Last week I was reading a NY Times food article on the subject of vegetarian and vegan cooking (The Hippies Have Won). In the middle of the article, was a reference to a blog and cookbook series, Thug Kitchen. No kidding, this was one of the most fun cookbooks I ever browsed through and since all the recipes were plant-based, well… it was a win for me. If profanity is a hang-up, you might want to just follow the sanitized version below, but if you want some real kitchen coaching, buy the damn book, cook from it and learn to eat healthier.
Here’s the recipe for a strawberry version which was posted on Thug’s website. My version was based solely on what I had in the house to use up. I’m pretty sure the Thugs would be okay with that.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup uncooked millet
- 1-1/4 cups chopped mixed nuts or seeds (I used all almonds)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or similar dried fruit (I used half dates and half ginger – not the sugary stuff)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not corn syrup with maple flavoring)
- 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter (I used Sunbutter)
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil or olive oil
- 2 tbsp white or brown sugar (I used brownish – Florida crystals)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grab a 9×13 inch baking dish and line with with parchment so some of the paper goes over the edge of the pan. (Seriously, my mother reads this, so I’m leaving out the “good parts”).
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat and add the oats, quinoa, and millet. Stir them all around until they start to smell toasted, about 3 minutes. While that is happening, combine the nuts and cranberries in a large bow. Pour in the all the toasted oat mix and the salt and mix together.
- In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, peanut butter, oil, sugar and vanilla and warm until everything is melted. Make sure that the peanut butter is all mixed, and then remove from the heat. Pour this all over the dry mix and stir until everything is coated.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and press it down with a spoon (or a hand!) to even it out and make sure it is really in there. Throw it in the oven until it all looks toasted, 25-30 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature in the pan then throw it into the fridge. When it’s all nice and cold, cut into bars. They keep best in the fridge.
Now, go and buy the Official Cookbook and enjoy the ride and some great advice on plant-based.