Monthly Archives: September 2012

Apple Oat Bars


I went apple picking this weekend with my pals Kate & Meg. You can see a way better recap of this on Kate’s baby blog!It was fun (minus the part when Meg and I tried to go wine tasting and we didn’t understand the system… and therefore failed) and I now have a million apples. One can only eat so many apples with peanut butter so I decided to make what I made after apple picking years ago-  Apple Oat Bars.

Apple Oat Bars
(adapted from Vegetarian Times)
Ingredients
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (you can do 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 regular)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
⅓ cup apple cider or apple juice (use cider if possible!)
3 cups peeled, chopped tart apples, such as Granny Smith
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted, optional

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in mixing bowl. Using fork or fingertips, work in oil and cider until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Press about 1 1/2 cups oat mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with apples. Mix walnuts into remaining oat mixture, sprinkle evenly over apples and pat into even layer. I did not use walnuts because I didn’t have them, but I wish I would have!

4. Bake 30-35 minutes (9″ pan)/ 35-40 minutes (8″pan) or until top is golden and apples are tender when pierced with a fork.

5. Cool completely on a wire rack (or in front of your window if summer is being nice and sticking around like it is here!) before cutting into bars. I also did not do this. Try not to skip this step… cutting them is a mess if you do.

These do taste pretty delicious a little warm if you are impatient and have to taste them right when they come out of the oven, but they are a lot prettier and will stay in bar form if you let them cool. I think they’ll be good packed away in lunches for or brought in to your co-workers if you want to be popular. They are also vegan, and possibly healthier than a brownie… but only accidently.

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CSA week 17

Another light week–which is fine by me! Contents: cilantro, parsley, edamame, turnips, beets, braising greens, red cabbage, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, carrots + onions!

Pumpkin Scones

I ate a Starbucks pumpkin scone once about six years ago (I worked there right after undergrad for a few months, the discount was dangerous) and every year since, when the new pumpkin treats come out wayyyy too early, I think “oh I should try to make those.” Also, who remembers that they ate a scone six years ago!?

After these past few weeks of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice torment, coupled with this silly early Minneapolis fall weather, I found a copycat recipe to make. Iowa Girl Eats calls these Starbucks Clone Pumpkin Scones: 

Ingredients
(recipe modified from IowaGirlEats)
2 cups flour
7 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 Tablespoons milk
1 egg
6 Tablespoons cold butter or margarine, cubed

For the plain glaze: 
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk

For the spiced drizzle:
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
pinch of pumpkin pie spice

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees then line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Please use parchment paper, it works miracles.

2. In the bowl of a large food processor (or in a large bowl) combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Pulse or whisk to combine. Add cold butter and pulse until well incorporated and mixture is the texture of cornmeal. Alternatively, use pastry cutter to blend butter in. I didn’t have either of these so I* used two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Worked like a charm. (*by I, I mean my Mom. She bought me a dough blender later in the day.)

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk and egg. Add to flour mixture and pulse until just combined. Alternatively, stir until the dough comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 4 or 5 times to bring the dough together, then flatten into a circle 1″ thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half, then cut each half into thirds.

4. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.It works best if you can cool your scones in front of an open window with a fall breeze.

5. When scones are cool, whisk together the plain glaze ingredients, then spoon on top and spread slightly. I didn’t want these to be too sweet, so I did a spoon drizzle and just put a little bit on. Let harden for 10 minutes, then whisk together the spiced drizzle ingredients and drizzle on top. Let harden completely, about 1/2 hour, before serving. Store in an air-tight container or ziploc for 1 day.

These were very delicious, a little less dense than Starbucks but more clean and fresh tasting. I think these could use a bit more icing, but I was attempting to keep these sort of healthy (310 calories, 12g-ish fat each compared to Starbucks scones at 480cal, 17g fat).

The recipe is only supposed to make 6… but I somehow wound up with 4 regular size scones and two giant scones, so I turned the recipe into 6.5 servings. Who cares, these were delicious. 6.5 is the perfect amount of scones to make; I’ve gifted three, split one and will enjoy the rest later in the week with a cup of coffee, of course.

CSA weeks 15 + 16

Week 15:

Week 16:

The CSA boxes keep getting better and better.

Ratatouille

My Mom left a comment on my latest CSA box that I had all of the ingredients to make ratatouille. I hadn’t even thought of it, but I just got finished making an adapted version of her delicious recipe and IT WAS AWESOME!

Ratatouille

Ingredients
1 large eggplant, chopped
¾ large green or red pepper, chopped
¾ large yellow onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T tomato paste
2 med. zucchini, chopped
3 or 4 fresh tomatoes chopped OR 1 can petite diced canned tomatoes
Fresh basil
Italian Seasoning
Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (to top, if you want to make this not vegan)

Directions
1. Cut vegetables uniform size.

2. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil under tender. Add tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Let tomato paste get a little hot and bubbly.

3. Add all ingredients except fresh basil. If you don’t have fresh, you can substitute dried basil if you want.

4. Stir over medium to medium low heat and cook covered for about 30 minutes. Stir from time to time. When all vegetables are soft, add the fresh basil. 5-10 leaves, to taste. If you don’t have fresh basil, you have already added the dried basil.

This is good served over brown rice (my favorite) or any type of pasta with a bit of parmesan cheese to un-veganize it. It is usually better the next day, after flavors have blended. AKA ready for you to take in a tupperware for lunch.

Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup

It is feeling like fall here. I am in a deep denial about this, other than the fact that I had a ton of broccoli and decided it was chilly enough to attempt a broccoli cheddar soup for the first time. I went to Eat Live Run and made the first recipe I saw.

 Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup (adapted from Eat Live Run)

Ingredients
1.5 T margarine or butter
1 bunch broccoli (about 13 oz florets)
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4th tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
8oz grated sharp cheddar cheese (one block)
2 T all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3 cups vegetable broth (i used one cup broth, 2 cups water)

Directions
1. Blanch your broccoli by placing it in boiling water for 30 seconds. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Chop it in to semi-small pieces and set aside.

2. In a large dutch oven or pot, melt the butter. Peel and chop the potato into small one inch dice. Saute both the potato and the onion in the butter for about six minutes over medium heat, or until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Then, add the cayenne, pepper and salt. Toss to coat.

3. Add the flour and stir well. Pour in the broth/water and add back in the broccoli florets. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.

4. Warm up your milk a bit in the microwave so that it is not freezing cold. Slowly pour in the milk and add the cheese, stirring to melt.

5. Use an immersion blender and process for 10 seconds, or just until slightly smooth with just a few chunks. (Pour the soup into a blender and pulse if you don’t have a stick blender. Or have amazon overnight you one ASAP!)

I realllly liked this recipe. You can taste the broccoli, it wasn’t very creamy/decadent/unhealthy. The potato gets a little lost, but it makes for a good consistency.

This recipe makes enough for 4 or 5 (delicious) servings. If you freeze or re-heat this soup I’d recommend putting the microwave power on low or 50%.

Serve with crusty bread and some chilly summer (not fall!!!) weather.

CSA box #14

 So I apparently missed a week of taking a pic of the CSA box…or that one week the farm took off I never took in to account when numbering the weeks on this blog.

Anyway–the farm calls this box week 14 and so will I! The contents this week: napa cabbage, arugula, red peppers, salad mix, broccoli, eggplant, yellow doll watermelon, grapes, onions, tomatillos, jalapenos, tomatoes and cilantro.

The grapes tasted like nothing I’ve ever had before. They tasted like grape flavoring! They were kind of mushy when we got them so they won’t last long but at least we got to try them.