Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cranberry Granola

Contrary to popular belief, granola is actually not very good for you. It's full of sugar, but people think "Oh granola! That's good for me! I will eat 3 cups of it!" It's not meant to be eaten like cereal, bowl after bowl. It's meant to be used in MODERATION (a key word I'm trying to apply to every day life...) to give you some essential fats and complex carbs. Otherwise you're going to load up on the calories and sugars without even knowing it. I mixed this with plain, organic yogurt, just enough to give it texture, and it was something I could feel good about.

Now, on a lighter note, it's delicious! Granola is nice because you can utilize just about anything you have laying around, be it fruit, nuts, grains, etc. I made cranberry because we had a big bag of dried cranberries and a bottle of cranberry juice, but you can really mix it up to use up whatever you have. It's easy and will last. Put it in a ziploc and freeze extras which will last for weeks. Or, as I like to do, share it! Bring it to work, or put it in a nice jar and give it as a gift.



3 cups rolled oats (NOT the silly instant kind, the old fashioned ones)
1 cup sunflower seeds ( I didn't have raw, so I used roasted, salted)
1/2 cup almonds (or any other nut you have)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup canola oil (and extra to coat the pan)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup juice (I used cranberry)
1 tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease a large cake pan with canola oil.

2. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl (ingredients 1-7) and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the final 4 wet ingredients.

4. Pour the dry ingredients into the pan. It should be about 1 inch thick.

5. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix slightly.

6. Bake for 45-60 minutes, mixing every 15 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides into the middle to avoid burning.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mango Guacamole

Ok, so I have to give credit to my husband on this one. With having Mexican genes, I think he naturally is gifted in guacamole making! He realized one day that he liked avocado (for good reason!) and wanted to make guacamole. He asked for a suggestion, and I told him add mango for the sweet and salty combo. He took that and ran with it! Although I made this batch, he came up with the original recipe. The sweet and salty are amazing with the fatty, nutty avocado. I may or may not have eaten almost the whole batch just now...umm...oops?


2 avocados
1 mango
1/2 large tomato or 1 roma tomato
1/2 lemon
1/2 lime
garlic salt

1. Peel and dice mango. Spoon out the avocado. Dice the tomato. Mash these three together.

2. Squeeze 1/2 of lemon and 1/2 of lime on guacamole. Taste the mixture and decide how much garlic salt you want to add ( I like a lot!).

3. Eat copious amounts of this good stuff with tortilla chips, pita chips, or anything else your heart desires.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

Here's a little taste of autumn (oh how I miss thee, crisp weather!) in the middle of hot, muggy Tennessee June. These muffins have a great texture because of the chopped apples, and I used my mother-in-laws homemade apple sauce, which also has some chunks of apples. PS, I hate the word "chunk", but sometimes there's no alternative.


INGREDIENTS ------------>
Makes 8 JUMBO muffins!

1. Preheat oven to 350. Either line muffin tins with paper or spray with oil/butter.

2. Peel and chop apples (it took me 2 small gala apples to make 1 1/2 cup chopped)

3. Mix together dry ingredients (the first 5)

3. In a separate bowl, cream together eggs, sugar, and oil. Add in applesauce and vanilla, mix well. Add in apples, and then dry ingredients one cup at a time.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

OPTIONAL: I sprinkled the top with butter and brown sugar before baking to give it something a little special.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Super Simple Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Here's a nice alternative to its fried counterpart! Really easy, but very flavorful. They help to satisfy that french fry craving, without the grease remorse!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 medium to large sweet potato
1.5 tbsp olive oil
course sea salt and course ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Wash sweet potato and cut into eighths, lengthwise

3. Mix sweet potatoes with olive oil and shake on the S & P.

4. Bake for 30 minutes (I used a stainless steel pan, but you could also use a cookie sheet), or until insides are soft and outsides begin to crisp.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Citrus and Sesame Quinoa with Edamame

This is a great meal or side dish for people wanting a meatless meal with complete proteins. It's actually my first time working with quinoa, so forgive me if I make any blunders! Honestly I just threw some things together and crossed my fingers that the flavors would work out.... : )


INGREDIENTS (makes 1 "meal" sized portion or 2 side portions):
1/2 cup quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame (optional) I used half white sesame, half black
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup edamame
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce

1. Prep the quinoa by soaking in water for 15 - 30 minutes. Rinse when done.

2. Prepare the sauce by heating the olive oil in the pan with the sesame seeds for 2-3 minutes. Add in the soy sauce, honey, edamame, and orange zest. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

3. Bring 1 cup water and 1/2 cup prepared quinoa to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.

4. Remove from heat, mix sauce mixture into cooked quinoa and enjoy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

It's been about a month since my last post, because I haven't really had any reason to cook anything new...sadly. My husband works nights, and I work days, so cooking dinner usually consists of me making a sandwich for myself, and packing him something for lunch. (le sigh!) BUT this month we will actually be able to have dinner together! Here is my celebratory recipe for our first at home dinner together in a loooong time!

I wanted to make this lower fat, so I used turkey bacon. It's definitely not the same as the fatty, wonderful, perfect bacon, but it will do! Especially when it's surrounded by other flavors.


2 zucchini
1 small onion
1 tomato
3 cloves garlic
10 strips turkey bacon (or regular bacon, as the case may be)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Prepare your mise en place by chopping the onion and tomato, halving and hollowing out your zucchini (keep the insides), mincing your garlic, and slicing your bacon into 1/4 inch strips.

3. Heat oil in pan and brown garlic. Add in bacon and cook for approximately 5 minutes, until brown and fat (whatever fat in turkey bacon...) has rendered.

4. Add in onion, tomato, and the insides (or innards, if we want to be greusome!) of the zucchini. Saute until all has softened and onions are transparent.

5. Add in panko and 1/4 cup cheese, to make everything pull together.

6. Put even amounts of pan contents into the 4 zucchini "boats".

7. Fill a glass pan w/ chicken stock, and put the boats in the pan. Cover w/ cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, or until zucchini has softened and cheese has become a molten lava of goodness. :)