Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal ( Overnight Oats)

Monday, April 29, 2013

I learned about the no cook refrigerator oatmeal from a  fellow blogger Daria at http://dariasdelishdish.com . The original recipes are from the Yummy Life at http://theyummylife.com/Refrigerator_Oatmeal .

These are so good, filling and low in calories that I have had one of the varieties for breakfast almost every day since I have discovered them. These are completely portable, nutritious and keep me full till lunchtime (rare). They are even a hit with my kids (SCORE!)  Anyway, for a full post with all the info, check out the original link. I will tell you about my tweaks and what I did/did not like as far as the flavors. And of course, there are some I am yet to try.

Essentially, what this is an overnight porridge or a muesli or yogurt oats or summer oatmeal. Whatever you call it, you will be glad you tried it. It’s cute to store/serve transport these in a mason jar but really any container, preferably glass will do.

If you are interested in 8 oz mason jars, you can purchase them through Amazon here. They are also available at Walmart, Target and others but if you are a lazy online shopper like me, check out below.
Ball 8-Ounce Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12

There are many flavors of these and so for full info, you can have a look on the original link but so far these are the ones that I tried:

Raspberry Vanilla—very tasty

Strawberry Raspberry Vanilla—very tasty (not in original link though but it’s great)

Mango Almond—very tasty

Blueberry Maple—very tasty

Cherry Chocolate—tasty but I found this one slightly more labor intensive

I tried these and did not like them so not blogging about them, feel free to look at original link as mentioned above.
Banana Peanut Butter—ok but not as good as the others

Pineapple Coconut—I used fresh pineapple and it turned bitter so I did not like it.

For ANY of these flavors, you will need the below:

1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds (any brand is fine)
¼ Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (NOT instant, quick or steel cut)
I have been using Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oats with good success
¼ Cup Greek Yogurt (I have tried it with Fage Total and Chiobani, both fine)
1/3 Cup Milk (I have tried 1% milk, Almond Milk, Coconut Almond Milk, all work well)

I will list the ingredients for the above flavors separately.

Also, note that though Monica from The Yummy Life says that you can premake these and store for up to THREE days in the fridge, this has not worked for me as I did not like the texture after the 2nd day.

So what I have been doing is pre-measuring the dry ingredients for as many jars as I have (oats and chia seed) and adding the wet ingredients the night before for the next day. That’s my preference.

Let me know what you think and what flavors you have tried!

Raspberry Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
¼ Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Greek Yogurt
1/3 Cup Milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Raspberry Preserves/Jam/Spread (I have been using Sarabeth’s)
¼ to 1/3 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries cut in half.

In a 1 cup jar, combine oats, chia seeds, yogurt, milk, vanilla and raspberry jam. Stir well or close jar and shake to mix. Stir in raspberries. Close jar and store in fridge overnight. Eat the next morning. You can also top with slivered almonds or mix in shredded coconut.

Strawberry Raspberry Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
¼ Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Greek Yogurt
1/3 Cup Milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Raspberry Preserves/Jam/Spread (I have been using Sarabeth’s)
If you have strawberry preserves, go ahead and use those.
¼ to 1/3 cup of fresh strawberries cut into small pieces

In a 1 cup jar, combine oats, chia seeds, yogurt, milk, vanilla and raspberry jam. Stir well or close jar and shake to mix. Stir in strawberries . Close jar and store in fridge overnight. Eat the next morning. You can also top with almonds or mix in shredded coconut.

Mango Almond
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
¼ Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Greek Yogurt
1/3 Cup Milk
¼ teaspoon almond extract, vanilla extract also worked for me
½ teaspoon honey (or another sweetener)
¼ cup diced mango (I used frozen from Dole brand) and it was delicious

In a 1 cup jar, combine oats, chia seeds, yogurt, milk, almond extract and honey. Stir well or close jar and shake to mix. Stir in mango. Close jar and store in fridge overnight. Eat the next morning. You mix in shredded coconut which I tried and liked.

Blueberry Maple
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
¼ Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Greek Yogurt
1/3 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
¼ cup blueberries

In a 1 cup jar , combine oats, chia seeds, yogurt, milk, almond extract and honey. Stir well or close jar and shake to mix. Stir in blueberries. Close jar and store in fridge overnight. Eat the next morning. Also tasty topped with slivered almonds.

Cherry Chocolate
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
¼ Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Greek Yogurt
1/3 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely chopped dark chocolate
¼ cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries

In a 1 cup jar , combine oats, chia seeds, yogurt, milk, honey and vanilla. Stir well or close jar and shake to mix. Stir in cherries and chocolate. Close jar and store in fridge overnight. Eat the next morning.

As you can see in the first picture, I topped these with some slivered almonds. Totally optional.

For my other healthy breakfast recipes, check out Chia Breakfast Pudding .

Cauliflower Soup with Seared Scallops

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cauliflower Soup with Seared Scallops and Lemon Oil Garnished with Chives
Made this soup this week as part of another cooking challenge. A challenge makes my competitive nature come out.  Also, my husband normally does not like cauliflower but we had this type of soup when we went out to dinner once and he loved it. Seriously? But not my roasted cauliflower that I make all the time? 

So I decided one of these days, I will try it at home. In comes the cooking challenge, ingredient "cauliflower". And what do you know, it was a big hit!

I adapted this recipe from http://pennyluxe.com/2011/01/14/cauliflower-soup-with-seared-scallops-lemon-oil/ as well as well as http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cauliflower-Soup-with-Seared-Scallops-Lemon-Oil-and-American-Caviar-236185. Made a few modification here and there. Tried to use as little cream as possible, lower fat milk. But when push comes to shove, this is not the healthiest of soups. Oh well!

While the lemon oil is a nice touch, it's totally optional.


2-3 scallops per serving (I used for 9 for 3 servings)
7 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 leek (white part only chopped)
2 shallots or one onion chopped
1 large head of cauliflower
2 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
1/4 cup cream 
1 lemon (if making lemon oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives or microgreens for garnish (optional)

Cut cauliflower into pieces about 1 inch big. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, leeks and garlic. Cook on a low flame for about 7 minutes till soft.  Add cauliflower, stock and milk. Reserve cream for later. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook mostly covered till cauliflower is soft, about 15-20 minutes.

Puree soup till smooth using emersion blender. Once smooth, add cream and cook a few more minutes till hot. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

If you are making lemon oil, wash a lemon and using a veggie peeler, remove rind. Reserve lemon itself for another use, you dont need it for the soup.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil till hot, add lemon and simmer until brown. Remove peel and disgard. Reserve oil.

Wash and pat dry scallop. Make sure they are nice and dry or you won't get a good sear on them. Season w salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil until hot. Add scallops and allow to sear unit side is brown for about 1-2 minutes, depending on the size of your scallops. Do not move around or disturb. Flip over and repeat.

Laddle soup into shallow bowls. Place scallops in the center. Top with greens if using. If using oil, drizzle around the scallops.

Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Ramps and Roasted Butternut Squash

This was such a lovely and easy weeknight dinner. Ramps are only available for a short period of time so it’s always a treat to snatch them up.
I think you can probably achieve similar results with regular leeks but it’s obviously better with ramps.

Whole Wheat Pappardelle (if you can find whole wheat, feel free to substitute)
1 bunch ramps—leaves and bulbs washed and separated.
4 cloves of garlic sliced thin
½ of organic low sodium chicken broth
Shaved aged parmesan
4 cups of butternut squash
Oil (I used grape)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven proof dish in the oven at highest possible temperature. I recently learned that this achieves best roasting results and have been doing this ever since. It works. My highest temperature is 450.
Cube butternut squash and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once oven is preheated together with your tray, reduce temperature to 425. Roast for about 30-40 minutes tossing occasionally.

Wash and dry your ramps. Separate leaves from bulbs. Roughly chop the leaves and set aside. Slice the bulbs across, you will cook them before the leaves.

Heat oil in a skillet, add garlic. Cook till starts to get golden, add bulbs and a splash of broth. Cook about 8 minutes, mixing frequently. Add leaves and another splash of broth. Cook till leaves start to shrink and broth is absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While all is happening with the ramps, boil salted water and cook pappardelle per package direction. Drain, reserve some of the water.
Add pasta and the water to your skillet, cook for about a minute or two till hot.

Serve topper with shaved parmesan. I use a veggie peeler to slice mine into very thin strips.


Skirt Steak with Roasted Potatoes and Sautéed String Beans

I won't lie, this one is a collaboration with hubby as he is the steak master. Roasted potatoes and string beans are by yours truly.

Skirt steak (about 4 ounces per person)

For Steak Marinade:
2 tbsp of soy sauce (we use low sodium)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp brown sugar
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine above ingredients in a bowl, mix well. Wash and dry steak. Marinade for a few hours, or even better, overnight. Sometimes, we even marinade it for 2 nights, this results in amazing steak.

Spray a broiler pan with cooking spray. Broil on high but FAR from flame 4 minutes per side. More up closer to flame and broil another 1-2 minutes per side, depending on thickness of steak and how you like your steak. This cooking time results in medium/medium well steak depending on steak thickness. You can play with the time depending on your preference.

Last night, we had this steak with a side of roasted red potatoes and string beans. I often serve this over salad as well. In fact, will be making a kale salad with skirt steak over it tonight as I have some leftover steak and a bunch of kale.

Roasted Potatoes

4-6 red potatoes unpeeled but washed and blemishes removed cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tablespoons of oil (I used black truffle oil as I had it on hand but any oil will do)
Salt to taste

Preheat oven with baking dish in it on highest possible temperature. Mine is 450. Once preheated, reduce temperature to 425. Carefull add your potatoes. Roast about ½ hour turning occassionally.

String Beans
1/2 pound of string beans or french beans
1 tbsp oil (I use grape)
Salt/ pepper to taste

Wash and spin dry string beans, remove tails on both sides.
Preheat oil for about 2 minutes. When nice and hot, add your string beans. Cook about 15 minutes total, flipping over occasionally. We like them w a bit seared. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you are interested in the salad over steak, I have a variation of that here


Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts with Organic Bacon

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

3 cups brussel sprouts cut in half, outer leaves removed
1.5 tablespoons of grape oil
1.5 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2-3 pieces of bacon (I used Applegate Organic)

Preheat oven with empty oven proof dish in it at highest possible temperature. I used my Breville Smart Convection Oven which I am completely obsessed with. In case you are interested, this is what it looks like.

It's highest temperature is 450.  If not, obviously a regular oven totally fine.

In the meantime, in a large bowl, toss brussel sprouts w oil.

Once oven preheated, carefully remove dish, add your brussels. Reduce temperature to 425. Roast about 1/2 hour. I usually remove some smaller ones earlier so they don't burn.

Cook bacon till crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cut into small buts, set aside.

Once brussels are well roasted, toss with balsamic (if you removed any brussels, add them back). Roast another 2 minutes. Add bacon.

Serve and enjoy.

Roasted Peach Salad with Burrata, Freekeh and Red Onions

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It was one of those workweek nights were I realized that I forgot to defrost anything for dinner. Since I try to avoid take out during the week, I needed something I could make that was meatless.

Though it's not officially spring yet, a big salad fit the bill nicely and I was able to pick up what's needed on my way home and had other things already in my fridge.

You can really wing it with this kind of salad but what I had and used were the following:

1 head red leave lettuce
1/4 medium red onion sliced thin
1 cut cherry tomatoes
1 ball of burrata (you can substitute fresh mozzarella or goat cheese here)
1 cut of freekeh (grain similar to wheatberries or ferro so any of these would work here)
3 peaches
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 pieces of organic bacon cooked till crisp and cut up into bits which I mixed with freekeh

For dressing:
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Wisk all of these together. If the honey does not dissolve, nuke for about 10 seconds.

Preheat oven to 400. Wash and dry peaches. Cut in half, remove pit. Roast about 1/2 hour, add brown sugar and roast another 5 minutes.

Wash and spin dry lettuce. Add tomatoes and onions. Dress. Plate. Top with peaches, freekeh/bacon mixture and burrata.

I already had cooked freekeh but if you are making from scratch, you need 1 cup uncooked freekeh to 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bring to boil and simmer covered till water absorbed, about 20 minutes.

This served 2. It was filling and we avoided take out, yeay!

Challah French Toast with Fresh Berry Sauce

Love love French toast and yet I never make it. Not sure why. Until now that is. It was a big big hit even with my picky younger daughter. 

Recipe adapted from Gourmet 2001 and Epicurious.


1 load of challah bread sliced into 1/2 inch slices, ends disguarded 
3 large eggs
1 cup of milk ( I used 1 %)
1 tablespoon brown sugar or 1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
about a half a stick of butter
Garnish: confection sugar for dusting --I did not have so I omitted it.

For Berry Sauce:
2-3 cups of berries fresh or frozen
Sugar to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whist together eggs, milk, sugar and salt.  Pour into a large baking pan. Soak for 4 minutes, flip over and soak for another 4 minutes.

In the meantime, wash berries, and them to a pan and simmer. You want the berries to be soft and dissolve into a thick sauce. Add sugar to taste. I mashed a bit with a potato masher as well. If you want your sauce smooth, you can puree it but I did not bother.

Once your challah is soaked, you are ready to cook it. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter into a heavy skillet over high heat until foam subsides. Cook 4 soaked slices at a time till golden brown, about a minute per side, might be a bit longer for the first batch and shorted for next batches. Add more butter as needed for each batch. Transfer to a clean shallow baking pan with a clean spatula. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes till center cooked through.

Serve with berry sauce. I also added fresh berries. If you have confection sugar, dust all over. I did not have it so I omitted that. 

Stuffed Zucchini/ Zucchini Boats

Monday, April 15, 2013

A few months ago, I made a delicious zucchini lasagna, this has a similar taste but a bit lighter. The original recipe is from www.skinnytaste.com which I modified slightly.


1 1/4 cups quick marinara sauce
I used Barilla Marinara Sauce
4 medium zucchini
1 tsp canola oil
1 shallot finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 diced red bell pepper
Approximately 2/3 pounds sweet sausage casting removed
My links were small, I used 4 of them
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella (Polly-O)
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of water to boil. A wide pot worked well for this.

Wash and pat dry your zucchinis. Cut them in half lengthwise and school out the flesh, I used a teaspoon for this and it worked perfectly. Leave about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the flesh into small pieces and set aside.

Once your water boils, add your zucchini halves and cook for about a minute. Remove from water.

To a 9x12 baking dish, add about 1/2 cup of marinara. Place zucchinis half side up.

Preheat your oven to 400°.

In the meantime, in a large pan, brown your sausage, crumbling into small pieces. Cook till brown. Set aside.

If the pan is dry, add a bit of oil. Add and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.

Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of parmesan cheese. I personally had some of the mixture left, maybe my zucchinis were too small. I reserved the mixture and ate it over quinoa for lunch the next day.

Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.

Remove the foil and bake another 5-7 minutes to brown the cheese a bit.

Soy Balsamic Roasted Chicken Drumsticks w Rosemary

Monday, April 8, 2013

Saw this recipe in Real Simple Magazine
April 2013 edition. think it called for cut up while chicken but I used drumsticks only.

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
Shallots peeled
10 or so chicken drumsticks

Heat oven to 425.

In a baking dish, combine balsamic, soy sauce, honey, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Add chicken, turn to coat in mixture.
Place into dish. Toss shallots w olive oil and place on top of chicken.

Roast for 30 minutes. Turn over and roast another 15 minutes or so. Baste occasionally.

Note this makes lots of sauce. If you wish, use a bit less of each liquid but keep proportions the same.

Pork Chops with Fried Sage and Garlic

Friday, April 5, 2013

This recipe was adapted from http://www.thefoodsection.com/foodsection/2004/10/pan_roasted_pro.html

3 pork bone in pork chops, about ½ inch thick
20 sage leaves washed and dry
Juice of 1 lemon (I used Meyer)
5 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons of oil, I used grape

Heat oil in skillet till hot. Drop in sage leaves and let sizzle till crisp, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from oil. Divide into 2 piles—bigger and smaller.

To the same skillet, add garlic. Cook till golden, about 2 minutes. Remove to another place.

To the sage and garlic infused oil, add your chops. If there is not enough oil, add another splash and heat for a minute.
Add you chops. Cook 3-5 minutes per side till brownish and caramelized looking, depending on how thick your pork is and how well you like it done.

Once you determine pork is done, add lemon juice, garlic and larger pile of sage back to pan. Swirl together. Serve immediately topping with remaining fried sage leaves.

I served with roasted brussel sprouts though some roasted potatoes would have been nice as well.