Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Fall Salad and My Perfect Granola

Hi Blogosphere,

I miss you. It's been awhile. A lot has happened since I saw you last. Although nothing very exciting, to be honest. I made a bunch of food. I took some pictures. I did a lot of work. I went to some concerts. I had lots of fun with friends.

Mostly, I didn't blog. But I'm back and I'm vowing to do this more regularly. I'm sure I'll regret this. But like taking my packet of vitamins each morning, I believe it's good for me. Kind of like this salad.

Because I've been a bit under the weather lately, I've been doing a lot of working from home. The benefit to working from home (i.e. one of the few benefits to being sick) is making lunch for myself, on the spot. For some reason, I love making lunch for myself. A couple of days ago, I opened the fridge and decided to just make a salad from what was in there. Here was the result - a very tasty autumnal salad.

Mixed greens, sliced fennel, mission figs (fresh!), green apple, halved grapes, sliced parmesan, toasted walnuts with a dressing of sherry vinegar, olive oil, a little bit of honey, and salt and pepper.

It was a delightful little lunch and I think it even made me feel a little bit better. Food can do that, you know.

Unlike the salad, which I made up on the spot, this granola recipe has been several months in the making. I actually honed it at the end of July but, as previously discussed, have lacked the time to blog about it. By which I mean, I totally didn't prioritize it. Clearly, I had time. I just didn't make time. So now. I'm making time now. Even though I did a terrible job taking pictures of this granola. Oh well. I'm out of practice. Or something.

Anyway, I've finally got My Perfect Granola. I still can't believe how easy it is to make. I'm never buying granola again. For real this time.

This recipe is super easy to modify. You can add or change the quantities on pretty much anything. I like the balance of this one. It's just a little bit sweet and just a little bit nutty.

I certainly don't know anyone like that. 

Kate's Perfect Maple-Vanilla-Pecan-Coconut-Pepita Granola

3 cups old-fashioned (not quick!) rolled oats. Quaker Oats. Obviously. 
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
pinch of kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons real, pure maple syrup


1.     Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.     Combine oats, pecans, pepitas, coconut flakes, and pinch of salt in a medium to large bowl. 

3.     In a small bowl, combine canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk to combine.

4.     Pour maple syrup mixture into oat mixture. Stir until all the future-granola bits are coated evenly.

5.     Dump granola into baking pan and evenly distribute across pan.

6.      Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir once in the middle of baking.

7.     Cool completely, then store in an airtight container. I like to keep mine in a glass jar with a rubber gasket like this one. 

8.     Eat! I like mine over Fage 0% Greek Yogurt with whatever fresh berries I can get my hands on. Or peaches. 

Or straight from the jar with a spoon.


lmajunior said...

I really don't like coconut. So, if I leave it out is there something else you think I should adjust?

Kate said...

You don't need to change anything else. If you want to sub something, I would suggest either a dried fruit (cranberries would be good) or a mild nut like almond or pistachio.

Kathleen Dames said...

My recipe is similar, though I include salt in mine and sub slivered almonds and ground flax seed for the pepitas. After it's baked, I toss in dried cranberries (don't want them to burn).