I make this super Easy Nutty Granola every other week or so and keep it in an airtight container in my refrigerator at ALL times. Every morning I fix our “breakfast to go” containers and we take them with us to work. You’ll find non-fat greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and some nutty granola on top if you look inside of mine. My husband prefers a sweeter version so he gets vanilla yogurt with granola. This granola is slightly sweet, just a little salty from the nuts and it has a whole lot of crunch which is what I love. Most importantly, it is packed full of protein…it really holds me until lunch rolls around.
If I happen to be out of yogurt or just feel like a change, it’s great as a cereal with a little milk and a squirt of honey. I finally started buying those packs of little milk bottles at Sam’s so I can just grab a milk bottle with my container of granola and take my breakfast to go this way too. FYI, those milk bottles freeze beautifully if you see the expiration date creeping up before you’ve used them up.
When I come home from work and need just a little somethin’ to munch on before dinner? A handful of granola always seems to hit the spot.
I keep a big container of mixed nuts in my freezer and it holds a wonderful selection of crunch – pecans, peanuts, cashews and macadamia nuts. When I’m making my granola I simply scoop out a heaping cup, give them a rough chop on my cutting board and toss them into the “base” with another cup of raisins.
So check it out, once you’ve made it a couple of times it’s effortless. I started off using Ina Garten’s “base” for the granola and then customized it to suit my taste – you can do the same. This is just what I like – get creative!
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 cups oatmeal
- 2 cups coconut
- 1 1/2 cup mixed nuts roughly chopped
- 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper allowing the paper to hang over the edges a little, this will make it easy to grab and pour the granola later.
- In large bowl whisk the oil and honey together, add the oatmeal and coconut and blend gently. Spread the granola on the baking sheet and then add the nuts and raisins to the bowl - set the bowl aside.
- Bake the granola for 20 minutes then turn the granola with a spatula to prevent burning. Bake for another 15 minutes and give it another toss. Bake for another 5 minutes and then pull from the oven. You want to add the granola to the bowl while it's hot so that it can roast the nuts a little bit. Carefully hold the parchment paper around the edges and pour the granola into the bowl. Stir until everything is mixed together, let cool.
The Tavern restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas is one of my my favorite places to eat and the Sonoma Steak Salad is what I order almost every time I’m there – it is everything I love in one dish! I decided that had I to try to replicate this delicious salad to satisfy my constant craving and I think I’ve pretty much nailed it at last.
The salad is served with mixed greens, juicy tomatoes, chunky bites of avocado, crumbles of blue cheese and crunchy chopped pecans. I threw in some toasted garlic croutons on top. The dressing is a balsamic bacon vinaigrette. I used a recipe that I found on Epicurious and it was perfect.
I used a New York strip and seasoned with a little fresh garlic, salt and pepper, nothing special, just a great piece of beef grilled to perfection. We were at the farm when I made this salad so I used my charcoal Weber grill but a cast iron skillet would work well too. The Tavern serves their Sonoma Salad with the steak unsliced so that’s how I’ve shown it in my featured image but you can certainly slice it up and place it to the side of your greens like this:
I was lucky enough to find some beautiful heirloom tomatoes in East Texas this weekend to make my salad extra pretty but off season I think I will use cherry tomatoes. I had a loaf of garlic herb French bread and cut about 6″ off the end to make my croutons. Just cut into cubes, coat with olive oil in a bowl, throw in a toss of kosher salt and cook on low in a cast iron skillet for 15 to 20 minutes giving the skillet a toss every few minutes. Fresh croutons are always so good and I love them for the little bit of extra effort they require.
Enjoy this gorgeous, flavorful salad that’s light but still hearty enough to serve for dinner!
- 2 New York Strip Steaks (each cut in half)
- Spring Mix Lettuce (or any mixed greens)
- 4 heirloom tomatoes or one pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 avocados ripe but still firm
- 8 oz. blue cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- Kosher salt & cracked pepper
- Olive oil
- 5 slices bacon chopped into 1" pieces
- 3 Tbsp bacon drippings
- 5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/4 balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp red onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 loaf French bread garlic and herb flavored
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Start by seasoning your steaks any way you like and preparing as you normally would. I rubbed mine with a fresh garlic clove, seasoned liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and then brushed with olive oil. I let the steak come to room temperature before grilling and then cooked to a medium rare, letting the steaks rest under foil for 10 minutes before serving
- For the croutons I slice about a 6" chunk off of a loaf of garlic and herb crusted french bread. Then chop into smaller pieces, drop the croutons into a bowl and coat with a couple of tbsp. of olive oil and a dash of kosher salt. Cook over low in cast iron skillet. Give the skillet a toss every 5 minutes or so until the bread begins to look toasty - it usually takes about 20 minutes to cook croutons this way. Just don't turn the heat up too high or they will burn.
- The dressing starts by dicing the bacon and cooking in a medium size skillet. When the bacon is cooked remove and save for later use (like in an omelette the next morning!). Pour off the drippings, measure 3 Tbsp. and return that back to the skillet.
- In a small bowl whisk the vinegar, brown sugar, red onion and garlic together. Pour into the skillet with the bacon drippings and heat through until well blended. Let come to room temperature. When cool salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl add enough greens for 4 and the diced avocado's, toss with the dressing. Serve the lettuce and avocado on a plate and then top with the tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese. Serve the steak on the side, sliced or unsliced depending on your personal preference. Will serve 4.