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 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.
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
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Mix wet ingredients.
- Pour wet into dry. Stir to combine.
- Pour into a 9×9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- 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.