The best way to settle back in? Get in the kitchen, of course!

Good morning! Thanks so much for being understanding about my droopy eyes… blame it on The Golden Girls!

My lunch yesterday didn’t hold me over as well as I’d hoped, so I had this Fiber One bar my grandmother received as a sample.

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I wasn’t a huge fan of the bar… it was very sweet and tasted more like a candy bar than something that’s good for you. Other than the 9g of fiber in it, the stats weren’t so great.

To take on this problem myself and incorporate a new ingredient, I adapted Meg’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Protein Bars. I figured that since I’m pretty much addicted to the Hot’n’ Healthy Squares but both their price and inability to be found outside of New York irks me, I should make my own! So, without further ado, I give you Chocolate Chip Pomegranate Protein Bars.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 2 tsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup POM pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Mix together protein powder, flour, oats, oat bran, flax and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add in sugar and chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, combine milk, oil, juice, and vanilla extract and stir well. Gradually mix in the dry mixture until it is well combined.

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Transfer mixture to the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. (I forgot to add the baking powder until after the bars had been in the oven for a few minutes; I removed the pan, stirred it in, but that explains the strange texture of the top of my bars.)

Let cool completely. Makes 12-16 bars.

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Dinner was, as promised, from Veganomicon. I’ve been wanting to make the Pasta Della California for a while, but every time I have avocados I end up waiting too long and they turn brown.

Pasta Della California, adapted from Veganomicon.

Serves 2

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Ingredients

  • 1/8 lb linguine or spaghetti
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced broccoli (tops cut into small florets, stalks sliced thinly)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups loosely packed spinach
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced into 1-inch chunks

Bring a large pot of water to boil and prep all the ingredients while water boils. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions. In the last minute you will add the broccoli, so don’t forget to take that into account!

Meanwhile, preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes, heating gently for 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth, vinegar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, lower to a simmer. Add spinach.

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By this point the pasta should be almost done, so add the broccoli to the pasta dn cook for 1 minute. Drain entire pot into a colander.

When the spinach is wilted, add the broccoli and pasta to the pan and toss with a pasta spoon to coat evenly. Cook for 3 more minutes, then turn off heat and add avocado, being careful not to smush it, until it is warmed through.

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Serve with fresh black pepper, additional lemon juice and chili flakes, and a nice cheese if you like… I used a crumbly herbed goat.

I was watching Golden Girls with Ari the whole time I was cooking… I don’t know what we would do without iChat! Probably talk on the phone like everybody else, but being able to see each other is so much nicer.

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This was a delicious and filling dinner. I think it would be great with a red sauce as well.

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I had the last half of this bottle of POM in a wine glass to feel classy.

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For dessert, I had some of this new Greek yogurt (never seen it before):

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I mixed it with the crumbs from my Chocolate Chip Pomegranate Bars and some strawberries.

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This morning it was v-e-r-y hard to get out of bed! Betty Ford was snuggled in so nicely (and I was snuggling with my laptop, for some reason…) that I just didn’t want to get out of my nest! But as usual, duty calls.

I haven’t had cereal in a while, so I had a bowl of Fiber One, Kashi Autumn Wheat, walnuts and a banana with skim.

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Coffee and my daily vitamin shot:

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Whew, that was a long post! Time to snap back into Monday and get my French reading done. Check out One Frugal Foodie’s Erin Baker Giveaway to help push you back into the working week…

Hope you have a great week!

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9 responses to “The best way to settle back in? Get in the kitchen, of course!

  1. HAHA!! I was totally watching part of “The Golden Girls” marathon last night πŸ˜€

    LOOOOVE the protein bars and pasta dish!!

    Happy Monday, dear Katie!!

  2. mmm the dinner recipe looks really good, I think I might have to try to recreate it myself!

    Hope your having a great monday! good luck with french!

  3. Ah, those protein bars look/sound GOOD!

    i hope you are having a great Monday, my love πŸ™‚

  4. Delish cooking accomplishments!! They look amazing πŸ™‚

    Oh Golden Girls! Love it! Have a fabulous Monday!

  5. So many yummy eats! Love the addition of POM to the bars! They look yummy!

  6. MMM! What a fun and creative bar creation my domestic diva!

    I love golden girls, that rose cracks me up every time πŸ˜‰

  7. Both the protein bars and pasta look fantastic!

  8. Pingback: James and the Giant Cat « Lilveggiepatch

  9. I like the bars you made! I am thinking of baking w/ my POM too.

    It’s funn you commented on my blog about registering so you could get a food processor because I got mine from my sister. She registered for one when she got married, never used it and gave it to me!

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