Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Has Arrived, It Seems

A bit early, too. I feel like we skipped over some steps. So perhaps April and May will stay mild for us here in NC.  We are in the middle of switching seasons food-wise too, having winter favorites like Three Bean Chili this week, and also asparagus and fresh salads.  Our garden is covered to finish off the cover crop. Onions are in the ground, seeds started indoors.

I decided to make granola today after a few weeks of steel cut oats (making vegan substitutions).  I have a favorite recipe that I've been playing with for awhile. It came from La Dolce Vegan originally, but I feel like it's mine now. :)  Here it is:

4 c rolled oats
1 c wheat germ (optional)
1 c shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 c pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 c sesame seeds
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 c maple syrup
1/3 c canola oil
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Then pour the maple syrup and canola oil over the top and stir well to get everything coated. Use two baking pans (cookie sheets), spreading half of the mixture evenly over both pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. After cooling, you can store this in an airtight container.

**Notes: yes, use two cookie sheets unless you have a monster cookie sheet that is pretty deep. It's best for the mixture to be spread out and get all crispy and yummy. Also, yes, you do need to stir it. Try to make sure and pull the bits from the edges into the middle and vice versa. The edges get crispy fast, and you don't want to burn anything. You can add all kinds of dried fruit AFTER you cook it. I learned the hard way. Oh and today I made this without sesame seeds. :( I really like them in my granola, so I won't do that again. Good source of calcium, too!  And finally, baking this makes the house smell great!

Hope you all enjoy that! I like it with almond milk or over yogurt with berries.

This week is light for us because we have a Thursday-Friday road trip. We are making seitan stroganoff (from Vegan Planet) to use up the Vegan sour cream I bought last week as a splurge for our chili. We are also having fava bean salad and baked tofu over salad.

A contact on Facebook recently posted a photo of her vegan fish tacos using frozen and thawed tofu... Will prob have to try that soon!  Sounds very summery!

Buen provecho, everyone.