Saturday, August 24, 2013

Energy Balls from simple ingredients you probably already have hiding in your pantry

Actually if you flatten the balls like the ones in the front you can pass them off as cookies.  So I was going through my "pantry" which is really a closet next to the kitchen stacked with bins that are packed with mason jars which are stuffed with vacuum sealed, non-perishable foodstuffs.  Don't worry, I am prepared to eat well in case of natural disaster, power-outage, or other armageddon scenarios that would keep me in my apartment.

In the pantry I found some prunes.  I guess I like prunes since I'm the one that bought them and I consider them a healthy snack, but it's not like I sit around thinking, "oh, I'm totally in the mood for some prunes."  So here they languish in the pantry discovered only when I dig in to reorganize.  This time I was determined to do something with them so a quick google search led to some options, the easiest being these raw nut balls.  I modified it a bit and ended up with a tasty treat that I think will make a good 11am work snack when I'm usually starving but convinced it's still too early for lunch.

These were wicked easy and tasty.  I'll probably try them again with some different combinations.

Coconut prune balls

1 cup prunes (soaked 1 hour and drained)
1 cup walnuts (soaked 1 hour and drained)
1/4 cup cranberries (soaked 1 hour and drained)
2 oz dark chocolate finely chopped
1 TBS maca powder (optional)

1/2 cup shredded coconut reserved for coating

In a high speed blender or food processor, blend together all balls ingredients except coconut and add a little water or soaking liquid if it's too stiff.  You want to be able to mold it like cookie dough.

Shape into 1 to 1 1/2 tsp bite sized balls, and roll around in the coconut to coat.  It's ok if some of the coconut gets mixed in and this makes them even better.  Place on a silpat lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.  Store in air-tight mason jars if you have them or a ziplock bag will do.  Even better make into serving sized portions and store in smaller mason jars or snack sized bags.


Monday, August 5, 2013

I made your favorite; spaghetti with lots of oregano...and a secret ingredient.

Ah.  I can't resist a Heather's quote blog post.  Veronica, dinner!

Cappellini pasta pairs perfectly with summer veggies.  Mostly CSA haul: Japanese eggplant, yellow and green pattypan squash, onions, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil, vegetable paste, and lots of oregano!  

Here's my latest secret ingredient.  Vegetable paste.  It's mostly like tomato paste, but also includes assorted vegetables such as celery, carrots, onions, and parsley with a little olive oil, sugar, and salt.  I found it at Chef Central in the gourmet foods section, but you may be able to find it in the normal grocery store with the Italian stuff.

More umami than regular old tomato paste, this amped up paste is really tasty added to vinaigrette and soups.