Channeling my inner Aztec Warrior

Wait... are those...?

Rainy weather needs cookies.

Besides, there was an appalling lack of dessert around here, and I was in need of something to satisfy my sweet tooth (healthfully, if you please). So. I decided to make healthy(ish) cookies! Who doesn’t love cookies? And besides, these are good for you. You want to know why these are good for you? Suuuure you do! Alrighty, here’s the dealio: These cookies have not only oats (a whole grain), and peanut butter (healthy fats), but they also have CHIA SEEDS!

Pause for effect.

chia! I didn't take this photo, though :) credit: http://www.buybigorganic.co.uk

You know, like those little things that you grow chia pets with?  Apparently they’re useful for something beyond growing funny green “hair” on a statue (who knew?!).

I have been putting these on oatmeal since freshman year of college (and, in fact, asked for them instead of candy one year for Christmas), but I’ve never really baked with them until this year! It’s fun, you should try it :)

These tiny little seeds date back to the time when the Aztecs were using them for sustained energy, as the main ration for their warriors (eating them makes me feel fierce). A higher source of omega-3 fatty acids than flax seed, these little babies are a superfood! They’re incredibly high in antioxidants, provide fiber, and are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. Woah. That’s a mouthful for a tiny little seed! And they are seriously tiny. But they can be added to all kinds of things, with no taste addition (at least, not that I notice). Apparently there’s also been research that suggests chia seeds slow the breakdown of carbohydrates, which in turn slows their conversion into sugar. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and provide quality protein. All pluses, in my book. But enough with the nutrition lesson! I just needed to give you even more of a reason to make and eat these cookies.

I’ve just been validated by my lovely roomie as well: as I sit here writing this, I can hear Kira “mmm yumm-ing” from the other room over their deliciousness! These cookies were a big hit with both of us, hooray!

COOKIES!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Cookies

Adapted from Yummy Mummy, here! I got 13 decently sized cookies.

  • 1.5 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds!
  • 1/4 c (half a stick) butter, room temp or softened in the microwave if you’re lazy like me
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt, please! Mine was chunky, which is extra delicious)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • a good handful of chocolate chips (extra points for heart healthy dark chocolate)…mine was about 1/3 c
playing with my food again?! nahhh...

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, and chia seeds. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla, and beat to combine. Stir in dry ingredients, as well as chocolate chips. This dough is flaky, so I just got messy and used my hands to shape little cookie balls. They don’t spread, so feel free to cram them all on one cookie sheet (instant gratification, yesss). I flattened the tops a bit, and stuck on the chocolate chips that insisted on falling out. (Why do chocolate chips never want to stick to dough with peanut butter in it?!)

Bake them for 10 minutes, until lightly golden! Devour. Channel your inner Aztec warrior.

oops. it fell down!

Never enough peanut butter

Double whammy on the blog posts… I’ve been making interesting things lately, I promise! They’ve just been… ugly. I really didn’t want to show you the amoeba-like beet and goat cheese ravioli… Tasty, but… ugly. Luckily, recipes lately have been delicious AND aesthetic, which appeases the art history major bit of me.

Anyway, recipe bonanza for you! Yay.

And no. This one isn’t even orange!

*gasp*

I told you, we’re striving towards variety! Besides, we have enough orange leftovers to last us a bit… I really don’t think we’re lacking in the beta-carotene department over here. Really. I definitely don’t want to venture into oompa loompa territory. Let’s not.

No, this isn’t exactly a recipe, either.

It’s a loose adaptation of a noodles and sauce recipe that Gillian and I discovered last year when we were sorta kinda studying for nutrition (but really having much more fun discussing vegan chocolate cake and baking techniques). However. Even though it’s not a recipe, it’s one of my favorites! Infinitely adaptable to whatever you have on hand (or whatever is lurking in the depths of the vegetable crisper), and ridiculously quick and simple to whip up.

Besides. Peanut butter is A-MAZING. Well. Actually all nut butters are amazing. I’m surprised I don’t resemble a jar of almond butter (perhaps with an orangeish tinge? Ew.)… I may or may not eat about a jar a week. (And I’ve gotten my roomie addicted, muahhahah). Although now I’ve fallen back in love with peanut butter, so I alternate. But still. There is a ridiculously embarrassing amount of nut butter consumed in this apartment weekly. Going with this vein, I really like finding new ways of conveying nut butter into my face, besides the obvious option of some form of bread/pancake/muffin/scone/carrotish thing. Pasta seemed like an excellent choice…. and then you can decorate with veggies! This way all those antioxidants can have a party in your digestive tract, and in the process, annihilate all of the free radicals floating about and trying to cause problems. And all that whole wheat from the pasta can party with the veggies, increasing your fiberous intake and lowering your cholesterol and blood lipids. Everybody wins! (Except those nasty free radicals, but we don’t like them).

Enter: Peanut Noodles with Veggies! Thai inspired, probably… but eventually simplified to be pantry and budget friendly. YAY!

Peanut Noodlies with Veggies!

Semi-created by Hayley and Gillian.

Simple, really. Boil water! Choose your fave pasta (I like whole wheat soba for this, but whole wheat spaghetti works too), and cook it until al dente (eewww, please no soggy pasta). Drain and rinse.

Slice up a block of tofu into smallish cubes, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine:

  • A decent amount of peanut butter (say, 2 heaping tablespoons)
  • juice of one lime
  • grated fresh ginger
  • a drizzle of honey or agave
  • a squirt (say, 2 tsp) of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or other soy sauce type thing)
  • Sriacha, if you like it spicy!
  • water to thin it out

Keep in mind all these measurements are approximate—I usually taste and fiddle as I go along, and I never measure for this one. Mix everything together until the consistency is as you like it, then let your cubed tofu marinate for a bit.

While the noodlies are cooking, steam or saute veggies of your choice. I like bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas, or carrots—crunchy veggies are always good in this. We topped ours this time with diced cucumber, which was quite tasty. Toss the marinated tofu and sauce with the veggies and noodles, and serve. Eat. Love!