Oatmeal should be nutritious and really satisfying (for more information on the health benefits of oatmeal you can look here). Determined to prepare my morning high-fiber, low-glycemic index breakfast led me to develop the following recipe that can be easily altered with your favorite fruits, nuts, and (non-)dairy preferences. Key ingredients that make this TastyKate's oatmeal are hearty rolled oats (the TJ's brand is much better than Quaker Oats in my opinion), cinnamon, and plain yogurt.

Note: I have prepared this in the microwave (2 minutes on high, stirring after about a minute and watching CAREFULLY), but it is better if you have time to do this on the stovetop.

TastyKate's Oatmeal


1/2 C Old-fashioned rolled oats (I used Trader Joe's Organic) **not steel-cut/Irish oats**
1 C + 2 Tbl Water
A few walnut pieces (almond, cashews or pecans are also good)
small handful of fresh berries
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
1 Tbl raw honey, to taste
1/4 C low or non-fat plain yogurt

Combine the oats and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the nuts and spices. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. If using fresh berries (raspberries shown in the picture above) add them after nearly all the water has been absorbed by the oats. Take off the heat and stir in honey. When the oatmeal has cooled a bit, stir in the yogurt.

Enjoy with a cup of organically grown tea or coffee!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fresh and Fast -- Fish

This is a fast and easy weekday meal to whip up when you want to feel like a cooking superstar with minimal effort. Fish can be very healthful and I try to eat a low-mercury content fish at least once a week. It is generally lean with a good balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. The nutritional benefits of fish vary by species and location of the catch. Generally speaking, wild caught fish is more healthy to eat than farmed. But there are enviromental and sustainablity issues surrounding some wild-caught species. For more details on fish that are healthful and environmentally friendly check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium website or go here

Using fresh greens from our local CSA Two Small Farms combine diced red peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Whisk together a quick vinegarette using some extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Trust me -- use a whisk!

Fish & Pesto:
I thawed two tilapia filets in the refrigerator all day and lightly coated them with eggs and a bit of seasoned (salt and pepper) flour. Then I heated a saute pan over medium heat with a little oil and pan sauteed the fish for about 3-4 minutes on either side until golden brown.

I topped the cooked with with arugula pesto, which was made in the food processor.

Pesto Ingredients:
1 1/2 C arugula (about a bunch)
1/2 C parmesan cheese
2 tsp crushed garlic (or 3-4 cloves fresh garlic)
Drizzle enough oil (I used grapeseed oil, EVOO would work well too) to meet your desired consistency.
Salt & pepper to taste

Once you have the dish assembled don't forget to squeeze lemon on top of it all! Bon appetit!