Monday, April 18, 2011

Spaghetti al Limone e Basilico (Spaghetti with Lemon & Basil)

This dish has fills the void that had been left after a falling out with Mac & Cheese. Oh, Mac & Cheese, I want to keep you in my life, but you never do good GI things for me. And so, since I love you, I will set you free.

This pasta dish is comfort food, but with a sophisticated edge. And for those that are familiar with Pioneer Woman's Lemon Basil Pasta, it's similar, but I far prefer this one as it's both less shockingly lemony and less heavy on the cream & butter. In fact, this recipe contains no butter and only a smidge of cream. It's creaminess comes from using pasta water and olive oil. So a much healthier option.  Finally, it's toddler & kid approved, which is sort of essential in the Mothership house these days.

Sophisticated bambina eating her spaghetti.

Recipe found here. Only substitution I made was subbing regular fresh onions & garlic for the shallots, since I'm never fancy enough to buy shallots.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Homemade Protein Bars

There was a sale on LARA bars at the grocery store recently and Bella and I both really enjoyed having those as snacks. Once the sale was done, however, I didn't feel very budget-friendly to continue to purchase them at nearly $1.50-$2 a bar (they contain flecks of real gold!) (OK, not really. It's just run-of-the-mill silver). So, I did a little googling and found this protein bar recipe on Weelicious.

I followed the recipe exactly, although I will add more dates next time as my bars are a little heavy on the nuts and light on the dried fruit. When I counted out 20 pitted dates, they were nowhere near to 2 1/4 cups. Maybe my dates were a lot smaller? I also found the bars to be a tad bit dried out following the full 5 hour cooking time. This has been easily solved by storing them all together, rather than wrapping individually. Again, I think increasing the dates in the recipe would fix this problem.

Make sure to read the whole recipe through before you start cooking as it's not listed in the most logical order. Also keep in mind you will need about SIX HOURS to make them between the soaking of the fruit & nuts followed by 5 hours of cooking.

Excited to see what other varieties I can come up with using this recipe as a base. Shredded coconut is definitely on the list.