Due to the set-up of my class schedule this semester, Thursday is usually the day when I can take a little break from reading, hit the grocery store, and restock my fridge with home-spun healthy eats. After finishing class today, I picked up some staples and got to work. I didn’t use any recipes, but ended up with some good stuff! First up: a beans-and-veggies salad. Ingredient round-up:
All you need to do here is drain and rinse the beans and dice the veggies…
…whisk together the dressing,
…stir to combine everything,
…and say hello to lunch!
Lemon-Tahini Two-Bean Salad
- 1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- about 3/4 c. diced sugar snap peas
- 1 diced red bell pepper
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 diced avocado
- 2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drain and rinse the beans, and combine them with the diced veggies. Add the dressing, stir to coat, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Next, I wanted to make some granola bars. I often get snacky during long days of class, and I hate buying packaged stuff at the cafe in the law building or from the vending machine. I’m sort of a processed food snob–I like making things myself so I know what’s in them. As Cher says in Clueless (albeit while referring to a very different topic), “You see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet.” I don’t like ingesting mystery ingredients, and so a new recipe was born!
First, I toasted the dry ingredients in the oven.
I found some recipes online that included wheat germ, but I didn’t have any of that so I used ground flax instead. It’s great to keep around for making fake “eggs” for vegan baking, putting in smoothies, sprinkling on oatmeal, etc. Keep it in the freezer for longer shelf life (with your popsicles, of course).
While the dry ingredients were toasting, I cooked the wet ingredients (or, what I like to refer to as “the goo factor”) until the sugar was dissolved, and then assembled everything.
I combined everything, pressed it into an 8×8 pan, and baked. Then, I tried to get one out to see if this was going to be a granola bar success story, and it was not a bar. It was a pile.
BUT–I went to pout (actually, to do some reading), and when I came back later, they were completely cooled and held together just fine. I really need to learn some kitchen patience.
White Chocolate Banana Granola Bars (makes 12)
- 2 c. oats
- 1/2 c. ground flax
- 3/4 c. sliced almonds
- 1/2 c. millet
- 4 tbsp Earth Balance or butter
- 1/3 c. honey
- 1/4 c. brown sugar (I used a very scant 1/4 c.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 of an overripe-ish banana
- 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the oats, almonds, flax, and millet on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally (the almonds should turn a light golden brown). Cook the butter, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Add the sugar mixture to the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the 1/2 banana, sliced very thin, and the white chocolate chips. Stir to coat all the dry ingredients, and press the mixture firmly into a greased 8×8 pan. Lower the oven temperature to 300, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into 12 squares.
I’m the kind of dork that gets really excited about new recipes, and I think these are particularly exciting because they’re sort of “choose your adventure” recipes. You could switch up the ingredients in all kinds of different ways: different beans and veggies in the salad, or different flavors in the dressing, and different add-ins for the granola bars. Oh, the possibilities! Next Thursday can’t come soon enough.