Thursday, November 4, 2010

M: Autumn Vegetables and Clif Bars!

Dear Friday,
Why oh why must you take so long to get here? It is like you are laughing at me from a distance while I am slugging my way through the work week. Like, "ha, ha, ha you can't catch me!". Why must you tease me so?

Waiting Patiently,

So, while we wait for Friday, let's get down with a Clif Bar review, shall we?

The very cool peeps at Clif sent us a taste of their seasonal Clif Bar flavors to try out (disclaimer: we received this product for free) - cranberry orange nutbread, iced gingerbread, and spiced pumpkin pie. I knew once we got these, my husband would be the almighty taste-tester. You see, my husband LOVES Clif Bars. They are a staple in our household and he eats them for breakfast every single morning at work and before he works out. So, that means there are always at least 5 Clif Bars in our pantry at any given point.


As I was saying, Bryan loves Clif Bars, and these were seriously no exception. Not that he's an expert, but as an expert, here is what the hubs had to say:

I was surprised by the iced gingerbread. When I think of gingerbread, I think of those gross little thin gingersnaps. The iced gingerbread Clif Bar was really more like a spiced bread. It was super tasty. The pumpkin pie was also not over powering on the pumpkin like I thought it might be. It was like eating a pumpkin cookie! The cranberry orange nutbread would probably be my favorite if I had to choose. It tastes exactly like it is named - cranberry, orange, and nutbread, which, who doesn't like all those things, especially during the holidays?

So there ya go! Thanks again Clif! While we waste more time until Friday, let me tell you about the balsamic root vegetables I whipped up. I found this recipe from my Southern Living, of which I could not live without. You can view some of their other fantastic recipes from their November issue. I have told you how much I love using my slow cooker and this sounded perfect since it was all autumn root vegetables. So let me get down to business here before Friday comes:

Peel sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Chop your onion.


Combine carrots, parsnips, onion, and cranberries into a lightly greased slow cooker. Layer the sweet potatoes on top.


Whisk together the brown sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and pour over vegetable mixture (do not stir). Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours (I actually cooked mine on low for the same amount of time and it turned out great - so you may want to vary this depending on your slow cooker tendencies). Toss with parsley just before serving (sorry for the gross picture - it was nighttime when this baby was done).


This side turned out so good! The balsamic vinegar went perfectly with the root veggies and was actually a great compliment to the sweet potatoes, and I'm usually not a sweet potato fan! The parsley added a fresh kick to it. I mean, these veggies really were awesome...I served with a grilled pork chop and we were done!

Balsamic Root Vegetables
from Southern Living

1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 lb. parsnips
1 lb. carrots
2 large red onions, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used a little more - looove dried cranberries!)
1 TB light brown sugar
3 TB olive oil
2 TB balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Peel first 3 ingredients, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Combine parsnips, carrots, onions, and cranberries in a lightly greased slow cooker. Layer sweet potatoes on top.

2. Whisk together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over vegetable mixture. (Do not stir.)

3. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or until vegetables are tender. (Again, I cooked on low 4 to 5 hours and they turned out perfect). Toss with parsley just before serving.

And, on a last note, my elderly retriever rescue, Daisy's Place is holding a fundraiser challenge to help pay for Gracie's - one of our incredible foster dogs - ACL surgery. If you would like to know how to help, visit our Facebook page or let me know =)

Happy Autumn!! Oh, is it Friday yet?


Anonymous said...

I miss Friday too!!! Let pretend that it is! :)
balsamic root vegetables sound great!

Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete said...

Beautiful veggies, Mandi! I eat a CLIF bar nearly every single day! I am DEFINITELY going to try these! Tell hubs I said 'thanks'! :D

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I love the hubs review of the Clif bars--they sound delish! I haven't tried any of the season Clif ones, so I'll have to get some soon!

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg said...

I love those seasonal Clif bars!! So good! The pumpkin ones are definitely my favorite.

Britt said...

My husband LOVES Clif bars too, although he is rather plain jane in his taste... he will only eat the chocolate chip & cool mint. Me on the other hand, I love all the fun flavors and the Cranberry Orange Nutbread sounds awesome! I haven't seen it yet, but I'll have to keep my eye out for it.

The veggies sound delish!

Corey @ the runner's cookie said...

Holiday-themed anything is fun! The bars sound yummy - I'd probably have one with a cup of tea as dessert :)

Christina said...

i have never eaten a clif bar bc i'm intimidated by their size. lame, i know. but their flavors are fun! i'd prob loved the gingerbread.

Unknown said...

the clif bars are THAT much better when microwaved for 20-25 seconds. i've been doing it for over a year now :)

Krista said...

I haven't met a Clif Bar I haven't liked! I just wish we got ALL the cool flavours here! :)

Crepes of Wrath said...

My co-workers and I are now on a mission to find those holiday Clif bars! Your root veggies look delicious, too!

Pound said...

ive never cooked with a parsnip! maybe now i will! looks delish!!

Stephanie @cookinfanatic said...

those gingerbread bars are gooooood. so ready for friday too, it's been a long week!

hbobier said...

Balsamic Root Vegetables sounds great! And I'm with you, I would have added a TON of dried cranberries. :)

Beth @ DiningAndDishing said...

Oh I MUST find these Clif Bars!! I'm a total Cliff Bar addict. Last holiday season I had no luck! Glad to hear your husband enjoyed them :).

Veggies, Cake and Cocktails said...

I haven't had a Cliff bar in forever! Actually I haven't been eating a lot of bars lately. The Pumpkin one sounds good.

I tried to make a root vegetable soup over the weekend and it didn't turn out very good at all. Next time I have the veggies around I will have to try out what you made!

Amanda said...

so jealous of the seasonal Clif bars. I love the pumpkin one!

Anonymous said...

I always adore your eats!!! Those veggies look amazing!

teresa said...

hi mandi! i feel your pain, i'm ready for friday to be here too! love the veggies, yum!

BroccoliHut said...

Yay for the return of seasonal Clif bars! I really enjoyed the Gingerbread one that I tried last year:)

Julie said...

thank the hubs for the great review! he sounds like the clif bar guru so if i ever need clif advice i'm a comin to him!

i love your consistent use of balsamic :) it's my fav in the worlddddd! what brand do you use?

Maria said...

Roasted veggies are the best! Love them!

NeverEatenACliffBar said...

yes. yes it is!!

xo xo,


Anonymous said...

Looks like I found my thanksgiving side dish. I was looking for a way to do a bunch of veggies but not mashed up with tons of butter and marshmellow:)

Natalie said...

oh man I WANT those veggies! what a great dish! those seasonal clif bars sounds pretty amazing too!