Monthly Archives: March 2014

5-ingrediant granola bars

finished and stacked

Ok this post is dedicated to my best little bro Mr. Tumnis. Why you ask? Because after all these years of making fun of my “granola” ways, guess who gets to go live in granola-central for TWO years? Mmmm hmmm. Sweet, sweet revenge.

So, Mr. Tumnis, this one’s for you. Maybe you should make it and then eat your words about my “granola-eating” obsession. Or, just eat the granola bars because they’re that good.

cut em up

These granola bars are all-natural, packed with healthy, energy-boosting ingredients, and they make a dang good mid-morning, mid-afternoon, mid-evening, mid-night (you get the picture) snack.

And the best part about these iddly-diddly little munchkins is that they are made with only FIVE ingredients. (Yes–that did deserve a caps and bold.) Plus, they are ingredients that you can actually pronounce! None of that hydrogenated, modified, corn-starchy crap. Thumbs up for that.

not great

five-ingredient granola bars (adapted from minimalist baker.) 

ingredients: *makes 10 bars

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup rolled oats


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the oats and chopped almonds on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until the oats are golden brown and there is a delicious scent coming from your oven…
  2. Soak the dates in some water for about 15 minutes to allow them to get nice and sticky. (If they’re already sticky, skip this step.)
  3. In a food processor, blend the dates until they form a sticky paste and there are no more chunks.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the peanut butter and honey until it forms a smooth consistency.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the almonds, oats and dates. Pour the peanut butter and honey mixture into the bowl and mix very well, until the dates are no longer in a clump, and everything is evenly mixed.
  6. Cover a 8×8 baking dish with a layer of tin foil or parchment paper, and press the granola mixture into the bottom, until it is evenly spread. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes to allow the granola bars to harden.
  7. Cut into bars (should make about 10) and enjoy!

Note: These store well for a few days in an air-tight container, or keep them in the freezer for extra freshness. They thaw quickly!



in the pan


Love ya Mr. T.


Mexican quinoa bowl


As a recently-married, full-time student, there are two things I’m always running out of. Time and money. With my obsession of cooking, I’ve had to learn how to make homemade, healthy and delicious dinners that are quick to make and within our budget…

Most girls my age do that “mental battle” thing at the mall. They find that perfect shirt they really need  want, and spend the next 15 minutes trying to justify why it’s ok to buy it, and why this time, the budget will be forgiving of that adorable new outfit. Yaaa, I do that too, but it’s usually in the produce section of the grocery store…embarrassing. It usually involves that devilishly delicious mango, which given it’s the month of March, costs $2 for ONE. Ugh…

Sooo, I’ve had to learn how to eat on a budget. Buy food in bulk. Plan recipes for the week that have similar ingredients, so I can stretch things a little further.

This Mexican quinoa bowl was the result of my efforts to use similar ingredients for my meals throughout the week. Earlier this week, I made quinoa stuffed acorn squash, and you’ll notice many of the same ingredients from that recipe pop up in today’s quinoa bowl. Mission accomplished! (Well, besides the kind of expensive strawberries we ate with it…the result of my mental battle this week. Eeek.)


Mexican quinoa bowl

ingredients: *serves 2-3 

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt, pepper (plus some for seasoning)
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced in to small pieces
  • 1/2 avocado
  • feta cheese, cilantro, sour cream for topping


  1. Combine garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper and 1/4 tsp chili powder in a medium bowl. Mix well. Cut the chicken breast into small cubes and add to the bowl, stir it around until it’s all covered in the seasoning.
  2. Heat some oil in a large skillet and add the chicken. Cook it on low heat until it’s white in the middle, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the diced onion and red pepper. Cook on low heat until they are soft.
  4. Add the corn, beans and quinoa, and allow to warm.
  5. Stir in the chicken and the rest of the chili powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, avocado slices, feta cheese and sour cream.

on the stove