Posts Tagged ‘walnuts’

After my homemade granola success, I was in a mood to try my hands on some chewy, nutritious granola bars. I often want a breakfast that’s healthy and filling. But these are not just for breakfast or for a brunch , I enjoyed many of these bars with a cup of tea for my evening snack. These granola bars are perfect treat to take along when going for a bike riding or for a long walk. No doubt this is delicious and healthy treat to devour without even feeling guilty.

Hubby and I are OBSESSED like, a box a week obsessed with Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars.  So, I wanted to have a homemade alternative. Again, like homemade granola this recipe is so easy to make. Plus you can customize it according to your liking. And homemade is the best way, right? So, go ahead and try this tasty, healthy treat for yourself…

Ingredients:

Recipe Adapted from: http://www.joyfulabode.com/

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2  cup honey
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • pinch of cinnamon

Method:

  • Start with 1/2 cup of almonds, walnuts and old-fashioned oats and dump everything into a food processor and process the ingredients until they are coarsely ground. Be careful not to powdered the ingredients, we need small bite sizes pieces which make the bars more dense and help them stick together.
  • Roughly chop the remaining nuts, then mix all these with the above mixture.
  • Add remaining old-fashioned oats, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, then mix well and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine coconut oil, honey, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour over nut mixture and stir well.
  • Transfer the granola mixture to a greased 9 by 9-inch baking dish lined with plastic wrap (cling foil) hanging to the sides and press firmly to evenly fill. Gently press the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola. Let the granola mixture set in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 to 3 hours minimum, or a day before cutting into squares(or desired shapes).
  • Wrap individual granola bars in cling foil and store in refrigerator. Have this for breakfast with a glass of smoothie or as a snack. Enjoy!

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Homemade Granola!!

Homemade Granola!!

Hi everyone…I am glad to be back blogging, I hope you’ll are doing well, I am doing good too.

Let me start with saying this – Why didn’t I did this earlier?. Seriously this the first thing came in my mind after trying out this homemade granola. It’s delicious and so easy to make that you will never go back to the boxed cereal. It was my first time making granola and I’ll be sure to do it again.  This homemade granola is that good and ADDICTIVE! This homemade granola is a wonderful mixture of grains, nuts, fruits and hint of chocolate.

Don’t feel intimidated by the long list of ingredients, it is all just measure, mix and bake and the delicious results are very well worth. It’s also a fun recipe for kids to help measure and mix. On top of that what I like the most is you can substitute whatever ingredients you like… the kind of flavor you want to add (or not add), and which ingredients you have on hand.

I love this in a bowl of yogurt and some berries on top. On the other hand hubby likes to have this with cold milk or just as a snack. And to my little one he loves to pick all the cranberries and chocolate chips when he sees the jar open…:)

Homemade Granola!!

Homemade Granola!!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil, vegetable oil,or canola oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup dried fruits (such as cranberries, cherries, chopped apricots, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips(I have used both white and dark chocolate)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  •  Combine oats, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and mix.
  •  In a small bowl, whisk honey, oil and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, stirring and re-spreading a few times with a spatula, until entire mixture is medium golden brown. Watch carefully, it burns quickly and will brown first in the corners and on the bottom.
  •  Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool on wire rack, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the apricots, cranberries, cherries and the chocolate chips.
  • Store the cooled  granola in an airtight container in refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks. Enjoy!!
Homemade Granola!!

Homemade Granola!!

Brownies are very easy to make and undoubtedly most delicious and satisfying baked dessert ever. It is similar to cake but not exactly cakes. The best part of making brownies is you don’t have to go through the recipe line by line. Also, you need not have to go shopping for ingredients if you enjoy baking, I meant chances are there that you have all the ingredients in hand. Just mix, throw in some ingredients, pour in a baking dish and bake. Isn’t it sounds simple and decadent to you!

I have made this beautiful, pretty looking brownies earlier this week.  These are great brownies made even more decadent with cream cheese;  it is moist, nutty, rich and full of chocolate flavor. Something different than usual chocolate brownies which you will crave for.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoon butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon bitter-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For cream cheese mixture:

  • 8 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons sugar

Method:

  • Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving the ends long to help lift the baked brownies. Lightly grease the same.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium sauce pan melt bitter-sweet chocolates chips and butter over low heat. Cook until mixture is completely melted and silky smooth. Set aside and allow the mixture to slightly cool down.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla and sugar to the above mixture and beat slightly until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, chocolate chips and walnuts. Working in two batches combine this dry ingredients with the wet ingredients using a spatula.
  • Once the mixture is homogenous, pour it in a prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
  • For the cream cheese filling, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the egg yolks and beat until smooth.
  • Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture. Do not over mix.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let the brownies cool completely before removing them from the pan.
  • Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.

Enjoy!!

Pesto

Posted: May 25, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Italian, Pasta
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recently, we have been to farmers market and there I saw some fresh and beautiful basil leaves which was very difficult to pass by. Hence even without thinking of any recipe I have decided to buy two bunches of those fresh herbs. It was so fresh that I was in love with the sweet and pungent smell of the leaves. Immediately after coming home,I started looking for some recipes with it. Then thought the best way to use both the bunches would be making some pesto.

The word pesto derives from the Italian for pestle, pestello. Pesto is a versatile sauce, can be made in different ways using different ingredients. Traditionally it is made with basil leaves and olive oil using a mortar and pestle. I have had a pesto pasta long time ago in one of Italian restaurant. Ever since then, I wanted to make some  at home. To my surprise, this is the easiest and versatile sauce to make. You can pair this with any kind of pasta and make a light and fresh meal anytime. Also, pesto can be used in marination for veggies, fish and chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  •  2 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  •  3 cloves garlic
  •  1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the pine nuts, walnuts, garlic and process for 1 minute or so.
  •  Add the fresh herbs, parmesan cheese and run until it’s a thick paste.
  •  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the paste leaves the sides of the bowl and looks like a thick sauce.
  •  Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin-film of olive oil on top.

Spaghetti in Tomato sauce and Walnuts 

 I have already posted spaghetti in tomato sauce but this time I had made some changes and made this pasta dish with nuts. Sometimes I get bored eating the same dish, so thought of giving slight twist to this simple spaghetti dish. I have used chopped walnuts in the sauce and it turned out awesome, so thought of posting this recipe here. 

Spaghetti in Tomato sauce and Walnuts

Spaghetti in Tomato sauce and Walnuts

Ingredients: 

  • 6 ounces whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • salt to taste

Directions: 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat, add onions, garlic, red chili flakes and cook it for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Now add crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, bell pepper salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Now add the cooked spaghetti , chopped walnuts and grated parmesan cheese to the sauce and mix everything well.
  • Garnish with little of parmesan cheese on top and serve.

Serving Yields: 2-3 persons

White pizza with Arugula Greens 

This is another dish from the book Barefoot Contessa – Back to Basics by Ina Garten.  As you have seen the arugula salad, I had some leftover arugula leaves from the package which I did not use in the salad. So, thought of making this white pizza. This is very simple pizza with some fresh cheese. I had made this for our last Friday night dinner and needless to say it turned out lovely.  The cheese used in this pizza is fresh mozzarella and goat cheese.  

White Pizza with Arugula Greens

White Pizza with Arugula Greens

Ingredients:  

For the pizza dough  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For garlic oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

For toppings  

  • 1/2 cup fresh grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounce baby arugula leaves
  • handful of walnuts for garnishing
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preparation:
  •  In a bowl, mix the yeast with warm water, honey, salt, olive oil and stir well.
  • Keep it aside for 5-7 minutes or until the yeast starts forming bubbles on it.
  • Take flour in a large bowl, slowly add yeast mix and knead the dough with your hands.
  • Once dough is ready transfer to a bowl  brushed with olive oil. Cover it with kitchen towel and keep the bowl in warm place.
  • Approximately 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in volume. The temperature in the kitchen should be around 65-70 degree fahrenheit for dough to rise properly.
  • Meanwhile make garlic oil.
  • Heat oil  in a small sauce pan over low heat, add sliced garlic and red chilli flakes and cook for 10 minutes, do not let the garlic burn. Stir continuously, once done keep it aside.
  •  When the dough is doubled its original size, punch it down to remove all the air bubbles accumulated.
  • Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  • On a lightly floured surface, rolled the dough using rolling-pin and your hand in a round circle. Make a pizza about 7-8 inches in diameter.
  • Repeat it for the other portion of dough.
  • Now pizza is ready to get the layer of toppings.

Pizza Assembly: 

  • On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, place both the pizza side by side. Brush them with garlic oil and sprinkle each one with black pepper.
  • Layer the pizza with grated mozzarella cheese and goat cheese. Brush garlic oil on top of it.
  • Bake  the pizza in a regular over at 400 degree fahrenheit for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Pizza is done when the bottom surface is light brown. Check by lifting the surface once.
  • Meanwhile, for dressing the arugula leaves, Mix olive oil, black pepper, lemon juice , salt to taste and whisk altogether.
  • When the pizza is done, take arugula leaves in a large bowl and add enough dressing to just moisten the leaves.
  • Keep a large bunch on top of each pizza, garnish with walnuts and serve immediately.

    

White Pizza with Arugula Greens

White Pizza with Arugula Greens

 Arugula Salad   

Before making anything with this beautiful looking greens I have decided to taste and must say Arugula tastes peppery and has a strong flavour for a leafy green. This salad I have adapted from Barefoot Contessa – Back to Basics by Ina Garten which I got on my birthday as a present. As I am showing lots of interest in cooking these days, so my dear hubby gifted me these two cooking books, the other one is Giada’s Family Dinners. After getting this and browsing through the recipes I cannot decide what to make as everything looks delicious to me.  

So, I gave this choice to my hubby to decide what he wants from the book and he said this colorful salad which is so refreshing for this season.   

Arugula Salad

Arugula Salad

 Ingredients:   

  • 5 ounce baby Arugula leaves
  • 2 chicken leg pieces
  • 1 large granny smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 dried cranberries

For the dressing:   

  • 1 tablespoon apple sider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 Preparation:  

  • Preheat oven to 400 deg fahrenheit.
  • Coat chicken leg pieces with generous amount of salt, pepper and olive oil and roast in for 40-45 minutes. Cool of completely and take the bones out and cut into small bite sized chunks.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together the arugula leaves, chicken pieces,  apple, walnuts and cranberries and keep it aside.
  • Combine everything under dressing except salt and slowly whisk to incorporate well.
  • Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with pinch of salt and toss well. Serve immediately.