Tag Archives: healthy

Chocolate granola bars with cranberry & almond flakes

22 Aug

A snack for the road…

We are back from our holidays destination and this was our snack for the trip (to not from), but I am posting the recipe now. Better late than never, they say. Truth is, before we left I prepared the greek text and assumed that I would do this one during my time off. We had various devices with us and plenty of free time. What better to do on your free time, right? I never ever thought, that I would be without internet connection, or even mobile reception for most of my stay in that remote little village on the mountain.

Shock and horror, but after a while I just got bored of having to climb on the tree to get some 3G reception, so I just went with the flow and wire- and reception- less. And guess what? I survived!!!!!!I am really proud of myself, I have to admit.

Here is the recipe for the snack that I prepared for the road trip and to take with us to the beach. You could say they are on the “healthy” side as they have oatmeal and nuts. The bars are on the crunchy side the first day but they get softer and chewier the following days. You can pretty much adapt them to your liking, I just used what I had left in my cupboards. They are also a perfect pre workout snack (something I haven’t done in a couple of weeks though). The addition of chocolate and cranberry makes them a bit sweeter than I would have liked, so have that in mind.

(don’t you just love those little bags?)

Chocolate granola bars with cranberry and almond flakes

recipe adapted from here

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberry
1/4 cup almond flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 egg (small), beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
——-
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Line a 20x20cm (8inch) square baking with parchment paper (let it hang from the sides).
In a large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, salt, chocolate chips, almond flakes and cranberry.
Add remaining ingredients, gently mixing it all together.
Press the mixture with the back of a spoon or your hands into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cut the bars when they are still warm (either wise they will be too hard and difficult to cut).
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Lentil quinoa salad

11 Jul

My friends and people who know me, know that I tend to eat things that are not very common and popular (I am talking about this corner of the earth) and that my hobbies have included not so popular/common choices  (like dj-ing, aerial yoga, baking etc).

Baking has been the most popular, I think, and has devotees (as they get to eat loads of sweets) and also because the cooking part is usually with more “experimental” and “uncommon” ingredients (again, for the Greek standards).

In general, I have  very boring and plain meals, most of them comprise of plain salad greens (no fancy croutons or dressings), boiled vegetables, legumes and grains (if Mr. Dietitian allows me). Also, most of my meals are consumed in the office, so I need to prepare meals (at least a day before, or longer) that can be easily packed, transferred and consumed among people (so, no smelly or garlicky food for me).

I’ve drifted here a lot…. Those “uncommon” or experimental ingredients mentioned above are usually found in Asian stores or stores that carry healthy/bio foods and products. One such ingredient is quinoa which is widely popular (not so much in Greece though, but it’s becoming used more and more lately). I must have discovered it in one of my trips to Germany (I usually bring back local/unknown food stuff when I travel), but they do sell it here as well now. Dear judge G_ of course won’t go near stuff like that (usually healthy stuff), even if I try to bribe him with money or anything else.

I think he fears for his life or something and doesn’t trust me (or my food choices). It just happened though, that  I made this at some get together with friends (mostly cause I wanted to eat it and bring some of the leftovers to the office) and he decided that this salad is  “f****** amazing”. Small victories, my friends, small victories!!!! I wanted to crack open the champagne, but I restrained myself (I didn’t even have to sneak it into a recipe, nor did I “advertise” this salad to him).

Anyways…. If you have eaten quinoa, you know what to expect. If not, I hope that I might have convinced you to try it, if not, you might acquire a taste for it at some point in this life.

I made it and served in my balcony (did I mention the nearly 40C/104F weather?) drizzled with balsamic glaze,  a sprinkle of my favorite spices mix called  Toque Iberico (found in supermarkets in Spain and in my house-seriously if you ever go to Spain, look for it) and some extra lime.

A few words about the recipe:

  • I’ve used the white quinoa variety, but you might be lucky enough to find the black or red one (or get the package that has all of them – super yummy and crunchy, my favorite)
  • if you don’t want to use quinoa, or can’t find it, you can substitute it with cous cous (I’d prefer the bulgur one, but I guess the Israeli one will work perfectly)
  • you can add ingredients of your preference (like zucchini, avocado, spring onions, feta cheese, mushrooms etc)
  • can be eaten as a side dish or main course

Lentil quinoa salad

recipe adapted from Food Network

Ingredients

1 cup (170gr) quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups water
½ cup (88gr) lentils (uncooked)
8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 peppers
4-5 tBsps finely chopped parsley (or fresh coriander if you prefer)

for the vinaigrette (I haven’t written quantities, it’s up to you how much you will use)
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, mustard,  lime zest
salt, pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder

Directions

Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a small pot with a lid, simmer it with 2 cups of water (or less if you prefer it al dente) . Quinoa should be tender enough to eat, but with a little “pop” upon biting.

Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a saucepan, simmer the lentils in water until they are tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse so that they cool down (it will stop them from getting softer).

In a small jar throw the wet ingredients of the vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, lime juice, mustard,  lime zest), place the lid and shake gently so that they blend.

Salad assembly: in a container with a lid, mix the quinoa, lentil, peppers, cherry tomatoes, parsley,  the dry spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, chilli flakes -to taste, according to personal preference) and pour the vinegrette (you might need to shake it a bit before pouring). Place the lid of the container and gently again shake it (up-down & left -right) so that they ingredients blend together.

You can serve it immediately or put it in the fridge for a couple of hours so that it chills and the aromas of the herbs and spices blend together.

If you like, you can drizzle some balsamic glaze before serving.

Honey lemon cookies with wheat germ & my window view

4 Jul

My post was a bit delayed this week, I know.

I apologize, but it was my birthday on Monday and got a bit hang up with loads of chocolate and stubborn pizza doughs. There was chocolate everywhere, up to my eyebrows and flour on my hair (that was not gray hair; there won’t be any grey on my head for at least another 40 years, or until the companies stop producing red hair dye). It would be an understatement to say that I don’t like birthdays, but I’ve decided to have birthday reruns from this year on, if you get my point. I’ve celebrated  “enough” to keep me going for some time.

Since my New Year‘s Resolutions don’t really last until July, I had got into the habit of “renewing” them and call them B’day Resolutions, but they are nothing new, really (I usually vow that I won’t eat all my food, I’ll drag myself to the gym or yoga class, not to smoke like a chimney, think before I open my mouth to say something etc. etc)

But this year I didn’t do it. I’ve decided to let myself relax and be creative. This is how and why I started this blog. I needed a creative outlet,but  didn’t know that I would find it here. And I certainly didn’t know that I was signing myself up for so much work.

I also didn’t know that I would get to meet fellow bloggers, but I should never say never, I guess. Two of them, Eri and Ermioni invited me to play a blog game, asking me to send a pic of what I see out of my window. I took a picture of the view I see when I am mixing something on my green mixer.

I live in a suburb, not far from the center of Athens, and luckily among the urban landscape (translate: concrete walls), there is some “green”(banana/lemon/laurel and lotus trees).  And a mountain top, over there, at the right hand top corner (my eyes have been trained to avoid walls and concrete and focus on the good stuff, yeah).

.

I, in turn, invite the follow 5 bloggers to play, if they are still here, because I suspect for some the holidays have started.

(in alphabetical order)

1. For the love of feeding

2 .My little expat kitchen

3. Pepi’s kitchen

4. Royal Coconut

5.  The donkey and the carrot

I also have a recipe for you today.

These cookies are simple to make, perfect for breakfast, or to accompany your tea or even as a pre-workout snack. They are sweet and lemony, and enriched with wheat germ and spelt flour.

Honey Wheat Cookies

 recipe from  Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

1 ¾ cups (245gr.) αll-purpose flour (I used 1 ¼  cup (175 gr.) AP flour + ½ cup (45gr.) spelt flour)
1 cup  (90 gr.) wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup (100 gr.) sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
8 tBsp (113 gr.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (150 gr.) honey
1 large egg

Whisk together the flour(s), 1/2 cup of the wheat germ (you’ll use the other 1/2 cup right before baking), the baking powder and the salt.

In a different bowl, or the mixer bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist.  Using the paddle attachment, if you have one, beat the lemon-sugar and the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until creamy and smooth.  Add the honey and beat another minute or two.  Add the egg and beat for about 2 minutes more, until you have a smooth, light and fluffy mixture.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two portions, mixing only until each addition disappears.  Scrape the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, seal and chill the dough at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.

Getting ready to bake:  Preheat the oven to 170C degrees.  Have a pair of  baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  For convenience, you can shape the second sheet of while the first is baking.

Put the remaining 1/2 cup wheat germ into a bowl and keep it near you.  Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and working with a spoonful at a time( I used an ice cream scoop), roll the dough between your palms into small balls.  Drop each ball into the wheat germ, turn to coat, then place the balls on a baking sheet, leaving about a couple of centimeters of space between balls (these don’t spread much).  Use your palm or the bottom of a glass to gently flatten each cookie.

Slide the sheet into the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes (it took mine about 10 minutes), or until the cookies are just firm to the touch.  Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to room temperature and repeat with the remaining dough.

The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.  Once baked, the cookies will keep at room temperature for about 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Spinach Burgers

13 Jun

In case you are wondering, I am not one of those eccentric ladies who only eat one color of food. If you think so though, I know that I can’t do much to change it, as the only food I have posted here is green.


As I’ve mentioned before, I am on a diet. The cakes and cookies I’ve been making are part of my evil plan to fatten everyone around me, so that I will look leaner and more restrained. I am kidding…. when I was a kid I was quite “plump” and whenever something sweet entered the house, my mom made sure to get rid of it as soon as possible.  Truth is, I don’t have much of  a sweet tooth, I’d rather eat a huge bowl of pop corn than ice cream (I can’t just have one cracker or one crisp, if the bag open it has to go or be eaten). But since I’ve have the tendency to put on weight, there goes this recipe… (with a little cheese on top)

If you are not interested in something healthy and low-cal, please come back in a couple days, I’ll make it up to you, I promise.

A few words about the recipe: Continue reading

“Healthy” banana, coconut and chocolate oatmeal cookies

11 Jun

The word healthy is in brackets because one could argue that these are healthy. But compared to what I have made and what I am going to make in the future, these are healthy (of course if you scroll a bit further down you will notice that I have managed to “amend” the healthy side bit).

I wanted to make something sweet, but healthy, that will give a boost  of energy to my gym friends, before or after working out. Something that one can eat without feeling (too) guilty and won’t have to to spend 3 days on the treadmill to burn it off. I wouldn’t want them to think that I am sabotaging their “summer 2012 bikini/swimsuit” mission.

I am also trying to take into consideration this blog’s main judge, who, is not really fond of my attempts to sneak vegetables or “healthy stuff” into his diet (like this  and that). Since I can’t deny the fact that these fall into the “healthy stuff” category, I thought I could get away by camouflaging them a bit…

You see where I am going with these, right? I baked some of the cookies in my mini muffin pan, so I got some cookie-muffins, perfect as a base for a scoop of ice cream. The ice cream is unfortunately not home made. I feel shame just by writing it, but since I don’t have an ice cream maker we still buy it.

Anyway…. this is how I de-healthified (is there such a word, really?)  something relatively healthy….

Warning: this is not a sushi, so please don’t shove it in your mouth in one go, or you will get a brain-freeze (true story)

A few words about this recipe: Continue reading

Farfalle with zucchini and eggplant chips

17 May

According to a Smiths song, “some girls are bigger than others”, but these girls occasionally decide or have to go on a diet, when things have gone too far, especially around this time of the year, before the summer and after Easter, and various occasions when eating was too much. My friend Th. was right when he was saying “a moment of the lips, forever on the hips”, but who knew better?

But, what can you eat to make up? Mosses; Lawn? And for how long can you get by on a minimal low fat, low cal, low everything diet? Especially when someone (don’t want to name any names, but it starts with G_) eats a pile of spaghetti, with 2 kilos of grated parmesan, bacon and a dash of cream, and when a zucchini or a cauliflower gets near him, he reacts like a cat with water.  Not to mention about those (rhetorical) question, like “how can you eat that (zucchini, cauliflower etc)”? You are just trying to be patient and get those kilos off and swear that next time you will not let it get out of control.

The only thing you can do is prepare something like this, a“light” pasta dish and forget about dieting for a little bit.

A few words about the recipe:

  • It is not a glamorous, or sexy plate, but it will serve its cause
  • It is a variation of a recipe my cousin from Italy gave me, with zucchini and carrot, but because I’m not a big fan of carrot I have not used any)
  •  The quantities are for one person, roughly estimated according to my taste and you can adapt it to suit yours.
  • I haven’t used any olive oil as I used some to make the chips, but feel free to use as much as you like
  • If you make the eggplant chips, you might as well make some more and keep them in the fridge to eat some other day (you can drizzle the slices with balsamic vinegar) . Continue reading
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