Sunday, May 22, 2011

Muesli Breakfast Bars

"The original breakfast cereal called muesli (a German word meaning 'mixture') combined rolled oats with nuts and fruit.  The bars here are perfect for breakfast-on-the-go or for a healthful snack anytime."

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup dried apples, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark honey
1/2 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with olive oil cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, dry milk, wheat germ, almonds, apples, raisins, and salt.  Stir well to blend, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, stir together the honey, peanut butter, and olive oil over medium-low heat until well blended.  Do not let the mixture boil.  Stir in the vanilla.  

Add the warm honey mixture to the dry ingredients and stir quickly until well combined.  The mixture should be sticky but not wet.

Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.  Press firmly to remove any air pockets.  Bake just until the edges begin to brown, about 25 minutes.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then cut into 24 bars.  When just cool enough to handle, remove the bars from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

My Review

These hearty bars are packed full of flavor.  They went well with coffee in the morning and an afternoon snack for my daughter.  This batch made 24 bars and I wrapped them individually to stay fresh and to take on-the-go.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Miso-Glazed Bacon and Asparagus

"Nothing with bacon wrapped around it can ever be bad and this is a case in point.  The snap of the asparagus paired with the sweet of the miso all combined in a little bacon wrapper and roasted in the oven is simple and delicious."

24 asparagus spears, bottom 2 inches trimmed
12 smoked bacon slices, halved crosswise
Bamboo toothpicks, soaked in water
1/4 cup shiro miso (white miso paste)
1/2 cup mirin (sweetened rice wine)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Peel the asparagus stalks and halve each spear crosswise.  Place an asparagus tip and stalk across each bacon strip, then roll them up and secure with a bamboo toothpick, pushing the toothpick through both pieces of asparagus.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the miso, mirin, sugar, and lemon.  

Arrange the asparagus bundles on a rimmed baking sheet...

Brush with the miso glaze, and bake until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake until the bacon is cooked and slightly crispy around the edges, about 5 minutes longer.

Serves 6

My Review

These are fabulous little bites.  They made the perfect Spring appetizer for a family brunch today and we couldn't stop eating them!  Crisp asparagus, smoked bacon and a touch of sweetness... you can't go wrong with this one.