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July 31, 2017

Everything Bagel Seasoned Roasted Cauliflower

I love trimmed and prepared veggies for the ease of convenience.  It's not a lot of work to cut up a head of cauliflower, but having prepped veggies at my fingertips may mean the difference between my eating vegetables or grabbing quick junk food.  In that case, the extra money spent is worth it.  I used Melissa's sweet Fioretto Cauliflower to make a roasted cauliflower that was delicious.  

I've fallen in love with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.  I use it on tomatoes in my grilled cheese sandwich, on popcorn as a snack, and now wanted to see what it could do for roasted vegetables. 

Everything Bagel Seasoned Roasted Cauliflower

10 oz. Cauliflower Florets
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Shake the veggies, oil and spices in a ziploc bag till well coated.  Place on a plate and sprinkle with shredded Parmesean.  Roast at 375 for 25 minutes, covering with foil halfway thru.

Ready to go into the oven

July 30, 2017

Cacao-Rum-Nectarine Smoothie

I've been avoiding turning on the air conditioning in my house this summer, and trying to deal with the heat through lots of cool liquids.  An overabundance of fruit from a friend who works farmers markets has really come in handy!  My latest smoothie is a rum-coconut-chocolate concoction that allows me to close my eyes and envision a tropical destination.   

I cut the fruit into halves and froze in gallon bags.  I prep a smoothie each morning and leave it in the refrigerator.  When the heat gets to me a couple hours later, all I have to do is add milk and blend.  The slightly frozen fruit gives my smoothie a shake like consistency and keeps the drink cold as I sip. 

Rum-Cacao Nectarine Smoothie

Fill up canning jar with frozen Nectarine halves (for me that's about three or four)
3 Tbsp finely ground unsweetened Coconut
1 Tbsp Cacao Powder
1 Tbsp Hemp
1 Tbsp Flax Seed
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp imitation Rum Flavoring
Almond Milk to fill glass

Blend all with stick blender.  Drink while semi-frozen for a slurry-like consistency. 

July 15, 2017

Food 52's Easy Bulk Bin Snack Bars

It used to be common to bring a baked good when visiting a friend or neighbor.  These days, its an unusual treat when someone puts thought into a hostess gift.  A friend brought me a wonderful homemade granola bar when she came to stay overnight for a charity fundraiser that I had set up.  And even better, she included the recipe!  I've finally gotten around to making it myself, with my own adaptations. 

These granola bars are no-bake, which is a huge bonus in Southern California's hot summers.  They are easy to substitute in whatever is in your pantry, following the basic ratio of nuts and seeds to dried fruit, with oats, peanut butter, honey, and applesauce as binders (to veganize, replace the honey with maple syrup).  Making them at home ensures control of the quality of ingredients, without any of the chemicals added to commercial snack bars.  Using tart pans makes them easy to remove and controls portions, though I could still cut my bars in half because I made them especially thick.  I love the flavor pairing of dried apricots, and keep them in my pantry, so that's what I used here.  I can't wait to incorporate other ingredients, like matcha or ground cacao powder, dried apples, cherries, and other nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, pine's a great way to use up leftover ingredients!

Do you have a favorite bar or granola recipe?  Do share!

Bulk Bin Snack Bars

1 1/2 C. Oats
3/4 C. Whole Almonds
1/2 C. Dried Apricots
1/3 C. Chopped Pecans
1/3 C. Pepitas
1/2 C. Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 C. Sunflower Seeds
1/3 C. Flax Seed
1/3 C. Honey
1 C. Almond Butter
1/4 C. Unsweetened Applesauce

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add nut butter, applesauce, and honey.  Use hands to mix thoroughly to combine.  Use tart pans, or alternately line a baking tin or dish with wax paper.  Pack granola mixture into pan and push down with the back of a spoon.  Refrigerate or freeze overnight or until solid.  Store in the fridge in a tupperware between layers of wax paper. 
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