KERF Kitchen

June 14, 2008

It ended up being a great Saturday! I feel like I accomplished a lot and still enjoyed myself, especially this evening :)

We did end up going to the wine tasting :mrgreen: Luckily the pours were small – I probably only had about 3-4 oz total – so I was able to write my WHOLE PAPER before dinner! Yipee! 3 down, 4 to go in the series.

For dinner we grilled some Al Fresco Chicken Sausages . These were the sweet Italian kind, which we’d never had, and they were awesome! Very authentic sausage tasting with a great ingredients list and nutritional profile (for a sausage, that is). There’s half a slice of 2% sharp cheddar under there, but you can’t see it. It’s in an Ezekiel hot dog bun that I froze and thawed. These freeze pretty well as long as you microwave them for about 30 seconds to re-soften them.

On the size we grilled some zucchini and squash . Our zucchini plant in our garden is 1 day from being pick-ready!! I’m so excited!

And finally a salad (gotta use up that lettuce!) with sprouts, red pepper, blueberries, walnuts and….. Annie’s Woodstock Dressing !! Jenna says it’s better than Goddess and I gotta agree. Well, it’s a tie. But it’s cheesy from nutritional yeast and I love the flavor. Being the volume eater that I am, you wouldn’t think I’d "spend" calories on a high-calorie dressing, but I think these are worth it because they have so much flavor.

Weekly Prep

We decided to take advantage of our down-time Saturday night and do some of the food prep for the week since we’ll be at the symphony again tomorrow night with friends. We made another week’s worth of banana oatmeal, chopped veggies and made lentil bean dip , and I made a batch of Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars !

For the lentil dip , we used about 2 cups of leftover cooked brown lentils and pureed them with about 2 tbsp Fage, 3 tbsp Annie’s Woodstock dressing, 2 tsp cayenne pepper, a dash of hot sauce and some S+P. It’s quite good (although I admit the brown color is kind of gross).

Then I packed it into plastic wrap servings to go in the veggie bags. I hate trying to eat hummus out of a tupperware because you can’t really dip and scrape that well, so I came up with this plastic wrap technique to just bundle it up tightly, twist the edges and package it with the veggies:

Lastly, I made a batch of Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars . My friend Ellen in Food Comp class brought one of these in and it was great! These days I’m in need of portable whole grains, so these looked perfect. They are the flavor of good nutrition.

I halved her original recipe and left out the brown sugar but otherwise it’s a very versatile recipe:

Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars


  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used 1/4 cup cranberry trail mix, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup chopped dried "just banana" from TJ’s)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.25 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Mix wet ingredients.
  4. Pour wet into dry. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a 9×9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Cut into 9 squares.

Makes 9 servings . Each bar is appx. 165 calories, 3 grams fiber and 5 grams protein.

You can double the recipe and use a 9×13 baking dish. While delicious, the only sweetness in these comes from the dried fruit. Add in 1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar if you like.

The variations are endless, but I am certainly going to add coconut the next time I make them!

Going into the oven :

Parchment makes this SO easy:

So does a pizza cutter :

Whole grains to go. I wrapped each bar in plastic wrap and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer . When ready to eat, just grab and go, or microwave for instant enjoyment.

I split a bar with the husband and topped mine with some PB for an evening snack !

LAST but certainly not least…………

Someone recommended we compost and I thought it might be appropriate to show you a photo of our compost heap :) It’s in the way back of our yard. Although it looks tiny here, it’s actually pretty big – about 4 feet in diameter. The husband says he fertilized our garden with it and saw a noticeable difference in the plants.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sammy June 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Hi Chef (may I call you that? :))
1. Does the nutritional queso re-heat okay? I saw that someone asked a similar question on Jenna’s blog and I remembered you had made (and loved) it too.

2.Do you think you could please ask around in Food comp classes about baking with protein powder? How to adjust other ingredients accordingly, etc. I was thinking your Baked Oatmeal Bars, which look fabulous, would be great candidates for sprucing up with some protein powder. Thanks! And reading on the elliptical, impressive, impressive.


2 Katie June 14, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Wow you def. did do alot today! Those bars look great. What do you think the egg adds to it? I am out of eggs and egg beater and would love to make them. Do you think it would work with just milk?

Did she add one egg into the original size recipe or two? Thanks and enjoy the symphony tomorrow.


3 Katie June 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Sorry one other question about the bars……I have never heard of adding milk to a granola bar. Can you taste the milk?


4 Little Black Dress June 14, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Kath- sounds like such a fantastic day! I have a question for you and anyone else out there- I have been looking for Woodstock dressing everywhere, but can’t find it! It seems that everywhere (even Whole Foods!) I look that carries Annie’s dressings has all the flavors but Woodstock. Does anyone else in the DC area or anywhere else have this problem?

Also, Kath- your bean dip sounds awesome, and I love your technique!


5 Kristie June 15, 2008 at 1:46 am

I’m loving the sounds of those baked oatmeal bars, going to have to give that recipe a try for sure!

I really like your plastic wrap dip method. Scraping out of the little containers is such a pain and so messy. I will definitely be giving that a try from now on!


6 Amy June 15, 2008 at 6:34 am

Why do you say that you pretty much skipped working out yesterday. I say walking home and to get you car 30 min each way is certainly exercising!
Just because you did not officially do a workout at the gym does not mean that walking did not count!


7 Kath June 15, 2008 at 6:38 am

I have only made the queso twice and haven’t reheated it so I don’t really know. My guess it it would work fine but might need some additional mixing. Let us know if you try it (or if someone else knows!)

We will be studying baking proteins in a week or so and I will ask. Remind me if I don’t report anything.

Katie ,
2 eggs went into the original, so since I halved I added one. Eggs usually act as a binder, so I don’t think they would hold together as well. You could certainly try it without and see what happens.

Think of the milk like you would in brownies or cookies. You need some liquid to make the batter. These are NOT crunchy bars, but you can’t really taste the milk.

Little Black Dress,
I’ve seen it at EarthFare and Harris Teeter. Good luck! Have you looked online to order it??

Amy ,
I know walking counted as great physical activity for sure, but I didn’t get any weight lifting or my heart rate above 100 or so, so I consider it a break from “working out” in that sense.



8 Jessica June 15, 2008 at 6:45 am

Great motivation yesterday! The oatmeal bars look great, thank you for sharing the recipe. Where do you purchase the Ezekiel english muffins and buns? I normally by the bread at Trader Joe’s I was there yesterday and they didn’t have Ezekial’s other products. Do you get them at EarthFare, Harris Teeter or Whole Foods?


9 Kath June 15, 2008 at 6:47 am

Jessica ,
EarthFare and HT



10 Patty M. June 15, 2008 at 8:02 am

This reply is in response to Gaby’s question in the last post about Trader Joe’s Muesli – it is definitely part of my breakfast rotation – I really like its mix of dried fruit & grains. I have soaked it overnight, and heated it up warm, and it works well both ways. I usually mix 1/4c or 1/2c of it w/ 1/4c or 1/3c plain oats (made Kath style w/ banana). I have never had it cold without overnight soaking, so I have no idea if it would be as good that way – b/c of the oats in it, I would think allowing them to soak up a little moisture would be most successful. Hope this helps!


11 VeggieGirl June 15, 2008 at 8:06 am

Looks like a great Saturday, indeed :0) Love your Baked Oatmeal Snack Bar recipe!!


12 leslie June 15, 2008 at 8:44 am

I have to put a voye in for best annie’s dressing…..PAPAYA!It’s soooo amazing(oh it might be called papaya poopyseed?)
Kath I really hope you’ll buy that one next-can’t wait to hear your opinion.It’s my fave.
Happy Father’s Day all,and my deepest sympathy to the family of the wonderful Tim Russert.


13 leslie June 15, 2008 at 8:45 am

OOPS!That was VOTE not voye and POPPYSEED(obviously not poopsyseed…but I laughed at my typos at least!)Sorry all :)


14 grace June 15, 2008 at 10:53 am

Thanks for the recipe Kath, I will defnitely be making it! I love baking with oats.


15 Kelly T June 15, 2008 at 11:46 am

yeah im goig to make those baked granola bars too.

i love recipes with ingredients i already have- it doesnt happen very often.

i have lentils to use up as well, but have no idea what to do with them (i dont have a food processor.) Does anyone have any ideas?


16 Sidi June 15, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Ever since I read your blog I started packing snacks in advance and I find this very helpful. My husband loves it and I love it, too. You’re a great inspiration!


17 Richelle June 15, 2008 at 2:36 pm

I’m always on a lookout for anything new to do with oats.. so I’m def trying out those oat bars soon!

& I can second that plastic-wrap technique works like a charm!


18 Jen June 16, 2008 at 8:44 am

MMMMmmmm mmmmmm………can’t wait to make the oatmeal bar recipe!!! Thanks for the post!!


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