Dark Chocolate Almond Protein Bars

Honestly, I really find it hard to get more protein in my diet without the saturated fat. Yes, I have absolutely no problem eating leaner meat, low fat yogurt, egg whites and cheese. All kinds. I enjoy protein shakes but they get a little old and non-interesting after a while.

So here’s a recipe to share that I modified from Laura Scudder’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Trail Bars. I had a jar of almond butter I needed to use up and it worked quite well. I’m down to, oh heavens, 1/2 jar of almond butter.

Enjoy – but not too many!

Dark Chocolate Protein Bars

3/4 cup Almond Butter

1/4 cup honey

5 tbl water

1 cup chocolate protein whey powder

3 cups granola cereal

1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Line a 8 X 8 square pain with foil and extend foil up sides of pan. Spray with non-stick spray.
Divide granola in to 1.0 cup and 2 cup amounts. Sprinkle 1/2 of 1.0 cup amount over bottom of pan.
Place almond butter and honey in a microwaves safe bowl and microwave on medium for 60 seconds. Stir. Microwave again on medium for 60 seconds. Stir until mixture is smooth.
Stir water and protein powder together until blended. Add protein powder mixture to almond butter mixture. Stir until smooth.
Stir in remaining 2.0 cups of granola and chips until evenly moistened. Mixture should be thick like cookie dough but not crumbly. It should not be “pourable” like cake bater. Some almond butters are thicker than others. If it is pourable, add a bit more granola cereal.
Spread or gently mash the mixture into the pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of granola.
Chill one hour or until firm.
Cut into 20 bars.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/dark-chocolate-almond-bars/#ixzz23eJCrfmL

What’s New with Celery

You know celery. You buy it, use a couple of stalks to create a base for a stew or gumbo and then it can sit in the veggie drawer for a couple of weeks turning brown and begging for attention.

For storing, I’ve found the best methods are to cut and store in water, or cut, roll in wet paper towels and store in a ziplock bag. Anything to delay browning before you can think of something clever to use it for and usually that thought passes rather quickly when there are so many other interesting veggies in your bin.

I do keep celery on the counter while cooking. My husband says I eat a whole meal before eating just through the tasting, retasting and third-tasting of dishes. So the celery gives my fingers something to do and really does limit my tastings.

Last night I was challenged to create something unusual with celery. As I was cutting the celery, I realized it was rather like iceberg lettuce. Light green, crisp, full of water, and a little limited on nutritional value as compared to other dark green or colored veggies. So what to do to dress it up?

I mentally reframed celery as a salad base like lettuce instead of an addition. Chop up celery and then add other interesting items you have in the fridge.

For me:

Kalamata olives

Feta cheese

Grape tomatoes

Green onions

Add in a quick and easy white balsamic viniagrette and sprinkled with your choice of herbs. Salt and pepper to taste.

Voile! A nice healthy lunch, more celery to go in me and less to go in the composter.Enjoy!