German Nachos (ish): Baked Fries with Sauerkraut, Sausage and Muenster Cheese Sauce

I love mustard.  No really.  Like a lot.  For as long as I can remember, mustard has been one of my favorite condiments.  Even the cheap yellow mustard you get on Subway sandwiches (no mayo, extra mustard please).  I love it.  It adds such a nice flavor profile to most foods.

But fancy mustard, that’s a whole different ball game.

Recently, I got in touch with the guys at Green Mountain Mustard.  They make fancy pants mustard, but in the least pretentious way possible.

But anyway, these guys know mustard.  They sent me two jars of their mustard so I could make an EPIC grilled cheese sandwich.  While the grilled cheese sandwich is still  in the works, I had this idea and had to make it asap.  It involved one of the mustard flavors they sent me: Deli Dirt.  Their Deli Dirt tastes like all the goodness of a deli put into one little jar, and this mustard is THICK.  It’s basically the consistency of hummus, which is awesome.

mustard

I’m in love.  And thus, this creation was born:

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One of the things that I love about mustard is that it adds a ton of flavor to food without a ton of fat (or calories).  You know I like to make things as light as I can.  So while this looks fatty and decadent, it’s a little bit lighter than you would think (please note, I’m not actually saying this is healthy, but it’s better than eating something deep fried). mustardfries3

Oh and I should probably mention that I had no idea what to call this.  I couldn’t really call it a “Pile of Deliciousness,” which is what it is.  So instead I thought of a more Pinterest-friendly name: German Nachos (ish).  Ish is a really important qualifier here.  Enjoy.

German Nachos (ish): Baked Fries with Sauerkraut, Sausage and Muenster Cheese Sauce

3 large potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Deli Dirt mustard
1 sausage (bratwurst are tasty. true story.), sliced
1/2-1 cup sauerkraut
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp Deli Dirt Mustard
1 cup milk (I used non-fat)
3 oz Muenster cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425F.  Slice potatoes into fry shape.

potatoes

Toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of Deli Dirt.  Sprinkle with salt and lay on a cooling rack that is placed over a baking sheet.

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This will help your fries get crisp all around and keep the bottoms from burning.  Bake 30-40 minutes or until fries are golden and crispy (start checking them after about 30 minutes, since everyone’s oven is different and you might have cut yours thinner than mine).  While your fries bake up, have a dance party.  This is not optional.

10 minutes before your fries are ready to go (aka 20 or so minutes after you put them in the oven), brown your sausage in a pan and set aside.  Then make your cheese sauce.

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Melt butter in a sauce pan, add flour and stir together.  Cook for 2 minutes or until golden.  Stream in milk very slowly while whisking to break up any clumps that form.  Once you’ve added all the milk and whisked smooth.  Whisk in the mustard and cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now assemble.  Lay some fries on a plate.  Top with sauerkraut (you’ll note in the recipe I said 1/2-1 cup, because I love sauerkraut and ended up adding a ton more after I photographed, but if you don’t care for it as much, add less) and sausage, then drizzle with cheese sauce.  Serve immediately.

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This recipe will serve 2-4 people.  Confession: Jesse and I devoured the entire thing.  I don’t feel guilty.

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The perfect bite will include a bit of potato, sauerkraut and sausage.  I promise it’s delicious.  If you wanted to keep this low carb, I bet this would be delicious if you replaced the potatoes with spaghetti squash.  Ok, I might have to try that ASAP.

I can’t wait to try more recipes with this awesome mustard.  Don’t worry, grilled cheese is coming soon!

Do you love mustard? What’s your condiment of choice?

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Banana-Date Muffins with a Crunchy Oat-Almond Topping, Vegan and Virtually Oil-Free

In an ideal world, when someone gave me an enormous container of dates, I would make date shakes every single day.

But in the real world, I don’t have a blender and I need to fit into a bridesmaid dress for a wedding this week.

So in the real world when someone gives me an enormous container of dates, I try to make healthy things with it.  It’s no secret that I love sweets.  Usually, I’m all for splurging and eating deliciously sinful sweets, but sometimes I try to make healthy versions.

Like this

Oh hey, muffin.

Vegan Banana-Date Muffins with a Crunchy Oat-Almond Topping

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, heaping
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp almond milk (or water)
1/2 cup chopped dates
For Crunchy Oat-Almond Topping:
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp oats
1 tbsp blanched almonds

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  In a small bowl, mix together 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water to make your “flax egg”, put in the fridge for 5-10 while you gather your ingredients.

In a bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, “flax egg,” and vanilla.  Add flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir until just combined.  Stir in the mashed banana and dates.  If batter is too thick, add 2 tbsp almond milk.  Pour batter into lined muffin pan (12).

Combine ingredients for topping in a small bowl.  Sprinkle on top of unbaked muffins (the topping is optional, it’s tasty but not essential).  Bake for 25 minutes ish, or until it passes the toothpick test (this will vary by oven).

Allow to cool completely then enjoy, without feeling guilty about eating a muffin, because let’s be honest oil-free, whole wheat flour… basically means they’re good for you.

Maybe not quite, but chances are if you have one you’ll still fit into your dress.

I just ate 3, let’s hope I do…

P.S. Tomorrow is National Banana Bread day. Go ahead, jump on the band wagon.  You know you want to make this 🙂

One thing I will miss about Italy

I’m leaving in a little over a week.  I’ll definitely miss the ability to walk everywhere and the widespread public transit use.

But really, one thing I’ve fallen in love with:

Risolatte. That means rice milk.

It basically reminds me of Jell-o pudding but with rice (and more natural… Ingredients: milk, rice, sugar, cocoa, corn starch and vanilla), and it’s amazing.

I don’t discriminate I like the chocolate and the plain kind equally.

Risolatte, you will be missed.