Hello, friends. Welcome to my renovated blog! I have moved over to WordPress, redone the site, and bought my own domain: vegfiend.com. I will no longer be posting to vegfiend.blogspot.com. You’ll see I have a new menu on the site (hardy har har), organized by meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert), which I will be building over the next few weeks. I also now have an Instagram account, and a Facebook page. Follow me on Insta and like my FB page to get more whole-food vegetarian recipes and see more frequent snippets of my real-life (bumbling) recipe creation. Let me know what you think of this new site design! Any feedback is gratefully appreciated.
I craved a cast-iron skillet like mad a few months back. From the stove to the oven? Yes, please. A pan that develops flavor the more you love it, the more you create within it. I felt like my entire cooking world had the possibility to be changed, broadened, for the better good. So I did as I normally do, browse Amazon with a hint of lust in my eye, hungrily reading reviews of different brands and various size pans (did you know they make these corny ones?) I eventually caved one weekend at Costco, because who does not cave at Costco, and purchased a set of Lodge skillets.
My conclusions? This skillet is a mighty tool in my kitchen arsenal, but I am not using it every week as I thought I would mid-Amazon lusting. I have made a couple of dishes in it that I truly could not make in any other piece of cookware I own, dishes like this Apple-Banana Oat Tatin. I have bookmarked a few other cast-iron must-try recipes, like macaroni and cheese, dutch babies, shakshuka and real apple tarte tatin but I haven’t tried them yet. I’ve figured out I’m must more of a roast, simmer, and stew sort of girl, not a sear one (although seared tofu in my cast iron is another future adventure).
This sort of experience makes me ponder about consumerism, the wanting of ever-more objects. Again, I am content and satisfied with my purchase of the pan, but the reality of owning it is not as glamorous as the tantalizing dream of purchasing it. Just something to chew on as we digest the aftermath of the holiday season.
This Apple-Banana Oat Tatin is a breakfast (or dessert with some vanilla ice cream- what, I didn’t say anything) recipe that I dreamed up after tiring of regular oatmeal. You know, the kind with the fruits all mixed in. You can find a million recipes for apple pie oatmeal out there, but I was yearning for something more (dare I say moreish?). I wanted this apple oatmeal to have the caramelized, toasty flavor of an apple crumble, and I wanted to make it in that new skillet, gosh darn it!
Can you call this a real tatin? Probably not. I definitely did not attempt to flip this thing out of the pan inverted. In fact, sad story: being a cast-iron newbie, I thought I would store the remaining tatin in the fridge in the skillet. When I went to have a bowlful the next morning, lo and behold, the scoop I plopped out into my bowl was grey on the bottom and smelled like metal. I sadly had to toss the remainders of my delicious tatin in the garbage. I weep silent tears just thinking of it. Why? Because this oatmeal is blow-your-socks-off amazing. Above, I enjoyed some with greek yogurt, extra cinnamon, and some heavenly pecan butter, for which the recipe is also below.
I include the recipe for Perfect Pecan Butter with this tatin because with the addition of a glossy drizzle or two, this oatmeal becomes ethereal.
You can also pair this pecan butter with waffles, pancakes, and muffins. It goes unnervingly well with anything maple.
Apple-Banana Oat Tatin
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 3 medium apples, peeled and diced
- 1 banana, cut into 1 inch rounds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup fine-grain hot cereal (I used this blend)
- 1/2 cup oats
- pinch of salt
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used hemp)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup + extra for serving
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. If you do not have such a skillet, you can cook the fruit in a regular skillet and transfer to a baking dish when ready to bake. Add the apple, banana, cinnamon (1/2 tsp), ginger, and nutmeg and saute for 15 or so minutes, until soft and oozy.
- In the meantime, mix oats, salt, water, nondairy milk, maple syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon, and chia seeds in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, add the lid, and reduce the heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the oatmeal is cooked. Stir in the vanilla to the oatmeal.
- Spread the fruit mixture evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Then, spoon the oats over the top, trying to cover the entire surface. Stick the skillet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the oats are browned on top.
- Dig in. Best enjoyed warm with mounds of pecan butter, and an extra glug of maple syrup.
Notes: 1) Can be made gluten-free when using gluten-free oats and cereal 2) Do not store leftovers in the cast-iron pan!
Perfect Pecan Butter
Makes a 1-lb jar
- 4 cups pecans
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 9 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.
- Put pecans and salt in a high-power blender. Blend, quickly going up to the highest speed, and using the tamper to push the pecans into the blades. Blend for 2 minutes, or until you have a drippy, smooth butter. Spoon into a jar and store in the fridge.