honey-thyme marinated sharp cheddar

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

On our early-morning flight home from DC last week, I was far too exhausted to read the book I planned on reading (I’m currently reading Steve Jobs), so I picked up the November issue of the Food Network Magazine. (Buying magazines at the airport is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine!)

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

And in between short sleeps on that cross-country flight, I paged through the magazine, ripping out the recipes I want to try. I love the variety that comes in a magazine like Food Network. I currently only subscribe to two food magazines: Bon Appétit, which is great for more modern, upscale recipes and I just re-subscribed to Rachael Ray Magazine, which is great for simpler, family-friendly meals. Often times, I like to merge the two styles into my own cooking style.

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Given that the Food Network is my favorite tv channel, I always enjoy the magazine from time to time. (Food Network side note: I really miss Rachael Ray’s cooking shows.)

But the cheese! This marinated cheese recipe in the magazine caught my eye, right away! I used to buy marinated feta ALL the time (it’s amazing on salads) and any recipe with cheese as the star…well, it’s bound to catch my eye.

In this recipe, sharp cheddar cheese is marinated with olive oil, honey, thyme, smashed garlic clove and red pepper flakes. It’s a bit sweet and a bit hot with a hint of garlic and so much better than sharp cheddar on it’s own. It’s perfect for snacking straight out of the bowl, or as an accompaniment to crackers, of course!

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Traditionally, cheese plates include a sweet and spicy component – here, it’s all combined! I have a feeling it will become your new favorite appetizer. Bring it to every party, serve it at every party. You can’t go wrong with this easy crowd-pleaser!

Serving suggestion: remove the garlic before serving so no one accidentally thinks its cheese…it happened.

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar
Author: Emily Dingmann (adapted from Food Network Magazine)
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4-6 sprigs of thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Cut up cheddar into little squares. (Small enough to eat in one bite!)
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl (red pepper flakes amount depends on how much heat you want!) and toss with cheese.
  3. Marinate at room temperature for at least a half hour, or make ahead and marinate overnight in the refrigerator if possible.
Notes
The flavors get more intense over time, so if it’s best to make a day or two in advance!

 

slow cooker brats with sauerkraut + potatoes

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

If Wisconsin had a slow cooker-themed meal, this would be it.

And it feels SO appropriate to share a slow cooker recipe with you today, because I finally felt a bit of fall!

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

We spent last weekend in DC and while our first day was sunny and warm, the rest of the time was cold and drizzly. We’ve been craving this type of weather and while I would have preferred to be snuggled up watching movies to “enjoy it,” walking around the national mall made it really sink in. Cold feet, damp clothes and a yearning for anything hot. Hot chocolate, soup or a hearty slow cooker meal. Without access to a slow cooker, I settled for a coffee one afternoon and the next, some hot tea and a bowl of crab soup. Even with the less-than-ideal weather, DC was amazing. We went to the Capitol, walked down the mall, visited the Newseum (LOVED!) and Arlington Cemetery and had some perfect meals: Founding Farmers, Hanks Oyster Bar, Eat the Rich and the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Los Angeles greeted us with warmth and sun upon our return, but that small dose of fall was so very appreciated.

So from oysters to brats…how do you all feel about brats? It’s pretty much part of the culture I grew up in. The local meat market in Baraboo, WI has no less than 22 varieties of brats. We take it very seriously and from the moment it’s warm enough to step outside to grill (and let’s be real – even when it’s not for some) the aroma of brats are essential to spring/summer/fall nights.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Typically, brats are a warm-weather meal, but this slow cooker version takes it into fall and winter. Brats, sauerkraut and potatoes are slowly simmered in a mustardy-beer sauce. And though the result may not be the prettiest food around, the warm, comforting meal more than makes up for it.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Not only does your home (or tiny one bedroom apartment, in our case) smell incredible, but it takes a mere 10 minutes of prep work and some time in the slow cooker. It’s easy. It’s super-satisfying. It’s divine.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes
Author: Emily Dingmann (adapted from Martha Stewart)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds of baby red potatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5-6 brats (I used a 1lb, 3oz package)
  • 1 cup beer of choice
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • salt & pepper
  • parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Layer potatoes, sauerkraut, onion and garlic in slow cooker.
  2. Nestle brats on top.
  3. Combine beer, mustard and caraway seeds in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
  5. To serve, top with fresh parsley.
Calories: 734 Fat: 27 grams Carbohydrates: 85 grams Fiber: 8 grams Protein: 33 grams

 

italian chicken sausage & vegetable soup

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

Back when we lived in Minnesota, soups were a regular lunch rotation while I suffered through winters.

Now that winter = 60 degrees, I find myself forgetting to make soups and stews, always waiting until it “cools down just a bit more.” Well, no more. I figured that since my office always feels cold, there’s no reason to wait until it cools down.

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

The (very hot!) day I decided to make this soup, I watched Giada make a Vegetable & Barley Soup and I took two things from the episode: 1) Use a parmesan rind to help flavor soup (which I’ve always meant to do) and 2) Use the sausage as a topping instead of letting it simmer in the soup.

Like any good lunch or dinner – it’s healthy and tasty!

italiansausagesoup3

I wanted the soup to be full of vegetables as well as a good source of protein and fiber. So it’s simple. Fill the soup with tender-crisp vegetables and throw in some chicken sausage for a protein boost, it’s a filling combo. It happens to be gluten-free and paleo, if you’re into those things!

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 1 heart of celery (2 cups chopped)
  • about 1 pound of carrots (2 cups chopped)
  • 10-12 cups of chopped kale
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • parmesan rind (optional)
  • 12 oz italian chicken sausage
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add kale, broth, water, tomatoes and parmesan rind and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.
  5. While soup is cooking, thinly slice chicken sausage in half lengthwise and then chop.
  6. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive in in medium pan and sauté about 3-4 minutes, until brown, set aside.
  7. To serve, top serving of soup with chicken sausage and parmesan cheese if desired.
Calories: 370 Fat: 17 grams Carbohydrates: 35 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 25 grams

 

sautéed banana oatmeal

Sautéed Banana Oatmeal | anutritionisteats.com

The heat wave finally broke in LA, and now that we can pretend like it’s fall along with everyone else, I’ve got oatmeal on the brain! I love making oatmeal from scratch (as opposed to using the flavored, instant versions – though I use them from time to time!) and loading it with extra flavor, a little sweetness and some protein and/or fat to keep me satisfied until lunchtime.

Sautéed Banana Oatmeal | anutritionisteats.com

And I can say without a doubt that this sautéed banana oatmeal is going to be a staple this fall. It’s sweet, it’s creamy and it tastes quite decadent. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s enjoyable enough for a weekend breakfast, but it’s also healthy enough for a weekday breakfast! (I like to keep breakfasts and lunches pretty healthy during the week but the weekends are another story.)

Sautéed Banana Oatmeal | anutritionisteats.com

Sautéing the bananas, as opposed to just topping cooked oatmeal with raw bananas takes this breakfast from “Ugh, it’s Monday” to “Mmm, it’s Sunday morning and I have the whole day to myself!” It’s ridiculously easy too.

Sautéed Banana Oatmeal | anutritionisteats.com

How easy?

  1. Slice bananas.
  2. Heat coconut oil in nonstick pan and add bananas.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Serve over hot oatmeal with hot milk.

And that’s it.

Sautéed Banana Oatmeal | anutritionisteats.com

You’ll be “Mmm-ing” and “Yumm-ing” no matter how early you had to wake up!

Sautéed Banana Oatmeal
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 servings oatmeal, prepared as directed
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium sized bananas, sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in medium sized pan.
  2. Add bananas to pan and cook for about a minute, stirring briefly.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar over bananas, cook for one minute and stir so that mixture coats all bananas.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Divide bananas over oats and serve with warm milk.
Calories: 496 Fat: 20 grams Carbohydrates: 72 grams Sugar: 33 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 10 grams