KIND Healthy Grain Bars

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

oats-and-honey-kind

I was recently sent a box of KIND bars to check out. They came out with a new line of granola bars. You may already be familiar with their fruit and nut bars. I really enjoy them, so I was excited to see what they had in store.

They sent me a variety of flavors to try. Now available are:

  • Dark Chocolate Chunk
  • Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate
  • Vanilla Blueberry
  • Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt
  • Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut

When I opened the box, I zeroed in on the two bars that included chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t love a chocolate chip granola bar?

Since the fine folks at KIND gave me two of each bar to try, I brought some of the extras to work so my buddies could sample and give their opinion as well. They were gobbled up super fast. The KIND logo on the wrapping is already a seal of approval for many, as the brand is known offer good quality. These bars didn’t disappoint.

I thought my favorite would be the dark chocolate chunk flavor, but it turned out to be the oats & honey variety with the coconut. I did love all of them though and will definitely buy them again. I think I like them more than their line of nut bars.

You can learn more about KIND bars and where to buy them by visiting their website.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Baked Salmon with Ramps

As  you can see, I am still using up some of those ramps. I literally went on a ramp cooking frenzy – trying to work the flavor of the ramps in to anything possible. You see, ramp season is only around for a short time. You need to take advantage of the Spring season for these wild leeks as much as possible.

I recently picked up some amazing salmon. I had a bit over a pound of salmon, and it being so perfect and so fresh, I knew I had to cook it just right.

Baked-Salmon

I made up a mixture of garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, honey and chopped ramps. I rubbed the mixture on the salmon and placed it in the oven. It was that simple!

The simple seasoning, along with the fabulous chopped ramps, gave this dish a wonderful flavor. To round it all out, I served the salmon over a bed of wasabi microgreens. This was an amazing dinner.

Baked-Salmon-with-Wasabi-Microgreens

 

Baked Salmon with Ramps
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, Fish

Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. salmon filets
  • juice of one lemon
  • rind of ½ lemon
  • 4 ramps, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Place the salmon in a baking dish
  3. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper
  4. Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil and honey
  5. Stir in the chopped garlic
  6. Pour the mixture over the salmon
  7. Add the red pepper flakes (if desired)
  8. Sprinkle the chopped ramps and lemon rind all over the top of the salmon
  9. Bake the salmon at 375 for about 13 minutes – check on the salmon. You don’t want to overcook it.
  10. I served this salmon over some wasabi microgreens, but you can serve however you’d like
  11. Enjoy!

 

Honey Sriracha Glazed Tofu

This tofu dish was actually inspired by some chicken I prepared for my family. The other night, I set aside some chicken wings from the batch I was using for chicken soup. I had plenty for the soup and figured that if I baked them, they’d be perfect for my husband as an appetizer of sorts. As I looked in the fridge for seasoning ideas, I eyed the bottle of sriracha sitting in the door. I eyed a few other potential ingredients, and settled on this sweet and spicy sauce mixture. While I was mixing it up, I had to dip a pinky in to test the sauce. Perfection! I needed to make it again. I knew that this sauce would be perfect for baked tofu – something I often make for myself and I’m always looking for new ways to flavor simple tofu.

So, I set out to do just that on Friday. As I took the tofu out of the oven, I had a little nibble, and was so thrilled that I chose to adapt the sauce mixture for tofu. It is a perfect lunch or dinner treat and fantastic when served over rice.

Honey Sriracha Glazed Tofu
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, drained well
  • 3 tbsp. sriracha
  • 3 tbsp. honey or agave for a vegan substitute
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp. vegetarian oyster sauce (omit if you can’t find it)
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. chopped scallions

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 385.
  2. Drain the block of tofu. Cut the tofu in to around 6-8 pieces. I sliced the tofu block in thirds crosswise and then sliced each of those pieces in thirds.
  3. Lay the pieces on a baking sheet.
  4. Mix up the rest of the ingredients, except for the scallions and sesame seeds, in a small bowl.
  5. Brush the sauce mixture over the tofu, distributing it evenly.
  6. Let the tofu marinate for around 20-30 minutes.
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Flip the pieces over and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
  10. Enjoy!

Honey Sriracha Glazed Tofu

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

I’ve got Purim on the brain right now. My schedule is off and I have been procrastinating on everything, but Purim is one of my favorite holidays. I want to make it special. Ever since I was a kid, I loved the whole process of giving Mishloach Manot. As a kid, it meant driving around the neighborhood with my parents and running in to houses to hand off the goodies to our dear friends. I now have a more active role though. I love to get creative with what we put in our little packages. I always try to include something homemade and something somewhat useful.

My parents recently mentioned a dinner that they made some candied nuts. My mother went on about how easy and tasty they were. I thought back to some honey sesame cashews that I used to buy from Trader Joe’s. They were so good. Unfortunately, they aren’t kosher. I set out to make my own – with a few adaptations on flavor. These were very tasty and came together pretty easily!


Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cashews
2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp. coconut oil
4 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300.

Spread out the cashews and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in oven for around 15 minutes. Check on the nuts at around 10 minutes to see if they are beginning to brown. Do not let them burn.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Spread the sesame seeds on a small baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Again, keep an eye on these as well so that they don’t burn.

Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan, melt together the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, water and salt. Heat it on medium until the entire mixture is melted.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Pour the mixture over the nuts and stir well until everything is well coated.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Mix in the sesame seeds. Stir well.

Transfer the entire mixture to a parchment covered baking sheet. Spread out mixture well so everything is in a single layer.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Place baking sheet in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Break up the mixture with a wooden spoon.

Once it’s cool, it’s ready for eating! Place in pretty bags for mishloach manot distribution, or serve in bowls. This mixture should be kept in an airtight container. Happy Purim!

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Crunchy Granola and Proud

My mornings are pretty routine each week. After waking up at 5:00, I only have eyes for my coffee. Breakfast is pretty distant in my mind. If I remember, I might just grab a granola bar, a Luna bar or something of that power/energy bar ilk. Once in a blue moon, I go high style and pick up an egg sandwich somewhere in Manhattan on my way to work. Between the coffee and the energy bars, my mornings can get expensive. I also feel guilty eating the overly processed granola bar products? I mean, really. I do love that whole coated in chocolate aspect of the Luna bars. At $1-2 a pop though, is it really worth it?
I started researching homemade granola, and homemade granola bars. To be honest, diving into this realm is not the best idea for me. My gut truly can’t handle most homemade granola bars. My gut should can only handle that processed stuff. Still, I wanted to try to make my own power/energy granola bar and feel some crunchy granola bar power.

I knew what I wanted in there: some combo of oats, flax, wheat germ, almonds, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. But what else goes into that perfect bar, and how much? There are many recipes out there. Using my math skills, I came up with what I think works for us. Even my picky 8-year-old, who prefers bars of the “Kudos” variety approved of this nutty good-for-you power bar.
There are some modifications I may make next time, aside from processing my ingredients, so it isn’t too nutty for me. I may go all honey and no sunflower butter. Also switch up the fruit. I would like to play with some nut combinations. Maybe throwing in a pecan or two.

Granola Bars
Ingredients

4 cups oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped, dried fruit
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sunflower nut butter
2 tbsp vanilla
4 tbsp butter
pinch or two of salt
Combine all the nutty stuff on to a baking sheet and toast at 350 for 15 minutes.

Stir the mixture around every five minutes. When done, dump in a large mixing bowl and cool down. Stir in the coconut, dried fruits, and choco chips in to the mixture. Turn the oven down to 300.

Get a 9×13 pan ready. Line it with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, add the sugar, the nut butter, the honey, the vanilla, and the salt. Stir up until the brown sugar has dissolved. Just a few minutes. Let cool a couple minutes.

Pour the sticky mixture over the granola mixture and stir. Press the mixture into the pan. Press down so it’s all even.

Bake at 300 for around 25 minutes.

When done, remove from oven and let cool on counter for a good 30 minutes or so.

Slice into granola bar shapes – anything goes really. Enjoy!

Wrap in plastic wrap. I prefer the “Stretch-Tite” brand. Saran is for wimps. Enjoy your bars.

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