31 January 2012

after school snacks. {gluten-free & vegan}

31 January 2012

I tend to find that those lingering hours between the late afternoon & dinner I'm always in search for a snack. After classes Jediah & I like to whip up something guilt-free, yet tasty before taking the pups on an adventurous walk along the river. Here are some of my recent favorites.

granola bars.

I found this simple, healthy snack on GOOP. It was a blog about healthy school lunch-box meals. Although I am not a kiddo, I feel I may still be one at heart. Instead of using the suggested apricots, I used 1/2 cup of dried cranberries & 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

1 1/3 cups quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats, divided
a pinch each fine salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground ginger
1/4 cup flax seeds
1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped (or any combination of roughly chopped dried fruit and/or nuts)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup high quality maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (a great substitute for corn syrup, available at lundberg.com)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 8” square baking pan with parchment paper, letting a bit of excess paper hang over the sides.
  2. Grind 1/3 cup of the oats in a food processor until powdery. Add them to a large mixing bowl with the remaining oats, the salt and spices, flax seeds, and apricots.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then stir them into the dry ingredients.
  4. Put the mixture in the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 1/2 hour, or until evenly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove to a cutting board (the parchment paper will act as a sort-of sling, making this very easy). Cut into individual granola bars.

warm & creamy spinach, artichoke & bean dip.

This came to me in a sleepness night. I always love spinach & artichoke dips, but I am really scared to ask what is in them. So I decided to go in a vegan direction that worked out really, really well. It is creamy & garlicy--with some substantial protein. I served this with some carrots & lentil crackers (also keeping it gluten-free).

1 14oz can navy beans or your favorite white beans rinsed & drained
sea salt & cracked pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Blitz until smooth in a food processor.
  2. Put in a large bowl.
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup artichoke hearts (defrosted or from a can), roughly chopped
sea salt & cracked pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes
olive oil
1/4 cup white wine

  1. Add all but the wine and cook on medium heat until a bit tender (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the wine & cook until reduced a bit (about 3 minutes)
  3. Add to bowl with beans.

2 or 3 big handfuls of fresh washed spinach, roughly chopped

  1. Add to bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small casserole dish and put the dip in. Drizzle with a little more extra-virgin olive oil & season for good measure.
  3. Bake on the bottom oven rack for 25 minutes until bubbly. Whack on the broiler, move the dip to the top rack for about 3 minutes.
  4. Let cool for about 5 minutes & enjoy!

a piece of bursting, delicious fruit.
Can't go wrong.

happy snacking & cheers!

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