Apricot Oat Bars ~ South Beach Diet

Happy Friday Eve All!

SBDQECookbookAs you know from my post a few days ago, I’m back on the wagon…the proper eating wagon that is.  I have a couple of the SBD books (The original book, SBD Supercharged and the SBD Cookbook).  I decided to order a couple more so I got the SBD Good Carbs/Bad Carbs handbook and also The SBD Super Quick Cookbook.

I’ve only had the books a week and I’ve already made six recipes from the cookbook!  They all have been rather easy to put together and quite tasty also.  Tonight I’m making Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Mint Sauce which is another SBD recipe, but not from this cookbook.

I thought I would share the recipe I made early this morning.

These bars contain no flour at all and use rolled oats instead, so they are a Phase 2 food.  They are listed under the ‘breakfast’ section and make 12 bars, allowing for 1 bar per serving.  The recipe calls for peanut butter and dried apricots, but you can substitute another no-sugar-added nut butter, such as cashew and use dried cranberries or chopped dried apples or pears instead of the apricots.  It also calls for 1/4 cup granular sugar substitute (such as Splenda or Stevia) but I don’t have these in bulk, only in the small packets and didn’t feel like having to open who-knows-how-many so instead, used 3 tablespoons of agave nectar, which is allowed on Phase 2.  This comes out to less than one teaspoon per bar.

APRICOT OAT BARS

1/2 C natural creamy no-sugar-added peanut butter

1/4 C water

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 large egg whites (about 6 tablespoons)

1/4 C granular sugar substitute or 3 Tbsp agave nectar

2/3 C dried apricots, coarsely chopped

1/2 C walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 C rolled oats (not instant)

1/4 tsp salt

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F.  Line a 9″x9″ (23cmX23cm) baking pan with parchment, leaving a 2inch (5cm) overhang on 2 sides.

In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, water and vanilla.

Add the egg whites and whisk again.

Add the remaining ingredients until combined.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and pat with moistened hands until even.

Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and set.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, the using the overhang, lift out of the pan.

Cut immediately into 12 bars.

Apricot Oat Bars

Store in an airtight container.  They can also be wrapped individually and stored in the freezer where they will keep for 3 months.

Great for a take-along snack or breakfast.  Pack one in your purse or backpack and it will be thawed by the tine you’re ready to enjoy it.  Have with a glass of low-fat milk for added protein.

Nutrition per bar:

154 calories, 9g fat, 1g saturated fat, 7g protein, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 62mg sodium

Enjoy!

♥  Terri  ♥

Versatile Bloggers Award

Woo hoo!

I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and a HUGE thank you to saoirsealainn over at beautetresor for the nomination!

I’d like to thank the academy and all my fans and oh…oh….you like me, you really like me! 🙂

To accept this award, I’m supposed to list 15 other bloggers who I think deserve this same award.  Here are the nominations in alphabetical order, but I can only give seven for now.  I’m supposed to also tell seven things about myself but since I can’t give 15 bloggers, I’ll give 15 facts.

Bangers and Mash

Cayla Digests New York

Daily Homemade

Exploits of a Food Nut

Frugal Feeding

Moving to NE PA

Road Raging Foodie

Things about me:

1. My favorite smell is that of citrus.

2. I love a good gin martini.

3. When I was in 1st grade, I told the teacher it was my birthday (even though it wasn’t) and they threw a little party for me.  The teacher found out I lied and she made me stand in front of the class to apologize.  How humiliating.

4. I have a tattoo of Betty Boop on my ankle.

5. I have over 100 cookbooks.

6. I enjoy doing crossword puzzles and sudoku.

7. I played flute and piccolo in my high school band and marching unit.

8. I can sometimes be a bit obsessive/compulsive when it comes to things being in the right place.

9. I can’t drive a stick-shift car; at least not yet.

10. I had braces for about two years and had them taken off on the day before my high school prom. 😀

11. I hate oysters in any shape or form, cooked or not.

12. I enjoy going to flea markets/yard sales/boot fairs and used to sell stuff every week at a collectors market back in the 90’s.

13. I used to collect shot glasses and have one that looks like a tree stump.  I keep toothpicks in it.

14. I have an eclectic collection of music, ranging from BB King to Shania Twain to Stan Getz to Sinatra to En Vogue to AC/DC

15. I enjoy watching quiz shows.

♥♥ Terri ♥♥

Foodie Gifts

So what kind of foodie gifts did you get for Christmas?  Yes, I know that Christmas was nearly two weeks ago, but I’m just getting around to this now.

Other than the wonderful box of fresh food from Italy, I also got some other great foodie items; some requested, some not.  I received a couple of cook books, some knives, a kitchen diary, cookie press and new salt & pepper grinders.

A few days prior to Christmas, Chef P and I took a day trip to Canterbury to do a bit of shopping.  I love going there because there are more stores than you can shake a stick at. (why anyone would want to shake a stick at anything is beyond me) Continue reading

Book Review – Mighty Spice

BOOK REVIEW ~ MIGHTY SPICE by John Gregory-Smith

 

Earlier this week I had the urge to place an order for more books, some for early Christmas gifts and of course, some cookbooks as gifts to myself!

I have been eying this particular title since I first saw it mentioned in a magazine.  As we have a cabinet filled with spices and knowing how much we cook with them, I thought this the perfect book.

In first flipping through it, I was taken with the amazing photos of the recipes and their vibrant colors.  There are quite a few photos although not all recipes have one.

The recipes range from soups and salads to meats, seafood, vegetarian, rice and noodles and even desserts and drinks.  Most of the recipes are from an Asian cuisine but you’ll also find a few recipes from Mexico, Morocco, Lebanon and Turkey.

The author gives a six-page introduction on his love of spices and his travels around the world and how he grew up in a fresh home-cooked food only household, which gave him his love for cooking.

He gives little snippets about the various places he visited including his pea-podding race with an elderly man in Amritsar!

To simplify things, he has used up to five spices in each recipe.  Ten of the spices are featured throughout the book including cloves, lemon grass, turmeric and star anise.  There are 25 spices in total used throughout the various recipes and images of the spices used are shown at the bottom of each recipe.  Each recipe also gives a ‘Goes Well With’ and lists other recipes and their page numbers.

All recipes give a number of servings (mostly 4) and measurements are given in both imperial and US.  One other nice thing I noticed is that the book stays open regardless of what page you’re on so there’s no holding the pages down with other objects!

 

 

There are also two book-mark ribbons attached at the top of the book for your convenience.

I have yet to try any of the recipes, but I’m looking at a couple to start with, those being Vietnamese Chicken with Chilli and Lemongrass and Sri Lankan Deviled Monkfish.

When I make either of these, you will be the first to know!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK by John Gregory-Smith

224 pages Hardcover

Duncan Baird Publishers, London Copyright 2011

ISBN: 978-1-84483-991-9

RRP: £20.00

 

BOOK REVIEW – A TASTE OF HOME

From simple pork sandwiches to an elegant rack of lamb with a pistachio crust, Angela Hartnett gives you recipes that she likes to cook at home and she says that home cooking is more about sharing good meals with friends than showing off cheffy skills.

The recipes are simple and tasty and not too complicated.  After all, you want to spend time with your guests, not be stuck in the kitchen all night!

There are 200 simple recipes and over 70 color photos….

including a few step by step photos…

We had the pleasure of meeting Angela at her restaurant, Murano when we were in London in July.

We’ve made a handful of her recipes from the book including White Onion Risotto and the Lamb Rack with Pistachio Crust.  Last night I made the Fusilli with Sprouting Broccoli, Chili and Garlic and I also added fresh broad beans to it.

Fusilli w/Sprouting Broccoli, Broad Beans, Chili & Garlic

I made a good bit of it so there’s plenty of leftover for me to have with lunch today.  I used a mix of plain pasta and whole wheat pasta as I didn’t think I had enough of either.

FUSILLI w/SPROUTING BROCCOLI, CHILI & GARLIC

250g sprouting broccoli, broken into small florets
375g dried fusilli
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 chili, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the broccoli florets until tender.  Remove the broccoli, keep the cooking water in the pan and bring it back to the boil.

Add the pasta to the pan and stir and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the chilli and garlic, without coloring.  Add the cooked broccoli, season and set aside.

Drain the pasta and put it back in the pan.  Toss in the broccoli sauce.  Finish with the grated cheese, if using and the rest of the olive oil.  Serve immediately.

As a side note, this recipe is South Beach Diet friendly for Phase 2 if all whole wheat pasta is used.

Enjoy!

OLD KITCHEN RELICS – PART II

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Another item that I obtained in the mid 70’s was my Betty Crocker Cooky Book.  It  saw me through many a Christmas and other baking times in my teens and well into my 30’s and…um…40’s.

As time went on, the book started to fall apart….well, it DID fall apart.  Partly due to wear and tear, and partly due to one of my pet rabbits deciding to use the binder as a chew toy.  So even though the cover had become separated from the rest of the book, I still baked recipes from it, even going so far as to baking ‘cookies that travel’ that I sent to my then boyfriend Paul who was in Florida at Navy bootcamp at the time.

I had the book nearly 30 years. Then at Christmas in 2003, I received a gift from my brother of a new copy.  Now this wasn’t just any copy…no, this was a FIRST EDITION copy!  It was the eighth printing, but the first edition…a copy of the original book published in 1963.  For a book that was 40 years old, it was and still is, in excellent condition.

Betty’s image has changed and updated over the years, but in 1963, this was only the fourth image and there have been at five updates since, the last one being 1996.  I don’t think her image is used anymore so this would be the last one.

The pictures in the cooky book are without a doubt, dated but the recipes are still a classic.  Just as a side note, I ended up giving my original book to my dear friend Linda, who I hope will cherish it as much as I did (even though the cover has fallen off!)

The last item belonged to my paternal grandmother and it was her recipe box.  It’s just a plain square wooden box with pre-printed recipes.

I don’t know if she actually used them, but they do seem to have some wear to them.  The most interesting thing I found in the box was a hand-written note of her and my grandfather’s budget, dated from around 1937.

My grandfather brought home $37.00 a week with $10 going towards their rent, $2 going for coal and $5 going into the Christmas Club.  Their weekly food bill was $3.15 but my grandmother gave an average of $5.00.  A chicken was 75 cents, a dozen eggs were 20 cents a loaf of bread was 10 cents.  Gas for the car was $1.00!!  Their electricity bill for the week was $1.85.  Nowadays, it’s more like $185!

So these are my kitchen relics…items that are used with love and not left sitting in a drawer or a cabinet.  As long as I’m able to use them, I will continue to do so.

I hope you all enjoyed my little stroll down memory lane.

Terri