Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Filled with flavor, protein and fresh ingredients these Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers are completely adaptable, easy to make and can be prepared ahead for a healthy weeknight dinner.  Vegetarian-adaptable.  It doesn’t interest me what you do for a livi…

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers with brown rice, spinach, feta, tomatoes, herbs, and your choice of protein. Easy, healthy, and flavorful.
Filled with flavor, protein and fresh ingredients these Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers are completely adaptable, easy to make and can be prepared ahead for a healthy weeknight dinner.  Vegetarian-adaptable.  It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your...

Summer Corn Salad

A crunchy, sweet no-cook summer corn salad. The salad is a breeze, has a ton of toasted pepitas & sunflower seeds, tossed with a brown sugar lemonade vinaigrette.

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Summer is corn salad season. And this is a good one. I lugged a big sack of corn home from the market the other day thinking I would throw together a picnic salad to take on a hike out to the coast. The plan was to use raw corn kernels along with a vinaigrette I’ve been on hooked lately. If you can imagine a lemonade vinaigrette made with a bit of brown sugar, you’d be in the ballpark. The tart-sweet lemon dressing goes great with corn. Beyond that, the salad gets tossed with a ton of toasted seeds for crunch, and a generous showering of Mexican oregano to bring things back to Earth.
Summer Corn Salad on a Platter

Summer Corn Salad: The Key Ingredients

  • Corn: The key here is buying great corn. The sweeter the better. This corn salad has just a handful of ingredients, and the corn is the all-star. You’re not grilling it (although you could), and you’re not cooking it, so there’s really no where to hide if your corn is starchy. White corn or yellow corn is fine here. 
  • Oregano: I call for dried Mexican oregano, but whatever you have on hand (within reason) is fine. That said, if all you have is dusty, neglected oregano, consider using whatever other fresh herbs you might have.

Close-up of Yellow Corn on the Cob

Variations

Yes! You can absolutely do a grilled version of this salad if you like. It’s equally good, although I do make a couple little tweaks. After grilling your corn allow it to cool enough to handle, then shave the kernels from each ear. I like to add some minced serrano peppers to the grilled version on this salad for a little kick. Like the tiniest flecks. Really chop the chile(s) small and then season the salad to taste with those.

Seed Mixture for Summer Corn Salad

One More Corn Salad – Cooked + Coconut

If one corn salad isn’t enough this summer, or if you’re looking to switch it up a bit. This is another of my all-time favorite corn salad recipes. It uses a skillet approach and five ears of corn shaved in quick fashion, then sautéed in a bit of butter or olive oil. I trick it out with thyme, red onions, toasted almonds and coconut. Simple. Delicious. or if you’re on the the quest for salad inspiration in general, here’s where you can browse all the salad recipes

Summer Corn Salad on a Platter with a Serving Spoon

I hope you enjoy the corn salad if you try it. It’s a breeze to throw together, and it travels well in an over-sized jar. You can toss the corn and shallots ahead of time, just leave enough room to throw the seeds and oregano in just before serving/eating. Enjoy & happy summer! -h

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Easy Soba Noodles

This easy Soba Noodles Recipe is healthy, simple and addicting.  Loaded with tender vegetables, clean flavors and succulent texture- keep it vegan or add your favorite protein.  Make it in 35 minutes!  Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life…

Easy Soba Noodles -loaded with vegetables, clean flavors, and succulent texture.  Keep it vegan or add your favorite protein.
This easy Soba Noodles Recipe is healthy, simple and addicting.  Loaded with tender vegetables, clean flavors and succulent texture- keep it vegan or add your favorite protein.  Make it in 35 minutes!  Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam This Easy Soba Noodles recipe gives all that amazing noodle satisfaction along...

65 Best Breakfast Ideas!

We’ve collected 65 of our BEST Breakfast Ideas! Whether you are looking for healthy breakfast ideas, vegan breakfasts, savory egg breakfasts, low-carb breakfasts, whole-grain breakfasts, quick and easy, or veggie-loaded breakfasts you’ll fi…

We've collected 65 of our BEST Breakfast Ideas! Whether you are looking for healthy breakfast ideas, vegan breakfasts, savory egg breakfasts, low-carb breakfasts, whole grain breakfasts, quick and easy, or veggie-loaded breakfasts you'll find something to love here! 
We’ve collected 65 of our BEST Breakfast Ideas! Whether you are looking for healthy breakfast ideas, vegan breakfasts, savory egg breakfasts, low-carb breakfasts, whole-grain breakfasts, quick and easy, or veggie-loaded breakfasts you’ll find something to love here! (Scroll to the Recipe Card for Perfect Boiled Eggs)  Savory Breakfast Ideas Tuscan Farmers Breakfast  – farm fresh...

Date Night Mushroom Risotto with Frizzled Leeks

Simple authentic Mushroom Risotto with rosemary, garlic, and frizzled leeks- a satisfying, elegant vegetarian dinner, perfect for special occasions, date night, or entertaining.  Mushroom Risotto is creamy, earthy, and full of lovely umami flavor. It f…

Simple authentic Mushroom Risotto with rosemary, garlic and frizzled leeks- a satisfying, elegant vegetarian dinner, perfect for special occasions, date night or entertaining. 
Simple authentic Mushroom Risotto with rosemary, garlic, and frizzled leeks- a satisfying, elegant vegetarian dinner, perfect for special occasions, date night, or entertaining.  Mushroom Risotto is creamy, earthy, and full of lovely umami flavor. It feels elegant and perhaps a bit indulgent, but truthfully, it is lighter than one might expect. This version is made...

Creamy Overnight Oats

Creamy Overnight Oats, an easy no-cook technique for a healthy grab-and-go breakfast or snack that is full of fiber and vegan-adaptable.  Top with fruit, nuts, seeds, peanut butter and yogurt.  Try our Super Food Crunch Mix (recipe included)! Through L…

Creamy Overnight Oats, an easy no-cook technique for a healthy grab-and-go breakfast or snack that is full of fiber and completely adaptable.  Top with fruit, nuts, seeds, peanut butter and yogurt.
Creamy Overnight Oats, an easy no-cook technique for a healthy grab-and-go breakfast or snack that is full of fiber and vegan-adaptable.  Top with fruit, nuts, seeds, peanut butter and yogurt.  Try our Super Food Crunch Mix (recipe included)! Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, through Love all that is copper will be gold,...

Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread

This oatmeal bread wins the award for best toast. It’s a hearty oat-flecked loaf with a buttermilk base studded generously with melty cubes of cheddar cheese and punctuated with thin slices of jalapeño pepper. Where the cheese touches the pan it turns to golden-crispy perfection.

Continue reading Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread on 101 Cookbooks

A good oatmeal bread is one of my favorite bakery items. When living in San Francisco, I would make my way to the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market most Saturday mornings. One of the things I would pick up is a loaf of oatmeal bread from Marla Bakery. I started baking my own oatmeal breads after moving to Southern California a few years back and I thought I’d share my favorite today. It’s a hearty, oat-flecked loaf with a buttermilk base studded generously with melty cubes of cheddar cheese and punctuated with thin slices of jalapeño pepper. Where the cheese touches the pan it turns to golden-crispy perfection. There’s an argument to be made that a thick slab of this bread makes the best toast in the world.
Slices of Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread with Butter

The Ingredients

Let’s talk through the ingredients in this oatmeal bread. 

  • Old-fashioned Oats: Skip the instant oats, you want a more substantial flake here. 
  • Active Dry Yeast: I use this type of yeast for my non-sourdough bread recipes because, quite honestly, it’s the easiest yeast to find in most stores here in California.
  • Buttermilk: Mentioned down below, buttermilk is my go-to liquid for this bread if I have it on hand. I love the flavor of buttermilk. That said, milk and water work wonderfully as well, just use whatever you’ve got. One thing to note, if you heat buttermilk too aggressively, or too hot, it might break and curdle. It’s not the end of the world, and you can simply proceed with the recipe once you’ve cooled to the desired temperature, but if you heat gently, this can be avoided.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Your olive oil doesn’t have to be special, it should just be good tasting. Whatever you use for sautéing. That said, for fun you might experiment with using a lemon olive oil, or basil or herbed oil for an alternative flavor profile and added dimension. 
  • Honey: This oatmeal bread uses a kiss of sweetness to round out the cheesy spiciness of the cheddar and pepper. My main advice here is that a good tasting runny honey is easiest to work with.
  • Unbleached All-purpose Flour: You have a ratio of one cup of oats to 3 cups of flour here. The amount of oats really delivers a wonderful element of whole-grain heartiness and flavor. I’d recommend giving the recipe a go as written. At that point, if you want to add some whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose flour you absolutely should! I recommend swapping in 1/2 cup or 1 cup to start, make note of how you think it turns out, and adapt your next loaf from there. 
  • Jalapeño peppers: I like to actually taste the peppers here and find that using two chunky mediums is just about perfect. You can tweak to your comfort level of course. Go ahead and leave the seeds and veins in the peppers.
    Loaf of Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread on Counter

How to Make Oatmeal Bread

Proof the yeast. This is to be sure your yeast is working. If it isn’t your bread isn’t going to rise. If you have end up with an inactive packet of yeast, no big deal, simply start the proofing process over.
Ingredients to make Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread on Marble Counter
Make your bread dough. This is the step where you combine your proofed yeast liquid with the remaining ingredients. I use one large mixing bowl from the start of the bread making process to the finish. One thing to keep in mind, this dough it is a little tricky to read because of all the chunks. Keep kneading  until the space between cheese cubes is smooth-ish and elastic. Also, pro-tip – you can simply wipe your mixing bowl out in between steps and use it for the initial rise as well.
Oatmeal Bread Ingredients Combined in Bowl
Let the bread dough rise. This is the initial rise and the key here is making sure your bread is cozy. If my oven has been on, I place the bowl on top of it. Or find a sunny spot. My dad has a proofing oven, and that is a dream. You can approximate one by heating your oven on low for a few minutes, turning it off, and then placing your dough in there to rise.
Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread Dough Rising in a Covered Bowl
Shaping the loaf and the second rise. My main advice here is to continue to be nice to your bread dough. Gently handle. Gently press to deflate along the surface of the dough. Gently shape the dough, no ripping or pulling. Keep in mind you don’t want it pancake flat before shaping. I do a bit of a burrito roll to shape this dough – roll along the length tucking in the ends a bit. Place into the pan seam-side down.
Oatmeal Bread Dough in Metal Loaf Pan
Top with oats and bake. I like to top my breads with a little bit of whatever is inside (when appropriate). In this case the cheese cubes melt and ooze, crisp and color. They break through the surface on the top of the loaf, so I don’t feel compelled to add more. Green streaks of jalapeño are also visible, so we’re all good on that front. To add oats on top, brush the top of your oatmeal bread with a bit of well-beaten egg white, and then generously sprinkle with rolled oats before placing in the oven to bake.

Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread

How to Store

Oatmeal bread isn’t going to keep as long as, say, sourdough, but this cheddar version keeps nicely for 4-5 days. If you bake a version without the cheese it tends to get a bit dry after day 2. Toasting remedies this and extends the load another day or so beyond.

To Store: Once your oatmeal bread has cooled completely, store it in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. The cheddar jalapeño oatmeal bread stays incredibly moist, the less decadent versions a bit less so. 

Oatmeal Bread Variations

  • Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread: Boost the percentage of whole grain flour. This is already a relatively hearty bread because of the amount of oats in the dough. You can make it even more hearty and wholesome by swapping out some of the all-purpose flour for a whole grain flour – start with 1 cup. Or take baby steps and start with 1/2 cup.
  • Saffron Honey Oatmeal Bread: You can take this loaf in an entirely different direction! Skip the cheese and jalapeño. Dilute a pinch of saffron in 2 teaspoons of almond extract and then stir this mixture into the 1 tablespoon of honey left after proofing. Combine some almond slices with the rolled oats added to the top of the loaf prior to baking.
  • Vegan / Dairy-free Oatmeal Bread: Skip the  cheese, use water instead of buttermilk or milk, and skip the egg wash topping prior to baking.

Slices of Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread with Butter

My Favorite Ways to Enjoy this Bread

  • Keeping it simple: toasted with a smear of salted butter and sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
  • Had a slice with this carrot soup and simple salad for a perfect lunch.
  • Go the panini route, this bread loves to be toasted, use it in a panini TLT.
  • The cheddar jalapeño combo make this the perfect match for a breakfast sandwich – put an egg on it!

If you’re looking for more baking inspiration, here’s where all the baking recipes live. I love this beautiful braided onion bread, and if you’re a bit intimidated by yeast breads, you can never go wrong with a good one-bowl baking recipe

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Whole Bean Vanilla Cookies

Snappy, small, fragrant, vanilla wafer cookies made with a whole vanilla pod. The entire thing!

Continue reading Whole Bean Vanilla Cookies on 101 Cookbooks

I was pulling the sad remnant of a vanilla bean from a bag of sugar the other day, and it got me thinking about using whole vanilla beans. The entire pod. I’m sure this isn’t a unique concept, but for whatever reason, it’s not something I’d ever considered before. I started thinking it through a bit, and landed on the idea of pureeing a whole pod in a food processor to use in something. Perhaps adding some sugar to bulk it out the vanilla bean a bit. After a bit of experimenting, I landed on these little cookies. I love them!
Whole Vanilla Bean Cookies

These cookies are super simple to make – snappy, small, and fragrant, with a sloppy kiss of vanilla, and a right hook of salt to balance everything out. Any tiny pieces of vanilla bean that survived the processor are a bit like having vanilla-kissed flecks of raisins cut into the dough.

Whole Vanilla Bean CookiesWhole Vanilla Bean Cookies

I made the cookies with a blend of rye and all-purpose flours, but I suspect you could make them using either all-purpose flour, or whole wheat pastry flour without any trouble. And, as far as the vanilla bean goes, the key is starting with a good pod, one that is pliable and from a reputable source. I tested these with Nielson-Massey beans because I know many of you have access, and they seem to be widely distributed.

Whole Vanilla Bean Cookies
I love sharing these as part of a cookie plate, or cookie gift box alongside other favorite cookies. You can have a look at all the past cookie recipes, or jump right into these favorite shortbread, sables, snickerdoodles, puddle cookies and the like!
Whole Vanilla Bean Cookies
Have you all come across other whole vanilla ideas/recipes? – I’ve held off googling.

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Sourdough English Muffins

How to make homemade Sourdough English Muffins using sourdough starter (no yeast!).  They raise overnight and are cooked on the stovetop in the morning.   Tender, delicious and easier to make than you might think!  Vegan adaptable. When we question our…

How to make homemade Sourdough English Muffins using sourdough starter (no yeast!).  They raise overnight and are cooked on the stovetop in the morning.   Tender, delicious and easier to make than you might think!  Vegan adaptable.
How to make homemade Sourdough English Muffins using sourdough starter (no yeast!).  They raise overnight and are cooked on the stovetop in the morning.   Tender, delicious and easier to make than you might think!  Vegan adaptable. When we question our thoughts, we see that the craziness was never in the world, but in us. ~Byron Katie Oh...

Simple Beet Fettuccine

Fresh pasta, you can do it! A beautiful, fun, and simple way to make homemade fettuccine noodles.

Continue reading Simple Beet Fettuccine on 101 Cookbooks

If you’ve never made homemade pasta before, this is a great beet-boosted take on fettuccine. Fresh pasta is a lot less time-intensive than you might think (really!). You knead the dough by hand, and you cut the pasta dough into fettuccine noodles in one of two ways – by hand, or with a pasta machine. The pasta machine is more precise, but there is a lot of charm in hand-cut noodles – both are special.

Simple Beet Fettuccine

I love this beet juice-spiked fettuccine, the beets lend a beautiful pink color, and you can play around with how pale or saturated your noodles are by adding more or less beet juice. You can, of course, substitute other liquids, or use yellow (or orange) beets. If you have success with these noodles, use the recipe as a jumping off point for other flavors.

Simple Beet Fettuccine

A couple of tips – don’t skimp on the kneading time. You want a silky, even-textured dough before wrapping it, and then letting it rest (and hydrate) a bit.

Simple Beet Fettuccine

One detail to emphasize here, I call for semola flour here (different from semolina) – semola is fine, powdery and talc-like durum wheat, semolina is often coarser. I blend it with either whole wheat pastry flour, or finely ground rye flour here.

Simple Beet Fettuccine

You can enjoy the noodles in endless ways. They are beautiful in a simple broth with herbs. We had them for lunch topped with lots of sautéed mushrooms, a splash of cashew milk, poppy seeds, scallions, toasted walnuts, and a big squeeze of lemon.

Simple Beet Fettuccine

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