Quinoa oat squares

These are sweet, healthy and chock full of nutrients.

This recipe is based on Equinox Nutrition Pillar One — Focus on eating nutrient dense foods rather than counting calories —and was created by the culinary minds at the Tasting Table Test Kitchen.

Warm Quinoa-Oat Squares with Date Sugar
Serves 8

Nonstick baking spray
½ c. red quinoa, rinsed under cold water
½ c. bulgur wheat
1½ c. rice milk, plus more, warmed, for serving
1½ c. water
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground ginger
8 dates, pitted
¼ c. plus 2 tablespoons date sugar (or ¼ c. granulated sugar)
½ c. walnut halves
2 ripe pears (such as Bartlett or Anjou)--halved, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line the baking pan with a long sheet of parchment paper, letting the sides of the paper hang loosely over the pan edges to create a sling. Lightly coat the parchment with the nonstick spray.

2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the quinoa, bulgur, rice milk, water and salt. Stir to combine then bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the quinoa has uncoiled and the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the oats, vanilla extract and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the dates and date sugar until the mixture is crumbly, about three 3-second pulses. Transfer the date mixture to a bowl and add the walnuts to the food processor. Pulse until the walnuts are coarsely ground, about three 1-second pulses. Stir the walnuts and the date-sugar mixture into the oat mixture and stir to combine.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula and bake until the top is lightly browned and the bars are set but still soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes.

5. To serve, carefully pull up the sides of the sling to lift and transfer the quinoa-oat square to a cutting board. Slice the bars into 8 rectangles and serve in bowls with warm rice milk and chopped pears.