Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cocoa Rice Crispy Treats

These are super tasty and super easy to throw together. Need a quickie semi-non-guilt-inducing treat? You can have these ready in less than 30 minutes. I made a batch of these as per Alisa at One Frugal Foodie's recipe for my book club the other night. They went over well, but the Monster needed another batch just for his wee self. I thought the original recipe was great but a little too sweet, so in my adaptation I'm using less agave nectar. I didn't look at the recipe when I made my second batch and totally forgot to put in the ground flaxseed. I'll list it in the ingredients, but I really don't know what it will do to the treats given you're using dry cocoa powder and a little less agave. Might just opt to leave it out. Do try the original recipe too though. It was really great too but I was just too lazy to take photos and they disappeared too quickly.
This recipe is open to all kinds of additions. I've already bought dark chocolate covered cocoa nibs to add in to Alisa's original recipe...minus at least a Tbs. of agave that is.
I'm thinking another alternative to the agave and cashew butter would be one made with honey, tahini and no cocoa or chocolate.

Cocoa Rice Crispy Treats:
(Adapted from One Frugal Foodie's recipe)

1/4 cup roasted unsalted cashew butter
3 Tbs. agave nectar, or honey
2 Tbs. extra-virgin coconut oil
2-3 Tbs. dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona brand)
a pinch of sea salt (to taste)
2 cups crisp brown rice cereal (I used Whole Foods 365 Organics brand)
(1 Tbs whole flax seeds that you've ground in a spice grinder...which I didn't do for this batch)

Prepare a muffin tin by lightly oiling all 12 cups (not necessary to oil if you have a silicone pan).
Alternately, you can just oil an 8x8 cake pan and cut the treats into squares after they've come out of the freezer)
Add cashew butter, agave nectar, coconut oil, cocoa powder and sea salt to a small saucepan and warm low heat just until everything is incorporated.
Remove from heat...mix shouldn't really even be warm at this point...and fold in brown rice cereal, stirring until well coated.
Distribute the mixture between the 12 muffin cups, lightly flattening down with the spoon to level.
Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 20+ minutes, then pop them out of the tin either into your face, or into a freezer bag. Store in the freezer to keep fresh.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mini Veggie Burgers

Mini Veggie Burgers:
(Recipe by Jennifer McCann, found on The Daily Green)

2 cups cooked drained lentils (see cooking instructions below or use canned)
½ cup dry amaranth
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup onion, finely diced (about half a medium onion)
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
¼ teaspoon celery seeds
½ cup quick or instant oats (or old-fashioned oats pulsed in a food processor)
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
I amended the original recipe with:
black pepper to taste
~1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika
a little garlic powder

To cook the lentils, add 1 cup dry lentils to 3 cups boiling water and 3/4 tsp salt, and cook until the lentils are soft, about 25 minutes minutes. Drain, measure out 2 cups of lentils and place them in a large mixing bowl (save any extra lentils for another use).
To cook the amaranth, add the amaranth to 1 cup boiling water. Lower the heat and cook, covered, until the amaranth is cooked and all the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Add the cooked amaranth to the mixing bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, carrot and celery seeds until the carrot is soft, about 8 minutes. Add to the mixing bowl along with the oats, ketchup, nutritional yeast flakes and salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder to taste. Grind the sunflower seeds into a coarse meal using a food processor. Add them to the mixing bowl and mix and mash everything together. Form mixture into 12 to 13 small patties (I ended up with 15), about 2 3/4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Moisten your fingers with a bit of water to keep the mixture from sticking as you work.
Bake for 20 minutes, until dry on the top, then flip the patties over and bake for another 10 minutes, until firm and brown. I cooked these longer as I'd made up the burger "dough" the day before and it was cold. Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate or freeze.

The Monster and I ate 3 each topped with the bestest feta ever. Israeli sheeps milk feta packed in liquid from good! I built salads to top with the burgers instead of eating them on buns. Photo below doesn't show the burgers doused in ketchup like we ate them in real life. :-)