Killer Chipotle & Roasted Pepper Salsa (with a Side of Relational Advice)

Sometimes life is funny, and sometimes, not so much.  “Mama said there’d be days like this,” and for days like this you need three things: a good friend, some good clear-the-air advice, and some comfort food. Then, before too long, life can be funny again.

A single girlfriend and I were talking this morning about toxic relationships. Particularly we were pondering the differences between normal friends who are in a temporary season of pain who deserve and need our empathy, patience and compassion;  versus toxic friends whose problems are unending and sap all the energy and joy out of every minute we spend with them, like an Emotional Hoover.

We came up with the 3 B’s that signal it might be time to Back Away from a Relationship.  Red flags, we decided,  are:

1. Belittling — when a person makes you feel small, talks down to you, uses superior tones

2. Blaming — when the person’s default mode is always to blame someone else and never takes any responsibility for their part in bad situations. If someone is constantly blaming others or the universe or God for their problems, it won’t be long before they are blaming and attacking you.

3. Black-Hole — normal people have seasons of neediness and self-focus following tragedy or during illness or stress; but toxic people are walking black holes of ever-growing, never-ceasing, and always-changing need

Having discussed relationship sticky-wickets to our mutual satisfaction, we turned the conversation to comfort food.  In fact, we discussed the perfect food for washin’ a crazy-making friend or a bad day right out of our mind.  In her book, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert quoted someone’s grandmother as saying, “There’s no trouble in this world so serious that it can’t be cured with a hot bath, a glass of whiskey, and the Book of Common Prayer.”  I agree with the hot bath and Book of Common Prayer, but my preferred comfort beverage would be a frosty margarita alongside  a big bowl of spicy, chunky, smoky, colorful homemade salsa and chips.

And it just so happens that I make the best chunky smoky salsa in the universe. (Ditto on the margs… but that is for another post, another time.)  When my daughter Rachel had her baby this past summer,  I made salsa day after day because her husband Jared loves salsa and chips like only a Texas boy can. This gave me a chance to perfect my recipe, and this is the best of the best!

So come to Mama for the recipe, then whip up a quart of this brain-cleansing salsa, grab some chips and your fave margarita, find a spot in the sun, chill out and let the stress fall away.

Life is hard enough,  your salsa should be easy.  This version is oh so forgiving, allowing lots of variations to the basic recipe.

Everyone I serve this to asks for the recipe, so be prepared to share! (Also usually makes enough to send some home with your grateful guests.)

Becky’s Killer Chipotle & Roasted Pepper Salsa

Ingredients:

Makes about a Quart of Salsa

Into a food processor or blender put:

1/2 of a  28 oz can organic crushed fire roasted tomatoes (save the other half to add later)
1/2 red onion
1 fresh tomato, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
* 3 small peppers (yellow, orange and red) roasted (see picture below)
(Alternatives: If roasted hatch chilis are in season, these are delicious replacements or additions! Or you can use a couple of roasted peppers from a jar,  small can green chilies,  or roast some tomatillos.)
A nice  palm full of cilantro (if you like it)
2 large fresh jalapenos, seeded; 1 if you prefer milder (you can substitute pickled jalapenos as well)
**2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (1 if you prefer milder)
(You can find these small cans of chipotles-in-adobe-sauce in most grocery stores now, on the Mexican food aisle; see picture below.)
2 T. white vinegar
2 t. sugar
sea salt to taste
1/2 fresh lime, squeezed
1 t. smoked paprika (this just adds to the smokiness, but is not essential)
Directions:
Process until mixtures has the consistency you like for salsa. Then stir in the rest of the crushed tomatoes which will give it a nice chunky texture.
Check seasonings once more. Grab a bag of chips, a margarita and enjoy.  This makes a lot, so I often freeze half to use at a later time.

*I put three small peppers on my gas flame (set to high)  and roast them while I’m tossing the rest of the ingredients into the blender, turning as they blacken.  Simply scrape off most of the blackened skin (I use a damp paper towel for this job),  seed them and pop in the blender.  You can also halve them and broil them if you don’t have a gas burner.

Roasting small tri-colored peppers on a gas burner

** Here’s what a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce looks like.  These babies are strong, and I often only use one or two, so I pop the rest (along with the sauce) in a small freezer bag and store them in the freezer.  When I need one I just cut off what I need.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Killer Chipotle & Roasted Pepper Salsa
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/28/killer-chipotle-roasted-pepper-salsa-with-a-side-of-relational-advice
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved

Marinated Portobello Burger

Marinated Portobello Burgers

When I was about 12, I went on a ski trip with my family. While hanging out at the base, some older teens hollered out to me and my brothers “Hey, you want some shrooms?”

I giggled and naively said, “Those guys must be on drugs or something. Why would they think we want some mushrooms while we are skiing?”

My big brothers busted out laughing.

I didn’t know how right I had been until they finally stopped laughing to explain to me what the “shrooms” those dudes spoke of were.

Lucky for me, I didn’t like mushrooms and would have turned down the offer even if my big brothers hadn’t been there to fill me in.

Nowadays, I might be in trouble if someone hollers out and offers me some shrooms, though.

It turns out after more than 25 years of hating mushrooms, I’ve discovered I actually love a good shroom!

The first time I ordered a Portobello Burger was shortly after going vegan. It was the only thing on the menu I could eat, so I figured I’d give it a try. It was thick, chewy, flavorless and spongy. I stayed away from portobellos after that and eased my way into the land of shrooms with baby bellas sauteed in evoo and garlic.

Recently we were at the new plant-based cafe in Dallas, VSPot, and I decided to try their marinated portobello burger. Some people at the neighboring table were raving about it, so I thought I’d give the portobello one more go. It was so succulent it almost melted in my mouth. The mushroom was cooked down really thin so you would never have guessed you were biting into a thick spongy portobello cap.

Tonight I made my own portobello burger and I have to say, it was awesome. The flavors are quite different than the one we had at the VSpot and I didn’t manage to get it quite as thin, but it will definitely hold me over until our next visit!

Wanna shroom?

Rachel’s
Marinated Portobello Burger

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Portobello Mushrooms, stems removed and gently wiped clean with a damp sponge
4 Buns (I used Whole Grain Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls from our store’s bakery)
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup of Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Topping suggestions: sauteed spinach, caramelized red onions, roasted red peppers

Mix the marinade in a bowl. Pour into a gallon sized zip top bag and add the portobello caps. Shake it up to cover the mushrooms and place in the refrigerator. I let mine marinate for about 5 hours, but I think you could go as little as an hour if you’re short on time or as long as 8-10 if you want to marinate them while you’re at work.

Heat a skillet on medium heat with evoo covering the bottom. Put the mushroom caps in 1-2 at a time bottoms down and with a spatula or the bottom of a sauce pan, gently hold the mushrooms down. Don’t apply too much pressure at first or you’ll tear the edges. Turn the mushrooms over and continue applying gentle pressure. Repeat turning back and forth every few minutes for about 10 minutes until the mushroom cap is only a few centimeters thick.

I ate mine on ciabatta rolls that I smeared with Vegenaise (vegan mayo) mixed with minced garlic and toasted on a lightly oiled saute pan (this gives the bread a nice crunch), topped with sauteed spinach and garlic and caramelized red onions. I thought I was going to need a protein like some beans to add to this, but I was plenty full after one mushroom burger and a side of sauteed yellow squash and zucchini.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Marinated Portobello Burger
The URL:https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/27/marinated-portobello-burger
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Pistachio and Caramelized Onion Pizza

I have been working out fairly consistently since last August, thanks to the encouragement of my good friend Ingrid.  I get up by 7:00 am (a great feat for this non-morning person) and meet Ingrid at a local gym at 8:00 where we exercise while solving the world’s problems and…often talk about great food. (Perhaps this is why the pounds aren’t just dropping off of us?)

Here’s our conversation from last week, both of us huffing and puffing on ellipticals, side by side.

“Becky!” says Ingrid. “I was visiting my friend in California who is a vegan, like your daughter.  And I came up with the best recipe for a pizza.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Well, you start with a pizza crust and then sprinkle it with almond cheese.”

“Does almond cheese tastes good? Because I think soy cheese tastes like shredded rubber bands, and I’ve been looking for a good vegan cheese to use when I cook for Rachel.”

“It  does! And it melts. Then you cook some garlic and onions in a pan with a little olive oil until they just start to brown and caramelize.  Put these on top of the almond cheese,  top with a few unsalted pistachios and — hey, Becky, why did you stop walking on your machine?”

I looked down and sure enough, I was so caught up in Ingrid’s description, that I’d completely frozen, thinking of nothing but how those flavors might taste together, my head in a pistachio-caramelized onion pizza cloud.

“Sorry,” I said, resuming my exercise.  “What can I say?  I brake for  food. Even descriptions of it.”

After our gym session, I  didn’t even change out of my gym clothes before heading to Whole Foods and gathering the ingredients. I chose garlic Naan bread instead of pizza dough because I was in a hurry to try this feast.

Let me just say,  this new pizza recipe may  cost me a few extra miles of exercise.

And it will be totally worth it.  You have to try this!

Ingrid’s Pistachio and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Ingredients:

Serves Two


2 pieces Naan Bread (I love Whole Food’s Garlic Naan Bread. But it is not vegan, so if you want to be pure vegan here, you may want to use Whole Food’s pizza dough.)
1-2  T. olive oil, divided
1. c grated almond cheese (or Mozzerella cheese, but if you are a vegan and haven’t tried almond cheese, it is the best tasting vegan cheese I’ve tried thus far)


1 red onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c. roasted, unsalted pistachio nuts

Directions:

Using a grill pan and a little olive oil, grill the Naan bread on both sides until it is crispy and has light golden grill marks. Set aside on a heavy duty cookie sheet or clay pizza pan.

In a skillet, saute the onions and garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil until onions have started to caramelize but still have a little bite/crunch to them.

Put 1/3 cup grated cheese on each piece of Naan. Top each with half of the onion-garlic mixture.  Sprinkle each pizza with 2 T. roasted, unsalted pistachios.

Bake at 375 until cheese melts.  (The almond cheese takes a longer to melt than does “real cheese,”  and I actually ended up nuking the pizza in the microwave a few seconds to get it to “melty” consistency.  It is much better than soy cheese, very good –but not as yummy as the Real Mozerella McCoy.)  Cut in wedges and serve alongside fresh fruits for a light supper or beautiful appetizer to go with your next wine party!

*Besides being handy behind a stove top, Ingrid is also a social media whiz, and serves as a social media consultant for my husband’s literary agency. (Click on her name to read her most recent article on blogging tips.)


Strawberries Romanoff

When my daughter Rachel was about three or four,  I jotted down some of the adorable phrases and words that I loved to hear her say.  “Tears” were called “cwy dwips” (cry drips), and a “suitcase” was a “cuse box.”  Her  word for “strawberries” was “STA-biddies” which I still remember her saying, her whispy blond hair blowing around her as she bit into the ripe fruit, grinning while sweet red juices rolled down her chin.

Well, “sta-biddies” are in abundance now, and on sale today!

When I saw them overflowing the grocery display, my mind drifted to  Strawberries Romanoff, a delectable concoction of strawberries served under a creamy fluff of brown-sugar cream, spiked with brandy, rum or bourbon.   I first tasted this summer dream treat at La Madeleines, a wonderful French cafe, popular in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.  Whenever I visit Rachel in Texas,  we do our best to go to lunch at La Madeleines and I always order Strawberries Romanoff for dessert.

Last summer,  when my mom was visiting Denver,  I tweaked and combined a few recipes I found online and produced this version of Romanoff cream  which we like even better than the dish from La Madeleines!  Mom and I sat around the kitchen counter and licked the bowl completely clean!

It only takes about five minutes to make the sauce, making this an easy, refreshing and beautiful dessert for these long Spring and Summer evenings.  It looks oh so elegant, too.

Becky’s Strawberries Romanoff

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 c. whipping cream

6 T.  powdered sugar

1 c. Greek Yogurt, plain (may also use sour cream)

6 T. brown  sugar (Plus a T. more for garnish)

2 T. bourbon (or scotch, rum, brandy or your favorite liquor; or 1 T. vanilla or rum extract if you prefer non-alcoholic)

2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and rinsed (You may keep them whole, or slice them, your preference. If they are tart, you may want to sprinkle a bit of sugar on them as well to sweeten them up some.)

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, whip cream into soft peaks, slowly adding powdered sugar to the whipped mixture.

In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together Greek Yogurt, 1/3 c. brown sugar and bourbon.

Add yogurt mixture to whipped cream and fold in until well combined.

To serve, spoon strawberries into martini glasses, about 2/3 full, place generous dollop (about 1/3 c.)  of Romanoff sauce over top of each.   Sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar over the sauce for garnish.  

Variations:   You can also layer the strawberries and sauce in parfait like fashion.   Big wine glasses, or pretty bowls can also work in place of martini glasses.  The powdered sugar helps  the cream hold its shape so that it will keep for a couple of days in a sealed container.  One of the reasons I always used powdered sugar instead of granulated when I make whipped cream.

Veganize This: Try coconut milk “whipped cream” and any of the many varieties of plain non-dairy yogurt.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Stawberries Romanoff
The URL:https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/23/strawberries-romanoff/
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Baked Macaroni and Cashew Cheese

Yesterday was our Vegan Anniversary! We celebrated by making this baked macaroni with cashew cheese, a version of one of our favorite go-to vegan dishes.

Baked Macaroni & Cashew Cheese

Two years ago Jared and I were on a Spring Break vacation at our favorite little island in Florida. Want to see how we celebrated back then? Jared is going to kill me for posting this.

Oh yes, that’s how we rolled! I believe that is a plate of barbeque pork nachos bigger than Jared’s head, a grouper sandwich hanging from his mouth, some grilled shrimp, a side of onion rings, and I don’t think that green St. Patty’s Day beverage is a tall glass of wheatgrass. Though we don’t have a photo to prove it (thank goodness!), I too helped devour this heart attack waiting to happen. Little did we know, this was one of our last meaty meals. We certainly went out with a bang didn’t we!?

On our drive back from Florida to Texas, we listened to some books on CD that I had randomly grabbed from our local library’s limited selection. One of them shared some pretty compelling information from The China Study that had us thinking twice about the dairy and meat in those nachos we’d devoured the week before. As we finished up the book, Jared proposed a challenge.

“Let’s try it. Let’s go vegan for a month and see how we feel,” he said.

A challenge I’d wanted to make myself, but would never have dreamed of proposing to my meat, cheese, and potatoes eating manly man of a man.

“Let’s do it,” I agreed!

And 24 months later, here we are with no plans of turning back.

Jared has even become quite the little vegan chef. He found the original recipe for the macaroni and cashew cheese and made it for us the first time. It was so good I asked him to make it again for both of our family’s Christmas dinners. To our surprise, even his teenage brother, the guy who has to have Kraft shells & cheese at every family gathering, liked it. We made it for my mom and Greg when they visited a few weeks ago and Greg announced “This is better than real mac and cheese.”  I like the original a lot, but decided to make some tweaks to it to shake things up a bit.

Who knew you didn't need cheese to make a creamy and delicious macaroni casserole!?

Rachel’s
Baked Macaroni and Cashew Cheese

Inspired by Epicurean Vegan

Serves: 6-8 people 

Ingredients

16oz small whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente (shells, rotini, elbow macaroni, or penne are all great)
1-1/4 C raw cashews
1/2 C nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, chopped
2 Tbs EVOO
4 C unsweetened nondairy milk (I used almond)
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 C canola oil
3 Tbs Earth Balance (vegan butter)
1/8 C barley miso (any miso would probably work fine, the original recipe called for light miso)
1 cup dairy free sour cream
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp Tabasco (optional)
Panko break crumbs
Smoked Paprika (optional)
Italian Seasoning (optional)

Directions

Start by boiling your pasta water and preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large saucepan saute garlic & onions in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt over medium heat for five minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large food processor bowl finely grind the cashews, but don’t let them turn to a paste (or you’ll end up with cashew butter–not a bad result, but not what you’re looking for here.) Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse a few more times until it looks like a fine powder.

Process until it is a fine powder, but before it turns into cashew butter

Add the onions and garlic to the food processor bowl and pulse a few times.

If the pasta water is boiling, go ahead and drop the pasta and set your timer for 2-3 minutes less than the package recommends. You want to pull out your pasta when it is al dente because it will continue cooking in the oven.

In the same large saucepan as you used for the onions and garlic combine one cup of milk and the cornstarch on high heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until the cornstarch dissolves. Gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring as you go. Finally add canola oil and Earth Balance. Bring the mixture to a simmer then decrease heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Turn off the burner, add miso and sour cream and stir until incorporated.

With the food processor running, gradually add the wet ingredients to the work bowl. Blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in the lemon juice and tabasco (optional).

In a large casserole dish, pour the cashew sauce over the pasta. You want to have a lot of liquid because it will reduce as it bakes.

To avoid dry casseroles, always make sure they have have plenty of liquid before they go in the oven to bake. For best results, add a smiling bouncing baby in the background as you cook. 🙂

Cover the top of the dish with a thin layer of panko bread crumbs. I like to add a sprinkle of smoked paprika and Italian seasoning, but it would be just fine without it if you don’t have it. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until the bread crumbs are golden. Serve immediately.

Baked Macaroni and Cashew "Cheese"

Notes: If you have leftover cheese sauce, save it and use it on the leftovers since the sauce tends to thicken over time. Add a pat of Earth Balance and a drizzle of nondairy milk  to your leftovers before reheating to keep it nice and creamy. I’ve also added chickpeas and veggies to this dish before baking to up the nutritional profile and it was really tasty. It’s a very versatile casserole and hard to mess up. Though I’ve never used dairy milk, butter, and sour cream, I imagine it would work great in this too if that’s what you have on hand.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Baked Macaroni and Cashew Cheese
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/22/baked-macaroni-and-cashew-cheese
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Sesame Broccoli Slaw

Today, a new mom friend asked when she would ever feel like herself again after quitting her job and becoming a mother full time. At first I chuckled and thought about saying, “I think it will be about 30 years from now!” Then I recalled there was a moment after Jackson was born, when I first felt like my old self again.

He was about three months old and Jared and I were desperate for a night to ourselves. Money was tight, though, now that I wasn’t working and bills for the two day hospital visit were piling up. The amount we owed to doctors was growing faster than Jackson was! Despite our empty bank account, we called the grandparents and asked if they could watch Jackson for the evening. They happily obliged.

We couldn’t afford to go out to eat, but with the few groceries we had on hand and a little creativity I planned to turn our patio into the finest bistro in town. (The competition isn’t too steep in Small Town, Texas!) Before we dropped Jackson off, Jared and I prepped all the food, cleaned the house, hid all the baby gear away, and set up a table on the back patio. I got dolled up, putting on a dress and heels for the first time in months, thrilled to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes.

When we returned to our home “bistro,”  all was ready for wining and dining. It was a perfect fall evening with just the slightest chill in the air. A bowl of delicious homemade vegetable soup and a bottle of Pinot Noir kept us plenty warm while we chatted the night away.

I remember stopping mid-sentence and saying to Jared, “We are talking, like really talking, and I’m actually able to focus on what we are saying!” The newborn haze had lifted for at least an evening and I felt like my old self again. I’d forgotten how much I loved spending the day in the kitchen, and evenings together, with the first love in my life. It was in that moment I realized though motherhood will forever change me, and in ways I’m really grateful for, I still need to make room in my life for the things that inspire and energize me. I’ll be a better mother for it.

One of my favorite creations from our romantic evening was an Asian-inspired Sesame Broccoli Slaw I served as our appetizer salad. It was crunchy, tangy, sweet, and easy to make ahead so it was waiting for us when we arrived at The Back Porch Bistro.

Rachel’s
Sesame Broccoli Slaw

Serves 2 as a side salad or appetizer, probably up to 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients

2 cups Broccoli, thinly sliced into ribbons
2 cups Carrots, thinly sliced into ribbons
4 tbs Rice Vinegar
2 tbs Olive Oil
2 tbs Organic Sugar
2 tbs Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Salt

Directions

Slice the broccoli and carrots into ribbons as thin as you can. (A vegetable peeler works great to “cut” the carrots really thin. Just start about half way up the carrot and peel, peel, peel lovely little ribbons. Then start over with the upper half of the carrot.) In a bowl, add all of the ingredients and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle and the carrots and broccoli soften up. Can be served chilled or at room temperature.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Sesame Broccoli Slaw
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/20/sesame-broccoli-slaw/
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Blueberry Raspberry Oat Nut Bars

blueberry raspberry bars 002(Becky, the Mama.) This week I had a run of crazy mistakes that defy even my questionable logic.  One day began by sending  my husband’s business blog post, unedited, to hundreds of subscribers on the wrong day. From there it seemed every hour was punctuated by a wrong move, a major mess or spill in the kitchen, an embarrassing misspelling on social media, or a relational faux pas.

I was determined to make the next day mistake-free, and sailed through until about 3:00 pm, when I darted into a store and ran into a friend. Her face was full of compassion as she hugged me.  “I read about all your latest mishaps on Facebook, bless your heart.”

I smiled and said, “Yes, but I’m having a much better day. No mistakes yet!”

She pointed to my abdomen and said, “So that big white sticker that says, ‘Citrus juicer, $5.00’ on your stomach, is that on purpose?”

Oh well, there’s “always tomorrow.”

This morning I woke feeling chipper, and posted a status on Facebook that described my excitement about going to my friend Sue’s house to celebrate her birthday with some of her good home cooking.  I decided to whip up my favorite quick and easy berry bars to bring for dessert. They are a “just right” treat; not too sweet. Perfect under ice cream after dinner, but wonderful with a glass of milk for breakfast as well.

As we were enjoying our meal around their table (fabulous tenderloin steak, fresh corn on cob, and pesto pasta), Sue’s husband Jason grinned and asked, “Should we tell her now?”

“Tell me what?” I asked.

“Oh, Jason,” Sue said. “I wasn’t going to say anything.  Becky had a hard week.”

“What?” I repeated.

Jason laughed.  “Sue’s birthday is next week.  We’d actually invited you to come for dinner next Sunday! But when Sue saw your status update, we thought, ‘Let’s just go with it.  We’re free tonight, anyway.’”

I left half a pan of these blueberry  raspberry bars with Jason and Sue, and hope it will remind them of how much I love them for being so patient and kind to their absentminded friend.

P.S. My daughter Rachel just wrote, “When my mom came to stay with me after Jackson was born, she made me these blueberry raspberry bars. I was a ravenous new nursing mom and let me just say, these did not last very long! They are especially delicious in the middle of the night with a glass of almond milk. Sigh…I miss those early nursing days when I could eat constantly and still lose weight!”

Blueberry Raspberry Bars

Becky’s Blueberry Raspberry Oat Nut Bars

Ingredients

Serves 12-15, depending on how big you cut the bars.
1 c. butter (vegans can substitute coconut oil or Earth Balance butter or a mixture of both)
1 c. brown sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, whatever nut you like)
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Dump the first four ingredients into the food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add the oatmeal and nuts,  process just until blended. (You can also do this with a mixer or use clean hands for the job.)  Press half of the mixture into a greased 9×13 inch pan: spread blueberries over the mixture and sprinkle with the remaining oatmeal mixture. (Like a crumb topping.) Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before cutting into bars.

If you have any leftover (and this is a big IF),  I have found they stay freshest when wrapped well and refrigerated, then nuke the portion you want to eat for  few seconds in microwave.

Try these with other fruits (raspberries, strawberries, cherries, pineapple, apples, rhubarb… or combos thereof).

Also works well with other flours (gluten free) and grains. Can sub wheat germ or other flakey grains for some of the oats to upsize or vary the nutritional value.  You can use date sugar instead of brown sugar for sweetening, and keep it sugar free.

I love for people to find a basic recipe-method that works, then get creative with it, to make it their own.  This is a great recipe to “play with,” because it is hard to mess up! (Even for me.)

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Blueberry Oat Nut Bars
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/19/blueberry-oat-nut-bars/
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved