granola: several ways.

granola

Pre-kids, my idea of a perfect Friday evening involved oats, Cat Stevens, and Sierra Nevada.  That reality no longer exists, but I come back to that serene-ness every time I’m in need of granola.  Which is often.  Grocery store granola will never be the same.

Inspiration comes from Ina Garten, Deb Perleman (a.k.a., smitten kitchen), and a cookbook gifted to me by a dear family friend.  Once you get your desired mixture of oats, oil and sweetener down, you really can make endless combos of your favorite textures and flavors.

And maybe with a little Cat Stevens in the background.

 

BASIC INGREDIENTS


2-3 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 to 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

1-2 cups unsalted nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 TBSP to 1/4 cup canola or olive oil (or similar)

1/2 tsp (or to taste) coarse salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

zest of orange (optional)

AFTER BAKING, ADD IN…

dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, mangos, apricots, raisins, etc.)

cacao nibs

seeds, toasted, salted or not (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)

 

Preheat oven to 300°F.  Combine oil, syrup, salt and other spices, if using. Add oats, coconut and nuts. Mix well. [SEE NOTE BELOW]

Spread on cookie sheet and bake 35-45 minutes depending on desired toasty-ness, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Stir in additional add-ins to taste.  Let cool and store in air tight container for a week or so.  The batch is large, so I usually freeze half so it keeps longer…

Serve with yogurt, fruit, dulce de leche, or by the handful.  You’ll be so happy with yourself when you do.

NOTE: You can combine everything listed above and have a delicious granola on hand.  Or, depending on your mood, select from above.  The more oil you have, the “crispier”, almost fried, the oats will be.  You can also toast the nuts separately and add in after baking the oats…but if you’re like me, that feels like too many extra steps.  Plus, I like all of the flavors mixed into every bite.

granola: several ways.

Dulce de Leche.

 

If you don’t speak a lick of Spanish, this means “sweet milk”.  It is literally milk and sugar that you boil for hours and then eat it on ANY THING you can think up, hope, or dream.  It will forever make me think of Patagonia and the Argentines who stole my heart.

This traditional recipe is adapted from epicurious.

INGREDIENTS


4 cups milk

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Stir together 4 cups milk, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and cinnamon stick, if using, in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and thickened, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. (After about an hour, stir more often as milk caramelizes, to avoid burning.) Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Dulce de Leche.

Ravioli and Kale Winter Salad

Though the name might suggest that this a winter-only dish, it’s still light enough to be enjoyed year-round and keeps well for a chilled lunch the next day. We’ve been making it about once a week lately because the kale brings the light and healthy, and the ravioli brings a little more sustenance necessary to stave off hunger a couple hours after eating a kale salad.

After a few rounds of experimenting, we’ve settled on doubling the proportion of kale to ravioli to result in a salad that is perfectly focused on greens and complemented by the pasta. Our favorite ravioli so far is butternut squash (and lest you dare, we highly recommend against pumpkin – the clove doesn’t work.) The photo of this dish from 101 Cookbooks doesn’t do it justice!

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. raviolis (see headnotes)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of chopped lacinato kale, deveined (this is what we double)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and zest
  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chives, minced

Instructions

1. Into an extra-large pot of well-salted boiling water add the raviolis. After a few minutes, when the raviolis float and are cooked through, drain them and toss with one tablespoon of the olive oil. This prevents them from sticking together. Set aside.

2. To caramelize the onions, heat another tablespoon of the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed skillet with a pinch of salt. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions collapse and turn deep brown in color. You can do this ahead of time (or just before serving) – whatever you prefer. Remove from skillet and set aside.

3. Before serving, combine the kale and lemon juice with a pinch of salt in a large bowl (or on a large serving platter). Massage for 15 seconds or so. Add the raviolis and to the kale, along with most of the onions, and most of the hazelnuts. Fold gently to combine everything without breaking up the raviolis. Finish with cheese (optional but recommended), the chives, any remaining onions and hazelnuts, a finishing thread of olive oil, and the lemon zest. A wonderful dish to serve family-style.

Ravioli and Kale Winter Salad

Macro Bowls with Turmeric Tahini Sauce

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I ate more turmeric in India than I had previously in my entire life – and loved it. If you have any sort of affinity for the spice, I’d suggest giving this filling, potent dish a try.

When we came across this recipe, we thought it looked healthy and delicious but looked for a few ways we could reduce prep time. For us, that meant ending the hunt for watermelon radishes (they’re beautiful but can easily be subbed with beets or, you know, just radishes) and replacing mung beans with chickpeas. For us, this is because we use chickpeas in a good number of dishes we make, so there’s none that go to waste with leftover portions. We love the combo we’ve achieved – I hope you’ll give it a try!

Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 watermelon radish (or plain ol’ radish or beet does the trick)
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1 uncooked cup sprouted mung beans (or chickpeas)
  • 6 small or 3 medium carrots, steamed
  • 1 small head broccoli florets, steamed
  • 8 kale leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • ¾ cup sauerkraut or other fermented veggie
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or hemp seeds
  • microgreens, optional
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Turmeric Tahini Sauce
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1½ teaspoons dried turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black peppe
Instructions
  1. Make the Turmeric Tahini Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, turmeric, sea salt and several grinds of pepper. Set aside.
  2. Thinly slice the watermelon radish (this is best done on a mandolin), and toss the slices with a squeeze of lemon. Set aside.
  3. [Only if you’re using mung beans instead of chickpeas. We use chickpeas and this step marinate the chickpeas in lemon and tahini] Cook the mung beans in boiling salted water according to package directions, or until tender. Drain.
  4. In a steamer basket over a pot of simmering water, steam the carrots, covered, until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Next steam the broccoli until tender but still bright green, 4 to 5 minutes. Lastly, steam the kale until just tender, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  5. Assemble individual bowls with the brown rice, mung beans (chickpeas), carrots, broccoli, kale, sauerkraut, sesame seeds and microgreens, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the Turmeric Tahini Sauce.
Macro Bowls with Turmeric Tahini Sauce

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

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I suppose this is an easy lunch, but we eat this about once a week for an easy, lemony dinner. We have always substituted falafel for the kale and quinoa bites, and a regular, boring beet does the trick for the watermelon radish. We both find this incredibly hearty for such a good-for-you dish. Enjoy!
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed
  • 8 Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites
  • ¾ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 to 10 lacinato kale leaves, chopped
  • 6 paper-thin slices from 1 Chioggia beet or watermelon radish
  • ½ avocado, diced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (we use chia)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons runny tahini (thin with warm water if necessary)**
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes. Halfway through add the Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites to the baking sheet.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, Dijon mustard and pinches of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, massage the kale with a drizzle of olive oil, ½ tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. We’re seasoning every layer here to make sure all of the vegetables are flavorful.
  4. Assemble two large individual serving bowls with the kale, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites, beet or radish slices and avocado, if using. Sprinkle with the hemp seeds and red pepper flakes, if using. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and another big squeeze of lemon, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges.
Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Pasta with Tuna and Arugula

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This evening I was in search for something to make and I found this gem of a recipe.  So easy and quite tasty! You can change amounts as needed and arugula could easily be substituted for spinach if that’s what you have on hand.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound (12 ounces) pasta of your choice (I used Trader Joes Brown Rice and Quinoa Fusilli Pasta)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (more to taste)
  • Tuna (2 6oz containers is recommended, but I used 3 2.6oz packets)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 to 8 ounces baby arugula

1 Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water) to a rolling boil. Add the pasta, return to a rolling boil, and boil uncovered until the pasta is al dente, cooked, but still a little firm to the bite.

2 Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil; add tuna, salt: While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant.  Add the tuna and shred it into fine flakes with a fork. Season with salt. Keep warm over low heat.

3 Set aside a cup of pasta water: Just before the pasta is ready, set aside 1 cup of boiling water. You’ll need this to add back to the pasta dish to keep it from getting too dry.

4 Combine pasta with tuna mixture, arugula, and some pasta water: Drain the pasta and depending on the size of your pan, either add it to the skillet with the tuna, or return the pasta to the pasta pot and add the tuna mixture to the pasta.

Read more: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pasta_with_tuna_and_arugula/#ixzz4fnfM4woY

 

Pasta with Tuna and Arugula