Monday, August 31, 2009

Pumpkin Ginger Granola Bars

Today is officially my last day of summer. Work for the teachers starts tomorrow and school starts next week. Time to end the fun and get down to business. In all seriousness, I'm really looking forward to starting work, and have been really looking forward to the fall days and flavors up ahead.

One of the best things about eating seasonally is that craving for the different foods that become fresh as the seasons change. Personally, I miss those days when everyone's blogs were filled with pumpkin: stuffed pumpkin, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, etc. Well I didn't want to wait anymore. I decided that a good back to school snack for me would be some Pumpkin Ginger Granola Bars.


These are high enough in protein that I could call them a protein bar if I wanted to. The macros rival Clif bars, but with much less sugar. These guys also have some healthy fat, fiber, and whole grain to keep you going, whether it be through a school day, or whatever else you've got planned this coming September.

Pumpkin Ginger Granola Bars
1 1/4 cup oats
1 1/4 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (agave can also be used)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish.

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet in another. Mix wet and dry together until everything is coated.

Spread into prepared baking dish. I used a 11x13 dish, but I only pushed the mixture into about 3/4 of it. It worked fine, the TVP makes these hold up really well. You could use a smaller baking dish, but they would be thicker, and you might want to cook them longer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool completely and cut into whatever size you like. I made 10 granola bar-sized bars, but it could easily make 20 granola bar squares if you are looking for a less substantial after-school snack.

Serves 10
Nutrition Information: 218.3 Calories; 5.5g Total Fat; 0.6g Saturated Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 31.8g Carbohydrates; 5.1g Fiber; 10.3g Protein

**If you want someone else to make your nutrition bars, be sure to enter my Love Force bar giveaway! Today is your last day to enter!!**

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quick Scones

I claim no responsibility for these. So when you make them and want to eat them all at once, its not my fault.


It is all her fault. Her being Jacqueline from Sweet Beet and Green Bean. The delicious offender? Apricot Scones.



Scones are one of my favorite things, but they always seem to come out better when other people make them. I actually tried to make some recently and just threw them out before they even got baked (I will not name the source). These were amazing. Just totally amazing. They were just solid enough so that you could cut them into triangles, and they baked up light with a crispy exterior. Plus, the apricots are perfect.



I got mine from the farmer’s market.



I don’t think I ever would have thought to make scones with apricots in them, but they were the perfect amount of sweetness and chewiness. I did use whole wheat and spelt flour instead of the unbleached flour listed in her recipe posted above.


Makes 10

Nutrition Information: 179.3 Calories; 8.2g Total Fat; 2.1g Saturated Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 25.7g Carbohydrates; 3.4g Fiber; 4.1g Protein


That’s it. Probably the shortest post I’ve ever done because I want to save you time so that you can go make some scones. Also, if you have some time on your hands, I’ve made her omelets before, and they’re really good too!


***Don't forget to enter my Love Force bar giveaway!! I've found another place that sells them so I've been trying some other flavors...they're all so good, the winner is going to have a hard time only choosing five!***

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Raw Banana Bread Cookies

Something about that Love Force raw bar had me in a raw mood. Usually when I "do raw" its all-out for a day, and after that, I'm over it until the next time I decide for a full-on raw day.

This time, something clicked that I didn't have to eat super high raw for the day in order to incorporate some raw food in my day.

I soaked some almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, and then set to finding recipes for them. Believe it or not, these started out as...falafel. Don't let that sway you, I abandoned that recipe after grinding up the almonds and decided to go my own way.

Banana Bread Cookies were born. And they were yummy. If you are in the mood for something raw, this is a pretty good treat made with things you may very well have sitting in your pantry, begging to be made into raw cookies!

1 cup Raw Almonds, soaked
1/2 Banana
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Sunflower Oil*
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Raisins

I processed my almonds when they were still wet, just out of their soak, so they grinded together in the food processor together to make a wet meal. If you are using dry almonds, you may need to add a little more water. After grinding the almonds, add all but the raisins, and process until you have a smooth, sticky batter. Add the raisins and pulse a few times, until combined.
*You can use another oil, like melted coconut oil instead of sunflower.

Use a Tbsp measure to portion out each cookies, and flatten so that it looks like a cookie. The batter will be sticky, you may need to wash your hands a few times.

While these are quick and easy to make, they do take a bit of time to dehydrate. If its nice out (it finally is here), stick them outside for a few hours (we have no outside space). I dehydrated them at 115 degrees for 6 hours, and they are still slightly soft in the middle (in a good way). They were still good at 4 hours though, so anywhere from 4-8 hours would be tops. I always like to flip stuff like this halfway through, so..I did.

This makes about a baker's dozen.
Serves 13
Nutrition Information: 89.2 Calories; 6.6g Total Fat; 0.5g Saturated Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 6.5g Carbohydrates; 1.6g Fiber; 2.5g Protein

If you don't have a dehydrator and live in a small apartment with no lanai like us, you can use an oven. Just keep it on the lowest setting, cracked, and check from time to time. Your oven will be warmer, so it probably won't take quite as long.

Don't feel like making your own raw treats? Be sure to enter the giveaway for some Love Force bars!! Five more days to enter!

With that, I am going to go enjoy some raw cookies at the beach. Peace :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Love Force (Giveaway)

You've been waiting your whole life for this...

At least, that is what the package of the Love Force bar that I picked up at Essene says.

My whole life? A tad dramatic, don't we think?

Surprisingly, no, not dramatic at all. This thing is freaking delicious. I mean..amazingly delicious. I'm sorry that I only bought the Chocolate Orange flavor. I'll have to travel back to Philly to get some more (don't worry, its only a 10 minute drive that I now know will be totally worth it).

This particular flavor features walnuts, cacao, and coconut, as well as almonds, carob, agave, vanilla bean, and orange oil (all ingredients raw and organic).

Pros: raw, organic, vegan, gluten free, absofreakingdelicious, moist, delicious, and really delicious.

Cons: $$$, high sugar content (23g).

Nutritional Information: 280 Calories; 11g Total Fat; 6g Saturated Fat; 180g Sodium; 49g Carbohydrates; 9g Fiber; 6g Protein.

When you first take it out of the package it is a little wet, but that is just goodness that keeps it so moist. At the same time, it isn't squishy, and the texture is perfect. And those three little almonds in it? Still perfectly crunchy. Its also got the perfect balance of tasting delicious while being good for you. It is easily the best raw bar I've ever had.

The packaging is awesome too. It markets itself as "Edible Love, Light, and Happiness". How true. All food should make you feel this good. No lie, I am super happy right now and definitely in love.

So in love, that I have to share some:
1. Check out the link above and leave me a comment telling me which flavor you would most like to try (either the bars or the bread).
2. Link to the giveaway in your blog, and I'll enter you twice!
*If you don't have a blog, tell someone about the giveaway, get them to enter and say that you referred them, and you'll get yourself another entry!

The winner will get 5 bars (or breads, if that's your thing) sent to their doorstep (or post office, or mailbox, or wherever you get your mail) by yours truly!

Get the comments in by August 31st! Seriously, comment, even if you've never commented before, you want to try these, I promise!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Screw You, Stir-Fry Sauce

We’ve been house hunting a few nights a week in the evening. By the time we’re done it is dinner time, and we want to eat. Immediately. Yesterday I thought stir-fry would be good, and in the past, the easiest way for me to do this was with stir-fry sauce.


I don’t know if I missed it on the brand I used to buy, but my husband picked one up and said it had fish in it. Okay fine. I picked up another one that seemed okay, bought some tofu and off we went.


We got home and marinated the tofu, and then started stir-fryin it up. What made me look at the label again I’m not sure. But there it was, glaring at me: oyster sauce. Oyster sauce. I should have known. I should have been more thorough. I should have been less lazy and made my own sauce.


Out went the sauce, and the tofu that had been marinating in it. Out went my mood too. Waste of money, waste of food, and...where was dinner?


Alright, the peppers and onions were still good to go, and there was some garlic in there too. Broccoli was already cooking up in the microwave. We could keep it just veggie, but we had two hungry people to feed. In went a can of chickpeas. While those warmed, we cut up a mango, and thought about the sauce.


My new favorite thing is Thai Chili Sauce. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve used this stuff in the past week. I’ve been using it as a dip for spring rolls, dipping sauce for our dumplings, and now a stir fry sauce. We poured in about 6 Tbsp of the Thai Chili Sauce, added 2-3 Tbsp tamari, and 1/4 cup of pineapple juice. I might have thrown in some extra crushed red pepper too.


Success. Really really good success. I mean, after that I would have been happy with something just edible, but this was really good.

The corn was good too!


So maybe I should be thanking the stir-fry sauce, and not cursing it, but it still wasted all that food. I guess its a draw!


And...now I need to go buy some more Thai Chili Sauce, I think that stuff is going to start flowing through my veins.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perfect Cookie

I take my cookies pretty seriously. While it is hard to have a bad one, some are definitely better than others.


Well, I couldn’t sleep the other night, and without even looking for it, I stumbled upon the simplest vegan cookie recipe I have ever seen. No vegan substitutes, just regular ingredients, that somehow make my perfect cookie.


Now, I know that people have differing opinions on cookies. However, I like mine crunchy. If I wanted something cakey, I would eat cake. I like them light, airy, and crunchy on the outside, with just enough chewiness too. A tall order. To have such perfection come from such a stupidly simple recipe was amazing.


To give credit where credit is due, I didn’t come up with this recipe. You

can find the original here. I’ve read a lot of reviews on it though. Other people have said that theirs didn’t spread at all. Mine definitely did. I suspect because I didn't use raw sugar? I'm not quite s But I like a cookie that spreads. I had been trying to make a cookie spread like this all last weekend.


I only changed the recipe slightly, and made two different cookies.


First, I made some Snicker Doodles


1 cup spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup light oil (I used sunflower)

1 tsp vanilla


2 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp sugar

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl mix the oil, vanilla, and sugar. Combine wet and dry.


For Snicker Doodles, I took a Tbsp of dough, rolled one side in a mix of 2 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 Tbsp sugar, then flattened them to about 1/4 inch and slapped them on a baking mat. These have plenty of oil in them, so I don’t think you need a baking mat, or even a greased cookie sheet, but my regular baking sheet was in the freezer, and the thing I was using had holes in it...not ideal for cookies.


Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. It should make about 2 dozen cookies.


Cookie perfection, I’m telling you. Give them a minute to cool before taking them off and just be happy. If you’re as happy as me, maybe you’ll make some more.


I made some more. Second came Tropical Orange cookies. This time I used only spelt flour, used orange extract instead of vanilla, and rolled them in unsweetened coconut prior to flattening.



That’s really all I can say about these. Awesome. Perfect. Go eat some now. That’s all I’ve got. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Brunch-tastic

Does anyone else feel like the blog world has been experiencing something of a slump? I know I’ve been feeling slumpy. I think because of the nice weather, the longer days, etc, you just don’t want to sit in front of the computer in a small dark room, packed floor to ceiling with boxes.


What do you mean your computer room doesn’t look like that? Mine does.



In fact, this picture is incredibly deceiving, it is never this light in there. Zoe loves it,



I do not. I know, most people have wireless, I haven’t gotten a chance to set it up. Mainly because we are hoping to move soon, which is another reason why we have all these still-packed boxes sitting around.


Now, contrary to when I personally am going through a bit of a slump, the kitchen has been quite productive. We’ve been making dinner most nights, and its been tasty as well.


The weekend before my husband came back from his trip to Washington state, I had a little Vegan Brunch extravaganza. Some favorites were the Buckwheat Waffles.



YUM! We got a waffle iron from a church sale a few weeks ago for $5. WORTH IT!! These were so good, and the perfect use of all the buckwheat flour I have. These were so light and fluffy, nice and moist inside, and had a nice nutty flavor from the buckwheat. They also freeze and re-toast perfectly. They somehow stay moist inside.


I also made the Italian Feast Sausages. I love vegan sausage. Its really hard to find a kind that I don’t like. I made a half batch because the whole batch doesn’t fit in my steamer basket, and I made them half-size, so that one sausage is a perfect little portion.





These are good for breakfast, these are good for lunch, these are good for dinner, and I suspect they’re probably awesome for brunch. They’ve got a nice hit of spice from the fennel and chili flakes. They’re good.


And I am hereby ending my blogging slump. At least until we move (which probably won't be for awhile still). Now go out and have some brunch!