Trail mix has become a staple snack at our house. I love it as a pre-run snack and the boys love it when they need a little afternoon snack as well. We love taking it along on road trips and camping trips. I have played with many combinations but this combination is our favorite. I have to admit that sometimes my husband even calls it the devil’s mix because it is so tempting that he can’t resist it even when he isn’t hungry. 🙂
For any of the nuts and seeds in this recipe, I use only raw and unsalted. That is the healthiest form to eat them in. It would be better if I had soaked them but I don’t always have time to do that. Soaked almonds that are dehydrated are delicious, by the way. So, when I take the time to do that, it makes this mix even better.
Ultimate Trail Mix
2 c. goji berries
2 c. mulberries
1 c. craisins (better if you can find ones that are juice sweetened as opposed to sugar sweetened – I can find that at our local co-op)
3 c. almonds (raw, unsalted, and soaked is best)
1 c. pumpkin seeds (raw, unsalted)
1 c. sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted)
2 c. cashews (raw – I have only seen these at Trader Joe’s or the co-op)
3/4 – 1 c. dark chocolate chunks (I use a 80% cacao chocolate bar and hit it with a rolling pin while it is in it’s wrapper until it is broken into bite sized chunks. You could also use chocolate chips – we prefer Enjoy Life brand).
Mix all ingredients together. Best if stored in the refrigerator.
This is one of my current favorite meals! I am not one to repeat meals very often as I love variety but this one we have made half a dozen times in the last few months! It’s easy, fresh, healthy, and there is something in it that everyone in the house likes. One of my boys likes the sausage, another the penne, and I love the veggies! With all the farmer’s markets and gardens growing, this meal will be even tastier with those fresh picked vegetables.
One thing we have discovered about this meal is that it is delicious as cold leftovers. So, it makes me think that it could also be a great cold salad for a potluck or picnic. I would think that you could do the veggies either cooked or raw in that case and maybe would leave the meat out. Just a thought. I will let you know if we do it that way.
Fresh Veggie Penne Saute
Recipe adapted from The Nourishing Home
1 lb. Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage (I got mine from Trader Joe’s)
12 oz. gluten-free penne (I use the brown rice penne from Trader Joe’s)
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 c. yellow onion diced
6-7 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, reserve 1-2 Tbsp. oil from tomatoes
1/2 c. artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 c. fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/3 c. kalamata olives, halved
salt/pepper to taste
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Cook penne until al dente. Drain and rinse and set aside.
*To make my clean-up easier, I use the same pot for cooking the noodles as is the bottom to my steamer. I make the pasta first; then refill with fresh water and steam the broccoli on top.
Chop all veggies and slice the sausage. Steam broccoli until just tender.
In a large pan, cook sausages until hot through and set aside. Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is tender. Add the zucchini and continue to saute until zucchini is just tender. Add remaining ingredients, including the cooked sausage, noodles, and broccoli and toss together. If the dish needs a bit more flavor, add a bit more of the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold!
Husband Rating: 7 out of 10