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Favorite Recipes from the ModSquad Kitchen

It’s always a great day when we get to indulge in some culinary treats. In that spirit, we asked our ModSquad colleagues to share their favorite dishes. With everything from a healthy vegan breakfast to an indulgent dessert pizza, we’ve got tasty treats for any occasion. Heat up the oven and get out the pots and pans — we’re about to enter the ModSquad test kitchen to whip up a few tasty sensations!

Debora F.’s Oat Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of cold milk

Directions:

1. Melt butter in bowl (don’t let it get too hot).

2. Add the egg, sugar, and vanilla to butter. Mix until well combined.

3. Add baking powder and oat flour. Mix well.

4. Onto skillet, alternate between pouring milk and all-purpose flour. Mix gently.

5. Add butter mixture to skillet.

6. If it looks dry, add more milk.

7. Top it with whatever you like!

Debora’s notes:
If I’m feeling fancy, I add cranberry and lime zest, or I’ll place some banana slices atop the dough (before flipping).

Justine L.’s Vegan Granola

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. almonds
  • ¼ cup Brazilian nuts
  • 1½ oz. liquid coconut oil
  • 1½ oz. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. With a fork, mix the oatmeal with the cinnamon and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. (Chia seeds are optional, but a great source of protein, so add now if desired.)

3. If your virgin coconut oil isn’t liquid (coconut oil will turn hard during winter), warm it up in the microwave.

4. Dice Brazilian nuts and almonds and add to dry ingredients. 

5. Add coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix well. 

6. Spread coconut oil on oven plate to prevent granola from sticking to bottom. 

7. Put granola mix on oven plate and spread well. Bake for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, mix granola with a fork so it’s evenly cooked. 

Justine’s notes:
I love granola because it’s easy and fast to make, and it’s full of proteins, vitamins, and fibers. A healthy breakfast, granola goes well with vegetable milk and fruits. When it’s ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool down. I like to add dark chocolate chips or dry fruits. Cranberry and coconut flakes are also good choices. 

Ellen B.’s Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 bell peppers (red, green, or a mix — red will give a sweeter end result)
  • 4 small zucchini
  • 8 Roma tomatoes (or substitute one 14.5 oz. can peeled whole Italian plum tomatoes)
  • 1 knob garlic
  • 1 or 2 dried red chilis (optional, to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 large leaves, fresh basil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Remove stem cap from eggplant. Peel and cut into ¾-inch cubes, placing the cut pieces in a bowl of acidulated water (water with some sort of acid added, such as lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar). Drain eggplant into colander. Sprinkle with ½ tbsp. salt and toss well. Place on top of eggplant a plate that fits in the colander without touching the sides; set a weight (such as a heavy can or jar) on top of the plate. Leave the eggplant for about 30 minutes to purge excess water.

3. Dice onion into large chunks. Separate garlic into cloves; bruise each clove with the side of a knife, remove peel, and trim. Remove stems, ribs, and seeds from bell peppers and cut into roughly 1-inch-square chunks. Place onions, peppers, and garlic on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of salt until well coated. Place baking sheet in oven; let roast for 30 minutes or until the vegetables have developed some browned bits.

4. Trim the ends off the zucchini and cut them into thick, ¾-inch slices. If using fresh tomatoes, dip them briefly in boiling water to loosen skins; peel, remove seeds, and chop roughly. If using canned tomatoes, drain and reserve liquid; deseed tomatoes and chop roughly. Remove weighted plate from eggplant; give eggplant a quick rinse to wash off excess salt, then take handfuls of eggplant and squeeze gently to wring out moisture. Shred the basil leaves.

5. In large stew pot, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium flame. Add eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and half the basil; toss gently to combine. Cover and turn heat to medium low. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, occasionally stirring as gently as possible so as not to mash up eggplant.

6. When roasted vegetables are ready, add to the simmering vegetables. If stew looks like it could use more liquid, add reserved liquid drained from canned tomatoes (if used). (Vegetables should give up enough liquid on their own.)

7. Stew is done when the eggplant and zucchini are tender all the way through but still have some al dente-style bite. Stir in remaining basil and adjust seasonings.

Ellen’s notes:
Four generous servings, with leftovers — and it tastes even better the next day. Can be served hot as a side dish, or as a main dish over pasta or rice, with a sprinkling of Parmesan; also delicious and very refreshing cold. Chopped into finer chunks, it makes a great topping for bruschetta or baked fish filets.

Miranda H.’s Fried Popcorn Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast (1” cubed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cups milk
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1½ tbsp. seasoned salt
  • 1½ tbsp. onion powder
  • 1½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

1. Cube chicken breast into 1” pieces.

2. Whisk eggs and milk in medium bowl.

3. Submerge chicken completely and let sit five minutes.

4. Stir 1½ cups all purpose flour and ½ cup cornmeal in large bowl. Mix in seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

5. Toss chicken in flour mixture until completely covered.

(Note: For extra crispy, repeat steps 3–5.)

6. Heat a healthy pour of vegetable oil in large skillet over medium high flame.

7. Place breaded chicken in single layer across the skillet, being careful not to crowd.

8. Toss chicken gently with a fork while cooking 5–7 minutes.

Miranda’s notes:
“If you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen!” — Me, frying chicken in July. I’m typically charged with feeding a crowd (my family), and this makes it easy. Even my picky toddler will eat this popcorn chicken! My favorite pairings are buffalo mac and cheese or a Caesar salad.

Jeff M.’s Fruit Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll slice-and-bake cookie dough
  • Butter or margarine
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Cool Whip
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Cubed or sliced fruit (your choice)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place butter or margarine on large pizza pan. Spread dough over pan. Keep putting butter or margarine on your hands to keep dough from sticking to your hands.

3. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. Let cool completely.

5. Mix cream cheese, sugar, Cool Whip, and vanilla. Spread on cooked cookie crust.

6. Place cubed or sliced fruit on top of filling.

Optional orange glaze can be spread atop pizza. To prepare:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¾ cup water

Directions:
1. Add sugar, orange juice, salt, cornstarch, and water to small saucepan.

2. While stirring, bring to a boil until thickened.

3. Let mixture chill in refrigerator.

4. Spread over the fruit.

5. Refrigerate overnight until ready to serve.

Jeff’s notes:
Some of the fruits I’d recommend are sliced pears, pineapple chunks, strawberries, bananas, sliced peaches, blueberries, and kiwi.

There’s always time to partake in great food. Whether you’re looking to start the day right or just partake in some delectable dinner goodness, we trust that these recipes from our hearts find their way to your stomach! Better yet, we hope these delicious dishes will inspire you to step into the kitchen and try something new. Bon appétit!

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