Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

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I am an oatmeal fanatic. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in fact have eaten for it all three meals (Not all in one day – I’m not that crazy… yet.) I like it hot, cold, simmered away on the stove, or made in the microwave ten minutes before I leave for work. With a million weird toppings or a pinch of salt and a splash of maple syrup, it is one of my favorite foods and my trusty standby. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, and no matter what’s in the fridge or the pantry, oatmeal is always there for me <3.

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Now I know not everyone is as gung-ho about oatmeal as I am. For example, one of my coworkers said “Ew” when I told her I had a recipe for baked oatmeal. BUT, let me tell you, if there’s a way to convert people to the O.G good-for-you grain, this Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal is it.

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Somewhere between a virtuous breakfast and a dessert, it’s creamy, nutty, and perfectly sweet, thanks to coconut milk and a healthy dose of maple syrup. The toasted coconut flakes and slivered almonds on top add a really nice crunch – a welcome addition to anyone who’s ever pushed oatmeal around in a bowl and declared it “mushy.” On a winter morning, there is no more comforting breakfast than a big cup of coffee and a heap of baked oatmeal, fresh from the oven and drizzled generously with maple syrup. And the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house is a total bonus.

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While I don’t usually cook with any particular dietary restrictions in mind, these days, it feels impossible to have a group of friends over without navigating a handful of allergies and personal preferences. This recipe is one of my go-tos when hosting brunch for a group, because it’s a hit with both the health nuts and the dough-nuts. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and can be nut free if you omit the almonds. And while food made for special diets can often end up feeling like a dreary alternative to the delicious food on the table, this oatmeal is anything but that.  I eat everything, and this is one of my favorite breakfasts EVER. Hope you love it, too.

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Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal


Ingredients

  • unsalted butter or coconut oil, for greasing the pan
  • ½ cup slivered, blanched almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut, such as Bob’s Red Mill
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup, divided
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cups rolled (“old-fashioned”) oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can light, unsweetened coconut milk, such as Native Forest
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8x8x2 inch square baking pan with butter or coconut oil.

In a medium (10-inch) sauté pan, toast the almonds and coconut over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the coconut begins to brown. Begin stirring almost constantly and continue to cook until the coconut is golden brown (about 10 minutes total.) Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and ¾ teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, egg, vanilla, water, and maple syrup. Whisk vigorously until thoroughly smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries, pour into the prepared pan, and top with the almond and coconut mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through. Let the oatmeal cool for 5 minutes, and serve in squares or scoops with additional maple syrup on the side.


Swiss Chard & Parmesan Frittata

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Full disclosure: this recipe began as a last-ditch attempt to use all the Swiss chard that arrived in my CSA box this year. I wasn’t sure how much I actually liked Swiss chard, but cooking it with eggs and cheese seemed like a pretty good way to start. Ta-da! It worked! Even aside from the eggs and cheese, I found that I loved the earthy, fresh flavor of the chard. The salty Parmesan (and a little bit of butter) gives the frittata a savory richness without overpowering the chard, and the chard stems slowly sautéed with a thinly sliced onion add a nice subtly sweet note. The result is a dish that tastes both comforting and virtuous – and is totally satisfying for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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This has quickly become a go-to weeknight dinner for me. As someone who has been known to eat scrambled eggs or a bowl of oatmeal for dinner left to her own devices, this is an easy way to elevate a lazy breakfast-for-dinner into something worth making for friends.

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Now, a frittata is not hard to make, but it can take a few tries to get it exactly right. I played around with lots of variations- different numbers of eggs, amounts of milk, cooking methods, etc. – to come up with a good, basic frittata recipe. And though you can definitely experiment with the vegetables and cheese you use, I want to share my three most important rules for making a frittata that comes out light, moist, and creamy every time.

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First, cook the Swiss chard (or any other vegetable you’re using) until it has released all of its water before adding the eggs, or you will end up with a very sad, watery frittata. Swiss chard, like spinach, will shrink an incredible amount as it cooks. This is a good thing! If it seems like there is a lot of Swiss chard in the pan,  you still have a ways to go before you’re ready to add the eggs.

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Second, whisk the eggs together very gently. We are going for a soft, creamy texture here. Beating the eggs with a whisk whips air into them, which might seem like it will make the frittata nice and airy. But beware- the eggs will puff up in the oven only to collapse into a dense brick. 😦

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Finally, and I can’t stress this enough – take the frittata out of the oven when it is just cooked. The center may be still be a little bit wet, but don’t worry, the frittata will keep cooking as it sits in the pan. I always check it right at 20 minutes, and only if the frittata feels very wet all the way through do I pop it back for a few more minutes. Just remember – if in doubt, take it out!

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Swiss Chard & Parmesan Frittata


Ingredients

1 small bunch Swiss chard (8 oz.)
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half through the stem and thinly sliced
8 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse the chard under cold running water, and separate the leaves from the center stems. Dice the stems into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside. Roughly chop the leaves and place them in a colander. (Do not pat them dry.)

In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or ovenproof saute pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, swirling the pan to coat the bottom and sides. Add the onions, diced chard stems and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tender. (If the onion begins browning, lower the heat.)  Add the leaves in two batches and cook for 8-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until wilted and tender.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, gently whisk together the eggs, milk, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper until just combined. Stir in the Parmesan. Pour the egg mixture into the sauté pan and stir to combine with the chard and onions.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the frittata is just set.  Place an oven mitt on the handle of the pan (it will be HOT!) and use a paring knife to loosen the edges of the frittata from the sides of the pan. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving, then gently slide a spatula underneath the the edges of the frittata to further separate it from the bottom and sides. Carefully slide the frittata onto a serving platter, or serve directly from the pan.