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Easy Protein Bars

Whew what a whirlwind year it has been so far!  SO many life changes and I got away from my passion for cooking – well I am back!!  Always striving for new ideas to have healthy snacks at hand instead of store-bought convenience!  These simple to make protein bars fit the bill nicely!  Nice easy grab and go energy!  I experimented with a few different combinations and this one was my first go.  I have changed the nut combinations and seed combinations too.  This is where it gets really fun!  Be Creative!  Try new combos!   This one goes out especially to my friend Tammy – these bars are GLUTEN FREE!   XO

Ingredients:

•    1/3 cup raw whole almonds
•    1/2 cup raw whole cashews
•    1/8 cup golden raisins
•    1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
•    1/4 cup cooked quinoa
•    1 tbsp raw hemp seeds
•    1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
•    1 tbsp raw agave nectar
•    1 tsp raw cacao powder
•    1 tbsp ground flaxseed
•    1 tbsp water
•    3 tbsp almond flour

Instructions:

Soak flaxseed in water.

Combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Pour mixture along with soaked flaxseed into a food processor and pulse until mixture combines but is still slightly chunky.

Form mixture into small rectangles (or squares if you prefer) and place in a coated baking dish.

Preheat oven to  170° F and bake bars for one hour.  Turn bars over after 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

So here is a really easy healthy dish for you to enjoy! Even though the recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, feel free to use fresh garden tomatoes too.  I used cherry tomatoes and yellow tomatoes from our garden to make this recipe today.  Quinoa is a great source of protein and a nice alternative to rice or pasta!

Ingredients:

•   1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
•   2 cups water
•   1/4 cup olive oil/flax seed oil mixture
•   juice of 2 fresh limes
•   1 tsp cumin
•   1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
•   15 oz. black beans rinsed
•   1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
•   bunch green onions, finely chopped
•   1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
•   sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a medium saucepan bring water and quinoa to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer  and cook until all water is absorbed about 15 minutes.  Let quinoa cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive/flax oil, lime juice, cumin and red pepper flakes.

Combine quinoa, black beans, tomatoes and green onions in a large bowl.  Drizzle oil mixture over quinoa mixture and toss in cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Baked Quinoa (keen-‘wah) Cakes

Baked Quinoa CakesIngredients:

•    1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
•    1 tbsp olive oil
•    ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
•    ½ cup grated carrots
•    ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
•    1 cup baby spinach, finely sliced
•    6 cloves garlic, minced
•    2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water
•    ½ cup whole wheat spelt flour mixture
•    3 tsp red pepper flakes
•    1 tsp cumin
•    ½ Celtic sea salt
•    ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cook quinoa in 2 cups water, bring to boil and let simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until all water is absorbed.

Heat oil in skillet.  Sauté onions, carrots, pepper and garlic for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add spinach when 3 minutes remain.  Place sautéed vegetables in a large bowl and set aside.

Add cooked quinoa and all remaining ingredients to vegetables and mix well.

Form mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press the balls into patties before baking.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes on each side.

Enjoy!

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