WIAW – fully baked [butternut, bars and pastries]

Wow, can I just say: WIAW?! It’s no secret what WIAW actually stands for. However, today it feels more like “Wait, it’s already Wednesday?!” to me. Time has flown by at lightning speed since last week. I won’t deny I enjoy seeing everybody’s latest culinary concoctions and get some meal inspiration. But I’ll admit there’s a slight pressure when looking through the photos I took since the last WIAW and feeling like there weren’t enough. Or if there are several then I might decide there aren’t enough good or interesting ones. Blogger problems?!  But good or bad, boring or interesting – as long as I keep showing some veggies I hope Jenn will approve. When it’s cold outside turning on the oven for deliciousness and additional warmth is totally necessary so here’s to a fully baked edition of What I ate Wednesday. Baked deliciousness in abundance.


Can we talk food obsessions for a bit? Ever since we had the Kale Pastry as a family dinner I’ve [re-]discovered the awesomeness of phyllo dough. Not to celebrate every tiny step on my path in recovery but this is another fear food overcome. I’d been eschewing any kind of pastry seeing it as unneccessary non-nutritious and not saturating calories. While I’d also argue the ‘not saturating’ label I can definitely say these are satisfying. There’s just something about flaky, crispy and slightly buttery pastry enasing whichever filling one chooses. This particular version was different from the original one but just as delicious. [Recipe coming soon.]

Phyllo pastry

Sometimes enjoying your veggies just a little too much can become a problem, too. Like when you can’t for the sake of it decide what to prepare for lunch on an unexpected day off from work with too much time on your hands. The choices, the choices … After countless nibbles on this and that, pulling my hair and the clock inexorably exceeding the ‘usual’ lunch time I finally settled on getting wild with some random cravings and loosely basing my dish on a recipe I’d seen at another blog at some time.


Luckily, fate was on my side and the dish turned out really good. It probably didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped for but – as usual – taste beats appearance. Think butternut squash layered with Mexican-spiced kidney bean mix and baked with a vegan cheese sauce. Firm yet tender butternut squash, spicy beans and mild cheesy sauce it was another winning composition of different textures and tastes. I might not be an actual cheese fiend but I’m not exaggerating when I say vegan cheesiness has become a very regular in my meals. [Recipe for this dish also coming soon – I’d appreciate your input in which one to post first because I clearly can’t decide.]

baking pan

Knowing I hadn’t seen any newness in the snack department for a while, either, I decided to kill two birds with one stone [does anybody know a more vegetarian-friendly way of saying that 🙂 ??]. Just like in other parts of life I’m a creature of habit when it comes to snacks: why change a good thing. However, I’ve also noticed I tend to use this as an ‘excuse’ to stray from my usual and challenge myself with new foods. Second was the fact that like when it comes to actually trying recipes from my Pinterest board there are just as many recipes I see on other blogs and never get around making. All change starts with the first step so here’s mine: Amanda’s soft & chewy oatmeal bars.

Amanda's_oatmeal bars

The above is what you end up with when you run out of chocolate chips [who does that?] and have to sub chocolate shavings. Because you need a quick add-in and chopping up a bar of chocolate would take too long. Nevertheless, the bars are a delicious snack and – being generally fond of them in baked goods or bread – I really liked to see flaxseed in the recipe. Obviously adding the desired chewiness but also a special texture and nutty taste that I enjoy a lot. Even as a child I’d secretly [or not so secretly?] pick the flaxseed from the crust of the fresh locally baked whole-wheat bread my mum bought. She still does and I still occasionally pick but I’ve obviously stopped the bad habit. Clearly ;). Some things never change.

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: My grandparents stopping by for a short visit.


What’s one of your recent food obsessions?

Are you a fan of snacks bars? What are your favourites [whether homemade or store-bought]?

30 thoughts on “WIAW – fully baked [butternut, bars and pastries]

  1. Lyric Andersen says:

    I find it funny you used to secretly pick the flax off the bread and eat it because I was the complete opposite! My mom always had to force feed us the crust because I couldn’t stand the nuttiness of it; but now.. I LOVE it! A recent food obsession has been smoothies and ice cream.. always ice cream. I love snack bars because they make it so easy on the go; I’ve been neglecting the whole “home-made” thing so lately I’ve been loving Luna Bars! However home-made will always be best 😀

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Removing crusts was not an option for me – they’re the best part! I remember friends bringing crustless sandwiches to school, though, and thinking it was odd. I’m glad you’ve joined the crusty side of food these days :).
      Ice cream is always awesome. Even in Winter – it’s all about warming up with a cup of tea afterwards. Do you have any current flavour preferences?

  2. lovenataliemarie says:

    I for one say your food pictures all look dee. lish. us.
    I can’t wait for the recipes to come!
    I need to start experimenting in the kitchen again. I too stick to the good ‘ol recipes I know.
    Sweet potato is my food obsession. No shame.
    Have an amazing day!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      There’s nothing wrong with sticking to true and trusted favourites as long as you enjoy them. Recipe experimenting is fun but I’d never force myself to switch up every single meal every day, either.
      Happy Wednesday!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      The first pastry recipe I posted was actually very loosely inspired by Spanakopita though I’ve never had the real one before. Why do you miss phyllo? I obviously understand why you’d miss it but isn’t it available where you live?

  3. Emily says:

    I’ve really been trying to experiment more in the kitchen this week and change up my recipes. Your blog is such an inspiration for me when it comes to trying new things- thank you!
    I’m definitely going to pick up some phyllo dough on my next grocery excursion because your dishes look unbelievable! I haven’t baked anything from scratch in…months? I can’t even remember the last time! I can’t wait for all the recipes. (:

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Could you be any sweeter?? Thank you, Emily. I actually don’t consider myself that creative in the kitchen either. Some days I find myself inspired, some not – not very predicable and you know how much I like planning 🙂 .
      Ooh, I hope you’ll try some phyllo recipes. Trust me, the dough alone is just so good.

  4. Ms.J says:

    That butternut dish sounds fabulous (hard-core butternut squash fan here!) please post the recipe soon 🙂 . One of my many recent food obsessions would be… cereal. I was off it in the winter but now I’m on a major kick! I am so lazy at making snack bars it’s pathetic – but Amanda’s have been tempting me for too long. I love the Trek and Nak’d bars but dang they’re hard on the pocket.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Cereal has been a recent rediscovery and favourite snack for me, too. Crunchy, sweet and easily grabbed at random.
      As much as I enjoy trying new lunch recipes I can be seriously lazy when it comes to preparing snacks, too. But trust me, the oatmeal bars hardly take any time to make. Cleaning up might be the most annoying part of the recipe 😉 .

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Not bad but if you have the option of chocolate shavings and chips go with the latter. The shavings melted and weren’t all that noticable anymore after baking. Maybe it would have also helped if I hadn’t run low on chocolate shavings, too – I guess that’s what happens if you keep snacking on those throughout the day?!

  5. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    Considering that I just whipped up a third batch of those bars a few days ago, I think it’s safe to say that’s definitely my current foodie obsession… I’m glad you enjoyed them too 😀 And I seriously think something is up with the time — I actually started my WIAW post in a similar way because I could’ve -sworn- it was just the weekend… Ahh well… that much closer to summer 😀

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      that much closer to summer 😀

      <- I like the way you think! If we're looking at it that way: bring on those weeks flying by 🙂 .
      Maybe it's just me but are the oatmeal bars improving by the day? I liked them even better after a night in the fridge. No surprise you keep making batch after batch.

  6. Serena Marie RD says:

    What a beautiful blog!

    I am always shocked when people complain to me that its too hard to eat several servings of veggies daily! I have the same problem as you, I can’t decide which variety to choose! There are so many & they’re all SO delicious!

    I vote posting the phyllo dough recipe first 🙂 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you for the compliment, Serena!
      It amazes me when I hear some other people saying they could never eat the recommended servings a day, too. Especially when they add the same was true for fruit – I could never live without it 🙂 . But I’m not judging others because it’s not like I wasn’t picky as a child, either, which is basically the same, I guess.

  7. Ashley @MilesonOats says:

    My recent food obsession is roasted veggies (I MUST have a huge plate every night with my dinner) and low carb grilled cheese sandwiches 🙂 All of your food looks so delicious! I enjoy snack bars but try to make them homemade to avoid all the weird ingredients and excess sugars.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Right?! It’s ridiculous to see some snack bars’ ingredient lists once you know how easy it is to prepare your own. I once looked up one of the granola bars we ate during my childhood and they had more than 20 (!) ingredients – about a third of them being some form of sugar 😯 . Not to say sugar was all bad but that just seems excessive for a snack promoted as ‘balanced’.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      The cheese sauce I prepared actually doesn’t use any ‘cheese’ at all but nutritional yeast and yes, all of these vegan dishes are non-dairy 🙂 . If you’re looking into vegan cheese, though, give Daiya a try. Both the cheddar and pepperjack are great.

  8. Julie says:

    For awhile, I couldn’t get enough salami and cheese. For a long time before that, I couldn’t put down the peanut butter. Right now, I love coconut water and chocolate covered raisins!

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