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Had your fill of hummus and veggies?  Want to try something a little salty, or sweet for a snack?  Maybe a little elegant?

Give this nut mix a go-of course, you have to measure these snacks out or you will gobble them and your days worth of calories down before you get to lunch!

Asian nut mix
Pre-heat the over to 275 and have two large baking trays ready (jelly roll pans work well and line with foil for easy clean up!)

In a large bowl mix together: (all the nuts and seeds are raw and unsalted)
2 C nuts of your choice
1 C each shelled sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
¾ C raw cashews
1 C macadamia nuts
½ C tamari (tamari is a thicker, sweeter more complex soy sauce-making for a special taste)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Toss thoroughly and let sit for 10 minutes.  Divide and spread evenly in pans and let roast for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely-nuts will crisp up while cooling.  Store in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.  If nuts become "soft", simply re-toast in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes.

In the mood for something sweet?  Try this one-if you want to keep the fat down, leave out the coconut.

Corny-but sweet mix
Pre-heat oven to 350 and line 2 jelly roll pans with wax paper.  Store in an airtight container after completely cool.

6 C of puffed corn cereal (kix or generic-if you like rice or wheat better, switch and watch the baking time!)
7-8 oz of your favorite chopped dried fruit and nut mix (I love dried cranberries and dates with some cashews)
1 ¼ C of unprocessed bran
1 C toasted and flaked coconut
1/3-1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1/3 C honey
1 tsp cinnamon (add some ginger if you'd like)

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  Heat the honey in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Check-if it's warmed and very fluid stop here.  If it's not, heat for another 15 seconds.  You just want it warm and watery-not hot.  Pour honey over the dry goods and stir very thoroughly.  Spread mixture in a single layer and bake for about 15 minutes-stirring a couple of times.  Cool completely!

If you are entertaining and want something a bit more elegant or just different try this mushroom pate and serve it with pita, bagel chips or exotic veggie chips or good old-fashioned (but exotic) veggies!

Mushroom pate
(This needs to chill for an hour or so-you are warned!)

1 tsp olive oil
1 small chopped onion
2 crushed cloves of garlic
11 oz of your favorite mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (I like baby bellas for this)
4 tbsp water (I've used some white wine and it is a nice change)
1 C whole wheat fresh bread crumbs (I like the crusts, but if you don't-get rid of them)
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (okay, I have a yard full, so I use this herb A LOT)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice

Get out a large frying pan.  Heat the oil and add the onion and garlic.  Cook a couple of minutes, stir to keep from browning.  Add the mushrooms and water.  Stirring constantly for about a minute.  Cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Stir a couple of times (we don't want to get a case of the sticky's).  Remove the lid, raise the heat slightly and continue to cook until the water disappears.  Cool.

Now, put the mixture and the rest of the ingredients into the food processor.  Let it rip until its smooth and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Put into a serving bowl and cover.  Chill for at least an hour.

Next-okay, if you want something decadently good for you in a dessert nature-I can provide some sweet comfort goodies as well.  But you'll have to wait for the next blog!



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