Thursday, May 27, 2010

Grand Teton Granola Bars

I love granola bars and so does my hubby. I pack his lunch everyday...yes everyday...and always include a granola or breakfast bar of some type so a morning snack. I throw one in my bag when I'm out running errands or cooking for a client. I don't eat much when I'm cooking and a granola bar and a glass of water keep me going. Unfortunately some granola bars are high in things I don't need so I am always looking for a great recipe.

In the May edition of food network magazine, one of the articles featured recipes from park rangers from many of our national parks. The recipes range from clusters to mixes and bars. They all sound great but I really like bars so when I saw the Peanut-Raisin Granola Bar recipe I knew I had to try it. It is super easy and the taste is incredible. I made it as stated with one minor adaption, which I note in the recipe.

My hubby says that this recipe is a keeper and I agree. the next time I make them I think I'll add some chocolate to it and see how it comes out.

Peanut - Raisin Granola Bars
Makes about 48 bars

Cooking spray
2 1/2 cups rolled or quick-cooking oats
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (NOTE: I used fat free and it worked fine.)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 15x10" rimmed baking sheet (jelly-roll pan) with foil and coat with cooking spray.

2. Mix the oats, peanuts, raisins, seeds, cinnamon, condensed milk, and butter in a bowl. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 45 minutes.

3. Cool slightly, then lift off the baking sheet using the foil and invert onto a cutting board. Peel off foil and cut
into bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap.

Source: food network magazine

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fire up the Grill

Grilling weather has arrived in Middle Georgia and I, for one, plan to take full advantage of it. The timing could not have been better as I recently picked up a copy of Light & Healthy 2010 (from the editor's of COOK'S ILLUSTRATED) and it is loaded with recipes that are perfect for the grill.  So this week I have tried out a couple of the recipes and have received rave reviews from from the Tasting Focus Group, i.e., the hubby. With his high marks and an ever appreciative full stomach I thought I'd share them with you.Today it's Grilled Vegetable and Bread Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Bread Salad

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
1 red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
Vegetable oil spray
6 ounces French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, (about 1/2 cup)

Note: Preheat grill to high for 15 minutes. Turn burners to medium.

1. Whisk the oil, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Thread the onion onto skewers. Lightly coat the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini with the vegetable oil spray and season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3. Clean and oil cooking grates. Place vegetables on one half of grill and cook covered until spottily charred on both sides, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board and remove onion from the skewers.

4. While the vegetables cook, lightly coat the bread with vegetable spray (I brushed them lightly with olive oil) and season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place the bread slices on the grill and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through. Transfer the bread to cutting board.

5. Cut the vegetables into 1-inch pieces and the bread slices into 1-inch cubes. Add the vegetables and bread to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Divide the salad evenly among individual plates, sprinkle the cheese evenly over the salads, and serve.

NOTE: This dish is best served immediately as the bread will not hold well.

Source: Light & Healthy 2010, COOK'S ILLUSTRATED