THE HEALTHY HAG

I COOK … I EAT … I SHARE.

Sweet and Chewy Granola Bars April 5, 2010

Always on the hunt for tasty new versions of homemade and healthy bars, I love trying newly discovered, soon-to-be classics.  These oooey-gooey-chewy sweet nuthins will dazzle your tastebuds and satisfy your sweet-tooth.  They have some great ingredients, but as with all typical granola bars, are a wee bit high on the sugar factor – so no finishing the entire batch in one sittin’ ya hear?  Well, try not too at least … and if you falter (don’t feel guilty, these things are like crack) just up the laps around the park that night, or maybe shave off a glass of vino (oh for the love of Pete why did I just say that?).

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INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup oats (not instant)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower OR pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup spelt flour (you could substitute whole wheat)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

Pinch of nutmeg OR Allspice

1/2 cup canola OR sunflower oil OR almond oil

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup dried blueberries (or whatever your fave dried berry is)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a square baking pan with parchment paper OR simply grease pan slightly.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl combine canola oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup until  smooth then stir in egg and vanilla extract. 
  4. Combine dry mixture with wet until it just incorporated then add in dried blueberries.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly, and bake bars until set (about 25-30 min). 
  6. Remove bars from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire, then cut into desired sizes and shapes and serve!
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Easy Vegan Lentil “Burgers” March 30, 2010

And so the love affair with lentils continues.  I wanted something to compliment my other half’s MEAT night BBQ, seeing as it was an even 50/50 split for the veggies and the carnivores.  I’ve made a bunch of meatless burgers (or patties if you’re offended by that term), and it’s always a challenge to get them to stay in one piece and not crumble apart.  Well my dears, this worked beautifully!  I just modified a few of the usual methods/ingredients, and what resulted was a hearty, tasty and totally vegan lentil burg that I’ve been enjoying for 2 days now (yes, made a HUGE batch).  Anyhoodle, give these ones a go, and serve ’em with your FAVE sauces … and say HELLO to BBQ season!!!

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

 

1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup water
1 cup stock
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 medium carrot or zucchini, diced
3 tbsp tomato sauce
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp curry OR chili powder (or any other spice you’d like)

Meal: ¾ cup bread crumbs OR rolled oats OR ground almonds mixed with nutritional yeast – finely ground

extra meal (about 2-3 tbsp)

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

 

1) Sauté the onion, garlic and zucchini (or carrots) in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.

2) Place the lentils, stock, water, tomato sauce, spices and salt in with onion/garlic, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, until water is nearly gone and lentils are very soft.

3) Stir in additional salt and pepper (per taste) and allow lentil mixture to cool (about 30 min) then mix in the ground “meal” of your choice.

4) Place additional “meal” in a small dish; form lentil mixture into “burgers” and coat with crumbs on all sides.

5) Cook and serve with zesty sauce (I used a delish vegan hemp mayonnaise by BFF made for me) Cooking options:
(A) In a frying pan, heat a bit of oil (do not use olive oil), place burgers on top and fry until brown (about 2 minutes per side).
(B) In a 400ºF oven, bake the burgers on a greased baking sheet until light brown (about 15 minutes total), flipping once mid-way through.

 

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Note – these store really well for up to a week!

 

Harvest Loaf January 17, 2010

 

I love loaves… add to that something savoury and nutritious?  I’m sold.  This little gem will impress your guests, be kind to your hips, and won’t break the bank.  Try subbing in your favourite squash or whatever you happen to have on hand.  Oh, and it’s totally dairy free so it’ll knock the socks off your dairy-freer pals.  You could even make this one vegan by using egg substitute for the 2 eggs.  Impressive, I know!!!!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup pureed squash (I used canned organic butternut, but you could use pumpkin or even sweet potatoes!)

1/3 cup canola oil (you could use almond or any other seed oil, but I’d avoid using Olive oil)

1/2 cup raisins

handful of pumpkin seeds

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350F, and grease loaf pans.

2) In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and set aside

3) In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, squash and oil with a wooden spoon, until smooth.

4) Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine, then stir in raisins.

5) Pour batter into loaf pans (I used 3 mini, but you could use 1 large), sprinkle with seeds, and bake at 350F for 40 min until browned and tester stick comes out dry.

6) Allow to cool for 10 min in pans, then remove and cool on a wire rack for another 5-10 min, and serve!

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NOTE – these can be frozen and allowed to defrost at room temp.  

 

Rice and Peas, Peas and Rice July 31, 2009

It is Caribana weekend here in metropolis,  and in honour of this long standing glorious tradition, I am posting my take on a classic: rice and peas. There is more to this celebration than parades, whistles and sweat, there’s the delicious and cheap food.  I am a big time lover of caribbean inspired culinary delights, as they’re often ridicously tasty, cheap and easy to make.  Most of the ingrients are pantry staples, so it makes a spontaneous night of heart-and-belly-warming eats a snap. I know, I know, there aren’t any real “peas” in this dish … but hey, aren’t you as sick as I am at saying you’re having yet another dish of rice and beans?  Rice and peas just sounds nicer.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (or 2 cups cooked) red kidney beans

1 can coconut milk

2 cups of brown rice, soaked overnight

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1 TBSP canola spoon oil

water

Scotch Bonnet Pepper (although this is totally optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1) Rinse cooked beans thoroughly, place in a pot and add coconut milk and enough water to make four cups of liquid.

2) Add in onions, garlic, thyme and oil, bring to a boil.

3) Add rice and stir for 1 minute, add hot pepper whole, by placing pepper on top and allow to simmer.

4) Reduce heat to med-low and continue to simmer for about 35 min (or until rice is cooked).

5) Remove pepper (you can discard or add it to another dish you may be making – but watch out … it’s HOT) and serve.


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FETE ‘TILL YOU SWEAT!

 

Out-of-this-world Oatmeal PB Bars July 23, 2009

I am always on the hunt for new and exciting tasty treats that are soy-free and healthy.  I’ve experimented with dozens of batches and have adjusted my good ol’ taste buds to accommodate a lot of pasty and good-for-you-but-not-good-tasting snacks.  I was hankering for something oatmealy, healthy and transportable and came up with what according to my hubster, is by far the best thing I’ve ever made.  It’ll be tough to follow up this one with something comparable, but I love a challenge.  These bars are a great way to grab a brekkie on the go or to feast upon with a cuppa java.  They’re also dairy-free so that’s another unexpected perk too!  The batch I made yesterday has been reduced to one bar in less than 24 hours – and there’s only 2 of us to blame.  YUMMERS!

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp wheat bran

1 tbsp ground flax seed

1/2 cup natural-style smooth peanut butter (my absolute favourite right now is PB & Co … LOVE their stuff!)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar or sugar in the raw

1/3 cup honey

2 eggs

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, dates or apricots (or any other dried fruit you like)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds (or your favourite nut)

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray (I used a bit of oil smudged about with a brush, as all the spray oils I’ve seen have soy).

2. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, wheat germ, and ground flax in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Thoroughly mix peanut butter, sugar, and honey in a large mixing bowl until blended, then blend in egg, oil and vanilla and beat until smooth.

4. Add reserved flour mixture to wet mixture and combine, then mix in oats, dried fruit, and nuts.

5. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish and bake fro 20-25 min until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

6. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into bars (about 30 min minimum).

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Kashmiri Kidney Beans and Turnips April 24, 2009

I LOVE Indian food – winter, spring, summer and fall. This fragrant and heart-warming dish is a winter staple in the Indian state of Kashmir (or so I hear – although it seems for Fall-like to me) – but can obviously be enjoyed any time of year. It is a straightforward recipe, and results in an immensely satisfying meal. It’s high in fibre and nutrients, and is low in fat and calories, so what more can a gal ask for? Serve over basmati rice – or with a warm piece of fresh Naan bread.

INGREDIENTS

1 turnips, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained (but save liquid for later)

1 tbsp and 1-1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds

1/4 tsp whole fennel seeds

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 tsp minced fresh ginger root

1/4 tsp minced garlic

1 cup chopped tomatoes (or use canned if you want)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp water

1/4 tsp garam masala

DIRECTIONS

1) Place turnip into a saucepan with water and salt, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the turnip is soft (about 5 min).

2) Once tender, stir in kidney beans, and cook 5 min more.

3) Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat – stir in cumin and fennel, and cook until the spices toast and become fragrant, about 1 min.

4) Stir in onion, and cook until it turns golden brown, about 5 min.

5) Stir in minced ginger and garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds, then add tomatoes and salt, and continue cooking until the mixture turns pasty.

6) Finally, stir in paprika, turmeric, ground ginger, and a bit of water (about a tbsp) – cook 2 min more.

7) Add tomato mixture to turnip, and add back in liquid from kidney bean can, and simmer 10 min.

8] Season with garam masala before serving over a bed of basmati rice!

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Pumpkin-tastic Bread January 24, 2008

You will be able to fool even the more discerning carnivore, with this to-good-to-be-true vegan recipe. It also makes a great gift, and freezes amazingly. You can make this recipe into muffins too! It may not be low on the calorie or fat count, but it packs a lot of protein and is well worth the extra 30 min on the treadmill.
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Ingredients:
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat, all-purpose, rice, etc)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
2/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup flaked coconut

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350F, and grease and flour two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans (you can use 4 small loaf pans too, but lessen the baking time).
2) Spread walnuts in a single layer on a non-greased baking sheet, and toast in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 min (or until lightly browned); set aside to cool.
3) In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown and white sugars, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
4) Add the pumpkin, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until combined.
5) Add in the flaked coconut and toasted walnuts, stir gently.
6) Divide the batter evenly between pans, and bake for 60-75 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
7) Remove from oven, cover loaves tightly with foil, and allow to steam for 10 minutes.
8) Remove foil, and turn loaves out onto a cooling rack.
9) Allow to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!