Thursday, June 26, 2014

Coconut Almond Granola

Yikes!! Sorry it's been so long... the kick off to summer this year has been REALLY busy for both of us. Our apologies!! 

I read something once that granola cereal is pretty much crumbled up cookies. I knew there was a good reason I've always liked granola.

Not wanting to give my kid crumbled up cookies for breakfast, I set out to make my own. My husband had given me the Bob's Red Mill cookbook for Mother's Day and they had a few different granola recipes. They were great starting points, but I wanted something pretty simple, and I didn't want to have to search out ingredients I wouldn't normally use. 

I settled on Coconut Almond as the base and added orange zest and dried cranberries. This is an amazing combo and one I've used in actual cookies before. This is great on Greek yogurt, with berries or just in a bowl of milk. I suppose it's a little healthier than crumbled cookies, but it doesn't taste like it!

This is a really easy recipe that makes about 5 cups of granola. A little more than that, but 5 solid cups.

Coconut Almond Granola with Orange Zest and Dried Cranberries - inspired by Bob's Red Mill cookbook
Preheat oven to 275
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw sliced almonds
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut 
zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries

Combine oats, almonds, orange zest, and shredded coconut in a very large bowl. In a microwave proof bowl, heat almond butter, honey, and coconut oil until it's easily stirred. 

Mix the dry ingredients with the almond butter mixture. Stir until everything is really equally distributed.

Spread evenly over two lined baking sheets and bake at 275 for a grand total of 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

This is so easy, adaptable to what is in the pantry, and substitutions are really easy. Peanut butter can be used for the almond butter, raisins for the dried cranberries, pecans or walnuts for the almonds. Butter could be used for the coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon. The orange zest is totally optional, but really delicious!

Things made this time last year...

Homemade Tortillas

Huevos Rancheros

Baked Ziti

Braised Short Ribs over Penne

Chocolate Mug Cake

Lemon and Parmesan Crusted Salmon

Homemade Rainforest Crackers

Things made TWO years ago... Check out these oldies but goodies!! I can't believe it's been TWO years already!!!

Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw and Grapefruit Poundcake
Shredded Chicken Sandwiches with Mom's Cole Slaw and Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes
Whole Wheat and Yogurt Pancakes
Turkey Spaghetti
Lettuce Wrap Salad
Chicken with Balsamic Peppers
Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes
Banana Nut Muffins
Chocolate Cheesecake Marbled Brownies

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chipotle Hummus

Last Saturday I was watching “The Kitchen” on Food Network for the first time.  It seems like an interesting show because it’s more of a talk show than a cooking show.  During the episode I watched, they made pizzas on the grill and they also had a contest where they tested common kitchen gadgets.  One person would use their hands to do the task and the other person would use the kitchen tool.  Almost every time the person using their hands won…go figure!  Note to self: your hands are your best tool.  I digress…

Anyway, at the end of the show they answered questions from viewers and Marcela mentioned using leftover chipotles in adobo sauce to make chipotle hummus.  Well, she spoke to me…and I did it.  This is my basic hummus recipe with added chipotles in adobo sauce.  If you want, you can sub out the chipotles for sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers to make other typical hummus flavors you may see in the store.  Honestly, hummus is too easy not to make yourself.  Try it and see!

Chipotle Hummus

1-15oz can Garbanzo beans, liquid reserved
Juice from 1 lemon
¼ c tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped

In the bowl of a food processor, combine Garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and cumin.  While the food processor is blending, slowly add 2-3 tbsp reserved liquid from Garbanzo beans to the bean mixture until desired consistency is obtained. 

Note: If you do not want to use the leftover liquid from the beans, feel free to substitute water.

Add chipotle peppers and process until well-mixed.  Scoop hummus into a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.