My food finds posts are some of the most popular posts on this blog. I understand it. I also love to peek into the grocery carts of other folks. You can tell quite a bit about a person by what you see them buying. This week I have been to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and the Farmer’s Market. If you are more interested in the recipe scroll on down to the end. The sweet oat squares are amazing!
At my Costco they have gathered together all of their non – perishable organic food products and have them displayed near the front of the store. This was a new item for me, 24 ounce jars of crushed tomatoes. Some will become pasta sauce, others used for soups and some for Indian dishes.
Big jars of Grey Poupon Dijon mustard – perfect for making my favorite Dijon Date Dressing Dip. Have you made that dressing yet? I made a salad to take to my daughters on Father’s Day and I used that dressing – daughter Katy loved it as much as we do! The low sodium vegetable broth is perfect for making soups, use to saute veggies in place of oil and also for sauces. The Larabars contain simple ingredients, dates, cashews, fruit juice, vanilla extract, blueberries or peanuts depending on the flavor. Perfect for travel, biking and hiking. Depending on the flavor the calories are 190 – 230.
The pre- sliced mango is my indulgence – I just detest having to slice a fresh mango – it’s such a pain to cut around that pit. This pre-sliced mango makes for a delicious snack, nice addition to a fruit salad or can be cubed and used in a variety of dishes including savory ones. I am recently obsessed with it as a snack. Blueberries and black berries get tossed into our morning breakfast bowl and our lunch time salads. Some of these blueberries are going into some oat bars! Stay tuned for the recipe. The grapes are some of the best I have ever eaten they come from California and are organically grown. They “pop” when you bite into them and the sweet flavor fills you with happiness.
There is actually two bunches of those bananas stacked on top of each other! I like to keep a supply of ripe bananas in the freezer for banana soft serve. Organic romaine hearts stay fresh longer than any other kind of lettuce I buy. I mix it with my baby greens and fresh spinach for a more hearty salad. Shredded it’s also perfect for topping Lentil Tacos and taco salad. My refrigerator is already full of kale, spinach and chard!
We go through a lot of oats around here so this big box from Costco is perfect. The Love beets go into our salads, the frozen mango is perfect for smoothies or a fruit based soft serve. Mary’s Gone Crackers are a nice little crunchy cracker good with hummus or all on their own. I love fresh pineapple in my fruit salads.
This week at the Farmer’s Market I found yellow summer squash, round zucchini – never tried it before, fresh figs that are so ripe and sweet they are like eating candy. The peaches and plums come from one of my favorite orchards that is also located near one of our favorite hiking spots. I used to only eat nectarines because I don’t like the fuzzy skin of peaches but these peaches have very little fuzz and the skin is quite thin. It means they don’t travel well but they only have to go a few miles from the orchard to the Farmer’s Market and they are ripe and ready to eat – a bowl and napkin are required to catch the juice! There is such an abundance of fresh produce available right now it’s almost overwhelming deciding what to buy. Not pictured was a pint of golden salad tomatoes – so sweet we eat them like grapes. Daughter Katy stopped by and she ate one and said “Oh a tomato that tastes like a tomato.”
I do love me some Trader Joe’s shopping. This week it’s bok choy for some Thai wraps, green beans, mushrooms, bell peppers in a variety of colors – love to eat them raw with a little hummus. Hubby Tom is on a celery kick – loves to snack on it and take it on the road with him and always requests that I chop some up to add to our big lunch salads. Green onions for some tacos and frozen chopped spinach to replenish my freezer stash as the last bag was used for Engine 2 Raise The Barn Butternut Squash Vegetable Lasagna.
Shredded bit size wheats for Hubby Tom’s big bowl breakfast, green lentils – for lentil loaf and soup, corn chile salsa – a new item for us and will be used on a taco salad, tubes of polenta for quick meal options with black beans and salsa. We also use tubes of polenta in the Engine 2 Dr Seuss Stacked Polenta dish. Fresh lemons, avocados, onions, canned green chilies, tricolor quinoa and yes more bananas because I needed some that were already ripe. Oh and my favorite eggplant hummus. I love to spread it on some whole wheat bread, then top it with tons of fresh chopped veggies for a mega veggie sandwich. Mmmm so good.
Years ago when my mom and I went to England together we ate some little sweet oat squares that were called Flapjacks. Here in the U.S. we hear “flapjacks” we think pancakes. The flapjacks I am referring to are more like a bar cookie! We loved them but never found a recipe that was as good as what we had in England. That is until now, this recipe from the new Engine 2 My Beef with Meat book is easy and tasty.
The oat bars are thin but big on flavor. I took the liberty of using more cinnamon and adding unsweetened shredded coconut which worked out well. Perfect for when you just need a little something slightly sweet to satisfy your sweet tooth. A nice little treat to take along to work, on a road trip or in a protective container in your backpack for that next hike or bike ride. These will be made often at my house. Family and company approved. You must make these ASAP!
Real Flapjacks/Sweet Oat Squares
- 2/3 cup raw cashews or walnuts
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries (can sub raisins, dried cherries,pistachios, almonds or pecans)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (found at Whole Foods and Health Food stores)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 12 or 9 x 11 pan with parchment paper leaving the ends long enough to use to lift the bars out of the pan after they are baked.
Place nuts and water in food processor and process until it becomes a big lump. This will require shutting the machine off and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula a couple times. The nuts add a healthy fat to the recipe as well as flavor.
Add maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, process until well combined. Add oats and gently pulse to mix or transfer the mixture to a medium size bowl, add oats and mix well. Add unsweetened coconut and dried cranberries (or other optional ingredients) mix until well combined.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan spreading it out evenly. It will be a thin layer and it will take a little work to spread as the batter is stiff. A wide rubber spatula works well to smooth out and spread the batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden around the edges.
Remove from oven and while still warm, using a sharp knife, score into 12 bars. Set aside to cool. When cooled completely use the long parchment ends to lift the bars out of the pan to a cutting surface. With a sharp knife cut bars apart. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator as they don’t contain any preservatives.
Yield: 12 Servings
Serving Size: 1 flapjack
Nutritional Information (using raw cashews and dried cranberries)
Per Serving: 118.9 Calories, 4.7 g Fat, 0 mg Chol, 1.3 mg Sodium, 53.3 mg Potassium, 17.3 g Carbs, 1.7 g Fiber, 2.4 g Protein WWPP 3
My changes were to increase the cinnamon and add unsweetened shredded coconut.
Recipe adapted from My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn
When I have big shopping days I don’t want to cook. By the time I shop for everything, haul it home and put it away I am done looking at food for the day. Does that happen to you?
I seem to have broken through my weight loss plateau but will have to wait a few days to see if the downward trend sticks since I have been bouncing up and down lately.
Several of you requested a Pinterest button to make your pinning easier and I now have one located at the bottom of the post by the print button.
Son David is working on a new recipe navigation menu for all of my plant strong recipes. I hope to have it up and running next week!
A few of the things I enjoy this time of year are:
- Walking outside in the cool of the mornings – some mornings that does mean getting up earlier in order to catch some “cool.”
- Hiking in the foothills and breathing in the fresh air, smelling the scent of the forest.
- Feeling the breeze created when bike riding and most especially coasting down hill.
- The abundance of fresh summer fruits and vegetables.
- Sitting on the patio to chat with family and friends.
- Wearing fun bright colored clothes, short sleeve tops and capri pants.
- Toe nails painted a bright red, and wearing cute sandals.
- Making frozen fruit soft serve!
- More hours of daylight.
Happy Healthy Summer!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.
What are a few of the things you enjoy this time of year?
Have you found any new products to share?