Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crunchy Take Alongs

Today's post doesn't contain carrots - oh joy, oh bliss! Mind you, yesterday in my Kitchen Prod. class we were doing soups (using recipes from none other than AllRecipes.com!) and I almost cried when the instructor mentioned that carrot soup was one of the options that would be handed out. She did take pity on me though, and I snagged the very rich (and very VERY flawed) recipe for Creamy Potato and Leek Soup. Um, I doubt it's just me, but someone tell me if they've ever had 6 potatoes cook in 20 minutes using 14.5 oz of chicken broth?? Two groups made batches of the soup, and me - being, well, me, added more water to cook the potatoes, added salt and pepper (what potato soup doesn't use that?), and refused to use the food processor to mash the soup. The other group, well... potato glue comes to mind... they meant well, though. Following the recipe does not always mean a good product! In the end, we had a very yummy looking and smelling soup, and I got the biggest compliment I've ever recieved in that class... I was called a chef. Not a student, not a cook, but a chef. I am humbled.

For regular school days, though, I'm all about take-along food - especially healthy snacks for middle of the day pick-me-ups for when my friends and I begin to drag a bit. This past weekend was spent cooking and baking up a storm of all kinds with the idea of "make-ahead" in mind, and I'd say I was pretty successful! Though it was about 6-7 hours a day of on-my-feet work (just like when I was at Timmy's!) it was always changing throughout each new recipe, idea and outcome. I got to make a bunch of new recipes, and I STILL have half a haul of carrots left over!

However, today's goodies (one of the first things I made) were carrot free (like I mentioned) - a nice change of pace from staring at seas of purple and orange in my food processor for hours on end! I had made (yet another) impromptu trip to Bulk Barn and came home with, among other things, dried mango What came out of the oven were the bar of all granola bars - super-healthy, filled with fibre, omega-3s, zinc and just the right amount of sweetness, with the hint of naughtiness from the chocolate chips. I think they'd be perfect for lunchboxes or bake sales at school (or work) all year round, and you never have to worry about allergic reactions in a nut-free environment - all the crunch and nutty flavour comes from the array of different seeds packed deep inside.

Mucho Seed and Cereal Bars
Makes 30
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup Rice Krispies
1/2 cup All-Bran Guardian cereal, lightly crushed
1/2 cup 100% Bran cereal
1/4 cup hulled hemp seed
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup diced dried mango
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13" pan with greased foil and set aside.
  2. Combine oats through diced mango in a bowl, toss to blend well. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat margarine, tahini, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt until smooth.
  4. Add oat mixture and mix with your hands until well blended, adding water as you mix.
  5. Press evenly into prepared pan, pressing top smooth.
  6. Bake 30 minutes. Let cool in pan before cutting into bars.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 161.1
Total Fat: 7.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 141.3 mg
Total Carbs: 22.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 3.4 g
WW Points: 3