November 21, 2015

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Granola Crumble

I've never been a fan of boiled Brussels sprouts but I sure do love them roasted.  Roasting brings out the natural sweet and nutty flavors. Adding the pancetta granola topping just tips the flavor scale plus lends a delicious crunch. If vegetables could be a dessert this dish would be it. 
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Granola Crumble
serves 6-8
4 oz diced pancetta
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 T plus 1/2 tsp olive oil
3 T maple syrup
2 shallots roughly chopped
1 sprig rosemary, finely diced
1/3 cup Bird's Nest Sonoran Blend Granola
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1) Remove any yellow outer leaves of Brussels sprouts and cut off brown ends. Rinse well, pat dry and slice in half lengthwise.
2) In large oven proof skillet cook pancetta over medium heat until almost crisp stirring frequently (about 5 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and set aside.
3) Add 3 T olive oil then Brussels sprouts to remaining pancetta drippings in skillet. Saute for 15 minutes, turning sprouts occasionally to brown evenly.
4) Add maple syrup, salt and pepper to sprouts and stir to coat.
5) Transfer skillet to preheated 375 degree oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until tender on inside and crisp outside. 
6) While sprouts are in the oven, prepare the crumble. Heat remaining 
1/2 tsp olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, granola, rosemary and cooked pancetta along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
7) Evenly distribute crumble mixture on top of sprouts the last 5 minutes of roasting time.
November 20, 2015

Goat Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Dates

Simple to assemble, these dates make a luscious addition to any cheese board. 
Goat Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Dates
24 large whole medjool dates 
3 oz log goat cheese
1 oz cream cheese
1 tsp olive oil
2 slices bacon
1/4 cup Bird's Nest Sonoran Blend Granola
1) Pit dates: slice date open lengthwise and remove pit with tip of knife. Place dates on parchment lined baking sheet.
2) Cook bacon until crispy. Roughly chop 1 slice. Cut remaining slice 
into 8 pieces and reserve for later.
3) Combine both cheeses and oil in small bowl and mix until smooth.
4) Add chopped bacon and granola to cheese mixture and stir.
5) Gently open dates and fill with cheese mixture using a small spoon.
6) Add remaining bacon pieces to top of filling on 8 dates for garnish.
7) Bake in 350 degree preheated oven for 5 minutes until dates soften and are warm to touch.
November 19, 2015

Baked Brie with Granola and Marmalade

This is a dangerously delicious combination of savory and sweet, buttery and crunchy. It's quick and easy to make and oh so good.    

Baked Brie with Granola and Marmalade

1 round of brie cheese

1/4 cup - 1/3 cup orange marmalade (depending on the size of brie)

1/2 cup Bird's Nest Cranberry Flax Granola 

1) Place brie on parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. 

2) Spread a layer of marmalade on top of brie and top with granola.

3) Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until cheese is soft and granola is golden.

4) Serve with crackers and pear or apple slices.

November 18, 2015

Pumpkin Cranberry Breakfast Bread Pudding

With all the food prep required for a big holiday meal the last thing we want to think about is making breakfast the morning of. The beauty of this recipe is it can be assembled the night before and baked in the morning.  It's tasty, filling and an easy start to a busy holiday.
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding
serves 6-8
2 tbsp melted butter
3 tsp honey
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp clove
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup lowfat milk
4 cups bread, cut or torn into 1" pieces (about 4-5 slices)
1 cup Bird's Nest Sonoran Blend Granola
3/4 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1) Melt butter in a small microwave safe bowl. Stir in honey and set aside.
2) Beat eggs, ricotta, pumpkin and brown sugar in large bowl.
3) Stir in spices, milk and honey mixture. 
4) Add bread and stir to combine.
5) Gently fold in cranberries and granola.
6) Pour into a buttered 2 quart baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours (max 12 hours)
7) Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until golden on top and baked through.
8) Let stand for 10 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.
November 17, 2015

Askegaard Organic Farm

This summer I had the privilege of visiting Askegaard Organic Farm, the supplier of our organic golden flaxseed. Located in Moorhead Minnesota and the fertile Red River Valley, this small farm is run by Mark Askegaard and his daughter Beth. The Askegaards are a fifth generation farming family with a passion for preserving the land and promoting healthy rural communities through organic agriculture and local foods.


Flax is a hearty crop that produces stunning periwinkle flowers before turning into tall, thin stalks. This small grain is a nutritional powerhouse providing a great source of omega-3’s, dietary fiber, and lignans. Mark and Beth dedicate 40 acres of their farm to growing organic flax. Mark plants in early June and harvests the flax in September.

This flaxseed is buttery, full of flavor, certified organic, and grown with love… a perfect ingredient for our granola.

September 12, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie Recipe:

 

 

I love fall! There's the promise of cooler weather, stunning desert sunsets and lots of local apples showing up at the farmers market. Here's a recipe that celebrates all the goodness of the changing season. Buy some locally grown apples, order some granola and enjoy this delicious smoothie.

Bird's Nest Apple Cinnamon Granola Smoothie 

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup Birds' Nest Apple Cinnamon Granola
2 large apples cored and sliced
1 frozen banana 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom 
1" piece vanilla bean (optional)
4-5 ice cubes
1) Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
2) Pour into 4 glasses and top with extra granola. 
Makes about 4-5 cups