Archive for the ‘Snacks and Munchies’ Category

It’s been ages since either my sister or I posted a recipe, and there’s nothing like spending a week in the springtime on a hops farm to inspire fresh and new creations. A vegetable that, for reasons unknown, always fails to grab my attention when I’m deciding what to prepare is the carrot. I grow them in my garden and end up eating them raw right from the dirt (washed, of course), and yet when I think of dishes, they only ever make it into a medley of roasted veg. So here’s a fresh idea for summer picnics and gatherings, or to accompany other salads in a crudité-style plate. This recipe takes no time at all to put together. I didn’t time it, but maybe 10-15 minutes…



4 large carrots, shredded (roughly 4 C)

Juice from 1/2 large lemon (lime might also be nice)

1-2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 bunch cilantro (or parsley)

Salt and Pepper to taste



  1. Grate the carrots with a box grater or Salad Master. You want about a medium grate – not too small, not too large.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, lemon juice, oil, cilantro (or parsley), salt, and pepper.
  3. Enjoy.

Inspiration for your Memorial Day Weekend: Memorial Day Munchies

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I fell in love with date bars last year in South Lake Tahoe.. So in love that I’ve carried around an ingredient list from a date bar that I ate in 2011, purchased at one of the cutest little hippie grocers (Grass Roots). And after a second venture to Lake Tahoe, and many a date bar from Grass Roots.. I came home and made my own! This recipe makes a small batch – enough for a bread loaf pan – but feel free to double and make in an 8×8 cake pan.



1/2 C raw almonds (no need to soak, unless you want to)
1/4 C raw walnuts (no need to soak, unless you want to)
3/4 C rolled oats
5 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/8-1/4 C coconut oil, melted [you can use less coconut oil and it’ll still come out nicely..if you need a little extra healthy fat in your diet, use the 1/4 C]
1/4 tsp salt


12-14 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 C water


1. Crust: Place all crust ingredients (except the coconut oil) in a food processor. Blend until crumbly. Add melted coconut oil and blend until combined. This entire process does NOT take very long at all.

2. Remove 1/4 C of the crust and set aside. In a lined bread loaf pan (or if doubling, use an 8×8 cake pan lined with parchment), spread the crust evenly in the bottom. Place in fridge while you make the filling.

3. Filling: Place 12-14 pitted dates into a food processor. Begin to blend..and slowly add the water as you blend. Blend until preferred smoothness. Spread puree onto crust.

4. Topping: With remaining 1/4 C crust, add in a dash of ground clove and about 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Mix with a fork, then sprinkle on top of date puree.

5. Chill in fridge 1 hr (to overnight). Slice and enjoy!

Raw Date Bar

Happy Processing! 🙂

On this day in History: Refried Beans


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I *heart* hummus.. and I *heart* green chiles from New Mexico. After Jo’s inspiring Jalapeño & Cilantro hummus, and after not finding any green chile hummus in the Co-Op in Santa Fe on my trip home from Lake Tahoe.. I decided to make my own green chile hummus using green chiles from El Patio de Albuquerque (the source of our green chiles in such recipes as Green Chile Potatoes and Green Chile Rice). I think at this recipe, it’s a good medium heat — mellow enough for dad, but enough to tell there’s some heat present. If I were making it solely for myself (or Jo), I’d probably add another 2 TBSP of green chile sauce. If that’s the case, you’d probably also have to add in more chickpeas so it doesn’t get too runny of a consistency. Without further ado.. here’s Green Chile Hummus! 🙂


2 C cooked chickpeas

3 small (or 1 medium-large) garlic clove

4 TBSP Green Chile Sauce – I used El Patio de Albuquerque’s house-made sauce..but you may use any green chile sauce of choice

3 TBSP fresh lime juice

3 TBSP olive or safflower oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C fresh cilantro


1.  Put chickpeas, garlic, green chile sauce, salt, olive oil and lime juice in food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

2.  Add cilantro and pulse the food processor a few times, until cilantro is mixed in.

3.  Remove from food processor and serve, or store in refrigerator for up to a couple of days.

Happy Blending!

On this day in History: Blueberries & Cream Ice Cream

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I had the pleasure of some Simply Sprouted, Way Better Snacks, specifically the Sweet Chili Chips. They were quite tasty. Very sweet and moderately spicy at the same time provided a combination of flavors much lighter than most snack chips. The snacks were, in fact, way better than most.

I always like first to dig back into the company. What I found was that Way Better is a brand new (Sep 2011) competitor to Garden of Eatin which is a larger line of brands you’ve likely heard of (if not, see below). Jim Breen is the CEO and Founder and comes most recently from Hain Celestial, the parent company of Garden. Breen, in Way Better, has founded a new startup (on Facebook) that is impressive in its commitment to organic nutrition. All products are:

*All Natural * Vegan * Certified Gluten Free * Non GMO * Certified Kosher * Excellent Source of Whole Grains * Low Sodium * Never contain: Trans Fat, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Authors note: Healthy, organic, vegan, and tasty. These are good chips from a good company despite the skepticism I am prone to. (more…)

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Kale!  It’s so good.  I pretty much love it in everything, but this is probably the best thing done with kale, ever.  You get the crunchy, toasted flavor of a snack food, but the glorious nutrition of a dark leafy green.  When I made these this afternoon, I intended to wait and have them as part of my dinner, but alas… they lasted for approximately 47 seconds after I took them out of the oven.


1 bunch kale

1 TBS olive oil

1/4 teaspoon spicy curry powder (optional)

salt to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Rinse kale and remove center stem.  Thoroughly dry the leaves (best to use a salad spinner), and tear into segments about 2 inches wide.

3.  Throw the kale on to the cookie sheet and massage it with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with curry powder, if using.

4.   Spread the pieces evenly over the cookie sheet, trying not to overlap.  You will probably need two sheets, or can cook them in two batches, depending on the size of the batch.

5.  Bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes. I know that’s a big range, but it really varies quite a bit depending on densely packed they are. Until you get to know your oven/cookie sheet/kale bunch size, it’s best to start at 12 minutes, and then continue to check every two minutes.  Chips should be very crispy, but still a vibrant green color.

6.  Salt to taste, and serve!

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This week’s granola features pecans richly baked in brown rice syrup, deliciously reminiscent of pecan pie.  With a shot of ground chocolate added to the mix, I’ve got a granola that might be a little too addictive, but a few spoonfuls in your coconut milk yogurt will be a great way to start the day!


4 TBS melted Earth Balance

3 C thick oats

1/2 C ground dark chocolate

1 C pecan halves

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 C brown rice syrup

1 TBS turbinado sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

2.  Melt the Earth Balance in a small bowl in the microwave.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients.

4.  Spread mixture in the prepared pan.  Bake for 40 minutes, stirring two or three times.

5.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool.  After about 10 minutes, while it’s still warm, break the granola up into pieces, because once it’s totally cool, it will be stuck in whatever size chunks you make.


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By now, regular readers are probably aware of my chai obsession (chai, chai shortbread cookies).  Today as I was deciding what flavor granola I want to have for breakfast this week, it suddenly hit me:  chai spice granola!


4 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter

1/2 C oat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 C vegan granulated or turbinado sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 C thick-cut oats

1/4 C brown rice syrup

2 TBSP agave nectar

1/2 C whole almonds

1/2 C pecan halves


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a large baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

2.  Add the Earth Balance, baking soda, sugar and spices to your food processor.  Blend until the mixture clumps, about 10 seconds.

3.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended.

4.  Spread into prepared baking pan.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until toasty brown, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes.

5.  Remove from oven and let thoroughly cool.  Granola will crisp up nicely as it cools down.  Enjoy!



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I saw a non-vegan recipe for Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies recently, and thought, wow, genius!  I figured I would look up the Primate’s Mexican Wedding Cookie recipe and chocolate it up, and I was shocked to discover that we have not posted one!  I am so sorry to have deprived you all of this delicious sugary treat.  For those of you who didn’t grow up in South Texas, Mexican Wedding Cookies are indeed a traditional sweet at Mexican weddings, parties, Quinceaneras, Christmas dinner and other celebrations.  This chocolate version is a great twist on the old favorite, and maybe someday we’ll get our act together and post the traditional recipe.  Although I mention Lake Champlain’s New World Drinking Chocolate as the ground chocolate I used, for some reason I can’t find this on their website.  I bought my jar at my local Whole Foods, but I don’t know if it’s been discontinued or what.  If you can’t find that particular product, any other high cocoa content ground chocolate will do.  I do like Lake Champlain’s hot chocolate offerings, so maybe that would work, too.



2 sticks Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened

1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 C >60% ground chocolate, like Lake Champlain’s 70% New World Drinking Chocolate

2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1 3/4 C AP flour

3/4 C pecan pieces


1/4 C powdered sugar

1/4 C ground chocolate


1.  Cream Earth Balance and powdered sugar with mixer or by hand, until mixed and fluffy.

2.  Add ground chocolate, salt, and vanilla, and mix in.

3.  Add flour in three or four stages, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

4.  Fold in pecan pieces.

5.  Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic.  Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

6.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Roll spoonfuls of dough into 1 inch balls.

7.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies feel firm (though not rock hard) to gentle pressure on top.  Remove from oven and let cool for a minute on the cookie sheet.  Then continue cooling on a wire rack.

8.  In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and ground chocolate.  When the cookies are cool enough to handle, but still warm, roll them in the sugar/chocolate mixture, and return to the wire rack to finish cooling.


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I tried some Jalapeno and Parsley Hummus from a San Diego farmer’s market last weekend (I’m so jealous at how long their growing season is) and it was so good!  This is my take on the idea, and I substituted cilantro for the parsley.  If you love hummus (and who doesn’t?), this zingy version can bring some variety to your plate.


2 C cooked and drained chickpeas

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 jalapeno

1/4 C olive oil

1/4 C lemon or lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C loosely chopped cilantro


1.  Put chickpeas, garlic, jalapeno, salt, olive oil and lemon (or lime) juice in food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

2.  Add cilantro and pulse the food processor a few times, until cilantro is mixed in.

3.  Remove from food processor and serve, or store in refrigerator for up to a couple of days.

On this day in History: Festivus Menu! And just for you…a donation has been made in your name to The Human Fund 😉


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I am totally obsessed with the fresh apple cider I’ve been getting at the Farmer’s Market.  Apparently the Northern Virginia area has some wonderful apple orchards.  I had some store bought granola once that was sweetened with apple juice, and as I was chugging down yet another glass of cider last week, I thought, hey, I’ll copy that idea and make some granola out of this stuff.  Of course, if you don’t have apple cider where you are 😦 you could use apple juice.  This granola is not very sweet, so if you like your granola to taste like candy, add a little more agave nectar.  The actual apple flavor bakes off, leaving just a hint of apple tart and sweetness.


2 C oats

1/4 C flaxseed meal

1/2 C slivered almonds (optional)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 TBS agave nectar

1/2 C unpasteurized apple cider

4 TBS melted Earth Balance Buttery Sticks


1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flaxseed, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3.  Mix in the liquids:  nectar, apple cider, and Earth Balance.

4.  Bake at 300 for 45 minutes, or until toasted and crispy.

5.  Let cool and store in an airtight container.


On This Day in History:  Chana Masala!  Mmm… so good.



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