SPLIT PEA SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 bay leaves

1 ½ cups dried green split peas

5 cups vegetable broth

Paprika and cumin, for serving (optional)


In a heavy bottomed pot heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce, if using. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaves, split peas and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until the peas are soft, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and discard the bay leaves.

Blend the soup until perfectly pureed and creamy. If it is too thick, add half a cup of water and blend again. Serve it drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with paprika and cumin.

Serves 4

HEALTHY SOFT-BAKED OAT BARS

1 1/3 cups apple sauce

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

1  2/3 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons flax meal or whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raisins


Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan with butter or oil.

Combine the apple sauce, vanilla and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir them in to combine.

Transfer the mixture to the baking pan. Level out the surface with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the sides are crusty and lightly browned.

Place the pan on a rack to cool. Once at room temperature, section into bars.

Serves 8