Cure for a case of the Mondays?

Sometimes surviving a Monday, especially one plagued by snowy traffic jams and a to-do list large enough to smother you, deserves a little treat–but after successfully conquering the gym and not so much as even thinking about a grande non-fat no foam latte from Starbucks, I thought it was only fitting to reward myself with some chocolate.

In good conscience, I decided to spruce up my sugary indulgence with my new favorite, the chia seed, and a fruit that I have admittedly received 3 times in my Boston Organics weekly box, and shied away from using each time–the pomegranate. So far my New Years resolution to conquer new ingredients is off to a good start–first the fiber-packed chia seed and now the beautifully bright pomegranate. After watching a few YouTube videos on how to tackle this fruit–I finally felt confident enough to proceed.

For those Martha Stewart and Ryan Seacrest fans out there, here’s a humorous how-to: How to Open a Pomegranate

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Chocolate Bark with Almonds, Pomegranate & Chia
1. Line a 9″x9″ glass baking dish or other shallow dish with wax paper

2. In a microwave-safe glass bowl, melt 2 cups of dark chocolate chips (I used the Ghiradelli dark chocolate melting wafers)–making sure to melt the chips in 20 seconds increments; stirring in between. You can also melt chocolate over the stover–I’ve used a medium saucepan with 3 inches of bowling water and a glass mixing bowl set on top–stirring constantly

3. Once melted, evenly spread the melted chocolate over the wax paper-prepared dish

4. Let your imagination run wild–I used sliced almonds, pomegranate and chia seeds — sprinkle toppings over melted chocolate.

Other ideas– pistachios, shredded unsweetened coconut flakes, sea salt, dried cranberries, and for those who are still hanging onto the holidays–there’s the ever-popular crushed candy canes

5. Place dish in refrigerator to set for a least 1 hour; for storage, continue to store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

Make sure not to waste any of the remaining chocolate–in order to polish off the last of the fruit from the organics delivery, we peeled a tangerine and dipped the ends in chocolate. Place them on a wax paper-lined plate to set up in the refrigerator alongside the bark for 1 hour. These made for a tasty afternoon snack and one that didn’t leave me regretting the hard work at the gym earlier that day–finding a tasty dessert that doesn’t contain a full stick of butter is challenging but not hopeless.

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I recently received Clean Eats, by Alejandro Junger (found here on Amazon: Clean Eats) and while this week’s simple indulgence doesn’t necessarily align with the book’s message- I’m eager to dive in and find more creative ways to spice up everything from dinner to desserts–more to come and if you’re not ready to take the $25 plunge on Amazon, there are several great Clean-inspired ideas on FoodGawker (Clean Eat Recipes

Up next–a book report on how the January no-spend challenge has been progressing and some helpful tips–many thanks to my friends for hosting no-spend-friendly events, such as last Saturday’s Patriots game pot luck

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