Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cranberry Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola

I used to be a granola making machine! I got a few in my recipe box that I loved and used all the time, then I sort of took a break.  You know how things go...life happens.  After our last stash of Almond Joy Granola (my fave!) was gone I decided to try a new recipe.  Actually the base is pretty similar to most of the granola I make, but the add-ins are what make it unique and delicious.  I've never put pistachios in granola before but I was pleasantly surprised.  I love them by themselves and their delicious taste and saltiness gives a great contrast in flavors to the sweet cranberries and dark chocolate. This will definitely be up there in my top faves!

Cranberry Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1- 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup salted pistachios
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cereal and coconut.  In a smaller microwave-safe mixing bowl, add coconut oil, water, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.  Microwave about 30 seconds to melt coconut oil and whisk together until combined.  Pour over oat mixture and stir until oats are well-coated.

Spread granola out on 1 or 2 cookie sheets.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.  If you use only one cookie sheet, use the longer cook time but if using two sheets the granola will brown quicker so stir more frequently and use the shorter cook time.

Allow granola to slightly cool then add pistachios, cranberries and dark chocolate chips.  Mix in and let it sit a few minutes so chocolate melts a little. Stir just a few times so the chocolate spreads just a little but doesn't coat everything.  This will give you clusters perfect for popping in your mouth.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Crispy Parmesan and Basil Quinoa Patties

One of my most favorite things about making quinoa is these patties!  I don't particularly love rice, so any time I can swap it out for quinoa I do.  And when I do make it I ALWAYS make extra, then I have leftovers for these beauties.

Quinoa patties are really like a blank slate, kind of like pancakes if you ask me.  But I always start with quinoa cooked in chicken broth.  I think it just ups the flavor a little more and gives you a good base to work with. I love the tomato-basil variety but really you can customize these to your liking.  Change up the cheese, herbs, even the salsa on top.

Crispy Parmesan and Basil Quinoa Cakes
2 cups cooked quinoa (in chicken broth)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp finely diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup (generous) whole wheat flour
olive oil
avocado, sliced
cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook quinoa ahead and cool completely.  You could even cook it a day a head and refrigerate it.

In a mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa, eggs, onion, garlic, cheese, basil, salt, pepper and flour.  Stir well so mixture is wet and well-combined.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Using a large scoop, scoop out batter and drop into skillet.  Gently press down until it forms a pattie. Depending on size of skillet, cook about 3-4 at a time.  Cook until crispy and golden; 5-6 minutes per side. Remove patties and place them either on a paper towel or plate to cool.  Serve warm topped with tomatoes, avocado and fresh basil.

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is
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