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Snacks

Crispy Cumin Chickpeas

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Who love snacking? This girl! Who would eat an entire bag of potato chips? This girl! No really. I was talking to a colleague earlier this week about marathon runners eating potato chips while running to keep their energy up. I was instantly “into” running! But, no, it’s not ok to always eat potato chips. It is ok, however, to always eat something healthy and satisfying. These crispy chickpeas are a fantastic alternative. The spicy, salty, protein filled treat. They are very easy to make. I think the most intense part of the whole treat is removing the skin of the chickpeas. Which is really easy. This snack is another awesome treat from A Couple Cooks new book, Pretty Simple Cooking. This was super simple cooking. I’m sure any seasoning on here would be fantastic. Truffle oil and salt, rosemary and parmesan, my snack list keeps growing.

Crispy Cumin Chickpeas

Crispy Cumin Chickpeas

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place them on one side of a dry towel and fold the other side over the top. Gently roll your hands over the towel to loosen the skins.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir until evenly distributed.
  4. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out so they are in an even layer. Bake 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until they are crispy and dry.
  5. Allow to cool, and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

Adapted from A Couple Cooks Pretty Simple Cooking.

Whole Wheat French Baguette

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I love carbs. I know, new year, re-energized diets, maybe you’re cutting out carbs. But you can stay healthy and consume wholesome carbs that keep you full and satisfied. I’ve been integrating whole grains into recipes for just a short time. Some successfully some very unsuccessfully. I think you need to find the right balance. Yes, it will taste different, but not necessarily in a bad way. Aside from pasta, I love bread. French baguettes are basically heaven in bread form. When I saw this whole wheat version I was hesitant. So much so, that it took me a year to even give this recipe a try. I mean why make 3 loaves if they are going to taste terrible? But they do not taste terrible. Actually they are pretty fantastic. There is a denseness to them, yet they are still soft and fluffy. It’s a bit involved in the sense that it will take you a weekend to make them. I like the original posts suggestion of setting this up over the weekend. I did this as well, but not overnight, just throughout the day and one overnight. They turned out great. If you have time, and are wanting to try your hand at homemade bread, I think this would be a great option.

 

Whole Wheat French Baguette

Whole Wheat French Baguette

Ingredients

For the preferment

For the dough

Instructions

  1. To make the preferment, combine the flour, water, and yeast in a bowl. If it's overly dry and not coming together, add in more water 1 tsp at a time, until all of the ingredients are incorporated and no loose flour remains. Cover and let rest overnight at room temp.
  2. To make the dough, add the preferment in a bowl with water, orange juice, wheat flour, bread flour, salt and yeast. Knead the bread using your standing mixture with the hook attachment. Knead for about 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth, Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise 3-4 hours, gently deflating and turning once per hour.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide it into three pieces and form each into a rough oval. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  4. Working with one piece of dough at a time, fold the dough in half. lengthwise. Seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten the dough then repeat the fold and seal motions. With the seam side down on the work surface, gently roll the dough into a log about 16 inches long. Place the logs on the lined baking sheet spacing them at least a few inches apart. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes. Drape gently with well greased plastic wrap, making sure it does not anchor to the edge of the pan and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Before baking, let the dough come to room temp for at least 90 minutes. Meanwhile, place a baking stone on the middle shelf in the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees F.
  6. When you are ready to bake remove the plastic wrap. Slash the loaves diagonally with a sharp knife. Brush lightly with the egg wash. Spray the loaves lightly with water. Place the baking sheet on the baking stone. Let bake 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 400 degrees F. Bake 10 minutes more. The loaves should be golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the baguette registers 190 degrees F. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.

Notes

Recipe from Everyday Annie.

Just a Spoonful of Manuka Honey

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You guys, I feel like I found a treasure with these little gummies. They are tasty and full of healthy benefits, like protecting you from catching a cold. Let me tell you, I made these for the first time last year and while the plague made its way around our office, I did not get sick once. Not once!!! I’m not sure if it was the magical gummies or the hospital grade immunities that I because….daycare… but the combo worked. Tis the season for sickness and who has time for that? The Holidays are coming, and nothing is worse than getting sick around the Holidays. Also, we are gearing up for our trip to Disney World on MONDAY! I cannot believe it’s almost vacation time, but again, who has time for sickness during vacation. Not this girl! So I’ve been taking two of these little guys every morning (or night if I forget which I often do). I will say that last year I ran out of gummies and just made the syrup. A couple spoonful’s of this does the trick. As always, if you are concerned about anything, consult with your Dr. before taking anything. It’s natural, but you should be sure any medication you are on will not cause an adverse reaction. In addition to this, I was drinking some ginger turmeric tea with manuka honey every morning at work. I was also using tea tree oil on my face, because apparently it has acne healing properties….and also some serious health benefits. I should also mention I wash my hands a ton, especially during this time of year. Call it luck, call it the routine, who knows for sure, but I would highly recommend a batch of these guys to get you through the winter months.

Wellness Gummies

Wellness Gummies

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine the elderberries, water, and spices in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. Strain the mixture and stir in the manuka honey. Measure one cup of the syrup for the gummies. Let the remaining syrup cool before storing in the fridge.
  3. For the gummies, stir the warm syrup into the gelatin to activate it. Add the hot water and whisk until smooth. If the gelatin does not dissolve completely, reheat a bit to help the gelatin dissolve.
  4. Place the silicon molds on a cookie sheet. Drop one dose of Vitamin D into each gummie well, and then carefully pour the syrup mixture into each mold.
  5. Place the cookie sheets in the fridge and chill until firm. Pop the gummies out of the molds and place in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

Recipe from the Baker Chick

Grilled Corn Guacamole

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When I meet someone that doesn’t like guacamole, I immediately think you have guac to me kidding me. (har har…..) In all seriousness, if I could write an entire blog post in avocado and guacamole references, I would absolutely do that.  Like that phase that people went through with kale. Adorning their cars and items with stickers professing their love for kale. I would do so for an Avocado. I saw a mug the other day that said “relationship status: Avocado” Yes!!!! I need that in my life. Which brings me to today’s post. If you could not already tell, it’s an avocado recipe. More specifically a delicious guacamole recipe. Yaaaaaas! I love guac because you can vary the add ins making a great and healthy snack! This particular recipe I found when looking for something to bring along to our company picnic. Since I love guac, I thought it would be the perfect addiction. Heck if no one ate it, more for me! I could live off this stuff.  I love the flavor combination in this particular recipe. The sweet corn and spicy jalapeno (which I grew in my own garden!) compliment each other. The queso fresco adds a pleasant cheesy yet not overwhelming taste. It’s very similar to the recipe I usually make, using tomato instead of the corn, so I would absolutely consider this version one of my favorites. It’s too good to stop good.

Grilled Corn Guacamole

Grilled Corn Guacamole

Instructions

  1. Shuck the corn and grill over medium heat, until it's charred on all sides. Remove from the frill and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cob and set aside.
  2. Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop out the avocado and place in a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork.
  3. Add in the grilled corn, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Top with queso.

Notes

Original Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

 

Banana Bread Energy Bites

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There is nothing worse than the afternoon doldrums. Yup. Occasionally I’ll have a cup of coffee or tea, but I try to limit my caffeine intake since my blood is 50% coffee anyway. Or so I’m convinced. But when you need that pick me up, it’s nice to have something a little sweet and very tasty on hand to help make it through. If you really wanted to make these a treatier-treat you could add some chocolate chips. Just saying! But even without them, these little bites are great. I was brainstorming on what I could do with this random ripe banana I had. When I thought of this spin-off of the classic favorite bread, I was super excited to try it out. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. It took a bit of working to get the texture the way I wanted it. So often I’ve made these energy bites that are like kourabiedes. If you are a fellow Greek, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. Tangent; those cookies are not only insanely delicious, they are insanely dry and not to be eaten in one bite. My husband made the mistake of popping one in his mouth at a friends party, while myself and her  yiayia both said “Noooooooo” basically movie style in slow motion. The coughing (and laughing) that happened afterward was a lesson learned. Other variations of these energy bites can be so dry. I wanted something soft and delicious. These are just right! It’s a simple recipe to whip up as well. I just combined everything in my food processor. Done! So here you have it. A quick, easy, tasty, perfectly textured afternoon treat.

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of your food processor. Combine until the mixture comes together. You want the mixture to be soft and moist so that it will come together but not so soft that it won't hold it's shape. Using a scoop, scoop out rounds of the mixture and place on a cookie sheet. Pop in the fridge until firm. Store in an air-tight container. Note, you can also add some additional cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg to the top.

Notes