Saturday, February 23, 2013

Date bars

Date Bars

I have a sweet tooth.  I grew up eating cake for breakfast, cookies and ice cream for dinner and chocolate in between.  Despite my horrible diet growing up, I ended up studying Food and Nutrition in college, and became a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Nutrition.  I still like sweets, but I try to balance it with good, real food.   When our boys were growing up, I always had some sort of dessert, usually cookies or cake, and even now, when they come home to visit, a cake is waiting.  Is there any other way to celebrate than with a home made cake?  The boys, however, seem to have MUCH better control than me when it comes to sweets.  Our oldest son does not eat chocolate, our middle son says most sweets ‘make his teeth hurt’ and our youngest son has so much control over eating sweets that he still has Easter candy at Halloween and Halloween candy at Easter.  Even now, when I send a ‘care package’ the cookies and candies are rationed out like we are in the midst of a famine.  Where did these children come from?  So recently, I was rattling around the kitchen, just itching to make some cupcakes, or brownies or a cake, and my tasting partner said no.  No, we don't need that in the house.  Well, I still needed some sort of sweet, and I hit upon these date bars.  I usually have medjool dates around for snacks and oatmeal is a whole grain, so date bars have to be healthy, right?  My tasting partner thinks these are an acceptable snack and they are almost as good as a chocolate chip cookie, but not quite.

recipe after the jump

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

Before my tasting partner started on his ‘vegan diet at home’ kick, I would make a vegetarian dinner at least 2 to 3 times a week, often using beans.  Garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, are a favorite of mine, and I am always looking for a new and exciting ways to serve them.  I have been making this dish for a number of years now, and I now include it in our 'vegan diet at home' diet on a regular basis.  Chana Masala is a popular Punjabi dish in Pakistani and Northern Indian cuisine.  In my version, I make it with more tomatoes, and it results in a saucier or soupier version.  Also, I don’t have amchoor powder, which is made from unripe mangoes and is sour in taste, so I substituted lemon zest and lemon juice.  My tasting partner and I think this dish is a hit.

Recipe after the jump