The life of a chef is always exciting. It’s pretty much go go go from the time you walk in the door until the time you get home 10-15 hours later. When your working in a kitchen, (especially when the area your working in is a tourist area during some times of the year), you have to have a lot of energy and be ready to move quick. If not you could set yourself far behind in your work and end up screwed by the time breakfast/lunch/dinner service comes around.
The kitchen I’m currently working in is a little understaffed. I am working a different shift every day which can get a little ugly when it comes to my sleep schedule. Currently I’ve been coming in at 6 am which is definitely a shift for the birds. It’s not so bad once you’ve worked it for a while, you come in real early and get out early enough that it almost feels like a day off. I usually start my day with coffee to give me that wake up call and added pep in my step. Sine I’ve been cutting back on coffee and switching to green tea, I’m trying to eat something light in the early mornings that will aid in getting me motivated and ready to rock. While 90% of the people I work with roll into work with a red bull or 2 in their hands to keep them awake and moving fast fast fast, I nibble on these homemade energy bars that are made with quinoa, chia seeds, and berries. They are a million times better and packed with a lot more nutrients than red bulls. One batch can make up to 20 bars, depending on the size you choose to cut. These are also great to pack for lunches and will hold for a few days in the refrigerator.
Gluten Free/Refined Sugar Free/Vegan
Mise en Place:
-1/2 Cup Quinoa (I used Red Quinoa)
-2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
-1 Cup Frozen Berries (I used mixed berries)
–1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
-1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (optional)
1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
-Vitamix or blender
Method of Prep:
-Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain. Cook quinoa according to directions on the box. (Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes). Drain quinoa and place in refrigerator to cool.
-Throw the chia seeds, berries and dates into blender and blend until its gooey and sticky.
-In a bowl, mix the dried cranberries with the quinoa and berry mix.
-Spread the mixture on a sheet of parchment paper and shape into a nice even square.
-Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the energy bars. Once crispy on the top, remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.
-While Quinoa is cooling down, Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over high heat until smooth.
-Pour hot chocolate over the top of the quinoa and spread all over using a rubber spatula. Place in the refrigerator to harden.
-Cut into small squares using a pizza cutter.