Friday, February 20, 2015

Asian Fusion Party Mix

I always get a little stressed when I see a recipe that calls for margarine, and especially when it calls for ¼ cup or more, because there often isn't a good way to leave it out, or make an adequate substitution. When reviewing the recipe for "Asian Fusion Party Mix" (page 4), I mulled over my options for replacing and/or omitting the margarine before finally settling on just leaving it out altogether. In this recipe, the margarine is melted to blend and fuse the seasonings, and coat the Party Mix (popcorn, breakfast cereal squares, cashews, pretzels, and wasabi peas) before baking the entire concoction in the oven. Because I opted not to use the margarine at all, the baking step became unnecessary, and much simplified the overall preparation. Granted, this alteration decidedly changed the intent of the recipe, but if you can get past the concept of a baked and oiled snack mix, this was quite enjoyable in its own right. The spices (garlic powder and seasoned salt) won't stick to the uncoated ingredients as well, but if you give the mix a little shake or stir before each serving, it helps to keep the flavors distributed. You can also spray Bragg's Aminos or soy sauce on the mixture before adding the spices to add a little extra flavor, and help the spices stick.

Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:

  • Select whole-grain, oil-free pretzels and breakfast cereal squares.
  • Select or prepare air-popped popcorn.
  • Use raw (or roasted without oil) cashews.
  • If possible, use oil free wasabi peas (may be hard to find!). Or, omit them altogether. 
  • Omit the margarine altogether. Use a little spray of Bragg's Aminos or soy sauce on the mixture before adding the spices to help them stick.

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