Dessert for Lunch

I was able to enjoy the warm sunny morning by going for a walk with my neighbor-who also happens to be a college friend from Minnesota- and our dogs. After our walk, I was surveying the progress of her garden and saw that her rhubarb was growing well. I asked if I could take some home and she told me to cut it all, she didn’t like it. I cut several stalks, saying I’d be back for more later.

Once I was home and cleaned up, I turned to my cookbooks to find a strawberry-rhubarb recipe.

I quickly learned that it helps if you know how to spell rhubarb when you go to search for a recipe.  Browsing through my two all purpose cookbooks, I was sure there was a recipe for rhubarb. Defeated I turned to the internet and my favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, typed in “rubarb” and realized I’d been looking under the wrong spelling.  Smitten Kitchen’s  “Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Improved” appeared but I was deterred when it called for tapioca. This is not an ingredient I keep as a stand by in my kitchen.

Now that I knew how to spell rhubarb, I went back to my Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook and found a recipe for Rhubarb Crisp. I had been craving pie, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through the hassle of a pie crust. This Rodale recipe would be perfect.

I adjusted the recipe to fit what I had on hand, which turned out was not enough rhubarb, but plenty of strawberries. Remi sat on our back step and watched me work in the kitchen the whole time.

The wonderful aroma of something sweet and tasty baking made my stomach rumble for it’s tasty, though slightly inappropriate, lunch. (This was also great warmed up on top of oatmeal the next morning.) I was certainly happy with my baking choice and I know I will have to go back to my neighbor’s soon and cut more rhubarb. Perhaps next time I will try the Smitten Kitchen Rhubarb Pie.

Rhubarb-Berry Crisp, adapted from The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook

Filling:
2 cups  rhubarb, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 berry fruit spread ( I used boysenberry because that’s what I had)
1/4 cup brown sugar (most recipes call for brown sugar to be packed, I always try to reduce the amount of sugar in my baking so I didn’t pack my sugar)
1/8 teaspoon allspice

• Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour into 9in. x 9in.  baking dish.

Topping:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (half a stick) Smart Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup brown sugar (unpacked)

1/4 teaspoon salt

• Combine all ingredients into food processor and pulse until well combined. If you don’t have a food processor you could use a pastry blender or the 2 knife scissor method.

• Cover the fruit with the oat mixture and place in oven.
• The recipe states to bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees F, or until the topping is crisp and brown and the fruit is bubbling. I baked this for 38 minutes in a convection oven (at high altitude) at 350 degrees F.

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