Nutella Granola Bars

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Yes.

Who doesn’t love nutella? (update: I have found actual living breathing human beings who do not like nutella and they are currently under observation right now for mental illness and/or extra terrestrial taste buds)

I love granola bars. They’re the perfect snack but the store bought ones are so expensive and unnecessary when it’s so unbelievably easy to make your own at home!

You can eat them anytime –  take them to school, eat them as a midnight snack, eat them for dessert, eat them for breakfast, eat them with more nutella on top, eat more than half the batch while you’re photographing them..

You can play around with the ingredients and mix and match to your liking.

Don’t like nuts? Don’t put them in.

LOVE nuts? Put in more!

Like your granola bars crunchy? Add 2tbsp. more oil to the batter and bake for a few minutes longer!

These make approximately 8-10 bars, depending on how big you cut them and how much of the mixture you ‘taste’ before baking.

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Nutella Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup mix nuts and dried fruit
  • 6 tbsp nutella
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional but strongly recommended)
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius and grease a baking pan.
  2. Mix oats, flour and nuts/dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Microwave the honey and nutella in a small bowl.
  4. Beat an egg into the honey and nutella.
  5. At the wet ingredients into the dry and  mix well.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips.
  7. Press the mixture into a baking pan.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool before slicing and eating.

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Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Stew

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Wowwie! This is so wonderfully flavorful and warm and cozy and I might or might not have finished 3/4 of the whole batch in one go.

I’m a huge fan of chickpeas in almost any form – curries, hummus, spiced and dried, in desserts (yes, desserts! google chickpea desserts and don’t knock it before you try it) – so it was inevitable that I would love this stew specially since it involves lots of olive oil, spices and spinach (my favorite vegetable by far – it’s so versatile!).

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It can take a while to cook if you soak and boil your own chickpeas, which we always do at home, but if you use canned chickpeas this is a super quick dish to whip up for lunch.

The recipe is technically for four people but since last time I made half the batch for my mom and I, there wasn’t enough left for my mom (oops!), I will definitely be making a bigger batch next time. And even if there’s some leftover, you can keep it in the fridge and it’ll make a great leftover lunch or dinner the next day.

I served it with brown rice but you can serve it with any grain – millet, quinoa, basmati rice etc. or even with some crusty bread like sourdough or a baguette.

Forgot to mention – the stew itself is accidentally vegan and gluten free! (I love it when that happens hehee..)

It was based on this recipe I found on food&wine but I changed it up quite a bit 🙂

Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Stew

serves 4

  • 1.5 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin powder, pinch ground cloves, pinch black pepper, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1-2 tsp chili powder (adjust chili according to personal preference), 1/2 tsp salt
  • ~3 cups cooked chickpeas or two 15oz cans (reserve the water!)
  • 2.5 tbs olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 large tomato or two small, diced and the seeds removed
  • salt, to taste
  • handful sultanas/dates/raisins (I recommend sultanas)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped finely
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • fresh coriander/mint/parsley to top (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, mash the crushed garlic with the saffron and the spices. Add a couple tablespoons of the chickpea liquid.
  2. In a skillet or a deep pan, heat 1.5 tbs olive oil.
  3. Add the onion and tomatoes and stir on low heat until softened and browned.
  4. Add the spiced garlic paste and cook for another minute
  5. Pour in the chickpeas, 1.5 cups of their liquid (if there is no more liquid, use water or stock) and the sultanas
  6. Bring to a simmer and add in the spinach. Lower the heat a bit, and let simmer for around 2 minutes until spinach is fully cooked.
  7. Transfer to your serving dish and top with 1 tbs of the olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs.
  8. Serve with rice, quinoa, cous cous, millet or crusty bread.

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best (healthy) pancakes

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these pancakes were good.

like really good.

and not just ‘healthy’ food good, but actually delicious.

if you ate them you wouldn’t be able to tell they don’t have any refined flour, sugar or butter.

(and they’re gluten free!)

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now the best part about pancakes that are healthy is that you can have them anytime without feeling guilty because hey, they’re healthy. and they’re quick and easy too. win, win, win.

i really hope you make them. (like now) because once you make them, you probably won’t want to ever make the normal white flour-butter-sugar-egg combo pancakes ever again. i swear, they’re really not lacking in the sweetness department but if you like your pancakes sweeter just add sweeter toppings 🙂

and have fun with the toppings! GO CRAZY! because the pancakes themselves are so nutritious and good for you, you can even use crazy toppings like chocolate chips and sprinkles.

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more topping ideas: nuts, nut butters, honey, coconut cream, dried fruit, chocolate chips, sprinkles, banana slices, strawberries, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, whipped cream, butter, toasted coconut, granola

note: for the flour, I used chickpea flour (besan) but you can use oat flour (oats ground into a powder) or buckwheat flour too. (if you’re gluten free make sure your oats are gf)

now on to the recipe!

(makes 1 serving which is around 4 pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large-ish banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flour (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt or 1/2 tablespoon yogurt and 1.5 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • olive oil/canola oil to cook

Directions

  • mix the mashed banana, the egg, yogurt/coconut milk, honey and vanilla essence in a bowl
  • add in the flour one spoon at a time and then the baking powder, cocoa powder and the chia seeds.
  • heat a fry pan and spray/spread with oil
  • when oil is hot drop in roughly 1/4 of the batter (2 spoons?) onto the pan in a circular shape
  • lower the heat
  • (i make 2 pancakes at a time but depending on the size of your pan and your cooking ability, cook the pancakes at the rate you want)
  • little bubbles should appear and after around twenty seconds when the pancake is holding together, flip it (lift the edge with your spatula to check whether its ready)
  • cook until both sides are lightly browned and then take out on to a plate, stacking the pancakes
  • add toppings to your pancake stack!
  • (my pancakes have coconut milk, honey, nuts and dried apricots on top)

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry with Millet & Arugula

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I love arugula. Call me weird, but the bitterness is appealing to me? It’s one of the only leaves I’ll have raw. Raw spinach? bleh. Lettuce? tasteless. collard? ew.

But I’m not exactly fond of salads. They’re not filling enough or they’re doused in way too sweet dressing or they’re bland. So instead I like my arugula on pizza or in dishes like this. This dish is absolutely complete. Soft, fluffy millet, warm spicy curry, mellow sweet potato, bright acidic cherry tomatoes and sharp arugula.

I recently discovered millet as a grain. Prior, I’d only had millet flour rotis which are very popular in India and ‘baajre ki khichdi’ which is a millet stew cooked traditionally in lots of indian ghee and milk or cream. I had never actually had millet by itself. But a few weeks ago my mom picked up a bag of organic mixed millet and I fell in love! Its softer and less chewy than grains like quinoa and brown rice. It also has milder, less nutty taste.

The next component of the dish is the curry! This is a spicy, improvised curry that I sort of made up as I went a long. It has garlic, onion, coconut milk and a generous dash of spices. The sweet potato really balances out the spiciness.

And last but not least, the cherry tomatoes. We don’t normally have cherry tomatoes at home because they’re not always available here. We have to go to speciality grocery stores and even then, they’re quite expensive. But boy are they worth it! They’re spunky and colorful and they just elevate the dish.

I really hope you try out this dish. Even if you don’t have all the components – improvise! No millet? Use rice or another similar grain. No arugula? Skip it, or another raw green. No cherry tomatoes? Use normal diced tomatoes! Don’t have all the spices? Use a store bought curry powder, garam masala or thai spice mix instead!Don’t like sweet potato or spinach? Use other veggies – normal potatoes would be fine and you can substitute in any other vegetable under the sun. Pumpkin or zucchini would be wonderful here!

Oh, and I forgot to mention – this is accidentally vegan 🙂

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Now on to the recipe!

Sweet Potato & Spinach curry

(makes 3 portions)

Ingredients:

  • olive/vegetable oil
  • 2/3 tablespoon diced garlic/garlic paste
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 small or two medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 cup spinach (or just 2 handfuls) cleaned and chopped roughly
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/cumin powder, 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/2-1 tsp chili powder, dash of black pepper and salt to taste
  • 3-4 handfuls arugula, cleaned
  • cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 2 cups cooked millet or any other grain

Directions:

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and when it’s hot, add in the garlic, onion and ginger.
  2. Keep mixing and when the onion and garlic are lightly browned, add in the sweet potato, around 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk.
  3. Cover and let simmer on low heat for around 15 minutes.
  4. Add in the spices and 1/4 cup more of the coconut milk, stir well
  5. Cook for another 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender, stirring well throughout
  6. Add in the spices and the rest of the coconut milk, stir until the curry is thickened and the spinach is cooked (about a minute)
  7. Remove from heat
  8. Remove the stems from the arugula (unless you can take the bitter taste of the stems then leave them on) and arrange a handful on the plate
  9. Divide the millet into three portions and place a portion onto the plate
  10. Top with cherry tomatoes and a generous helping of the curry
  11. Squeeze some lemon juice on top if you’d like.
  12. Enjoy! 🙂

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Sesame & Peanut Crusted Tofu

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This is a great side dish to serve along with rice or vegetables or meat. It’s flavorful and hearty and really easy to make!

If you have time to marinade the tofu in the sauce, that would be highly recommended but if you’re pressed for time you can skip the marinading step and just dip the tofu in.

Serving size: 1-2 (easily double or triple the recipe for more servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package tofu
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon coconut milk (optional, can replace with 1 tsp water and )
  • 1.5 tsp ginger paste/grated ginger
  • 1 tsp honey/agave (I used honey, if vegan you can use agave)
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • pinch of chill powder/paprika
  • 3 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoon shelled and toasted peanuts
  • sesame/canola/olive oil (sesame is best)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • handful fresh coriander (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut the tofu into square slices
  2. In a wide bowl, mix the soy sauce, coconut milk, honey, ginger and peanut butter well.
  3. Add the tofu pieces to the sauce and if you can, leave for 2-3 hours. Otherwise just move on to the next step.
  4. In an other bowl, crush the peanuts and sesame seeds.
  5. Heat a flat frypan, heat around 1-2 tsp oil and spread evenly
  6. Wait until the oil is hot
  7. Dip the tofu slices, one by one, in the crushed peanut-sesame mixture and then place on the pan. You can do 5-6 slices at a time.
  8. Pour some of the leftover sauce on top of the tofu slices and flip after around 30 seconds
  9. Cook until browned on both sides and then remove from pan.
  10. Top with fresh coriander, squeezed lemon juice and any leftover sauce or nuts
  11. Enjoy!

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