Monday, July 4, 2016

I think granola will always be my preferred breakfast choice.  Breakfast is the only meal where I feel okay with eating the same thing over and over again.  Because I make it so often, I do have my regular recipe down to a science, but on occasion, I run out of the essentials (honey, almonds, canola oil, etc), and have to improvise.  

A little while ago, we had a random assortment of seeds lying around when I was making granola, so I tossed them all in and replaced the honey with molasses (most likely because we ran out of honey...).  The result was surprisingly pleasant.  Thus, a new granola recipe was born!

Cinnamon Molasses Granola:

6 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 Tbs millet
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pink himalayan sea salt (table salt will work, too, but use 3/4 tsp of regular salt)
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, pepitas, sunflower seeds, millet cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Pour the molasses and coconut oil over the top, and stir until they coat the oats.

Place a silicone baking sheet, or a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet, and spread an even layer of the granola mixture across it (about half of what is in the bowl).  Push it down with your spatula so that it sticks together to form chunks.

Bake for 12-15 minute or until the edges are beginning to turn golden brown.  If you like, remove the pan from the oven, stir the granola up with a spatula, pat back down, and place in the oven to cook for another 3 or so minutes.  Remove from the oven, let cool, and store for up to 2 weeks in a cool dry place.  Serve with plain yogurt and chocolate chips (I like Hershey's Special Dark).

Red Bell Pepper Pasta

Remember how I told you that I am obsessed with lemon zest and salt right now?  I put it on my granola, I put it on my ice cream, and now, here it is on a fresh summer pasta!  This pasta was me trying to use up a few last (random) things from our kitchen in Austin, but it turned out deliciously!  I was very impressed with the lemon, chickpea, basil blend. 

I really should experiment more often!  And I plan on doing it a lot once we get to the house we are renting this summer.  I just walked through it this week, and I am super excited, because it is beautiful! I think it will be a really great move for us, even if it will only last the summer!  Happy weekend! 

Vegetarian Lemon Basil Pasta:
Serves 4

1 package spaghetti noodles, angel hair or linguine
3-5 Tbs basil pesto (homemade or from the store)
1 14-oz can rinsed chickpeas
1 Tbs olive oil
1 bunch basil leaves, washed and thinly sliced.
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  On a rimmed baking sheet, lined with a silicone mat, pour your chickpeas in an even layer.  Pour the olive oil over the top and then toss to coat the chickpeas.  Sprinkle with one teaspoon of sea salt and toss again. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown and slightly crisp.

While you are baking the chickpeas (ideally, about 10-12 minutes baking), prepare your noodles according to package directions.

Once the noodles are done, drain the water out, and immediately mix in the pesto.  Sprinkle the basil leaves over the top.

Once the chickpeas are done, remove them from the oven, pour over the top of the pasta.  Sprinkle pasta with lemon zest and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (if this seems like too much for you, set the sea salt on the table to be sprinkled on individual servings, as needed)


Apple Pie

I feel like I am a little out of season posting this, because apples are definitely a fall fruit, and we are in the height of the summer.  But let me give you a little background to why I am posting this, and maybe you will forgive me (also, who says no to tasty dessert recipes?).  

We moved into the little house (actually it feels HUGE to me, because I am used to cleaning, running and living in a 917 square foot apartment) in Provo last week.  It is a fully furnished house (Hallelujah!), and because we moved in the day the last tenants moved out, there was still quite a few items in the pantry and fridge.  

For the first few days, I was digging out 3 year old spices, ancient condiments, and expired cake mixes as I cleaned out the pantry and fridge.  In addition to these items, there were a few pieces of fruit hiding in the fridge drawers, including a large bag of apples.  

I like eating apples, but if I eat too many, they make my stomach hurt, so I decided that using them up in a dessert was probably for the best.  We had a delightful party with a bunch of my old college roommates last week, and I was able to feed all 10 of us with this tasty cobbler.  It is particularly good with ice cream.  We ate it with a hazelnut salted caramel ice cream (by Tillamook), and I couldn't have asked for a more delicious combination.  

In addition to needing to use up a stray bag of apples, I also felt that this recipe was rather festive.  Apple cobbler seems like the perfect dessert for your Fourth of July celebrations (if you live in the US.  If not, it would be a delicious dessert for your next dinner party!).  

Other Places I Have Been Lately: 
- 10 Minimalist Principles You Can Incorporate Right Now - I was really pleased with how this post turned out.  Practical, and 100% true to me.  As I read over it, before it went live, I wanted to send a copy to everyone I know.  This is me doing that now.    
-  Tiny Kitchens That Are Totally Livable - #5 is the apartment in Lyon that we lived in last summer, in case you were curious.  I don't think I ever posted any pictures of that apartment.  It was SO small! You could step directly out of bed into the shower.  

Creative Green Living:  
- Strawberry Shortbread with Ice Cream - Gluten-free and gorgeous!  Perfect for all your summer parties.  And they are a cinch to make.    

Molasses Apple Cobbler

5 Fuji or other sweet apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs molasses

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Tbs Molasses

1/3 cup raw almonds, chopped

In a 9x13" pan, lay the apple pieces across the bottom.  Sprinkle the sugar, vanilla, salt and molasses over the top, then with your hands or a spoon, mix the apples, until they are coated in sugar and molasses.

In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, oats, and cinnamon.  Mix them well, then pour melted better, and molasses over the top.  Stir well, until the topping clumps.  Spread it in an even layer over the apples. Top with the raw almonds.

Cook in an oven preheated to 350°F for 30 minutes, or until your apples are soft.  I had refrigerated mine, because I made it in advance for a party, so it took slightly longer to cook.  I would plan on it cooking for closer to 45, just in case.

Top with ice cream!

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