Lazy Granola Bars

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Playtime with Ciaran now includes spontaneous reading which I am absolutely thrilled about. He randomly picks a book, gestures me to come over and laughs out loud when I start reading. His favourite is “Where’s Spot” which is a no-brainer as it has flaps to uncover the missing Spot. It won’t be long before he can join me in the kitchen to whip up treats for the family.

For now, it’s just me and my sturdy spatula. Quick easy recipes are what I look for these days. Our family loves oats and when I chanced upon this 5 ingredient no-bake granola bar recipe, I knew they had to be in our regular rotation.

Having made them twice since, these bars have proven to be a hit.

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Even Ciaran can’t stay away from them. Sticky, slightly salty and with a nutty crunch, these are perfect for when you have the munchies.

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So idiot-proof and so delicious. I will definitely try more variations soon.
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5-ingredient No-bake Granola Bars 

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup packed (~220 g) dates, pitted (deglet noor or medjool)*
  • 1/4 cup (84 g) maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1/4 cup (64 g) creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup (112 g) roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (135 g) rolled oats
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.

Instructions

  • Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (Mine rolled into a ball.)
  • Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
  • Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  • Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
  • Press down firmly until uniformly flattened.
  • Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days or keep in the freezer to keep them extra fresh.

Recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Posted on 17th Apr 2018 in granola, nutritious, nuts, oat, Uncategorized  |  Post a comment

Quick Thai Fix

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Growing up, I loved to compete with my siblings on just how much chili we could withstand. Everything from sambal belachan to chili padi, I’d gleefully chomp on just to prove I was the queen of spice. Those moments always ended with a certain high – when the numbing sensation reaches its peak and for an instant, I attained chili nirvana. With a forehead covered with beads of sweat, I would proudly declare myself the winner.

To this day, I still chase down that spicy sensation every chance I have. After several days of Asian stir fry vegetables and meat, I was craving for serious heat. Naturally, I turned to Thailand for my source. Thai food has such a dimensional flavour thanks to its multitude of spices. Their spice pastes are the cornerstone of many of my favourites, including Khao Soi noodles.

Using a red curry paste has a base, the dish is built on aromatics like shallots and ginger that elevates the gorgeous curry broth. This recipe I found is a quick shot at whipping up a delish meal in under an hour.

If you ask me, it’s perfect for busy days. The end result is a creamy bowl of robust goodness that is bound to warm your belly. Enjoy!

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Thai Khao Soi Noodles 

Ingredients:

4 ounces rice noodles
1-2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1 shallot finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste (store bought)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
Pinch of cardamom (optional)
1 can coconut milk (200ml)
1 cup chicken broth (or use water and 1 chicken bouillon cube)
1 thinly sliced red bell pepper (optional: substitute with other vegetables as preferred)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, or alternative substitute
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (Sambal Olek)
8 oz. raw, peeled and deveined prawns (or pan-seared tofu cutes, thinly sliced raw or cooked chicken)
1 lime
Garnish with fresh basil or cilantro, bean sprouts, scallions, or thinly sliced red onions.
Notes: To bump up the flavourful coconut broth even more, add a 4 inch piece of lemongrass (smashed), a few slices of galangal or a couple of kaffir lime leaves (optional)

Instructions:

Place noodles in a shallow baking dish and boil enough to just cover them.

While water is boiling, prep the shallots, ginger, garlic, red bell pepper, and have the other ingredients ready by the stove.

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and ginger Saute until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and red curry paste. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, chicken broth and bring to a simmer while stirring. Once gently simmering, add the bell pepper, soy, fish sauce, sugar and chili garlic sauce.

Add the prawns and gently simmer until cooked. Give a generous squeeze of lime. Taste. add more lime or salt where necessary.

Drain the noodles. If serving the soup immediately, toss the noodles right into the pot and serve.
Alternatively, divide noodles into bowls and ladle soup over.

Garnish with fresh basil, bean sprouts, thinly sliced red onion and chopped scallions.

Notes: You can make the soup the day before and refrigerate it, keeping noodles separate (they will swell in the soup) and simply reheat.

Recipe from Feasting At Home.

Posted on 30th Mar 2018 in Curry, Noodles, Thai  |  Post a comment

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