Guess Who’s Gunna Be Featured on the Front of Cheerios Boxes?

Yep, You Guessed it…Me….


I am one of the winners for the Expressions of Hunger Video Contest who will be featured on the front of  Cheerios Boxes, sold exclusively at nationwide ShopRite stores this Fall 2010!

The Expressions of Hunger Video Contest focused on sharing emotions, thoughts and feelings through music, poetry, performance, art and storytelling to enlighten others about hunger in our community.

I am looking forward to my Cheerios photo shoot and I’ll be sure to let you all know when my picture and name are in the cereal aisles!


Keeping in line with my cereal theme of the day, I thought I’d share with you a tasty breakfast idea that is an easy go-to-snack and convenient on-the-go breakfast idea…Enjoy!

Amie’s Homeade ‘Oaties’ Bars

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed or wheat germ
  • 2 Eggland’s Best egg whites or egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from a large orange)
  • 1 tsp. orange peel zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (gluten free)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw cacao or dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of sea salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and blend well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine rice milk, egg whites, orange juice, vanilla, and applesauce.
  • Combine dry and wet ingredients; mix well.
  • Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake until edges are crispy and brown.
  • Cut into bars.




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Dairy Free Brown Rice n’ Cranberry Pudding

I love creating recipes on Sunday evenings, especially in the wintertime…there’s something about Sunday nights that is so cozy and warm…it makes me want to relax and unwind in my kitchen while creating a new recipe.  Last night, I opted for a naturally sweetened dairy-free, gluten-free brown rice pudding with dried cranberries…the end result was fabulous and it was the perfect way to end my extra ‘sweet’ birthday week…

Ingredients

  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • 1/2 cup stevia
  • 3 tsp. orange zest
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. macadamia nuts, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate shavings
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder

Directions

  • In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, combine cooked brown rice and rice milk.  Slowly add stevia; mix well until rice forms a creamy texture.
  • Add orange zest, juice and dried cherries; continue to stir for 10-15 minutes or until cranberries plump.
  • Transfer pudding to serving dishes.
  • Serve warm with a sprinkle of mashed macadamia nuts, dark chocolate shavings, cinnamon and chili powder.
  • Enjoy!

Apple, Parsnip and Acorn Squash Soup and OpenSky Promotion

There’s nothing like a warm soup on a cool winter evening.  This unique soup pairs acorn squash, parsnips and apples together along with Stonyfield yogurt.  The combination of fruits and sweet winter vegetables makes this soup a perfect way to end your day.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups  granny smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 freshly ground white pepper
  • Oikos plain Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 fresh basil, chopped

Directions

  • Place squash cut side down on rack set over gently simmering water in saucepan. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool squash slightly. Scoop pulp and set aside.
  • Combine 1/4 cup vegetable broth, apples, parsnips and onion in heavy medium saucepan.
  • Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add squash pulp, remaining broth, orange juice, ginger and sea salt.
  • Cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Puree soup in batches in a food processor
  • Strain through into a medium-sized saucepan; gently warm over low heat.
  • Add orange zest. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into bowls. Garnish with Oikos plain Greek yogurt and basil.

OpenSky Promotion!

Check out the OpenSky Holiday Promotion Page here:

http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/

From now until midnight on Wednesday, you can sign up to receive coupons ranging from $15 to $100 off and 10% to 50% off.

The quicker you enter your email at http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/ the better your chances for great savings.  You’ll note this page asks users to input their favorite shopkeeper.  For favorite shopkeeper, please input: AMIE

Every user will receive a coupon!

  • OpenSky is the place for your holiday shopping.
  • Sign up for savings here: http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/
  • I only have 50 Premium Coupons for $15 off a $20 item so sign   up quickly!
  • To save the most, type AMIE as your favorite Shopkeeper.

Stonyfield Oikos Recipe: Orange Zest Chicken Gyros

gyro

I have been eager to share with all of you my fabulously delicious Oikos Greek yogurt recipe for the Stonyfield Oikos contest.

I created this yummy recipe last week.  As all of you know, I am a huge fan of Oikos Greek yogurt and always have at least one container in my fridge at all times.  It’s incredibly versatile and I often use Oikos in my morning breakfast, afternoon smoothies, lunchtime tuna salads and evening marinades.

This time around, I opted for creating a fun ‘finger-food’ meal, which is perfect for lunch or dinner.  If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the chicken with tofu, seitan or another alternative.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tbsp. Oikos Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 5 pitas (without pockets)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 (16  ounce containers) Oikos Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of olive oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk garlic, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, oil and cilantro.  Slowly add chicken and rub to ensure coating of the marinade.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Pour a dash of olive oil into a large skillet, cook chicken fully; toss to ensure even cooking.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, set aside to cool and slice onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place each pita in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray; heat for 10-15 seconds per side over medium heat.
  • Top each pita with chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, scallions and dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Directions for Yogurt Dressing:

  • Strain yogurt with a cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl; let sit overnight to release moisture.
  • Shred zucchini and carrots.
  • Combine yogurt, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top before serving.

Be sure to visit the Oikos Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/oikos and the Oikos website here for more tasty Greek yogurt recipes.



Tofu Macadamia Stuffed Squash

acorn

Last weekend, while visiting the Union Square Green Market, I purchased a few acorn squash in hopes to prepare a stuffed squash dish this week.  After browsing through the endless pages of my cookbooks, there was not one stuffed squash recipe that stood out to me…Story of my life, and we all know what happens next…Yep, you guessed it… Amie digging through the pantry and refrigerator for ingredients to toss into a yummy acorn squash.

I stumbled upon a container of dried cranberries, a bag of macadamia nuts (from my nut splurge last week at Whole Foods) and a fresh orange.  Hmmm, I thought…with a quick trip to the corner market I purchased some fresh mushrooms and before I knew it I was in my kitchen chopping away and creating a healthy squash masterpiece.  I didn’t have any rice in my pantry, however, I did have a nice firm block of tofu in my fridge, which I thought would be a perfect way to bulk up my stuffing and add a nice protein kick, as well.

After a few minutes of mixing and experimenting…I was ready to stuff my squash and pop it back into the oven for a hearty, warm dinner.  The end result: Perfecto.  A ’10’ in my book for sure…and if you happen to purchase a few acorn squash this fall, be sure to stuff ’em with my tasty Tofu n’ Cranberry Stuffing.

Acorn squash is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium along with smaller doses of vitamins C and B, manganese and magnesium.  It’s an easy squash to pick out at the market due to it’s cute ‘acorn’ shape and harvest green skin, which is speckled with orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh.  Acorn is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash because of its sweet and nutty flavor combination.  Do you enjoy acorn squash?  If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare it? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Ingredients

  • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 block Nasoya Firm Tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 4 cups whole grain/ gluten-free bread cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy mustard
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (from a small orange)
  • 1/2 tsp. orange peel zest
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • On a baking pan, drizzled with olive oil, place squash halves cut side down.  Add 3/4’’ of water and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Marinate tofu in balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard, agave nectar and orange juice.
  • In a large pot, sauté onions and mushrooms in the olive oil; cook for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add spices and vegetable stock.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Slowly add tofu, orange juice, balsamic vinegar and bread cubes; sauté for another 4-6 minutes; remove from heat.
  • Add in macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, basil, cilantro, orange zest , sea salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Transfer the filling into the baked squash halves and return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Cranberries

This is a perfect side dish to bring to your Summer BBQ…The sweet combination of fresh mango, dried cranberries,  spinach and agave nectar  will be the hit of the party!

spinach2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked spinach
  • 4 tsp. pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp. Nu-Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup apples, chopped
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

Directions

  • On the stove top, heat oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add cooked spinach, cranberries, Nu-Salt, pepper and pine nuts.  Gently stir to ensure even cooking.  Add in apples and continue to gently stir.
  • For the Dressing: In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, orange zest and Greek yogurt.  Mix well and set aside.
  • Remove spinach mixture from the heat and place into a large bowl.  Add fresh mango pieces and Greek yogurt mixture; toss gently.
  • Serve and enjoy!

No-Bake Almond Oaty Bars

These bars are quick and easy to make…they are a perfect mid-day snack dipped into Greek yogurt or an after dinner dessert paired with organic soy ice cream.

I love experimenting in my kitchen-I devised this recipe one afternoon when searching through my cabinets for a snack.  When I finally realized I had all of the ingredients needed to make a bar- I simply played around and came up with a masterpiece.  No baking required is a plus, especially in the warm weather…simply pop these bars into the fridge and they’ll be ready in no time.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Steel Cut Oats
  • 4 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cherries
  • A dash of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. Cashew Butter (or any nut butter of choice)
  • Zest of 1 Orange

Directions

  • Combine all above ingredients and mix well until it forms a sticky, firm consistency
  • Mold mixture in a square 9 x9 pan
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours
  • Cut into bar- like shapes and enjoy!

To store these bars, simply wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.  These will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.  For longer storage, you can freeze these bars for up to 3 months.

I love making my own bars–it’s so much fun to experiment in the kitchen with healthy ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruits, sweeteners (such as stevia, agave and honey) and a whole grain base (oats, bran, cereal, rice, bulgar, quinoa, etc.)  My list could go on forever–it’s easy to create your very own custom bar…just take a look at what you have in your cabinets and fridge and experiment with new ingredients each time!

What are your favorite ingredients to incorporate into your homeade snack bars?