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!

Brazil Nut and Date Bread with Honey Butter

brazil-nut-bread-with-honey-butter-image

Brazil Nut and Date Bread with Honey Butter

(Serve for breakfast, snack, cheese plate or dessert!)

Yield: 1  9-inch pie

Unsalted butter, to prepare the pie pan
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated on a Microplane
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup finely chopped Medjool dates, pits removed
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup raw brazil nuts, chopped roughly
3 large eggs

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Butter a 9-inch pie pan, then dust with flour, tapping out any excess.

Mix together the flour, cinnamon, salt, cocoa powder, zest and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the dates, milk, nuts and eggs and mix very well using a wooden spoon. Get in there with some elbow grease, and really stir until well combined. It’ll be thick and chunky, but that’s a good thing.

Pour the date batter into the prepared pie pan and or use the back of the wooden spoon to level off the batter.

Place the pie pan on a sheet pan and transfer to the oven.

Bake, uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is light to golden brown and the center springs back when pressed.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Once cool enough to handle, remove from the pie pan, slice (using a bread knife) and serve with a slathering of honey butter.

Honey Butter:

1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), softened
2 tablespoons honey, preferably orange blossom

Mix the butter and honey in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.

Photo: Ronald Tsang

P.S. This recipe was recently featured in an issue of Clean Eating Magazine and my new online cooking course with Clean Eating Magazine, “Clean Cooking & Nutrition: The World’s Healthiest Proteins & Advanced Vegetable Prep” will be starting on April 3! It’s gonna be so. much. fun! Check out the course trailer/preview to see for yourself!

Roasted Za’atar Potato Wedges with Harissa Sour Cream

These are delicious. Let me state my case. Super Sous made these the other day and then we had to have them 2 days later and again 2 days later because they are addictive! Crispy, salty, earthy and a bit lemony from the sumac in the za’atar. Pair it with the spicy, cool, tangy harissa sour cream and, well, let’s just say – I say serves 4, but we ate the whole batch between the two of us in just minutes. Case closed.

P.S. You can watch me make this on YouTube.

Zaatar Potato1

Zaatar Potato2

Roasted Za’atar Potato Wedges with Harissa Sour Cream

Yield: 4 servings

 

28-ounces mixed small potatoes (red, gold, purple) or fingerling potatoes, cut into equal-sized wedges

3 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon za’atar

 

Place a parchment-lined sheet tray on the middle rack in your oven.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place potatoes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt in a large bowl. Toss to coat the potatoes with the oil and salt.

When oven is preheated, remove sheet tray and arrange potatoes on the sheet tray in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, stir potatoes and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove sheet tray from the oven and transfer baked potato wedges to a large bowl. Add 1½ tablespoons olive oil and za’atar and toss to combine.

Serve za’atar potatoes on a plate with harissa sour cream on the side.

 

Harissa Sour Cream:

½ cup organic sour cream

½ teaspoon harrisa

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Mix to combine in a small bowl.

Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

Here’s a delicious dish that you can whip up in no time. Great for parties and snacks, this unique twist on chickpeas will have you going back for seconds, thirds, fourths…

Spiced Chickpeas

Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

Yield: 15-ounces of spiced chickpeas

Spice Mix

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ tablespoon za’atar

½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder

Stir to combine spices in a small mixing bowl.

Chickpeas

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained and spread out on a paper towel to dry for 15 minutes (the dryer the chickpeas the better as it will prevent spattering hot oil in the pan)

Pour grapeseed oil in a large sauté pan and turn heat on medium-high.

Heat oil until it is very hot and shimmering, approximately 3 minutes.

Carefully add chickpeas to the sauté pan and cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are golden brown. To prevent hot oil from spattering, partially cover sauté pan; do not fully cover as the chickpeas will steam and not crisp up.

Remove chickpeas from sauté pan with a slotted spoon and transfer onto a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil.

Transfer chickpeas to the small bowl with spices and stir to combine.

Serve immediately for maximum crispy tastiness!

Toasted Almond Toffee with Orange Zest and Fleur de Sel

It’s Halloween week, so here’s some candy that your and your friends can enjoy come trick or treating time (kids love it, too!). All you need is a candy thermometer and you’ll have your very own homemade delicious toffee in no time. Costume optional.

Toasted Almond Toffee with Orange Zest

Toasted Almond Toffee with Orange Zest and Fleur de Sel

Yield: 1 sheet tray of toffee

 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup water

1/3 cup organic light corn syrup

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 1 tablespoon pieces

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons orange zest (approximately zest of 3 oranges)

1 pound toasted unsalted almonds

A few pinches of fleur de sel

 

Line a sheet pan (bottom and sides) with aluminum foil. Very lightly oil the aluminum foil (bottom and sides) with the olive oil, using a paper towel.

In a 3.5-quart saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, butter and salt. Do not stir.

As soon as the mixture begins to simmer, add a candy thermometer.

Once the temperature reaches 300 degrees, remove from heat, carefully remove the thermometer and, using a rubber spatula, stir in the baking soda, zest and almonds. The liquid will foam up a little and lighten in color.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan. Using a rubber spatula, press the toffee evenly across the bottom of the sheet pan. Sprinkle some fleur de sel atop the toffee.

Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, break into pieces and enjoy. Store in an airtight container with layers of parchment between pieces.

Candied Spiced Pecans

How about a weekend treat? Careful – they are addictive.

Candied Spiced Pecans

Candied Spiced Pecans

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil

1¼ cups pecan halves

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B

 

Mix together the cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, salt, and a few good grinds of pepper in a small bowl.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute or until hot.

Add 1 tablespoon oil and the nuts, and cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to cook evenly.

Working quickly, add the spice mix to the sauté pan and stir to coat. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring once every five seconds.

Add the maple syrup very carefully, as it will bubble up, stirring to coat. Allow to cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the nuts, and if they begin to smoke, turn down the heat a little and stir more often.

Remove from the heat and transfer the nuts to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

 

Working quickly, using two forks, separate the individual nuts, then allow to cool completely. Seriously. They’re going to be hot.

 

 

PB&C (Peanut Butter and Chocolate) Smoothie

Really can’t go wrong here. Cocoa powder, peanut butter, sweet, salty, spicy, protein, fiber, sweet-tooth killer. Blend on!

PBCSmoothie

PB&C (peanut butter and chocolate) Smoothie

Yields: 2 cups

 

1 large banana, peeled

1 cup almond milk

½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder

7 small fresh deglet noor or medjool dates, pitted

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until thoroughly combined.

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pops

After using 1 cup of watermelon for the ice pops, grab a spoon and eat watermelon until you consume it all. Yup. This pretty much sums up my summer so far!

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pop

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pop

Yield: 6 ice pops

 

1 cup watermelon, deseeded

1 ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

¾ cup water

6 tablespoons granulated or cane sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute.

Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

Peach Rosemary Ice Pop

What to do with your peaches this season? Enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! Here’s a recipe for dessert (or a snack).

Peach Rosemary Ice Pop

Peach Rosemary Ice Pop

Yield: 6 ice pops

 

10-ounces of cut peaches or 1 10-ounce bag frozen peaches

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

¾ cup water

6 tablespoons granulated or cane sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute.

Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.