One of my daughters is allergic (sensitive) to nuts. It’s not anaphylactic but she does get bad skin rashes. She loves granola as a snack, so I set out to create a nut free granola that she would enjoy.
It wasn’t so easy because not everyone in my family likes chia seeds or flax. A lot of recipes called for wheat germ which was met with a resounding “NO”!. So needless to say I just started experimenting.
I started every batch with old fashioned oats. I knew my family likes those. Then I started adding seeds. Which seeds would fit universally at any meal, and would we all like them? From there I added chocolate chips but they didn’t taste like the right fit so I switched to cacao nibs. Then I wanted to sweeten it. I din’t want to use sugar and honey was too sweet for us. I ended up with Pure Maple Syrup. It is set but has just the right bite of bitter. Finally, I wanted some chew, so I started adding dried fruits. A little salt elevated the flavor and I used olive oil to pull it all together.
The recipe is below, but here are a few notes:
You can use coconut oil instead of olive oil, if you prefer. The dried fruit is completely up to you but I used apricots, , dried blueberries, cranberries. Next time I will try cherries to.
For seeds I used sunflower, pepitas (pumpkin), sesame and hemp hearts. You can use any combination. And you can use nuts if you like. In my second batch I used coconut flakes. It definitely a personal choice.
Preheat oven to 350°
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl stir together the oats, seeds, and cacao nibs. Toss in oil and syrup.
Add a nice sprinkle of kosher salt and turn out onto prepared baking sheet.
Smooth out to a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes. rotate half way through and stir.
When seed mixture comes out of oven, pour into same bowl and let cool a few minutes.
Add dried fruit and toss well. Pour back onto baking sheet and let cool completely.
You can store this in mason jars or other airtight container for 2 weeks in the pantry. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
This makes a great gift!
The Chinese (Lunar) New Year is this weekend, January 25th. Everywhere I look I am seeing recipes encouraging a home celebration. The one I see the most is “Egg Roll Bowl”. Can you believe bowls are still such a thing?
I love a good bowl but in this case I am team Egg Roll all the way. I get it. We are trying to lighten up the way we eat etc. As you know my New Years resolution was to lean in to a cleaner lifestyle. So here I think I’m giving you the best of both worlds. I am giving you my Baked Egg Roll recipe. It is all the goodness and crispness of a fried egg roll but with very little oil. I love that this recipe comes together quickly. Once you have all your ingredients prepped, it’s 5-6 minutes in the pan and about 13 minutes in the oven.
Then I am giving you a link to Katie Lee’s Sheet Pan Fried Rice. I love this recipe for a couple of reasons. First, it is a lower fat version of fried rice and because it is baked, your house won’t have a greasy odor. I also love that you can really customize to whatever your family likes or what is left in your kitchen. I like tofu but my family not so much. I often end up with leftovers and this is a great way to use it. You can buy a rotisserie chicken or use whatever leftovers you may have. You can find the recipe here: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/sheet-pan-fried-rice-with-tofu-8071765
Back to my egg roll recipe, I love the idea of my baked egg rolls but if you really want to do bowl, here’s a trick. Take s few wonton wrappers and slice them into thins strips. Give a few sprays of non-propellant oil and bake them at 400° for 5-8 minutes just to golden brown and crisp. Then throw them over your bowl. They just add a little crispy texture and they are delicious.
Preheat oven to 400° convection. You can use an AirFryer here, too. You can use a conventional oven. Just watch the egg rolls and adjust timing.
Heat a large saute pan.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat oil in heated saute pan.
Season ground protein, I used ground chicken, with salt and pepper.
Cook ground chicken and minced ginger together until just browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Add all veggies and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in oyster sauce and just coat.
Mix together 1 Tbs. cornstarch and 1 Tbs. cooking liquid from saute pan. Stir into meat/veggie mixture until liquid is not cloudy and has thickened slightly. Remove from heat.
While your meat/veggie mix is cooling slightly get your rolling station ready.
Take your wrappers out of package and place under a slightly damp towel, so they don't dry out.
Have a small bowl of water handy. You will use this to seal your egg rolls.
Take your first wrapper and position it with in a diamond shape, with the lower tip facing you. Using a measuring tablespoon, spoon 2 tablespoons of the meat/veggie mixture into the lower quarter of the wrapper.
Fold the bottom tip up, then fold in the right side and finally the left side. Carefully begin rolling towards the top.
Once you are at he top use a finger dipped n water to finish the roll and seal it closed.
Place on the baking sheet, seam side down.
Continue until you have used all the mixture. You should have 2 dozen rolls and should be a able to fit a dozen on each baking sheet.
Spray each egg roll lightly with oil. You can use your own mister or buy a non-propellant non-stick spray.
Place in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
Take from oven and flip over, give an additional spray and return to oven for 5-7 minutes.
When both sides are browned remove from oven.
Serve immediately with preferred dipping sauces. I like to make a mixture of equal parts soy sauce and housing sauce. It is a good substitute for oyster sauce.
If you want to use a vegan oyster sauce you can find it on Amazon.
My Family and I have been doing Meatless Monday for a few years. In 2020, I want us to lean in more to vegetarian and vegan options. We’ve all read or heard on the news how important this is, not only for our health but, for our environment. I was actually at an event and heard a famous Breast Cancer doctor speak. Her advice was if you can’t make the switch to being vegan, can you be vegan for a meal? How hard could it be to have vegan cereal for breakfast or a huge vegan salad for lunch. She made it sound simple and I am embracing it.
I’ve made these Quinoa Burgers for my family before and frankly they love them. I originally made them with Sriracha sauce, in the mix. They were quite spicy. So while my husband and enjoyed them, my kids not so much. I re-did the recipe and now I share with you where to add whatever flavoring you would like to customize for your family.
This is a fairly simple recipe and it comes together fast. If you have all your ingredients ready to go, dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes. I like to serve these as if I was serving a burger with coleslaw and fries.
By the way, save the liquid from your canned chickpeas. It is a fabulous vegan substitute for egg whites, where it calls for whipping them into tiff peaks.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. As always I want to hear from you. Send me your comments and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @whiskinthesouthern.
Over a medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil to a saucepan. Coat the pan and once hot, add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until you start to really smell the aromatics and the veggies start to soften.
Add broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Turn out quinoa onto a baking sheet, or plate, to cool for a few minutes.
While your quinoa is cooling, add your chickpeas, panko bread crumbs, salt & pepper, egg and finally the cooled quinoa mix, to a food processor. Give it a few pulses.
This is where you want to add your flavoring if you want. The "burgers" have plenty of flavor but here you can add some hot sauce, some ranch dressing mix, or even your favorite steak rub. If you don't want to add the flavor here, or if you want more flavor, you can mix your seasoning with the 2 tsp. of canola oil to drizzle over the burger.
After you've added your flavoring, continue to pulse to a slightly chunky, but smooth texture.
Carefully remove the blade from the processor and start making your burgers.
I use a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop to make my burgers. It gives you a nice start to shape and your burgers are evenly sized.
Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a skillet. Please make sure to use a non-stick skillet or get a stainless skillet searing hot and well oiled before putting your burgers in. The quinoa burgers are delicate so make sure they slide easily onto your spatula before your turn them. If they stick at all, they are not ready to be turned.
Place burgers in and cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides.
Serve immediately on buns or butter lettuce leaves with your favorite condiments
So here we are the beginning of January 2020! As I think about resolutions, I’m trying tone way more mindful and intentional (which just happens to be my word for the year). So one of my resolutions is to eat breakfast more often. That also includes having quick and easy breakfast available for me and my family to grab.
The first thing I made in this new year is biscuits. Yes, I know they may not qualify as a healthy breakfast but I also believe that anything made at home with quality ingredients better than anything processed outside my kitchen. If combined with a healthy protein and some fruit or veggies, a biscuit breakfast can take you all the way to lunch, without temptation.
I started with my Great-Grandmother’s Biscuit recipe. It laid out most of the ingredients and these instructions:
“Work in enough flour to work out. Cut. Bake”
By the way flour was not listed as an ingredient. I was able to cull together some instructions and made some beautiful biscuits. I have given you a few more instructions. Enjoy!
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Preheat oven to 475°
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
Grate butter, into flour mixture, on large hole side of grater box. Work in with hands. You want a coarse meal feel.
Put butter/flour mixture in freezer for a few minutes, here. You want everything to be cold when you start to work it.
Take bowl out of freezer and make a well in middle.
Pour buttermilk into well and start to mix together with a wooden spoon or your hands.
The dough will be sticky.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gently, 15 times.
Add more flour if you need and start to roll out dough to 1/2" thick. Then fold in half and repeat, 5 times. This step is important because you are forming layers.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
Once dough is ready to cut, use a biscuit cutter and cut straight down. Do not twist when making biscuits. Twisting forms a seal and prevent steam which prevents lots of layers of flaky goodness. Place biscuits on parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
Bake at 475° for 15 minutes. Watch your biscuits. Every oven is different and you want a nice golden brown biscuit.
When biscuits come out of oven brush tops with melted butter, immediately. Let cool for just 5 minutes before serving warm biscuits.