Monthly Archives: July 2009

Almond/Cashew Protein Bars


Up until just a few weeks ago, I could not find a protein bar/snack that I wanted more than once. I’ve been trying to find a good packaged one for years. But all of them taste terrible. I like Lara Bars, but they are sticky and lacking chocolate. They are good for long plane rides and such.

Recently, I visited a new breakfast joint in town, Over Easy, and they have a wonderful house-made protein bar. It listed almonds, flax meal, coconut and chocolate. It was a hit. I loved it, but at $3 for each 2″ square, I realized I couldn’t hang out there every day when I wanted one-I’d go broke.

So, I came home and tried to make it on my own. After a few tries that were great, I came across a version of it on Elana’s Pantry (see link on right). Elana makes some wonderful GF food on her site and I love looking for new ideas. I tweaked both Elana’s and Over Easy’s recipes and came up with what I call my Almond/Cashew Protein Bar.

So far, I’ve been told by a few people that I should sell it, it’s so good. It’s salty and sweet, crunchy and filling. I love the chocolate on top, just enough to sweeten the deal. It’s like eating a candy bar that’s good for you. It’s just hard to stop, although a little goes a long way. Give it a shot and let me know if you change it in any way. I’ve thought about adding dried fruit, or some raw pistachios-the possibilities are endless when you think about it.

Almond/Cashew Protein Bars
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup unsalted, raw almond butter (crunchy)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 packet stevia powder
1 Tbs agave nectar
1 Tbs GF vanilla extract
1 cup Enjoy Life GF, DF, CF chocolate chips

1. Mix first six ingredients in a food processor for about 20-25 seconds, should still be coarsely chopped and mixed.
2. Heat coconut oil over low heat and remove.
3. Add stevia, agave and vanilla to coconut oil and stir.
4. Pour coconut mixture into almond mixture in food processor slowly until completely mixed.
5. Pour mixture into a sprayed 8×8 glass baking dish.
6. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
7. Melt chips in microwave for 20 seconds, stir then microwave another 20 seconds. Continue until chips are melted. Do not microwave too much or you’ll ruin the chips.
8. Pour chocolate over bars, spread evenly and return to fridge for at least 30 minutes or longer until hardened.
9. Cut into squares and serve.

If you’re going to save these, as I do, to eat in the next few days, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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Filed under almonds, cashews, chocolate, coconut, flax, protein bars, snack

Veggie Feast

I decided to use a few fresh, organic veggies and do it up right. I love the strong, earthy bite of kale and have never really cooked with it before. And my new-favorite veggie these days is chard, with it’s beautiful color and kick of flavor. I used to use escarole more often, but I like chard’s distinct flavor and texture. Either one would work in place of the other, in my opinion. Enough garlic and everything tastes great.

I’ve made two dishes today and put them in the fridge (after sneeking a bunch for myself). I’ll save them for dinner/lunches in the next few days. One dish is a variation on the last post I did using a red chard this time and white bean. The other is something of a variation on a dish I saw at Whole Foods that had steamed kale and soy sauce, sesame oil, etc., except theirs is not GF and therefore I can’t have it. So I just made my own version.

Both are simply delicious. Make enough to save and snack on later, I can’t stop picking at them when I open the fridge. Somebody stop me…

Red Chard with White Beans
1 bunch of red chard, cleaned and chopped
1.5 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 can white cannelini beans, rinsed
1/2 cup marinara sauce
salt/pepper

Simple dish…
1. Place chard in a hot saute pan with the oil over medium heat. Toss in the pan until it’s wilted
2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix, simmer 10 minutes and voila. Next!

The flavors are even better the next day since they have time to infuse. The stems are still crisp, just the way I like them. I think I’ll make some GF rolls to eat with them. Yum…


Steamed Kale with Golden Raisins
1 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped
1/4 C golden raisins
salt/pepper

sauce:
2 TBS GF tamari sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 dash cayenne
1 tsp chopped parsely
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar

1. Steam kale leaves in a saute pan with a 2 TBS water on the bottom. Cover until wilted but still crisp (water should be about gone).
2. While kale is steaming, mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and tweak it to your liking, add more soy, more sesame, etc. until you have it just right.
3. Pour sauce, salt, pepper and raisins into pan, toss and turn off heat and let it sit for a few moments for the flavors to marry.

I like to server this one cold. Let it cool in the fridge before serving. The bite of the kale with the sweetness of the raisins is so satisfying.

Feel free, dear chef, to experiment with adding almonds, different greens, different beans, etc. These are so flavorful they would make a great side dish, or stand alone on their own.

Enjoy!

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Filed under beans, gluten free, kale, raisins, Swiss Chard, vegetarian