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Archive for November 16th, 2009

So much of the store granola/cereal bars are full of things we can’t pronounce and lots of sugar. We work hard at teaching our kids to make better food choices and not fill up on things like juice, junk food and sugar treats.

Hailey and I made these bars the other day and they are sticky/gooey, yummy, not very sweet and healthy. We love them!

No Bake Cereal Bars

1/2 cup – honey
1/4 cup – peanut butter (all natural pb works well)
1/4 cup – brown sugar
2 tbsp – butter
2 tsp – cinnamon
1 tsp – vanilla
1/8 tsp – salt
2 cups – shredded bran cereal
1/2 cup – sliced almonds
1/2 cup – dried cranberries/raisins (I use both)
1/2 cup – shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup – sunflower seeds
Line a 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick foil or foil sprayed lightly with pam.

Combine honey, peanut butter, brown sugar and butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Add cereal, almonds, cranberries/raisins, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds until well mixed. I also sprinkle in some wheat bran for added fibre.

Press mixture into prepared pan covering with saran wrap. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Store for up to one week (cool dry location). Also freeze nicely.

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I love cooking with sausage – it flavours everything. This is a similar dish to one I used to make regularly when I was single and living on the west coast and having peeps for dinner. Simple pasta dish loaded with flavour. In this recipe I used half the amount of swiss chard the original recipe called for as I was not sure how the family would react and of course more cheese!. Thing is you can not even taste the swiss chard. And the family seemed to really love it (well 3 out of 4 – Hailey doesn’t like anything these days!).

Sausage and Swiss Chard Rigtaoni

4 tsp – oil
3 – mild italian sausages, casings removed
3 cloves – garlic
sprinkle of hot pepper flakes (or more if your family can handle it)
1 can – diced tomatoes (28oz)
1/4 cup – fresh chopped basil
pinch of salt & sugar
1 cup – rinsed/drained canned navy beans
5 cups – rigatoni pasta
2-3 cups – chopped swiss chard
1 cup – shredded mozza
1/2 cup – grated/shredded parmesan

In pan heat your oil and saute sausages breaking up as you do (potato masher works great for this) until browned. Stir in garlic & hot pepper flakes cooking for another minute or so. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and sugar..bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for approx. 20 minutes. Stir beans into your sauce.

Meanwhile cook your rigatoni in a pot of boiling, salted water. I tend to undercook pasta slightly that I will be putting into the oven for further baking as it will continue its cooking in the oven. Before draining pasta reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return drained pasta to pot adding reserved cooking liquid, swiss chard and sauce.

Poor contents into a greased 10 cup (2.5L) baking dish. Sprinkle with mozza & parmesan. Cover and bake in 375F for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 until bubbling and browned on top.

This is a complete meal and very filling…enjoy!

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