No-Bake Energy Bars

No-Bake Energy Bars

These no-bake energy bars are so delicious and easy to make.  Whether you are going on a nature walk, hiking, biking, or on any other outdoor excursion these bars make an excellent trail snack.

Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 4 dates, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Whole Grain Rolled Oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup or agave)
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Optional Ingredients: 

1 cup of cranberries, raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, mini chocolate chips, or other dried fruits and nuts.

Asparagus
Instructions:
  1. Combine chopped nuts, oats, and dates in a medium-size bowl.  Work the dates into the dried oat/nut mixture to incorporate them well.  
  2. Heat honey, coconut oil, and nut butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat until the mixture is smooth.  Pour over the oat, almond, and date mixture until well combined.  If you are adding chocolate chips, let the mixture cool down a little before adding otherwise you will have melted chocolate chips which is not a bad thing.
  3. Once everything has been mixed, transfer to an 8×8 inch baking pan and flatten into a 1-inch thickness.  Top with some extra chocolate chips pressing gently down into the bars.
  4. Cover with beeswax and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.    
  5. Cut into 8 squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Enjoy!
Chef Yvonne Dwyer

Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Marinated Veggie Salad with Olives

Marinated Veggie Salad with Olives

Marinated Veggie Salad with Olives is an easy side dish to take to a picnic. It also looks great on a charcuterie board and makes an excellent appetizer. Store this vegetable salad in a Mason glass jar in your refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.

Servings: 4 – 6

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works well also)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots (cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • One 14-ounce jar of quartered artichoke hearts water-packed, drained
  • 1/2 cup assorted pitted olives
  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper strips, water-packed
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Asparagus
Instructions:
  1. In a large glass 4-quart measuring bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower, carrots, and celery; cook for one minute. Drain the vegetables and transfer them to a large bowl; add the vinegar mixture and combine. 
  3. Add the quartered artichoke hearts, olives, roasted red bell pepper strips, oil, and capers. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 24 – 48 hours.
  4. Remove the bay leaves—season to taste with salt and pepper.
Chef Yvonne Dwyer

Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Easy to Make Seed Crackers

Easy to Make Seed Crackers

Crackers are so easy to make, there are so many variations and recipes.  This is a great recipe and with decorative cookie cutters, they make a beautiful presentation on your charcuterie boards and pair nicely with homemade soup.  

Servings: Makes about 30 crackers

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted chilled butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup iced water
Seed Cracker Dough
Instructions:
  1. Place all-purpose whole wheat and Spelt flours, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in a medium-size bowl and stir till well combined. 
  2. With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the small cubes of butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles small breadcrumbs. (You can do this in a food processor and remove the mixture to a bowl to continue the process below). Mix in the seeds.
  3. Add iced water to the dry ingredients and form the dough into a small ball (depending upon humidity, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the mix). Cut the dough in half and wrap it in waxed paper or sustainable food wraps. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  
  5. Remove one ball of dough from the refrigerator, and knead till soft on a lightly floured Silpat, plastic, or wooden pastry mat. Roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes using lightly floured cookie cutters. Place them on one of the prepared baking sheets. Complete this process with the other half of the refrigerated dough ball. With gathered-up dough scraps, roll out again, cutting out more crackers until all the dough is used up.
  6. Refrigerate both sheets of crackers for 30 minutes.
  7. Use a fork to press holes in the center of each cracker to allow steam to escape from the dough while baking.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Crackers should be golden brown and crispy. Let crackers cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to complete cooling before storing in an airtight container.  

Note: I repurpose our Holiday cookie tins throughout the year for crackers, cookies, and other baked goods that require airtightness to retain freshness.

Try these delicious crackers with our homemade Cream of Asparagus soup.

    Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    OPL Plant-rich Recipes

    Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

    Cream of Asparagus Soup

    Cream of Asparagus Soup

    This asparagus soup recipe is delicious and warms the soul when the early springtime weather can be so finicky between rain, snow, wind, and sunshine.

    Servings: Makes 4 servings

    Ingredients:
    • 1 pound of fresh asparagus*
    • 1 large yellow onion, diced finely
    • 2 tablespoons butter or butter-flavored olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons flour, arrowroot, or cornstarch
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream, or cream of your choice
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Asparagus
    Instructions:
    1. Carefully wash asparagus making sure that all soil particles have been removed.  Remove and discard the “woody” part of the asparagus stem by holding the spear horizontally and snapping the bottom where the spear starts to droop.  It should snap easily by hand.  Cut the asparagus into two-inch lengths.  
    2. Sauté onion in hot butter on medium-high heat for three minutes until softened.
    3. Stir flour into onion-butter mixture stirring constantly for even cooking.  Slowly add the chicken and vegetable broth while whisking until smooth.
    4. Add asparagus.  Bring to a soft boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
    5. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth while in the saucepan.  (You can also put the soup in a blender, use precaution when blending hot soup) 
    6. Strain soup into a clean saucepan.  Add cream of your choice, (I used half and a half), and heat until hot.  
    7. Add 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

    Suggestion: Serve this soup with our easy-to-make homemade seed crackers. So good!

    Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    OPL Plant-rich Recipes

    Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

    Deliciously Vibrant Veggie Pizza For Sharing

    Deliciously Vibrant Veggie Pizza For Sharing

    Next time you’re in the mood for pizza, try this veggie version instead. It’s a great way to eat fresh vegetables in pizza form. Share with friends!

    Prep Time: 45 min

    Total Time: (Refer to dough baking instructions)

    Ingredients:

    For Pesto: 

    • 3-6 garlic cloves
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    • 1/2 cup romano cheese
    • 1 jalapeno
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 cup basil

    Pizza Toppings: 

    • Ricotta cheese
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Tomatoes
    • Sweet onion
    • Spinach
    • Red pepper flakes
    Homemade Pesto Ingredients
    Cheese and Tomatoes

    Instructions:

    Pesto: In a food processor, add basil leaves and garlic (measure with your heart, I use 6 cloves)! Add the jalapeno, toasted pine nuts, and romano cheese. Pulse ingredients with olive oil until smooth.

    Caramelized Onions: Slice your sweet onion and place in a pan with some olive oil. Continuously stir them for roughly 30 minutes until they are soft and a brown, caramelized color.

    Depending on your level of fancy, you can purchase pre-made dough from a grocery store or make your own at home! When you’re ready to assemble, add a layer of your favorite marinara sauce. Then the ricotta and veggies to your liking! Top with your mozzarella and red pepper flakes and bake according to the dough’s directions.

    Yummy!

    Sarah Biddle Image

    Recipe compliments of Home Chef Sarah Biddle and OPL Community Member

    OPL Plant-rich Recipes

    Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

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