10 Healthy Meal Ideas for the AGA Cast Iron Range

10 Healthy AGA Meals

On my last post, I was joined by leading health and wellness expert, registered dietitian, Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD, to talk about how best to cook your food for maximum nutrition and natural flavor. Here are 10 examples of this practice in action.

1. Overnight oatmeal

I start my day off with a bang with this hearty breakfast of steel cut oats, left to cook in the simmering oven while I sleep.  Considering I’m not much of a morning person, the idea of waking up to a warm bowl of oatmeal with my favorite mix-ins is enough to throw off the comforter and hup-two my way to breakfast.

aga-overnight-oatmeal

2. Oil-free eggs

I’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth saying again. You can cook up an egg without oil or butter, just by placing Bake-O-Glide atop the simmering plate. Crack the egg, close the hob for a few minutes, slide off with a spatula and grab your fork…breakfast is ready!

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3. Roasted Mediterranean vegetables

Root vegetables are a favorite of Ruth’s for their nutritional content. Just toss cut vegetables with a light coat of olive oil, thyme and pepper, and you’ve got yourself a delicious and hearty side.

aga-roasted-root-vegetables

4. Easy roast chicken

A staple for family dinners, the AGA cooks up a succulent bird without using ANY oil or butter.

AGA Food

5. Fast fish

Packed with healthy omega 3 fatty acids, fish is a fast fix in the AGA. To broil flat fish, just brush its surface very lightly with oil or butter, arrange on a full or half-size AGA meat tin and place on the top runner of the roasting oven to broil until it flakes apart with a fork. Alternatively, pan grill meatier fish in a matter of minutes using a preheated AGA cast iron grill pan atop the boiling plate. Serve with a mango salsa or green sauce for a punch of flavor.

aga-pan-fried-fish

6. Steamed vegetables 

Quick-boil your favorite vegetables, then transfer (lidded) to the simmering oven to finish steaming. Add herbs for flavor.

aga-steamed-vegetables aga-steamed-vegetables_002

7. Quintessential rice

The magic in the preparation is that it’s EASY.  Once the water comes to a boil, I transfer the covered pot to the simmering oven to leave untouched, no need to stir or tend to it.  I can have it ready in 20 minutes or leave it longer without burning or drying the rice, which means I can comfortably turn my attention to prepping other meal items while it fluffs up on my schedule. Mix in a protein and diced vegetables for a one-dish wonder.  Bonus: it’s gluten-free!

rice_dish

8. Speedy stir fry

Toss your favorite vegetables into a preheated AGA cast iron wok with a bit of oil or sauce for nourishing eats in short order.

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9. Grilled skewers 

Stack a colorful array of vegetables and meat on individual skewers and set to sizzle in a preheated AGA grill pan. Grill until the meat cooks through, and you have yourself a taste of summer all year long.

aga-grilled-skewers

10. Quick quesadilla pizza 

Layer a tortilla with pizza toppings and heat directly on the simmering plate. Load up on vegetables and limit the cheese for extra nutrition points!

quesadilla-pizza

See, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to relegate yourself to a diet of grass clippings!  The AGA helps you mind your waistline with its gentle cast iron radiant heat cooking method.  It’s the far more satisfying (and easy) way to up your intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while also reducing the dependency on oils, sugars and fat to flavor food…no sacrifice to the taste experience necessary.

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How to Slow Cook in Your AGA like a Crockpot

aga-slow-cooking

If there’s one more thing an AGA can do best, it’s slow-cooked food, really easily.  The gentle, consistent heat of the AGA simmering oven offers ideal conditions to slow cook casseroles, cakes or roasts at an even temperature with little moisture loss for succulent results every time.

As a matter of fact, the temperature of the AGA simmering oven is equivalent to the low setting of a conventional crockpot. That means you can convert any crockpot recipe to the AGA slow-cooking method. And here’s how.


BASIC AGA SLOW COOKING PRINCIPLES:

STEP ONE: Food must be heated first before it will cook in the simmering oven.  Start the cooking process with either of these two methods:

  1. Bring to a boil on the boiling plate to make sure the food and cooking dish are hot all the way through, or,
  2. Place the dish in the Roasting Oven for 15 – 30 minutes, until bubbling hot.

STEP TWO: Cover food with a lid or foil to prevent a crust from forming on the surface, then transfer to the simmering oven to finish slow cooking for the designated time.


New to AGA slow cooking? Give this recipe a try!

Southwestern Risotto
Southwestern Risotto

Southwestern Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio or other short-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 3/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating the AGA large cast iron dish on the boiling plate. Meanwhile, heat the broth and water in a stockpot on the simmering plate.
  2. Sauté the rice, coriander, onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the hot broth and water, and bring the dish back to a simmer.
  4. Using oven mitts, place the lid on the dish and transfer to the lower rack of the simmering oven.
  5. Check after 20 to 30 minutes, not stirring, but monitoring the absorption of liquid. Leave in the oven until the rice is tender and creamy but still somewhat firm.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, remove the cast iron dish and add the finishing touches. Stir in the cheese, hot sauce, corn and red bell peppers. Fini!
https://www.agamarvel.com/slow-cook-aga-like-crockpot/

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Candied Walnuts or Pecans with Holiday Spices

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With their crunchy, sweet-spiced coating, these nibbles are great at parties and they are healthy! They also make an ideal homemade Christmas gift when packaged and tied with a pretty ribbon.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 oz walnut or pecan halves

Directions

  • Put the sugar, water, orange zest and spices onto the AGA ultimate baking tray.
  • Stir together and add the nuts.
  • Cook in your AGA Roasting Oven (or simmer on your stove top) until the liquid has evaporated and the nuts have absorbed the flavors. Cool before serving.

Source: Bonnie Fleming

Mulled Spiced Wine

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Thaw out this winter with a glass of mulled spiced wine to warm you up from the inside.  This recipe calls for an extra punch of rich liquor.

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles red wine
  • 2 oranges
  • 8 cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ – 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup liquor (Cointreau, Brandy, Grand Marnier, Cognac)

Directions for AGA Cast Iron Range

  • Shave a few peels of orange zest, then slice orange and add to an AGA Danish Pot or large stockpot.
  • Pour all ingredients in and let sit on the back of your AGA (can stay several days, add water to dilute if needed).
  • You may also start pot in simmering oven for speed, but DO NOT let come to a boil.
  • Serve warm.

Directions for Conventional Range

  • Add ingredients to large stockpot and simmer, but DO NOT let come to a boil.
  • Serve warm.

Source: Katherine Vest

Bruschetta on Ciabatta Toast

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A classic appetizer, bruschetta (pronounced brusketta) combines the bursting flavors of garden-fresh tomatoes with robust garlic, basil and creamy mozzarella cheese, layered on a crunchy ciabatta toast.

Ingredients

  • Ciabatta loaf
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 5 – 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • Basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 package whole mozzarella, sliced

Directions

  • Cut a ciabatta loaf into slices, about ½” thick.
  • Brush with olive oil and place on baking tray and toast on the floor of the Roasting Oven or 450°F in a conventional oven. Alternatively, you also can use the AGA grill pan. Get grill pan hot and toast until the bread is “branded” with stripes on both sides.
  • Rub the toasted bread with a half a garlic clove and season with sea salt and black pepper. Top with sliced mozzarella and place back in the oven briefly, just until the cheese becomes soft and slightly melted. Top with chopped tomatoes and torn basil leaves. If you like extra flavor, add chopped red onion and garlic. Serve warm.

Try This Variation

  • Crumble Gorgonzola mixed with Mascarpone and finished with a walnut half.

AGA Hot Spiced Mulled Cider

6425785291_4194fdc483_oMulled Cider Recipe

Warm up with this festive holiday drink, served piping hot with a fresh cinnamon stick.  You’ll love the rich aroma of mulled cider and spices filling your home with the spirit of the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 2 pints dry or sweet cider
  • 3 oz brown sugar
  • 3 allspice berries (whole allspice)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon

Directions

Place all ingredients in the large AGA 6L casserole or stockpot and bring to a boil. Take heat down, and simmer for 15 minutes. If you have an AGA cast iron range, transfer from boiling plate to the simmering oven for 15 minutes. Strain and serve hot with a cinnamon stick.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Mint Infusion

cranberry-sauce

Fresh cranberry sauce with mint infusion

Looking for a new twist on traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays? This homemade cranberry sauce recipe adds an invigorating infusion of fresh mint flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 bag (12 oz) cranberries, fresh
  • 1 bunch mint, fresh

Directions

  • In a saucepan, add sugar, orange juice, zest, ginger and nutmeg and simmer until dissolved.
  • Add berries, and simmer for 30 minutes until berries have popped and sauce has thickened. (Hint: if you have an AGA cast iron range, transfer the saucepan to the simmering oven and relax for 30 minutes.)
  • Chop mint leaves and add just before serving.

Source: Katherine Vest

Easy Holiday Crostini Recipe

crostini recipe

This crostini recipe variation is topped with prosciutto, mozzarella and chives.

Canapés are perfect for holiday parties, and they’re quick and easy in your AGA.  Flex your host muscles without breaking a sweat with this simple yet impressive crostini recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 package Boursin cheese
  • 4 – 5 tomatoes
  • 1 jar of sliced black olives
  • Basil leaves for garnish

Directions

  • Cut a small, narrow loaf such as a baguette into slices, about ½” thick.
  • Spread with a soft cheese such as Boursin.
  • Top with a slice of tomato and sliced olives.
  • Sprinkle with grated cheese and place on a piece of Bake-O-Glide on an AGA baking tray.
  • Place on the floor of the Roasting Oven (or 425°F in a conventional oven) and bake for about 8-10 minutes. Serve with garnished herb.

Variations

  • Spread with pesto instead of Boursin.
  • Top with tomato slice, season and cover with goat cheese.
  • Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and toast uncovered.
  • Serve spread with Tapenade and top with prosciutto and a basil leaf.

Hearty Vegetable and Sausage Bake

hearty-veg-and-sausage-bakeThe AGA cast iron range makes the best comfort food

This supper has it all! Loaded with tasty vegetables, meaty sausage and a crisp golden topping tempting everyone to tuck in. Plus, a sigh of relief for those who do the washing up, as this square meal comes in just one dish.  Enjoy this hearty vegetable and sausage bake alongside roasted red skin potatoes or buttered egg noodles.

Serves 4-6

 

Ingredients

3 medium leeks, washed and sliced

1 lb. tomatoes, quartered

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red chili, finely chopped

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Italian dried herb seasoning mix

Salt and black pepper

6 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

8 Italian sausages

Topping

1 cup breadcrumbs

¾ cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 tsp Italian dried herb seasoning mix

Instructions

Place the leeks, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and chili into a shallow ovenproof dish. Cover vegetables with olive oil and dried herbs and mix well.

Place the dish on the floor grid of the roasting oven and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Mix in the mushrooms then arrange the sausages on top. Return to the roasting oven and cook for a further 35 minutes, turning the sausages over occasionally to brown all their sides.

Place the breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs into a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over the sausages and return to the roasting oven, third runner down, for a further 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy.  Serve this hearty vegetable and sausage bake straight from the oven to the table.

 

Autumn Vegetable Soup

autumn-vegetable-soupA Family Fall Favorite Meal on the AGA Cast Iron Range

Getting in your daily vitamin requirements has never been easier, or more delicious, with this fantastically rustic soup.
Representing the colors of fall, a bowl of this steaming delight is perfect for crisp, fall weather.

Serves 6-8

 

 

Ingredients

1 large leek, sliced

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, chopped

2 sticks celery, diced

1 potato, diced

1 Zucchini, diced

1 lb. tomatoes, diced

3 ½ pints vegetable broth or chicken stock

Piece of Parmesan cheese rind

Salt and black pepper – to taste

1  14 ½ oz. can of Borlotti beans, or Northern beans, drained

1 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped

2 ½ oz. tiny pasta shapes, such as farfalline or ditalini

Instructions

In a large stockpot, place the prepped leek, carrots, celery, potato, zucchini, tomatoes, water or stock and a piece of Parmesan rind, season.

Bring to the boil on the boiling plate and then simmer for about 45 minutes on the simmering plate. Add the drained Borlotti beans, spinach leaves and pasta to the stockpot, stir and simmer for another 6-8 minutes.

Remove the Parmesan rind and serve in bowls accompanied by crusty bread.

Alternative cooking method

Make as above and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the covered stockpot to the floor of the simmering oven and cook for 1 hour. Complete as above. Alternatively, use the roasting or baking oven when on slumber.