Since I decided to cut out refined sugars and flours, I have found it quite easy to add more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains into my meals. That’s because I cook for myself. I stopped eating the free meals at work and try not to eat out at restaurants. The quandary came, though, when I went away on vacation,where I wasn’t particularly interested in immersing myself in local cuisine. I found some vegan TexMex options (spinach citrus ensaladas and guacamole) but really took refuge at a vegetarian restaurant just outside the heart of downtown San Antonio. I went back a few times!
I didn’t know I would find such a delightful resto, so I planned for not finding many vegan-friendly options. In addition to making a bean salad and portable overnight oats, I made some snacks as well.
I spotted this simple snack in Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health (also posted here). It was easy to put together, tasty with the savoury flavours and healthy, to boot (provided you don’t eat too much!). Here, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are roasted with soy sauce and thyme until nice and golden, then they are tossed with sweet dried cranberries. The sweet-savoury combination works well together. Stored in resealable plastic bags, it is also easy to bring with you for an emergency fix if you have a hard time finding something to eat.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Cranberries
1.5 cups pepitas (raw green pumpkin seeds)
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spread pepitas on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 7 to 8 minutes, just until they begin to darken.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil and thyme.
3. Remove the toasted pepitas from the oven, and while still hot, drizzle them with the soy sauce mixture and stir to coat. Put them back in the oven and toast for a couple minutes more, taking care not to let them burn. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Stir in cranberries. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Makes 2 generous cups.