bulk love

03 26 2014.

It took a long time for me to get used to purchasing from the bulk section of my grocery store. It’s easy to forget that it exists, especially because it sits in the produce department of my local store. When I think “nuts” I usually go to the nut aisle. They’re expensive though! A small jar of cashews can cost upwards of $5!

I recently rediscovered the bulk section one evening when I was looking for hazelnuts for a recipe of mine. I wasn’t in a hurry so I did a few laps around the dispensers – examining what was available. Then I took a look a the price. Compared to the cost of the canned nuts, these were a steal! So I stocked up. Then I made granola bars.

And I had leftovers. The nuts sat on my shelf for a week or two until last night when I realized that I was short a midday snack for work…so I made a trail mix! This isn’t exactly a recipe, but it’s more of a reminder to use up those leftover nuts in a protein-packed snack form!

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My trail mix included: cashews, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pepitas, dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips.

Savory Stovetop Popcorn - Spice and Dice

I have a confession to make. I’m a popcorn fanatic. Popcorn is my go-to snack, and I will admit, I sometimes eat popcorn for meals.

Let me clarify for a second about what I mean by popcorn. I don’t mean the bagged popcorn you get from the grocery store and heat up in the microwave. I mean the kernels you buy in a bag and pop in some oil on your stove. That’s real popcorn.

I’m very particular about my popcorn: the type of oil I use, the length of time I let it sit on the stove, the number of times I swish or “agitate” the kernels while they’re heating up and the seasonings. I believe I’ve perfected the technique and I want to share (possibly the easiest and most delicious) recipe you’ll ever find on my blog.

Savory Stovetop Popcorn - Spice and Dice

Savory Stovetop Popcorn

yields: 5 cups popped corn

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil*
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

*You can use any oil you’d like, but I’ve found canola oil to be the best tasting!

Instructions:

  1. Pour the kernels and oil in a large pot. Cover. Turn your burner on high.
  2. While the oil heats up (should only take 1-2 minutes), using potholders, I pick up the pot and swirl the popcorn kernels and oil around in the pan every 15 seconds or so. This is the kind of recipe that requires you to watch over it at all times to avoid burning the popcorn. Agitating the kernels allows them to heat evenly and also gives you something to do while waiting!
  3. Once your first kernel pops, start swirling the kernels every 7-8 seconds or so.
  4. Remove the popcorn from the burner after 25 seconds or so, but continue to agitate. Place the pot on a different burner and wait until the popping stops. Note that these times are accurate for the 1/3 cup of kernels used. If you use more or fewer, your times will vary.
  5. Pour the popcorn into a fairly large bowl. Pour half of the seasonings on top. Stir well. Pour the second half on. Stir again. Eat, enjoy and never look back.

Gluten and Dairy-Free Pancakes - Spice and Dice

Living with two roommates, we almost always have a crowd over on the weekends. Breakfasts are problematic. If we’re not making eggs, we’re making pancakes – from a box.

Gluten and Dairy-Free Pancakes - Spice and Dice

I made it my weekend goal to create a from-scratch pancake recipe that would be filling, delicious and also guilt-free. So I ground up some nuts, threw in some oats (I had plenty left over from the nut bars) and gave it a whirl.

Gluten and Dairy-Free Pancakes - Spice and Dice

This recipe makes the most perfectly round pancakes and they’re really tasty! I recommend using a high-power blender or food processor for creating the flour – that way you truly are getting a fine powder. (These also take longer to cook than normal pancakes, but won’t burn as fast either.)

Gluten and Dairy-Free Pancakes - Spice and Dice

Gluten and Dairy-Free Pancakes - Spice and Dice

Gluten and Dairy Free Pancakes

yields: 7-8 medium pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • coconut oil or cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor grind the oats, hazelnuts and almonds until they form into a fine powder.
  2. Add banana, ground flaxseed, almond milk, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Grind the mixture until it becomes a batter.
  3. Warm a pan on medium heat. Coat the pan with coconut oil or cooking spray.
  4. Measure about 1/4 of a cup into the warm pan. It takes about 5 minutes to cook each side.

little helper

03 14 2014.

Alright. When I started this, I made a silent promise that I wouldn’t allow myself to become the “cat woman blogger.” I’m about to break that promise because my cat has forced her way into my cooking process.

I can’t tell whether she likes to have her photo taken or if she just wants to help me cook, but she’s there regardless. Internet, meet my kitty, Bugaboo – “Bug.”

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no-bake nut bars

03 14 2014.

No-Bake Nut Bars - Spice and Dice

I bring a granola bar every day to work for a 3:00 pick-me-up – but I ran out last night and didn’t realize it until I got home from work. In an attempt to avoid the grocery store, I decided to work with what I had around the apartment. I had a ton of nuts that were leftover from other recipes and I always have oats so I decided to make nut granola bars.

No-Bake Nut Bars - Spice and Dice

Having made date balls and homemade granola before, this recipe is modeled closely after both but adjusted so that you don’t have to bake them (!!).

These are so easy. They take about 15 minutes to put together.

They are jam-packed with flavor, a little bit of sweet and a little bit of salt. I was pleasantly surprised that they came out moist and chewy. So if you’re into granola bars with tons of flavor and a healthy heaping of nuts, this recipe is for you.

No-Bake Nut Bars - Spice and Dice

No-Bake Nut Bars

yields: 12-15 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats + 1/2 cup oats, divided
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1/3 cup craisins/dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Instructions:

  1. Line a small baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Using a food processor (or blender!) grind 1/2 cup of oats until fine and powdery.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the first nine ingredients (through cinnamon).
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture into your baking pan and refrigerate overnight or until hardened.
  7. Slice and enjoy!