Welcome to the inside of my brain box: Part 1. Useless math facts

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Mo’ cookies! Because cookies.

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Also because imminent GRE equals some amount of stress-baking. Or maybe a lot of stress-cooking. Or maybe both… not that I’m admitting to anything here. Definitely not.

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Basically I just want to take this stupid thing and be done. Like, now. Not in five days but NOW so it can get out of my head and I can have my brain space back. Ommm. Five more days. Ommm….

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I’m to that lovely point where your brain simply cannot take in any more information, no matter how hard you study and try to cram it in there. So I did what I do best and made soup and cookies and vegan lentil enchiladas and went to yoga and jazzercise and and took a study break. And now I’m blogging. Because there is no more information that wants to go into my brain. I will be SUCH a happy camper this coming Monday at five pm when I land on College Ave. and face plant into a Zachary’s pizza [all my East Bay peeps, you know why this is such a fantastic idea]. Ahhhh. Post GRE pizza nirvana.

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But anyway. Until then I am trapped in my head with useless math facts. So cookies. Because the math involved in making 3/4 of a recipe of cookies is WAY more fun than weighted averages. And “real life” (ha) word problems. Also lovely, that this batch makes roughly 19 cookies, which is the exact number that I’m really good at cramming onto a cookie sheet. Why, you ask? I did this because a) I’m lazy and b) I had to study so I could only procrastinate by cookie baking for so long. Also I apparently developed an aversion to using more than one cookie sheet when I was living in Salem with Kira and we only had one, and rotating batches was too annoying. So maybe that’s where this comes from?! Ingrained behavior. And laziness. And studying. Let’s not forget that…

The wise mistress of the otherworldly cat realm who hangs around me says… ‘Sit in your favorite blanket and eat cookies and I will sit on you. Because it’s actually my blanket and you are actually my human’. And then she smiles at me, like the darling cute thing that she is:

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And I probably take her advice and eat cookies with her on my lap. Because life and studying are more more appealing when there are cookies and smiling cats.

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 Almond Butter Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free [date sweetened!], and vegan! These cookies are sweetened with dates and molasses—both nutrient-dense natural sweeteners. They’re full of healthy fats from the almond butter, and good fiber from coconut flour. Go ahead and indulge with glee! Yield: 19.

  • 1 c roasted, unsalted almond butter
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed+6 tbsp water [2 flax eggs]
  • 3/4 c pitted dates, packed [soaked if needed]
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 c coconut flour [sifted if lumpy]
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • scant 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • a twist or two of fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

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In the bowl of a food processor, process soaked dates with a bit of their soaking water (only about a tbsp or two) until a mostly smooth, slightly chunky paste forms. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp flax eggs and 6 tbsp water; let sit aside to gel.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet (or two if you’re not like me) with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together almond butter, molasses, gelled flax egg, date paste, vanilla, and grated ginger until smooth and incorporated. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, sea salt, and pepper. Add dry into wet, toss in chocolate chips with reckless abandon, and stir until the dough is combined and all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet (it’s sticky, so prepare to eat leftover sticky on your person). Cram all 19 cookies onto a sheet if you’re feeling adventurous. Pop them into the oven for at least 12 minutes—they will start to form a chewy crust on the outside, but we need the inside to be NOT mushy. I checked mine at 12, then baked them for another 4 minutes, checking at the two minute mark. They should be not too squishy on the top, with just a little give and a chewy crust on the outside.

Let them cool on the cookie sheet before removing them to a cooling rack—they’re soft when they’re warm! Let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for chewy-fudgy cookies, or on the counter in an airtight container for soft cookies.

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Squash Wrestling Champ

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You don’t even want to know my struggles yesterday involving a kabocha squash.

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Well…

Maybe you do. They’re kind of funny.

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Let me just preface this with a simple suggestion. Don’t ever ever ever go to jazzercise on circuit day and then expect to be able to wrestle open a kabocha squash for roasting purposes an hour later. Just don’t. It will end badly, with the knife stuck in the squash and your arms aching. Also that weird spot where your arm meets your body?? You know, not your armpit but in front of it?? Yeah. That is impossibly sore too, which means picking up squashes and putting them in the oven (as well as taking the heavy bottom of the food processor down from the ridiculous high place that it’s stored in), not to mention cutting them open, rather difficult. I FINALLY got that squash cut in half (a little unevenly but don’t you judge me) after quite the struggle. We’re talking two hands on the knife, full body weight bearing down on the stupid thing trying to make things happen. Safely, naturally. Those squash don’t give up easily, let me tell you…

I think I might actually be sore-er today due to squash wrestling yesterday. For reals.

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Also I made so many things yesterday!! Day off + too much studying+ in between forcing myself to study + fall + pumpkin = bopping around in the kitchen all day! Which I love. Hello, kale chips out of the dehydrator, roasted and curried kabocha squash soup, and gluten free, vegan, date sweetened pumpkin cookies!!

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Aside from all that, I have some other pretty pictures of stuff [food. obvs]:

Darling skillet brownie for two! Paleo, gluten free, vegan. From this:

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To this!! Oops.

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And cranberries! Hi Fall, I love you. IMG_1336

This soup is delicious. And I love kabocha squash (minus the difficulties of getting them open) for their bright orange color and sweet flavor. I actually like them better than butternut—there’s something about the flavor of the kabochas that is richer, or more caramelized? Anyway. They’re easy to roast—toss them in the oven (halved) on a lightly greased baking sheet for about 45 minutes, until they can be pierced with a  fork easily. Take them out, flip them over and let them cool off… then scoop all that pureed goodness out and toss it in some soup. Or something. Like this:

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Roasted and Curried Kabocha Squash Soup

Yield: a vat. I used this recipe from My Darling Vegan, but obviously used a roasted kabocha squash instead of pumpkin. I reduced the garlic to 1 clove but went heavy handed on the cumin and curry powder, and I blended in all of the cashew creme instead of saving some for topping. Delicious all around, I wouldn’t change a thing!

And then obviously you need some beta carotene to go with your beta carotene… and some cookies to follow up that soup sooooo…..

THESE happened. Obviously.

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Date Sweetened Pumpkin Cookies

Vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free! These cookies are soft, but not cakey. They’re oaty, pumpkiny and spicy—everything you want in a fall cookie. I made 3/4 of the recipe (don’t even ask) for a yield of 22. Recipe adapted from Tasty Yummies, here! They do tend to soften as they sit, so I like to store mine in the fridge in an airtight container.

  • 1 c pitted dates, soaked in near-boiling water for at least 10 minutes
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed+ 3 tbsp water)
  • 1.5 c almond flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 c avocado oil
  • scant 1 c pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

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Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.

In a food processor, make date paste out of your soaking dates. Chuck em all in there with a little bit of water and whizz whizz whizz until it’s mostly smooth. This isn’t an exact science and I love chunks of dates in my cookies so I don’t go crazy trying to get it to smooth out. Set aside. Make your flax egg by combining flax and water in a small bowl, and set that aside as well.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a slightly smaller bowl, whisk together oil, pumpkin, vanilla and gelled flax egg. Stir wet into dry, add in oats and chocolate chips, and stir until combined. Drop by large tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, flattening them slightly and rounding the edges if you like perfect looking cookies (I usually opt for the rustic variety). Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and slightly firm. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for at least 3-4 minutes before moving them (they’re soft, be careful!). Let cool completely on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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I’ll have all the fall things, puhleez

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I feel a little neglectful of my bloglet but uggghh I’ve been buried under endless math flashcards and GRE study. Eeew ew ew. My free time from now until November 10th is non existent and has been replaced by studying math that I haven’t needed to know since high school. No big deal, I’ll just re-learn how to FOIL because that is SO USEFUL. Not.

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But. That is off my chest now and I can think about all the fun things happening right now like boots and scarves and FALL and pumpkin and ginger and baking and cold, snappy air!! AND grilled cheese festivals with E. WITH UNLIMITED GRILLED CHEESE. We were very, very happy. Obviously.

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But actually I love fall because baking becomes legit again. Who wants to turn the oven on when it’s hot in the summer?! I make the sacrifice but really I hate it. It’s much more fun when it’s chilly out and I get to heat up the kitchen while I putter around. Putter putter putter. What a great word.

Even Jessie gets in on the fall sunbathing. The sun feels sooo much better when it’s brisk out.

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Side note: this was my breakfast. Sometimes I amaze even myself.

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And all I want is ginger. And pumpkin. And fall-spiced things. So I made two kinds of pumpkin bread in one week.

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And then I made these: Almond Butter ginger cookies that were amaaaazing… they got eaten pretty much too fast to take decent pictures.

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And then not even a week later I made these: Molasses Ginger Cookies [Chewy, dense, and spicy. Everything a fall cookie should be]

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Can someone save me from myself, please??

But actually don’t. Just hang around so I can feed you things and make more things. Okay? Okay.

Molasses Ginger Cookies

Makes a nice small batch of about 9 cookies. Vegan, gluten and grain free, refined sugar free, and full of healthy fats and fall spices. The recipe is only slightly adapted from the Roasted Root, here! Also it probably only took me a max of 10 minutes to have these in the oven and the dishes washed. And then they only bake for about 8 minutes so really, there is nooo excuse not to make them!

  • 1.25 c almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 heaping tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bigish bowl, whisk together almond meal, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and freshly grated ginger. Stir in molasses, vanilla, and melted coconut oil. Roll into a roughly ball-like shape and drop by the tablespoonful onto the cookie sheet, flattening the cookies slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. The tops will still feel a teeny bit soft, so let them cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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Green cookies. Because, obviously.

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Guess WHAT?!

I made cookies. And they’re GREEN!! Muahahah. Like you’re even a tiny bit surprised by this? Nope, I didn’t think so.

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But really. I’m studying for the GRE because I have to and it’s SUPER lame (because let’s be honest, who actually uses the math garbage that they put on there after high school?! That’s right, NO ONE. Remind me again why I have to re-learn quadratics and functions and wait, these are of no use in my everyday life, moving on). So to make my studying that much less icky I made myself green cookies!! Green things always make me feel better.

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I know this is horribly overexposed but I think it’s funny because the cookie looks like it’s levitating…. ooOOOooooOOOOoOooOo

Besides, these are really aggressively green. Artificial food coloring crap can take a backseat because this is soooo much more fun. Wouldn’t you rather the color in your food come from natural fun reactions?! This is what happens when baking soda/powder and the chlorophyll from sunflower seeds have a party in your cookies. When they cool, they turn green!! I like to refrigerate them to speed this along (besides I’m weird and I also like cold cookies)… and if you can refrain from eating them all at once (good luck), they get even greener the next day [the photos in this blog show them in varying states of green-ness… the ones on the blue plate are the next day after spending all night in the fridge].

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In addition to making green cookies, I did a number of other fun and delicious things…

bread at the beach with the boy… what more do you want?
bread at the beach with the boy… what more do you want?

Tea sandwiches. Because HIGH TEA!!! Crumpets!! And scones!! And no crusts!!

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And also creamy coconut buckwheat with turmeric-curry-cinnamon roasted chickpeas. Crappy photos but soooo delicious. I accidentally permanently stained a cookie sheet yellow, thanks turmeric.

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And also this. Frozen pb-banana ‘ice cream’ with a ridiculously good walnut-date-cinnamon-oat crumble [1/2 c raw walnuts, 1/2 c pitted dates, 2 tbsp almond butter+ pinch of sea salt+1/2 c rolled oats+1/2 tsp cinnamon+1 tsp vanilla spun through a food processor]. I couldn’t stop eating it, mildly problematic except not because delicious.

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Oh. One more thing. Are variables delicious? Last I checked, no. These cookies on the other hand? Absolutely yes.

See? Real food fun. Imminently more useful than bothersome little equations and silly variables.

I would much rather have green cookies than remember how to correctly diagram a factor tree, thanks.

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Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies

Grain free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free. Paleo? Maybs? GREEN! Full of healthy fats and good fiber. I made a half batch and ended up with seven cookies because I mistakenly thought the 1/3 c was a 1/4 c measuring cup…oops. I wasn’t sorry, it meant I got an extra cookie out of the bunch. I’ll include the full recipe here, for a yield of an even dozen. Recipe lightly adapted from Against All Grain, here!

  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 c unsweetened sunbutter (mine is roasted, unsalted)
  •  6 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine flax and water and set aside to gel. If your dates aren’t super squishy and soft, soak them in hot/near boiling water for a few minutes—I usually do this anyway so my food processor doesn’t complain as much. In your food processor, combine sun butter, dates, and applesauce and pulse until smooth. Add in vanilla, vinegar, and flax egg, and process until combined (I left a few chunks of date in mine, but it’s up to you). Add in coconut, coconut flour, cinnamon, and baking soda, processing until everything is fully combined. Take out the blade and stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet, smoothing the edges with your fingers if you want (though I kind of like the craggy rustic look). Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for a few, then remove to a rack to cool further. They’ll start turning green once they start cooling, but they get to be a deeper green after about 2 hours. The next day they’re even better! Store in an airtight container in the fridge (I like plastic for these, glass makes them soft).

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Just because. Happy Friday!

 

Things.

IMG_6518Ugh sorry sorry sorry I know it’s been forever since we’ve had an invisible internet friend chat… but I’m back now with random things so you can rest easy. I know, you suuuuper missed me. Or something.

IMG_6524This is pretty much going to be one of those photo dump posts… I’ve made and eaten a lot in the last weekish and am feeling a little braindead. Back with a normal recipe post shortly…

Firstly this.

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Because…. just because. I just think it’s way too good not to share. Agreed?

Just do me a favor and don’t take this out of context… no, my family does not lollop around dressed in early Californiana-esque garments… nor do we secretly own a saloon/tavern/gambling/dancing establishment. Just no. However, we did decide we needed a new family portrait. So that happened.

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And then there was Father’s Day! Or rather, Father’s Day happened before all of the vintage photograph shenanigans but it’s family and therefore relatable so MOVING ON. Vati requested something chocolate and spicy, so I made him these!

IMG_6517Salted chocolate, cayenne and ginger ice cream sammies!!

The recipe is from The Artful Desperado, here, and I made a few changes:

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose (obvi)
  • 1/2 c avocado oil instead of canola
  • 3/4 c extra dark chocolate chips+some chunks from a 70% bar
  • 1 c brown sugar+ 1/2 c white***
  • baked for 13 minutes, yield 15 cookies+ one little baby one

***As you know, I pretty much never ever make things with refined sugar any more (some of the older recipes on the blog do though)… but as Vati specifically requested something sugary and decadent, there you go. It was Father’s Day, after all, and what he says goes.

He looooved them. They are dark and spicy and PERFECT with some good quality vanilla ice cream smashed in the middle. I only caution you if you’re not a fan of spicy things, as these are not particularly for the faint of heart. Especially if you don’t like spicy desserts. If you do, however, I can’t really recommend these enough.

They got annihilated.

IMG_0650Dinner was this spectacular steelhead with potatoes and bacon and red wine sauce. Gastro heaven, thank you Farallon.

IMG_0644Reason number one why I love summer [actually might be one of the only reasons since I hate being hot so much, but regardless]:

SO. MUCH. FRUIT. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

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IMG_0683Oh oh oh!! One last random. HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE [quite possibly the best ice cream ever] opened a shop in the Ferry Building, which means it’s only a short hop away on the Oakland-SF ferry. Winninggggggg. E and I literally ate our way into an ice cream coma last week. Secret Breakfast [bourbon cornflake]+banana beach blanket [with peanuts!!!]+bourbon caramel for me; sea salted chocolate+vanilla honey+bourbon caramel+frosted almonds for him. All hail the ice cream mecca!

IMG_0660And now  I need a nap.

 

“Adult” decisions and more cookies.

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You know what’s fun about being an “adult” [I use this term loosely..] and spending all day at the beach and it being summer+hot?

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Ice cream becomes a perfectly acceptable dinner.

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Trust me. Try it. Go to the beach first though, that makes all the difference.

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Barring that, once your kitchen isn’t a thousand degrees, make cookies! I mean really though… why on earth would I ever want to turn my oven on when it’s already stupid hot at 9 am. Good thing I put on dirtyish clothes to go to Jazzercise this morning because um HELLO SWEATING. So baking is clearly not an option today because I did enough sweating this morning and I really don’t feel the need to subject myself to inferno blasts from the open oven. No thanks. I mean, I suppose I could make some dashboard cookies but I don’t really relish the idea of walking outside and dealing with my oven hot car.

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Also ps. Being an adult is totally relative. I might look like one on the outside… but ha. Don’t be fooled. Sprinkles are the bomb. I will never ever in eleventh billion lifetimes grow out of rainbow sprinks. Or jumping for silly photos. I like to have competitions with myself to see how airborne I can get.

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I also apparently eat everything out of jars.

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But anyway. Enough whining about how hot it is and how I’m really a five year old inside my adultish skin suit. Let’s talk cookies, mmk?

These little guys come together ridiculously fast, which is how cookies should be in my book. They’re super fudgy and chocolatey, with just a little hint of banana flavor. I actually made them awhile ago, but I want them again. NOW. It is really unfortunate that there are no bananas to be had around here… how did THAT happen??

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Grain Free Chocolate Banana Cookies

These are straight up delicious. Fudgy and only a little banana-y, and lightish on account of the coconut flour. Don’t skimp on good dark chocolate for the chippies, that makes all the difference. Paleo, gluten free, grain free, and refined sugar free! Recipe only slightly adapted from Home to Heather, here! Yield: 10 good sized cookies.

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  • 1/3 c coconut flour (sifted if it’s super lumpy)
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 c raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. In a smaller bowl, mash banana, then toss in eggs, honey, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously to combine. Pour wet into dry, add in chocolate chips, and stir until just combined. Drop batter by roundish balls onto the prepared cookie sheet, flattening them slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes (mine were perfect at 13). Let  cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Store any leftovers (ha) in the fridge.

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Cookies n’stuff.

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Excuses? No, not really.

I don’t have much to say for myself.

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Except that it’s FRIDAY which means…

I missed cookie Thursday, so obviously we need to have cookie Friday. Duh.

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Besides that, I am officially UN spotty AND I have tonsillitis no longer. What what! Clearly cookies are a necessary celebration. Besides that, I riffed on the lentil cookies again and these were too unusual and good not to share. I got the idea since I wanted to figure out another gluten free cookie based on lentils that could be chocolate free for my choco-free friends (Jill, these are for you!).

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I promise to do something savory or NOT a cookie some point soon. I mean, ideally my next post but my food life is unpredictable so no guarantees.

In other random food news (such is my life: a string of food-events. Breakfast! Snack! Lunch! Snack! Dinner! Snack!), Mutti had a birthday last week, which meant deliciousness at Boulevard and high tea. Which also meant a food coma ensued. Sooo worth it. Apparenlty there are also going to be a thousand pictures in this post, sorry I’m not sorry I reeeeealllyyy like photography (or whatever it is that I do)!!

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Truth:

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Additionally, did you know that eggs+sautéed mushrooms and spinach+chopped walnuts+chopped dates+a small sprinkle of parmesan is unaccountably delicious? Because it is. Promise. Hey!! This is savory. Mostly… Do I get any points for that??

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But anyway. Cookies. The reason we’re here in the first place. Happy allergen free cookie Friday! Proof that everyone can (and should) enjoy a cookie (or five) :)

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Peanut Butter Lentil Cookies

Lightly sweet, as I prefer my ‘snacking’ cookies (as opposed to full on indulgent dessert). Full of protein and fiber, as well as a host of other minerals and nutrients and such (phosphorus, manganese, Vit B6), they’re also gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free. I’ll snap to that. Recipe modified from the chocolate-chocolate chip lentil version from last week, here. Yield: 15 cookies (maybe would have been 16 if I could have stopped eating the dough, oops).

  • 1.5 c green lentils, cooked
  • 1/3 c organic salted peanut butter (mine was chunky)
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips**
  • 1/8 c raw cocoa nibs**

**replace with carob for chocolate-free cookie fabulousness!

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If needed, precook your lentils (1/2 c dry=1.5 c cooked).

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

These are beyond easy (thank goodness for that because excuse me but who wants to make complicated cookies when they want cookies NOW?! Yes, that’s what I thought): Toss cooked lentils into the food processor, and process until mostly smooth. Add in peanut butter, oats, maple, vanilla, coconut, and baking powder, and pulse until it’s all combined into a big, deliciously thick mess. Stir in chocolate chips and cocoa nibs (I just take out the blade and use the bowl of the food processor). Drop by the tablespoon-sized ball onto the prepared cookie sheet, and bake 12  minutes until the tops are just firm. Let cool for a few, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Or just devour them immediately; why bother taking up fridge space for storage?!

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Tonsillitis=antibiotics=spottiness. Excuse me WHAT?!

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Cookies.

For when you start with tonsillitis and then end up with an allergic reaction to amoxicillin, AFTER the entire course is done.

I mean, COME ON.

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Dear body: Okay. I get it. You are no longer tolerant of things ending in ‘cillin’, and given that I’m not crazy about antibiotics anyway (unless its a dire situation, ie. can’t see tonsils on account of too much gunk), I promise promise not to take any more of the ‘cillin’ family. Next time please can we just use our words and you can TELL me that you don’t like something, rather than SHOWING me how much you hate it with a massive out break of red spots? Okay thanks. Love, soul residing in currently very spotty environs.

Because I really really really hate being spotty. Cookies might not even assuage how much crap this is.

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Now I’ve had several bendadryl and am somewhat struggling to complete my sentences. Because… I really wanted to spend my weekend looking like a red and white spotted cheetah. NOT.

Le sigh.

Since my friends all know me so well, they naturally suggested cookies. So I made myself cookies because that’s apparently what you do when your bipedally locomoting meat vehicle decides to throw a massive fit and make you unfit for viewing by other humans.

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But true to form, of course I made weird cookies. I mean, I’m stuck at home being spotty so why not get weird?! Benadryl makes me weird anyway so let’s just get weirder, right?! Except weird is my normal because a) you already know I put lentils in everything and b) I’ve already subjected you to green flecks in my cookies so this is really just riffing on an old theme…. of my habit of putting green stuff where it probably doesn’t belong. Too bad. I’m spotty and I like it and therefore … obviously it belongs there. I think my life is complete now: I have successfully put lentils and power greens into a cookie and made them taste good. WHAT.

On the plus side, my tonsils look normal now!

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Powerhouse Cookies

Fudgy, chocolatey, and… full of greens?! Gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free. High in protein, low in sugar. Not too sweet. So freaking easy since all you really get dirty is your food processor and a spoon. Yield: I got 19 cookies, on the smaller side (but not too small). Recipe adapted from Homemade Hearts, here!

  • 1.5 c black lentils, cooked
  • 1 c mixed power greens (mine was kale, chard, and spinach)
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c unsalted almond butter
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips + 1/8 c raw cocoa nibs

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If needed, precook your lentils (1/2 c dry + 1 c water until soft).

Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper (I used one. lazy.). Preheat the oven to 350.

In a food processor, whizz lentils and greens until uniformly blended (though there should still be a bit of texture to it). Toss in oats, almond butter, maple, vanilla, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and blend to combine, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed. Remove blade, and stir in chocolate chips and cocoa nibs. Drop by the rounded tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets, and bake for 13 minutes, until the top is just slightly firm. Remove and let cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge!

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There are green flecks in my cookies. I mean, obviously.

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Cookies.

Shocked? No. Me neither.

You’re not weirded out by the green flecks at all though, riiiight?! It’s me. Of COURSE there are green flecks in  my cookies. They’re delicious. Promise. Just stick with me…

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You see what happens?? I am forced into resting (I don’t really do this willingly, which is undoubtedly why I’m sick in the first place) by a stupid case of tonsillitis that is making me feel like I got hit by a truck. And when I am forced to rest, what do I do? I bake. Because baking is pretty much resting as long as I sit down after things go into the oven.

Also, my parentals just embarked on a mini trip, involving travel in one of those steel cylinders filled with recycled air that fly at high altitudes and have NO good things to eat. Furthermore, they were embarking on a trip to the midwest. Let me just put it this way: I have absolutely nothing against the middle of America (indeed, Gram hailed from Iowa and took me on a fab trip there when I was 9ish) but… hippie food is not exactly to be found in the parental’s destination.

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Therefore, cookies to be consumed during the flying bit and for emergency rations later on were OBVIOUSLY necessary. And then I could eat a few and send the rest with them and by doing so prevent myself from inadvertently eating the whole batch. Which with these is kind of necessary. They are delicioussss.

And apparently they make my throat and tonsils feel better so clearly I should just eat more of them. AND they’re made with good-for-me ingredients so I don’t have to worry that I’ve eaten all that I didn’t send off with the parentals. Ooops.

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I’ve made avocado cookies before and I definitely liked them, so these were intriguing in their chocolateyness. In both cookies, the avocado goes unnoticed flavor-wise, and really only contributes fudgyness (stop trying to turn that into pudginess, autocorrect! That is a LIE) and healthy fats. These are dense and fudgy—in fact, I like them straight out of the fridge when they’re cold. They’re not too sweet, but with the dark chocolate chips just sweet enough (For me and my fam—if you like sweeter cookies, feel free to up the sweetener as per your preference).

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Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Refined sugar free, low in sugar, and full of healthy fats. I doubled the recipe for a total of 26 (not hugely sized) cookies, so I’ll list those measurements below. I adapted the recipe from The Almond Eater, here!

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1/3 c coconut sugar
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4-6 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (divided)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

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Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, thoroughly mash the avocados, then whisk in eggs, maple, 4 tbsp almond milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet into dry, add chocolate chips, and stir until combined. I found that my dough was a little dry as I was mixing it, so I added almond milk a tablespoon at a time until all of the dry ingredients were incorporated.

 

Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, flatten slightly, and place on the cookie sheet. They won’t spread, so feel free to cram them all together like I did. Bake for 8 minutes, let cool for a few on the cookie sheet, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Points for trying:

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Do I even need a reason??

 

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Mo’ chocolate.

Because.. why?

Wait. Do I really have to answer that question?! Because… chocolate! End of story.

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Besides, I actually made these cookies over a week ago but I’ve just been too busy and then Easter happened and there was that fabulously drippy hippie cake and stuff… and these cookies kind of languished in my camera for a little bit but they were SO FREAKING GOOD that I knew I would share them eventually. So don’t worry. I promise not to hold out on you too much longer.

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In other news… IT’S RAINING! Wheeeee!!! Which means I really want to bake something (because rainy weather=baking, everyone knows that), but as per usual I made a small batch of cookies last night because I was seriously (my autocorrect tried to change that to serially, also true) jonesing and I neededcookiesnow. So I made this awesome batch of vegan peanut butter-coconut-chocolate chippies, and they disappeared by 9:30 pm. I made them at 4:30. Ha. I did have quite a bit of help though, as prodigious as my stomach capacities are, I think that would have stumped even me.

But anyway, I really like cookies, can you tell?

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Also. I float in a hydrotherapy/sensory deprivation tank several times a week and even though I shower off really thoroughly afterwards, I always end up with epsom salts in my ear crannies the next day. I think it gets into my brain and then somehow works its way back out. I’m not really complaining, a good solid brain salting can’t be a bad thing now and then…

Soooo yeah. I’m endearingly random and salty but these cookies are ridiculously delicious—I highly suggest a cookie Friday incident. And if you make them, bring me one?! I’ve seem to have eaten all of mine…

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Grain-Free Chocolate Pecan Cookies

These are a little sweeter than the cookies I usually make for everyday consumption, but they are SO DELICIOUS. Fudgy, chocoaltey, pecantastic and they just happen to be gluten free, grain free, and vegan. AND refined sugar free! Winner winner. I adapted the recipe only slightly from The Healthy Family and Home, here! Yield: 22 cookies.

  • 1 c organic almond butter (mine was creamy unsalted)
  • heaping 1/3 c coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 c extra dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c roughly chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp ground flax+6 tbsp water (2 flax eggs)

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

These are cookies, peeps: this doesn’t get any easier!

In a small bowl, stir together flax seeds and water. Let sit while you do everything else: in a large bowl and using your biceps, stir together almond butter, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and pecans. Toss in flax eggs. Drop by the rounded spoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. These are a little soft when cooling, so I just moved the whole parchment paper over and let them keep cooling completely on the rack. Store in the fridge, if they last long enough! Mine barely did…