Eat Smart: Granola as a flavor ingredient

Mango Curry Granola is the perfect salad topper for cukes and ricotta!There’s somethin’ about spring that’s motivating. I don’t know if it’s the sight of  trees budding, the warmth of  sun on my face, or the liberating feeling  of running  bare legged, but it brings out the best in me. This week, I have completed ‘the task’ I’ve been dodging for over seven months.   I am happy to report reorganizing my study is like a breathe of fresh air…

organizing my workspace   In addition to some obligatory spring cleaning, I ‘ve also been busy with one of my favorite spring activies,  transitioning menus to reflect the  fresh flavors of spring and summer.  It started with  Mango Curry Granola and the third  smart way to eat this delicious and nutritious fruit, nut and oat combination:  use it as an ingredient in other foods to easily and consitently  keep the granola portion size in check. There’s no limit to the foods that pair with granola for  high impact flavor. Today it’s  the topping on a cool cucumber salad (which btw can also top 2 slices of bread for an easy vegetarian sandwich). This is the salad that’s the perfect afternoon snack, providing some simple and complex carbohydrates, protein, and produce.  Here ‘s how simple it is to make: Spoon ricotta cheese onto a plate. Toss sliced cucumber with lemon juice and arrange on top of ricotta cheese.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a tablespoon of granola. Detailed recipe below.

How is spring motivating you?

Cucumber & Ricotta Salad with Mango Curry GranolaCucumber Ricotta Salad with Mango Curry Granola

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 English cucumber, thinnly sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil+ more for drizzleing
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low fat ricotta cheese

for the Mango Curry Granola

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango

Instructions

for the Mango Curry Granola

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Place ingredients oats through red pepper flakes in a small bowl and stir to combine.

3. Pour onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minute or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.

4. Allow to cool. Add lime zest and dried mango.

to assemble salad

1. In a small bowl toss cucumber, with lemon juic and olive oil.

2. In a small bowl whisk ricotta until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spoon ricotta onto plates and top with cucumber. Sprinkle some of the granola on the cucumbers and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and several tablespoons of granola. Serve right away.

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