I have entered the double digits in this, my tenth week, of the Oh She Glows cookbook challenge. Last week I was absolutely thrilled that Angela Liddon retweeted my Twitter post about this challenge and the blog! That’s right, the cookbook author who inspired this whole adventure took notice and shared my post on her Twitter page! Just as I was processing that exciting news, I realized that a week back she had also commented on an earlier tweet of mine regarding Week 8 of the challenge, complementing me on my mushroom tart and saying what a fun idea the challenge was! Yay!!! If nothing else comes of this blog, that will be enough to have made it all worth it 🙂
For this week’s recipes, I bought a key ingredient I’ve been avoiding for a while now; hemp hearts. They are so darn expensive! I finally took a deep breath and shelled out the ten bucks needed for a tiny bag of these. Next time I’m at Costco I’ll price them out there. I’m glad I finally have them though, because they have opened the door to a few recipes I’ve been eyeing, not to mention the boost of protein I’ve been getting by adding them to my daily smoothie!
Here are the four things I made this week, including my introductory recipe to hemp hearts, which was…
Classic Glo Bar
I’ve never been a huge granola bar fan. I mean, of course, I eat them out of necessity as they are a super convenient pack-able snack, but I don’t really enjoy them. These Glo Bars had some qualities that made me like them a lot more than any store-bought bars I’ve ever had. The flavor is very nice – with just a hint of peanut butter and cinnamon. You can also control the salt and sugar levels, which are typically high in granola bars. They were quick and easy to make, and I think if you are health conscious, it absolutely makes sense to spend the 15 minutes it takes to make these as opposed to buying something not-so-good-for-you. My one complaint is they are kinda tough to chew. They are supposed to be refrigerated, and this makes them quite hard. I don’t know much about making bars, but I wonder if there is a way to make these softer?
Luxurious Tomato Basil Pasta
Super delicious! This is a perfect example of a recipe I would have never thought to try if it weren’t for the challenge of cooking the entire book. At first glance, it looked a lot like my own recipe for tomato sauce, with the addition of some cashew cream. I figured, how different could it really be? Well, let me tell you, the cashew cream really does make a huge impact, and so does the amount of basil in this sauce. I would have never dared to put an entire cup of basil in my pasta before, but it really works. This tasted like a restaurant quality dish and I will be making it again!
Perfect Roasted Chickpeas
A long time ago, before I ever picked up the OSG cookbook, I had heard of oven roasting chickpeas for a healthy snack. I tried it without any recipe, just tossing them with oil, salt and pepper, and baking them for what I thought was a proper amount of time. They turned out mealy and soft and unappetizing, and I never felt tempted to try again. Well, until now. It turns out that when it comes to roasting chickpeas, tiny details make all the difference. First of all, they need to be patted dry before adding any oil or seasoning. Next, they need to be cooked for a lot longer than I would have expected, about 30-40 minutes in all. Finally, a few spices go a long way. The amount of cayenne pepper in this recipe really makes them spicy, so put a little less if you’re not into that much heat 🙂
Summer Harvest Tortilla Soup
What a bright, colorful, beautiful soup! I really enjoyed this a lot. Especially with all the fun toppings you can add. The tortilla strips are a must, I can’t emphasize that enough. I found some really great tortillas that are made with a corn and flour blend, and the smell of them roasting in the oven, tossed with the same spices I used in the soup, was just as good as eating the whole thing! There is a bit of chopping involved in this recipe, but nothing crazy. It comes together in about 20 minutes and then you can just enjoy the aroma of it bubbling away on the stove. I did not add the brown rice as was suggested to make it heartier, but maybe I’ll try that next time. If you like heat, add a little more of the chili and cayenne powder. Oh, and another must is the lime juice garnish. Yum yum!