Rustic chunktastic cookies strike again

IMG_6281

Food girl strikes again.

And so does Cookie Thursday. Or okay fiiiiine…. cookie Wednesday. Picky picky.

IMG_6285

I haven’t posted a good, rustic chunktastic cookie in awhile but these are pretty fantastic. And sort of sorry (except not really) that the last eleventy posts have all featured cookies. My savory life these days is a little lacking, sadly, due to ridiculous scheduling (sort of my fault, sort of not) soooo… yeah. At least I have cookies! Life is really lame if you don’t have cookies, trust me on that one.

IMG_6282

And well, cookies.

Because, Thursday.

And look! I just can’t help it. Once a mermaid, always a mermaid. Beachy weekend day off= happy happy happy!

IMG_0313

IMG_0312

IMG_0277

I’m feeling slightly less than coherent at the moment—I just came from jazzercise and then pounded down some toast (hello, enthusiastic and energetic dancing requires immediate carb replenishment, obviously) and now it’s only 10:45 and I already want lunch. Um. Hello, stomach? You’re not being very cost effective right now. Kind of like when you make me so starving at work that I eat ALL of my food on my first break and then that apparently doesn’t make a dent so then I have to go scrounge up some other victuals. As I said.. Not cost effective. But also, I like eating… so really, maybe we can come to some middle ground here…

Like lunch. At 11. Ha.

Oaty Coconut Almond Cookies

Recipe lightly adapted from Curly Girl Kitchen, here! Thick, chewy cookies filled with oats and coconut. They have a fab almond taste from the almond butter and extract, so if almond is your jam these are for you. Whole grain, refined sugar free, and gluten free. I made a half batch for a yield of 12 [measurements for the half batch posted here].

  • 1/4 c smooth, unsalted almond butter
  • 1/6 c maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 + 1/8 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips

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

In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together almond butter, maple, coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg. In a smaller bowl, combine oats, almond flour, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. Stir wet into dry until combined, and fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by the large spoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet. These won’t spread too much, so feel free to cram them all on there. Bake for 8 minutes, then let cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two. Remove them to a cooling rack until they cool completely. Store them in an airtight container, if they last that long…

IMG_0307

This has absolutely nothing to do with cookies but just illustrates how I’m really like five years old. Ice cream is not complete without rainbow sprinkles, everyone knows that…

Enlightened cats and third-eye bliss

IMG_0068

HOMG I love arugula.

And yoga.

Thankfully I’ve had lots of both in my morning today, otherwise we might have a problem.

Maybe I just really like things that end in a?

IMG_0070

Banana. Kombucha.

Wait okay those are all I can currently think of… and almond butter and bread don’t end in ‘a’ so clearly we’ve run into a problem here.

Also, a few random notes.
I made quite possibly the weirdest sandwich, ever. Lentils, sautéed apples and carrots, and cardamom all smashed together and sandwiched between almond butter and the subsequently grilled. Yeah. Weird but shockingly delicious..?! I might actually be making it again here sometime soon. But it was ugly so I don’t have a very flattering picture of it…

Oh. And I know you’re all curious about my oatmeal that contains pretty much five servings of fruits and veg? Mostly veg? Yep. Here it is:

IMG_0075

Apparently that morning I went a little nuts with the nut butter, but hey. It was probably really early and I was just barely coming into proper human functionality. There is a half a zucchini, 2 c of spinach, 2 carrots, 1/4 c wild blueberries, and 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce in there. Wheeee!

But anyway. Remember when I made that  banana bread a little while ago? Well yes. It was delicious on its own. BUT THEN I trashed it up and it entered a realm that might have been close to transcendental. This is third-eye banana bread. Mmm. I highly recommend trashing up some of your own banana bread, for you own good.

IMG_0069

Nosh is a very wise, very blissed out cat. He knows what’s up, and what’s good for him… which is why he’s trying to swipe some of my banana bread. Hey now buddy, you’re already enlightened. My banana bread-third-eye-bliss!

Trashed Up Banana Bread

Recipe from my own semi-enlightened (ha) food brain. Because banana bread is always a winner. Serves… however many slices you have! So maybe just one (shhh, I won’t tell). This is so not even a recipe, but a suggestion of something mind-blowingly delicious. The ingredients below can be used up to the amount you want! Yaaayy!!

  • leftover banana bread, sliced thick
  • salted butter
  • almond butter (mine happened to be salted)
  • shredded unsweetened coconut
  • cinnamon
  • honey? If you want.

Telling you how to do this seems slightly patronizing….but whatever. You might need direction? Maybe? Here’s what I did:

Heat a small pan over medium heat. Butter both sides of the banana bread slices, and grill those babies in the pan!! I like mine a bit on the brown side, but that’s just me. Spread almond butter thickly all over the place, and then top with shredded coconut and cinnamon. And honey, if that’s your thing.

Eat (and fend off your cat. Who knew cats liked banana bread?!). With a fork, because this is a fork-type operation. Feel your third eye open a little wider on account of banana bread bliss.

IMG_0067

Merry Christmas, I made you BUNS!!

IMG_6021

Merry Christmas to all my blogglet’s invisible internet friends!!! Joy, peace and laughter to all, and much love in cookie form from this quarter. And of course (obligatory): Merrrrrry Christmas, BEDFORD FALLSSSSS!!!

unnamed

Or perhaps I’m sending you love not in cookie form but…

in BUN form!

IMG_6049

Check out these buns.

IMG_6050

And this frosting. Hahahhahha. My drizzle skills (or lack there of) are atrocious soooo… I go for the strategic pouring method. As in… I completely obliterate whatever I’m eating under a waterfall of ‘frosting’. The more the merrier!

IMG_6058

Helloooo, breakfast. And also snack. And also… oh wait. They’re gone. How did that happen?!

IMG_6055

This was like the recipe of being a spaz. I kept having hand spazzes all over the place and accidentally adding much more than I needed to. Like, REPEATEDLY. This isn’t something that happens normally, mind you… I mean, I dance and cook at the same time like a BOSS but somehow I usually manage to avoid unmitigated disasters of unmeasured/spastic ingredient additions. Not so much today, but shockingly these actually turned out fine! Looook at that. Merry Christmas to me! Besides, I only had exactly the right amount of dates so I couldn’t eff things up too much.

IMG_6056

Besides being delicious, these are good for you too!! Naturally. I don’t do things by halves, you know that (reference frosting pictures in case you had any lingering doubts). Sprouted quinoa flour and whole wheat… sweet potato… naturally date sweetened… and coconut butter frosting! Good carbs and healthy fats: give your tummy some ecstatic eats and send it the tidings of the season, from me!

IMG_6052

Sprouted Quinoa Vegan Cinnamon Date Rolls

I got 9 rolls out of mine because I cut them to be nicely breakfast sized (obvi). The recipe is adapted (with big thanks, they’re delicioussss) from Katy’s Kitchen, here!
Vegan, refined sugar free/naturally sweetened, can be gluten free!

Rustle up the following for the filling:

  • 1.5 c pitted and chopped medjool dates
  • 3/4-1 c water, divided
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp salted almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Make this first: in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine dates and 1/2 c water. Stir frequently as the dates cook, breaking up the chunks as you go. Add more water as needed in 1/4 c increments—I started with 1/2 c, and added close to a cup by the time I was finished. Once the dates have formed a mostly-smooth paste (small chunks are acceptable and delicious), remove from the heat and stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, almond butter, and sea salt. Set aside to cool.

For the dough:

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 c sprouted quinoa flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp refined coconut oil, slightly softened
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c sweet potato puree (about 1/2 a large sweet potato)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 375, and lightly grease your pan of choice (I used a 9″ cake pan, and stuffed some parchment paper in the empty spot to keep them from expanding).

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Work in the coconut oil with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture turns a little crumbly, like sand. Add in vanilla, sweet potato puree and applesauce, and knead with your hands until a dough forms. Roll it out on a floured surface (and perhaps be smart and use wax paper, which I sadly didn’t do) into an approximate rectangle (mine was much longer than it was wide). Spread the date filling out evenly onto the dough, leaving a little margin around the edges. Start rolling from the long side, roll it up completely, and use a sharp knife to cut it into rolls. Place them into the prepared pan with edges touching, and bake for about 30-35 minutes. I checked mine at 25, and then in five minute increments after that. They should be gloriously golden brown.

For the drizzle (if you’re a drizzly type):

  • 3 tbsp coconut butter
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup

Soften the coconut butter in the microwave, and whisk together all ingredients. Drizzle (or pour with reckless abandon) over your buns of choice. Mmmm.

The buns are delicious straight out of the oven warm, but they also get a little crisper when they sit out for a bit and are equally delicious that way. I have no frame of reference as to whether or not they make good leftovers, as mine were made this morning and are now… gone.

Merry Christmas!

IMG_6051

A simple sammy to combat holiday madness

IMG_6026

Okay so not a recipe, but this is one of my favorite combinations… and I felt greedy hogging it all to myself…

Sharing is caring, right??

Right.

IMG_6022

Especially this time of year when I feel like a hermit. Seriously. I go to work. I work (retail, for those of you not in the know). I fight the masses to drive home. And then I get home, and I DON’T LEAVE. Ugh. It takes twice a long to go anywhere, and people are abnormally aggressive, it seems. Heaven forbid you don’t locate the EXACT item in the EXACT shade that you were looking for. Just because you haven’t does so not entitle you to run me over, verbally or with your large vehicle… Most wonderful time of the year? Um… sure. Just don’t make me venture anywhere near to a shopping metropolis and I’m happy [this includes groceries, by the way… helloooo creative cooking with the remnants of the pantry].

IMG_6033

Thankfully, this is one of the simplest things ever. It makes a spectacular breakfast… or lunch. Or really I suppose you could eat it for dinner too… I’m sure I have, somewhere along the line. And also thankfully, you can rustle it up easily with things you probably already have on hand. Although, if I run out of almond butter, I generally make an exception to go brave the masses. I must ALWAYS have almond butter on hand. Non negotiable…. nut butter is its own food group around here.

So do yourself a favor and whip up one of these. Naturally sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy. Everything you might want, all in one tidy package. Or not so tidy… this is definitely a needs-a-fork sammy, in the best possible way.

IMG_6035

Grilled Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich

I used to eat just plain almond butter-banana sammies, but eventually I decided to try grilling it… and I have never (and probably never will, unless in dire circumstances) go back. These are just too good. Makes one sandwich, obviously doubled/tripled easily depending on how hungry you are.

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread (I use organic sprouted honey wheat)
  • 2 tbsp (ish, let’s be real, I don’t measure) almond butter*
  • 1/2 large banana, sliced
  • 1.5 tsp unsweetened coconut
  • cinnamon to taste
  • salted butter*
  • raw, unfiltered honey and/or date paste for serving

*I like salted, since it gives the sandwich a bit more depth against the sweetness of the banana

Really… I feel slightly like I’m insulting your intelligence by writing down directions… buuuuut just in case I’m going to do it anyway.

Lightly butter the outsides of your bread. On the inside of one piece, spread yo’ almond butter. Top it with coconut sliced banana, and then with cinnamon (I like a lot!). Almond butter the other piece of bread, and slap it on top of the nice pile of goodness you already have going. Heat your preferred pan over medium heat, and grill the sandwich until it’s golden brown (or I like mine a little charred) on both sides. Top with honey or date paste for serving, for a particularly decadent treat.

IMG_6028

Math is only fun when there are cookies on one side of the equal sign

IMG_5986

Whoops… I baked.

Um really though? Like that’s any surprise at all, you all know me far too well.

And whatever, it’s the holidays and I can’t help it!! It’s like… wired into my synapses that as soon as it gets cold I have to make things. Not just any things but preferably cookies. COOOOOKIEEEEESSS!!! Holidays = cookies. Just like butter = heaven. Everyone knows that.

IMG_5989

Besides, there are lots of excuses to feed people around the holidays and we know I really like doing that too.

As Brianna the Bestie (BtB?!) pointed out: “Because I know that’s something you hate to do… cook for people…”

Oi. I am so predictable sometimes.

IMG_5991

But not always… I like to spice things up and keep it interesting. You’d get bored if I wasn’t kind of nuts and supremely hilarious all at the same time, wouldn’t you?!

Speaking of spice…

It’s in these cookies.

IMG_5999

Because it’s the holidays! And even though I’m not a math person I’ll give you one more equation (because equal signs really mean balance and obviously your life needs cookies to have the proper balance): cookies = holidays = cold weather = spices. Like ginger and cinnamon. Luckily for you, these have both! So you don’t have to choose or anything… The hardest choice regarding these is probably whether or not to dip them in chocolate. And that’s not really a hard choice because seriously? Why WOULDN’T you?!

And maybe make a sandwich with them and some salted almond date caramel. Because I don’t know about you but that just took my cookie to a whole new gastronomical level. My cookie is in the stratosphere now. Is yours?

IMG_5990

Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies

Recipe gratefully adapted from Whole Pure Recipes, here! I made a half batch for a yield of 14 small cookies—I’ll post the measurements for the small batch here. Obviously I made the entire recipe of date caramel because hellllooooo, of course I want extra of that lounging around. Obvi.

Vegan and refined sugar free!

For the cookies:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (organic, please)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1/4 c unrefined coconut oil, slightly softened
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/8 c molasses
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • a bit of extra coconut sugar for rolling

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

In a smallish bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. In a really smallish bowl, combine flaxseed and water and set aside to gel. Now in a slightly largish bowl, combine coconut oil and coconut sugar. Using a whisk (I wanted a bicep workout, feel free to use an electric mixer or whatever), vigorously whisk together sugar and oil until the mixture lightens in color a bit. Whisk in molasses, vanilla, and the flax egg, until smooth. Add dry ingredients into wet in two batches, stirring to combine but avoiding over mixing. Roll the dough into small teaspoon size balls, roll it in the extra coconut sugar, and then flatten them slightly on the cookie sheet (they won’t really spread). Bake for just about 9 minutes, until the tops are firm. Remove and let cool for a few minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

IMG_5993

For the salted almond date caramel:

  • 1.5 c medjool dates, pitted
  • 1.5 tbsp unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Pour a few cups of near-boiling water over the pitted dates, and let them sit for about 10 minutes (while you do the cookie dishes and the cookies finish baking… multitasking, you know?), reserving the soaking water. Once softened, toss dates, almond butter, vanilla and sea salt into the bowl of your food processor, and send that baby for a whirl until everything is combined. Add the reserved soaking water one tbsp at a time, until the caramel is smooth (I usually leave some date chunks in there because I like chunks…). Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks, assuming it lasts more than a day…

IMG_5994

For the chocolate dip:

  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp refined coconut oil

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl (or a double boiler if you’re feeling less lazy than me) until melted.

Dip cookies in chocolate and thriftily eat the rest (it’s too good to waste!). I let mine sit on parchment paper on the counter for a bit before transferring them to a plate in the fridge for the shell to fully harden.

IMG_5996

A lentil and squashlet autumnal party

IMG_5781

You can never have too many lentils.

Ever.

My nickname at work is lentil. That explains a lot.

Besides, lentils are bomb since they give you a protein source to pair with all of the autumnal squashlets (no, auto correct, squashlet IS in fact a word, so there). Wheeeee SQUASH! Not only did I use pumpkin yesterday, but I also got to bust out a (homegrown!) butternut squash! Get ready, there’s going to be an abundance of orange coming in the next few months…

I love that squash coincides with my birthday. It feels like nature’s birthday present!! Large, orangey deliciousness.

IMG_5790

 

Butternut squash always reminds me of a particularly memorable game of Cranium that took place ohhh, probably sometime in high school… my pair was supposed to be acting out butternut squash, and it was maybe one of the more hilarious things I’ve watched: First word: sounds like…*points at butt*… second bit: *mimes being a squirrel burying something*… lastly and rather violently smooshes hands together—-I had been guessing as she was miming and somehow I guessed it!! Excellent mime skills right there. But anyway… I can’t really cook a squash without thinking about that, hehe.

IMG_5784

Skillet Popped Balsamic Lentils

Recipe adapted from Happy Healthy Life, here! I made one cup of lentils, which, supplemented with all the veggies, fed my fambam of 3 with enough leftovers for at about one meal. My butternut squash was small, so it only made enough puree for 3. Feel free to play with the seasoning—mine was an eclectic bunch of flavors that somehow came out tasting good. Funny how that works, isn’t it?!

  • 1 c green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 c water
  • 3-4 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar, divided
  • a few grinds of cracked pepper
  • judicious sprinkles of salt
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • a tbsp or two of milk beverage
  • 1 tsp butter (or vegan butter)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 massive handfuls of spinach, rinsed
  • a bit of chicken (or veggie) broth
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • seasoning to taste*

*I used fresh marjoram, basil, and oregano to sauté the onion, then added cinnamon, cardamom, nutritional yeast and coconut aminos (and more balsamic) to the veggies after I added them in to sauté.

IMG_5783

For the lentils:
Add 2 cups of water to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add lentils, reduce heat, and simmer until the lentils are done (about 30 minutes). They should be soft but still have some bite to them. Rinse and drain.

Heat a skillet over medium, and add a small bit of olive oil. Once the skillet is hot, add about a cup of lentils, shaking the pan to ensure that they’re evenly spaced. They should sizzle and pop and make all kinds of fun noise. Let them sit for a few minutes, then toss in a tsp of balsamic and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally. You’ll know they’re done when they get a bit toasty and crispy around the edges. Remove the first batch, add more oil, and repeat until all the lentils are used.

For the butternut puree: Peel and dice squash, discarding stringy and seedy inner bits. Using a steamer basket or your preferred method of steaming, cook squash until very fork tender. Remove from the steamer and mash with a potato masher or a fork (or a food processor, but I didn’t want to do extra dishes). Add a bit of milk beverage (I used unsweetened almond) to smooth it out, and (obviously) a bit of butter and salt.

For the veggies, I did a simple sauté with a bit of chicken stock added. Chop and dice all yo’ veggies, add olive oil to a deep skillet, and let it heat over medium. Once hot, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add cinnamon and cardamom and a bit more olive oil, then the rest of the veggies (zucchini, pepper, mushrooms, and spinach. I added a bit of broth after about 4 minutes of sautéing, then chucked in all the spinach and covered the skillet to let it reduce. Add coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, Bragg’s, or whatever other seasonings you like here, add lentils, and let it cook on low for a few. Serve warm, over butternut squash puree!

IMG_5789

Throwback Thursday and the Lentil Life

IMG_5691

AND THEN. I made lentil bars! Because… well, why not?! And then I sort of became the lentil bar fairy and handed out several at work, one of which went to this particular friend who *claims* that she doesn’t like lentils. Uh-huh. Just wait.

Said friend ate lentil bar.

One day later…

Friend commissions an entire batch of lentil bars for eating purposes!!

VICTORY OF THE LENTILS! Muahhahah.

And guess what? I have a new nickname!

I’ll give you one guess…

Lentil!!!

IMG_5694

Naturally. The now lentil-converted friend decided I was henceforth to be dubbed Lentil (always said with some sort of accent, of course), mostly because we have a running joke that she brings meat and I bring rabbit food for lunch…and then when I bring beef it’s like.. WOAH. So yeah. A very apropos nickname, I would say ;)

And one more for your viewing pleasure… Throwback Thursday! I was six. Things haven’t changed much…

HMS 1996

Lentil Bars

Recipe slightly adapted from She Bakes Here! I’ve made this twice—once as a single recipe, once doubled. I used green lentils once and red lentils once, and I think I prefer red, though you can use either. If using green, make sure you cook them just a little bit longer so they’re easily mushable (technical term). I reduced the sweetener a little so these aren’t overly sweet, but perfect for a mid morning or on the go snack. They were a big hit with the work peeps!

As posted, the recipe makes a single batch in an 8 by 8 pan (I used a circular pie dish).

Vegan, refined sugar free.

  • 1/2 c red lentils
  • 1 c water
  • 1.5 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 c ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • heaping 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/3-1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes until very soft. Drain, if needed. Mash lentils a bit with a fork (though they should be pretty much like puree already), and set aside in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 300, and line your baking pan of choice with parchment paper.

Using the same bowl the lentils are hangin’ out in, add oats, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, salt, almond butter, and maple syrup. Toss in chocolate chips and stir to combine (seriously, could this be any easier?). Once incorporated, spread the dough into your prepared pan—I found it easiest to use my fingers to spread it out, as it’s really thick. Get it mostly even and then pop it into the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the oats on top are slightly crispy.

Let it sit in the pan for a few, then pull the whole thing out by grabbing the parchment. Let cool completely on a rack before slicing! These keep well in tupperware at room temp for a few days.

IMG_5695