real food. real life.
Giving food a label or category has, I fear, made so many of us afraid to try things that are totally delicious and a lot easier to make. A LOT easier. Purely because the ingredients are simple and from the earth, they don't need much special treatment. These bars are vegan, but, well everything on this site is. So, label it vegan or just darn delicious and easy.
If you haven't tried making homemade granola bars before (don't worry, you're not alone, but seriously, join the fun, it's easy and SO MUCH BETTER FOR YOU than those packaged ones) I'd recommend starting with these ones.
Sweetener, Nut/Seed Butter, Oats.
*Chocolate topped bars: Yes, you read me correctly. Chocolate topped!! They were so good that I didn't have time to grab a pic. Just make the recipe below as per usual. Then mix up a quick batch of my easy peasy chocolate ganache sauce to pour overtop and then freeze. I mean HELLO amazing.
Easy Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups oats (or 1 cup oats and 1 cup mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc.)
1/3 cup peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter - recommend Sunflower Seed Butter for nut-free!)
1/3 cup maple syrup
sprinkle of sea salt
What do do:
1) Mix all your dry oats and nuts and things together in a bowl and set aside.
2) In a small saucepan, heat maple syrup over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Stir often! Let it boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Add peanut butter and sea salt. Stir to evenly combine.
3) Add maple peanut butter mixture to your oat mixture. Stir well and fast before it cools too much, ensuring it is evenly combined.
4) Line a square pan with parchment paper. Pour and flatten your granola mixture into the pan until it is flat and ready to harden. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then slice it up to enjoy! Should keep in the fridge for a while. Keeps on the counter in an airtight container for about a week or so... but honestly, I don't really know, they are gone before we reach this amount of time.. :)
Looking for ways to eat on a budget? I imagine so.
Our tips to doing so:
-keep a grocery list posted in the kitchen
-stick to fresh food that is seasonal and local
-buy stuff on sale and work with what you have
-buy in bulk
-try using places with point cards but beware of coupons that just make you buy more than you need, ever
-make your own everything, as much as possible
-be more open minded in the kitchen
-go meatless and dairy free - that stuff is expensive
I present to you a much cheaper (and I believe just as delicious) version of your basic meaty fajitas - Spicy Black Bean & Corn Fajitas! It cooks faster, too, as most veg dishes do, because most of the vegetables are ready to eat anyway. Just throw them together, add spices for flavour, and top with your regular toppings.
You could be even more awesome and cheap in the kitchen like my super awesome self and make your own tortilla wraps (doesn't take long once you get the hang of it).
Bonus, you could also make your own salsa! But don't worry, I didn't do that today. We used store-bought salsa. Nobody's perfect. :)
Give 'em a try guys. The more open minded in the kitchen, the more money you might have in your wallet!
Spicy Black Bean & Corn Fajitas
Total Time: 15 minutes
Drizzle of olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked black beans (or a 14 oz. can), rinsed
1/2 cup cooked/leftover corn kernels
3/4 cup or so of chopped peppers of choice
tbsp chilli powder
juice of 1 lime
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup oats or cooked rice
Regular fajita toppings of choice! (We used tomatoes, spinach, salsa, nutri. yeast)
What to do:
1) Heat oil in a cast iron pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and salute for 3 minutes. You should smell the yumminess already. :)
2) Once things are smelling good, add in corn, peppers, and black beans. Add a touch more oil, if things are sticking. Stir around, just a few minutes, until things are all heated up.
3) Add in spices, lime juice, and oats/rice. Stir to combine. Now, you could serve as is right now. Or, you could make it a bit 'meatier' as I like to do. Optional: Using a potato masher, press into the mixture to smush about half of the bean mixture together. It will get thicker and the oats/rice will start to 'meat' it up. :) Stir, taste test for more salt/pepper or even a bit more spice if wanted. Remove from heat.
4) On a tortilla, spread a bit of salsa, chopped spinach or kale, chopped tomatoes, or whatever else you like to put on your fajitas and the bean mixture. Wrap it up and enjoy! SOOOOO good.