Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Most Delicious Cookie Ever

Photo Credit: Whole Foods Market
Cookies—I happen to know a lot about cookies. Although prone to hyperbole, I can truthfully say I've eaten thousands of them. Maybe millions. Hundreds in one sitting. My love for cookies runs deep, beyond taste, wafting over all my senses as I savor the cookies' aroma, appreciate its beauty and the sensual stickiness of its soft, luxurious dough.

Further evidence of my devotion: I own two T-shirts featuring Cookie Monster.

So, when I say this recipe creates the BEST cookies ever, believe me.

As far as cookies go, these are healthy, unless you consume quantities. The batter freezes well and tastes delish raw. And since the batter is egg-free, it's actually safe to eat unbaked.

Parents will love these easy-to-make snacks which contain plant protein, healthy fats and no refined sugar. As  a healthy alternative to packaged sweets, they also save money.

For travelers, these goodies pack and journey well, and can replace a meal since the balance of protein, healthy fats and unrefined carbs boosts energy while maintaining healthy hormone levels. Far superior to packaged meal bars and way tastier than granola, be sure to pack these babies for flights, trekking and ski trips. 

Trust me, you will love these cookies.

Chloe's Cookies

1 cup almonds
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
Cinnamon, to taste
Nutmeg, to taste
Apple butter,  apricot or other jam, or almond butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil cookie sheets. Grind almonds in food processor or blender. Grind 1 cup of rolled oats. Mix almonds, ground oats and oat flour and spices. Add maple syrup and canola oil. Make balls of dough. Press center with thumb. Add dollop of apple or almond butter or jam to thumbprint. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown. Check at 15 minutes to avoid over baking. Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Junior Mints for the Movies and More

This recipe, found on the Wayfaring Teacher blog, contains rice syrup instead of refined sugar, making it a healthier treat:

1/2 c of dessicated coconut flakes
1/4-1/2 c almond flour (start with 1/4 cup)
3-4 tbsp brown rice syrup ( make sure it’s gluten-free if you’re sensitive.  Some brown rice syrup is fermented using barley, which contains gluten.)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 bar of organic vegan dark chocolate. Wayfaring Teacher uses Endangered Species bar shown here, but 80%.
Line a dish with tin foil.
1. Place the coconut flakes in the food processor and let it run just until the coconut flakes start to release oil. Ideally you would make coconut butter and use it.
2. Place the coconut mixture/butter (whatever came out of the food processor) into a medium size bowl and add the almond flour. Mix well with a spatula.
3. Add the extract and mix. Add the syrup and mix. If you find the mixture too dry, add more brown rice syrup. It is not too sweet, so the flavor won’t be affected too much. Alternatively you can add more almond flour if the mixture is too wet.
4. Add the oil and mix well.
5. Form dough balls of the size you want your candy to be. I made balls of about 2 cm in diameter. Place them on a dish covered in tin foil. When all the balls are formed, place the dish in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate.
6. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler and take it off the heat.
7. Take the balls out of the freezer and dip each one in the chocolate, swirl with a spoon and take out. Place on tin foil. Repeat until all balls are covered in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
Source: Maria, Wayfaring Teacher, a fantastic vegan recipe/cooking blog by a gorgeous traveler currently living in South Korea.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @TheVeganNomad

Friday, October 14, 2011

Delicious Dip, Sumptuous Spread

Photo Credit: LAURA WRIGHT
From food blogger, Laura Wright, this dip rates right up there with hummus and guacamole for its deliciousness and versatility.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tempeh Picatta by Vegan Chef Ayinde Howell

PHOTO: KATE ECHLE for One Green Planet
Tempeh's protein profile rivals that of meat. Made with fermented soy beans, a process that creates a true superfood, tempeh has a slightly nutty taste and is amazingly versatile. This recipe from Vegan Chef Ayinde Howell elevates tempeh to gourmet status. Yummy!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Butternut Squash (medium), peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Fresh Filtered Water
In a medium saucepan, add olive oil and onion and sauté until soft. Add ginger and garlic and mix. Add butternut squash and just enough water to the pot to cover squash. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until butternut squash is soft. Add mixture to blender or use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nicole's Aubergine Dream

Dip? Entree? Side dish? This yummy meal, courtesy of my Scranton Ashtanga yoga instructor, Nicole Scavo-Powell, is packed with protein and works for lunch or dinner, casual or elegant dining, appetizer or main course. You can turn it into a salad, a pita sandwich or even a burrito. It's to die for delicious and, of course, healthy.

1 large eggplant
12 ounces lentils, cooked 
1 clove (or 2, if you prefer), pressed or minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 ounces olive oil
turmeric, cumin and red curry powder, to taste

Pierce the eggplant and char-bake it at 400 degrees until soft and tender. Peel off all skin and mash or puree. Put to side. Pan saute garlic, onion, bell peppers and zucchini. Place in large bowl. Add eggplant, lentils and seasonings.

Servings: 2-ish

For dip: Puree all ingredients together.
For entree: Spoon over quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat.
Or use as filler for whole grain pita or burrito.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lentil Quinoa Salad

I've been preparing all of my own meals, virtually every single day, even while traveling, for the past two years. Every restaurant in Ubud, Bali, in fact, knew me as the goofy woman who brought her own food. I've whittled what started out as hours of preparation, cooking and portioning several times a week to throwing some yummy super-foods together in a few minutes a day.

The key timesaver, I discovered, is Beluga lentils. Vegetarian dishes are easier to prepare than non-vegetarian, and lentils are the easiest of all. Unlike beans, lentils don't need to be soaked prior to cooking. Simply rinse the lentils, add 2 parts water to 1 part lentils, simmer for about 15 minutes (until tender, but not mushy). Drain any excess water and season with turmeric, garlic powder, scallions and salt. Or whatever seasonings you prefer. I generally cook 2 cups of lentils at a time, which make about 5 meals.

Lentils are high in protein, but I like to eat foods that are super high in protein. Protein helps me stay sated longer. One of the best sources of protein I know is quinoa, a magical Peruvian grain that goes with everything. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. High in calcium and fiber, quinoa is a complete protein with an amino acid profile comparable to non-vegetarian protein sources.

Preparing quinoa is a snap. Simply rinse it in a fine strainer, add 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the grains look opaque, and drain excess water. You can add just about any seasoning or sauce you please, substituting quinoa for pasta and other processed grains. Aside from being packed with powerful nutrition, quinoa is gluten-free and readily available in all health food stores and many conventional supermarkets.

A meal needs to include vegetables—and lots of them—to qualify as healthy, in my mind. In the winter I roast butternut and acorn squashes, and make a small side salad. But during the warmer months, I stick with raw veggies. Since it's still warm where I am, here's my current favorite lunchtime meal:

Lentil Salad
6 oz. cooked Beluga lentils
4 oz. cooked quinoa
16 oz. raw veggies—spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, avocado, cucumber, etc.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic or Apple Cider vinegar

Toss together and enjoy! Finish off with an apple, pear or peach.