22.8.14

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Bars #RecipeRedux



Question, what do you feed a mob of hungry kids at 3:17 p.m. after "working really hard all day long at school"?

Answer:  Home made Chocolate Cherry Chunk Bars served with a big glass of ice cold milk and sealed with a kiss.  Love mom.








You all know by know that store bought granola bars are not health food right? Right. Well, anything made in Mystery, Who Knows Where and packaged in a box with an ingredient list only chemists can decipher is probably not something we should be eating, however convenient it may be. I hate that excuse. Sure it can be argued that there are a few healthier varieties of packaged snacks out there but the whole year or more shelf life thing of a granola bar disturbs me.


I literally tossed a handful of ingredients in a bowl, mixed, pressed into a baking dish and bam. My house smells like toasted, cinnamony oats and nuts and warm cherries. Oh, they were really yummy too.


Snack emergency, solved.











The best part, you can use whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you have in your pantry. Substitute almond butter for sunflower seed butter if there is a nut allergy issue. Pureed dates or maple syrup can be used instead of honey. The possibilities are endless.










Chocolate Cherry Chunk Oat, Nut and Seed Bars






TIME     30 MINUTES        YIELDS     14-16 BARS

You Will Need:
1 1/2 cups of whole grain oats
1 1/2 cup chopped almonds, cashews or other nuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup local, Organic honey
*1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
1 cup almond or sunflower butter
1 teaspoon ground (Saigon) cinnamon
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
parchment paper or coconut oil for brushing pan 

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare an 8 x 11 baking dish with parchment or brush with coconut oil. 
Coarsely chop nuts. Add them and remaining ingredients except chocolate chips to a large bowl and mix to combine. 
Press the mixture into the prepared pan using your hands or a spatula. Cook for 15 minutes then pull out of oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips, cook for another 15 minutes. Yes, you can just mix them into the batter if you please. We thought they looked fun and had more chocolate 'power' with them scattered on top. 










notes

Hemp Hearts are full of protein with 10 grams of complete plant-based protein per 30 gram (3 tablespoons) serving size. Hemp Hearts are also a great way to add omegas or EFAs (essential fatty acids) to your diet. Hemp Hearts contain more protein and Omega-6 & 3 and less carbs than a similar serving of Chia or Flax.

You can eat them right out of the bag and add them to baked goods, yogurt, smoothies, salads and more.



I love Coaches Oats which are much healthier than quick cooking varieties yet faster than steel cut.













19.8.14

Pulled Pork Tacos Slow Cooked in Oatmeal Stout Beer and Simmered in a Roasted Rhubarb Sauce



Looking for a no fuss, weekday dish that's also worthy of a Sunday supper? These slow cooked pork carnitas are sweet and tangy and exploding with flavor. Coming home to the smell of a roast that has been slowly simmering in a dark, oatmeal stout is the best way to end your day! Finish them off by simmering the shredded meat in a simple roasted rhubarb BBQ sauce.




17.8.14

Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn #SundaySupper



Here's the thing. I'm a procrastinator, through and through. I'd like to blame it on the kids but I'm pretty sure I've been this way since, well puberty I think. I mean, don't get me wrong, the chaos, constant interruptions, fighting, yelling and occasional minor civil war in the family room don't help matters any but I'm a procrastinator nonetheless. Which is why I'm making, photographing and writing this post and 7:37 on a Saturday evening.






14.8.14

#SundaySupper Preview for Back to School Breakfasts, Snacks and Beyond!



Summer is still in full swing here in Phoenix. Az. but it's time to peel the kids away from their digital doo dads and send them off to school nonetheless.  After a summer of endless snacking and laziness most days regardless of my best efforts to entertain the munchkins with museum trips and library visits it's time to get back into some sort of a semblance of routine. Easier said than done I might add.


Planning ahead is important when dealing with back to school breakfasts, lunches and snacks, something I'm not exactly good at. Don't get me wrong, I Pin a TON of really great ideas when it comes to packing a perfect lunch box but I still seem to struggle with the whole variety thing. Healthy snacks on the other hand are totally my stronger suit.




9.8.14

Tart Cherry and Vanilla Yogurt Breakfast Cakes {Recipe Redux}



Get out of your boring breakfast rut with these deliciously healthy Tart Cherry and Vanilla Yogurt Individual Breakfast Cakes. Served Piping hot who can resist warm tart cherries in a healthy, whole grain cake? This cake is moist and delicious, sweetened naturally with creamy vanilla yogurt and 
 a bit of brown sugar. 





5.8.14

Introducing "Beyond Broccoli" starting with Cauliflower Chipotle Cheddar Poppers {guest post for Cupcakes and Kale Chips}



For about a year now I've been meaning/thinking about/procrastinating on putting together a page called Beyond Broccoli in an effort to help people try and experiment with different veggies. I'm excited to say I finally managed to pull it together over the last week or so! If you've ever been intimidated or confused about what to do with a vegetable you've never tried before I hope you will visit my new page "Beyond Broccoli" for a categorized list of all of my favorite veggie recipes on Simply Healthy Family. There are seasonal charts for your convenience. 









31.7.14

Veggie Burrito Bowl with Yellow Rice and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette




Better than take out, this loaded burrito bowl is packed with flavor and good for you veggies in every color of the rainbow and fiber and protein from the cumin black beans. Did you know that eating beans and rice together makes it a complete protein?  Get choppin!





25.7.14

Skinny Jeans Mediterranean Baked Lemon Chicken with Artichoke Hearts,Olives and Grape Tomatoes






Raise your hand if your sick and tired of chicken for dinner. Or is it just me? We hardly ever eat chicken anymore because of the humanitarian thing which correlates with the whole added hormones and who knows what else not good for you factor (yeah, I'm one of those sorts of weirdos). Sufficed to say, When I buy chicken it's the Organic, free range sort and I make sure I make a flavorful meal out of it like these Red Chile Shredded Chicken Tacos.


22.7.14

Brussels and Shitake Mushrooms in Mirin and Sake with Gingered Broiled Salmon


Cooking with spirits is this months theme for RecipeRedux. Choosing just one recipe for this post was a tough one. Then I remembered the first time I tasted mirin, just a dash used in some Jasmin rice  and the choice was easy. Just a tablespoon or two of this special Japanese cooking wine transforms boring foods into a slightly sweet and complex creation.








11.7.14

An Entire Summer's Worth of Giveaway's! #giveaway



I've got a few fun giveaways for you today! This summer has been a whirlwind of activities with the kids shoved into my days off from work. Living in Phoenix means it's way too hot to spend more than a few minutes outside unless you're in the pool. We've been hitting up some museums and indoor play parks that are scattered around the valley as well as morning KID movies at Harkins {popcorn and jelly bellies for breakfast anyone?}.




6.7.14

Blackberry and Peach Sparkling {Camping} Sangria #SundaySupper



It's July (in case you didn't know) which means it's really. freaking. hot. here in Phoenix (in case the obvious eludes you) which means it is officially time to get the heck out of the desert (duh). I'm counting the days until we can go up north and watch the temperature gage in the car drop down into the 70's. Ahhhhhh...... Luckily, "up north" is only about 3 hours away so coolness is within our grasp and I'm not one to not grasp at opportunities when they are shoved in my face.


perfect to take camping, on a picnic or to the beach!



3.7.14

Banana Split Popsicles {sugar free & healthy}








Inspiration for today's post comes from the fact that is 113F out and getting. even. hotter. The fact that it doesn't rain here in Phoenix makes me wonder how the hell so many idiots people decided to make this their home. It's a mystery..... and I'm Native..... idiot.




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