Friday, December 30, 2011

Cauliflower Salad and Delicious Honey Oat Quick Bread

If you've been indulging a bit much over the holidays, here a few healthier dishes to help kick-start the new year!  The cauliflower salad offers a cheery burst of colors and the honey oat quick bread is just slightly sweet--it almost tastes like a yeast bread.  Together they make a nice, light meal.

Honey Cauliflower Chopped Salad for a Crowd
1 small head cauliflower, broken into small (1/4-1/2 inch pieces)
1 red pepper, in 1/4-1/2 inch dice
1 green pepper, in a 1/4-1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup black olives, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed is nice)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (optional)
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (could substitute red wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
1/4-1/2 cup honey (I used amber, summer honey; spring honey would also be good)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper

Combine the vegetables, onion and olives in a bowl.  Place the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.  (Start with 1/4 cup honey.)  Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well.  Refrigerate for about an hour to let the flavors meld.  Taste and add more honey (or salt and pepper).  Can serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 8-10.

Honey Oat Quick Bread
This is adapted from an Eating Well recipe, which appeared in the January/February 2007 issue.  Check out the reviews at the link above.

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
8 ounces yogurt (low fat is fine)
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey (I used amber summer honey but fall honey would be lovely, too!)
3/4 cup low or nonfat milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in the middle position.  Lightly oil 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats in pan, covering bottom and, as best you can, sides.  Whisk the flours, baking powder, soda and salt together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup of the oats, yogurt, egg, oil and honey, mixing well.  Stir in the milk.  Stir this into the flour, gently mixing until combined--taking care not to over-mix.  You want the batter to be combined so that everything is moist, but don't beat it.  Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth to the edges.  Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of oats on the top.  Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes until the loaf is very brown.  The top will crack. To test that it's done, insert a toothpick in the crack--if it comes out clean, it's ready!  Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes then loosen with a bread knife.  This is great toasted the next day! Makes 1 loaf--or about 12 1-inch slices.

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