Cranberry and Coconut Gluten Free Granola Bars

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 1 (13×9-inch) container

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, toasted*

1½ cups toasted, salted almonds

1 packed cup roughly chopped dates

¾ packed cup dark brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon water

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup toasted, salted sunflower seeds

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 300ºF.

*Place oats (evenly spread) on a sheet tray and transfer to the oven until lightly toasted, approximately 15 minutes

Create a foil sling (for easy removal of the granola bars) to fit into a 9×13-inch pan. Lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray.

Add almonds to a food processor with the blade attachment and process until very finely chopped. (No visual chunks remaining)

Transfer processed almonds to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Add dates, brown sugar and salt to the food processor (no need to clean it out) and process until the dates are finely chopped. With the processor running, stream in the vanilla extract, water and melted butter. Process until a smooth thick paste is formed. Set aside.

Add the toasted oats, cranberries, sunflower seeds and shredded coconut to the large mixing bowl that contains the processed almonds. Stir to combine. Add the date paste (be sure to scrape the bowl and blade of the food processor to get every last drop!) to the bowl. Mix ingredients thoroughly using your hands, squeezing and folding the mixture to ensure it’s thoroughly combined.

Evenly distribute the granola mixture into the prepared pan. Press down the mixture to make sure it’s compact and evenly distributed. Transfer to oven and bake for 25 minutes. It will be very lightly toasted.

Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour so the mixture can firm up.

Once cool, transfer the granola bar to a cutting board and cut into squares and enjoy!

Harissa Braised Chickpeas with Potatoes and Spinach

Watch me make this on my YouTube channel!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small

3 large carrots, peeled and diced medium

3 celery stalks, diced medium

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated on a Microplane

3 tablespoons harissa, plus more to taste

1 pound potatoes (your choice), cut into ½-inch cubes

1 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas (do not drain)

4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 (16–ounce) bag frozen spinach (loose leaf, not a block)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche

Add the olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper to a 5.5 quart Dutch oven or small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the garlic, lemon zest and harissa. Stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the potatoes, chickpeas (with their liquid) and stock. Cover and increase the heat to high to bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the frozen spinach until fully incorporated and thawed. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper and additional vinegar.

Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt and, if you’re game, stir in additional harissa.

Seared Chicken Thighs with Coconut, Tamarind and Spiced Vegetables

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 4 servings

1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed and pat dry

2 tablespoons minced garlic, grated on a Microplane

2 tablespoons minced ginger, grated on a Microplane

2 teaspoons cumin seed

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon brown mustard seed

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 medium yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

3 large carrots, peeled and medium diced

3 medium delicata squash (2 pounds), ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced into 1/3-inch half moons

1 (5.4-ounce) can coconut cream

3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon of salt.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle-lower position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open a few windows and/or turn on the oven hood/fan; it might get a little smoky!

Heat a heavy 5.5 quart Dutch oven over medium-high until hot, then add the oil. It will most likely start to smoke. Swirl the pan to distribute the oil and place the chicken thighs skin side down in the pan. Cook until the skin turns golden brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to a plate, skin side up.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, mustard seed, turmeric, cayenne and black pepper. Stir continuously until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the onion, carrots, squash and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat and place the chicken atop the vegetables, skin side up.

Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the thighs reach an internal temperature of at least 175 degrees, approximately 30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, add the coconut cream, tamarind, brown sugar, lime juice and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to a small bowl. Stir to combine until the brown sugar and salt have dissolved. Set aside.

After 30 minutes, remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a plate, skin side up. Stir the coconut tamarind sauce into the vegetables.

To serve, add a scoop of vegetables to a shallow bowl. Top with cilantro leaves, followed by a chicken thigh (skin side up).

Bulgur Porridge with Cardamom, Chia and Mango

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 4 servings

1 cup bulgur

¼ cup chia seeds

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

¼ cup coconut cream or heavy cream

2 teaspoons orange zest (1 medium orange), grated on a Microplane

Toppings: shredded coconut, toasted cashews, mango, banana, drizzle of coconut cream

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. 

In a medium bowl, combine bulgur, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and dark brown sugar.

Once water is boiling, whisk in bulgur mixture and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring frequently with a spatula, for 15 minutes, until bulgur is cooked through and softened.

Add coconut or heavy cream and orange zest and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, divide porridge among 4 bowls and add toppings.