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Slice of Life

  • Sprouts add low-calorie nutrition
    When mung bean sprouts first made their appearance as a healthy, natural food in the 1960s and ’70s, many people dismissed them as a food fad.
  • Shortcake is a perfect dessert
    Desserts are always on the menu at our house, not that we need them after most meals. But still this is me cooking, so dessert is, well, expected.Cookies? Sure, always good but been there, done that. Cake?
  • Meatless burgers full of flavor
    Its barbecue time and in my house this poses a bit of a problem, since two of the couples we typically invite have children that are “almost” vegetarian with a nod to eating fish, which technically makes them pescatarians.
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Bottom-of-cereal-box solutions

When it comes to clearing out my pantry during spring cleaning, one of the first items on my list are those almost empty boxes of cereal.

You know the ones I’m talking about – those that are hiding behind the other stuff I don’t need, pushed to the way back with only a cup or three flakes left. It’s not enough to make a bowlful but just enough to make me hesitate to throw them out, because well, you just don’t throw out perfectly good cereal.

So, even at this one time of year when there is a get-out-of-jail-free card for discarding any and all bits and bites of leftovers, I still have that moment of hesitation. But I decide that one recipe or two is all I need to make the leftovers disappear.

Honey and Nut Salad

3 cups romaine lettuce, torn into pieces

2 cups fresh baby spinach

2 diced red delicious apples

1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup diced celery

5 or 6 green onions, sliced

3/4 to 1 cup any honey sweetened cereal (Honeycomb or Honey Nut Cheerios)

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey or sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette: In a serving bowl combine the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.

For salad: In a salad bowl combine the lettuce, spinach, apples, cranberries, pecans, celery and onions. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the cereal on top and drizzle the dressing over the top. Toss to combine and serve.

Meatloaf Plus

2 pounds lean ground beef

2/3 to 1 cup bran cereal

1 chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup barbecue sauce divided (or more on top if you like)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the ground beef, bran cereal, onion, green pepper, salt, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, garlic and egg. Mix to combine. Transfer to two loaf pans. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Bake 30 to 45 minutes more or until done ( you may need to drain). Serves 8.

Sesame Corn Flake Chicken

1 cup bread crumbs (panko or toasted regular bread crumbs)

1 to 1 1/2 cup cornflakes, lightly crushed

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons chili powder

3 eggs

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, cut into strips

7 to 8 cups torn romaine lettuce (or mix whatever kind of greens you like)

Extra sesame seeds

Dressing:

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried

2 tablespoons white wine or rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with sides. In a bowl combine the bread crumbs, cornflakes, sesame seeds and chili powder; mix to combine. Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Dip the chicken strips into the beaten egg, and then roll them in the bread crumb-cornflake mixture, making sure both sides are coated. Place the chicken on the prepared cookie sheet and continue until all the chicken is coated. Bake 10 minutes, flip the pieces and continue cooking for an additional 7 to 10 minutes until they are cooked throughout but not over done.

While the chicken is cooking, combine the parsley, oregano, tarragon, vinegar, oil and honey in a bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid. Whisk or shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper. You can place the lettuce in a salad bowl or divide it between eight plates and top with warm cooked chicken. Drizzle the dressing and sesame seeds over the top and serve. Serves 8.

– Submitted by Aaron Martoni of San Francisco and modified from Epicuran.com Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at ztlog@verizon.net or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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