Savory Partners: Dark Chocolate + Granola with Za’atar

What’s your favorite healthy chocolate companion? According to the Chocolate Lover’s Club, it goes with just about anything and they reference some unusual combinations from seafood and cheese to roasted cauliflower.  Hmm.  Before I reveal my choice, I want to thank the Recipe Redux team for this timely February topic, because I’m using it to multitask (in a time management kinda way):

1. Believe it or not, it’s an inspiration for cleaning out my pantry. Yep, using up chocolate leftover from Valentine’s Day (as well as some other ‘nearly gone’ ingredients; what else can you do with 2 tablespoons of red quinoa anyway?)

2. And yes, I ‘m  trying to make amends for the Valentine’s Day Treat (no bake chocolate mousse) that didn’t score me any brownie points. Geeze.

Maybe ‘the man’ will like this…my favorite chocolate combination…

\Dark Chocolate + Granola with Za'atar

dark chocolate + granola .  Here are the dry ingredients I used…

ingredients for Dark Chocolate + Granola with Za'atar

So 2 tablespoons of this,  and a quater cup of that…. what a thrifty way to polish off small portions of pantry staples.  And at the last minute, I added what I now consider the secret ingredient’atar.  Ever since I used this spice blend  in my Mediterranean Dip   I’ve been yearning to try it in granola. It’s an aromatic blend of sumac, sesame seeds, dried thyme, salt,  and other spices. The label states it goes best with lamb, chicken, fish and veggies. So, what about chocolate? It’s the bomb! Which means.. this month I’m one for one.  I’ll take it.  Ok, so now that I’ve got my family happily munching away on a delicious snack, how about nutrition? This is no more or no less healthier than most other granolas. Really. Close to 100 calories in 2 Tablespoons, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams protein, low in cholesterol , low in sodium and a very good source of manganese. So here’s the bottom line: if you like the taste of dark chocolate, and you want the heart healthy benefits of plant flavanols, please enjoy this one mindfully. Don’t forget to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more healthy chocolate pairings from my friends and colleague members of the Recipe Redux.

What’s your chocolate philosophy? Do you think it goes with everything?

Dark Chocolate Granola with Za'atar

Dark Chocolate  Granola with Za'atar

Dark Chocolate Granola with Za’atar

by Diane Boyd


  • 2 Tablespoons red quinoa
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (to make gluten free, gluten free label)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg white (omit for vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil (or coconut oil for paleo diet)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, broken into bite sized pieces


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Rinse quinoa and add to a medium bowl with the next four dry ingredients.

3. whisk egg white and oil and add to oat mixture along with honey and vanilla. Stir well to combine.

4. Spread oat mixture into a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. 5.Bake, stirring every 10 minutes until golden. (20-25 minutes)

6. Allow to cool completely befoe adding raisins and dark chocolate. Serve or store in an air tight container.

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Coping with Colder Weather: Cabin Fever Cardio Workout

Did you run today? Before the day is over, someone will ask me that. Perhaps wondering how brave  obsessive complusive I really am. After all, here’s what the weather looks like in my neck of the woods..Coping with Colder Weather: Cabin Fever Cardio Workout

Yeah, I know this is nothing compared to what YOU  might be experiencing in other parts of the country, but it’s a far cry from the usual around here and it probably set some kind of cold weather record that will be forever documented in the history of this small town. So back to the original question, NO, this DID NOT HAPPEN ..

and look who is unhappyCoping with Colder Weather: Cabin Fever Cardio Workout … brody







Good news, tomorrow it will be 55 degrees F and we’ll be back pounding the pavement. But for today, here’s  my colder weather cardio workout  (in lieu of a routine 5 mile run accompanied by four legged creature above.) Start with light warm up of planks and core exercises like V sit BOSU Core passes . Then jump rope alternating with cycling. I  skip rope for 500 jumps alternating with 5 mintues of cycling on a stationary bike (resistance up) as fast as I can go. Repeat 5 times for a 40 minute cardio workout that should get your heart rate up. Is the weather cramping your style? How are you coping?

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