I was too lazy to put two recipes into one post, so here are those paleo cookies I was nerding out about in my last post.
Short and sweet, just some photos and a recipe!
Apple Cinnamon Cookies (Paleo-friendly)
Recipe from What Runs Lori, here! My yield was about 10ish cookies, ish. I’m a little behind, I’m not entirely sure since this batch is long gone. Ehhh, you get delicious cookies anyway, what do you care?! Moist HYDRATED, apple-y, and full of cinnamon. Yum yum yum. AND grain-free, vegan, refined sugar free, and full of healthy fats.
1/3 c grated apple, skin on
2 tbsp almond butter
1-2 tbsp milk bev (use almond or coconut to keep things vegan/paleo), if needed
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/3 c coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, mash yo’ buhhhnahhnuhhh. Toss in everything else: grated apple, almond butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, coconut flour, baking soda, and vinegar. Stir together, and add in 1-2 tbsp milk bev if the batter looks too dry (I used 2 tbsp). Drop cookies by the heaping glob onto the prepared cookie sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes (mine went for 8)—an appropriately short baking time (hellooo, instant gratification). Let cool on a rack… or maybe in your stomach.
And really… shaken, not stirred. I wonder if James Bond ever does normalish things like go out and buy bread? What if he really wanted ice cream or something? Wouldn’t there be some creep trying to pick him off on the way to the ice cream store? Does he ever go anywhere without a gun? The latest movie was freaking fantastic!! Such a lovely way to spend my Sunday—a date with Daniel Craig and some veggie burgers. Okay, sadly not really but I can pretend, right?! At least these veggie burgers were real:
It’s like a blue plate special.
And cookies! They were real too.
AND paleo. I’m rather proud of myself that I baked something with coconut flour that wasn’t totally nasty. I’m all for non-grain flours, but my first encounter with coconut flour ended up in the garbage. Literally. I NEVER throw away food unless it’s gone bad… BUT. These. Ugh. They defied description. Thankfully, I got things under control with a different recipe, and am now a convinced fan of coconut flour. (They can be found in the following post)
So. A wildly successful weekend on all fronts: James Bond, veggie burgers, and cookies. AND the Ducks won. #lovemyducks!
Sweet Potato-Quinoa Black Bean Burgers
I got 7 burgers out of this, and they made awesome leftovers. Recipe slightly modified from here! Especially tasty with a side salad and extra mustard… these have sweet potato, black beans, and quinoa, as well as lots of other delicious things. They’re also soy-free, which is a nice change from a lot of other veggie burgers.
4 small sweet potatoes (no really, mine were TINY)
1/2 c cooked quinoa
15 oz (1 can) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c frozen corn, defrosted
1 leek, lightly sautéed
6 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp raw pepitas
pepper to taste
scant 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
Wash the sweet potatoes, pierce them a few times with a fork, and pop into the microwave on the baked potato setting (or whatever yours has). When finished, let them cool until you can cube them (skin and all), and then rustically mash them (leave some lumps). Clean the leek thoroughly, and dice up the white bit. Lightly sauté in a bit of olive oil; let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a separate bowl, mash the black beans (almost completely, again—leave some lumps). Stir in mashed sweet potatoes, cooked quinoa, corn, sautéed leek, rolled oats, pepitas, salt/pepper, cumin, oregano and olive oil. Stir to combine. Form into patties/sliders/whatever, and plop onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes total, flipping at the 7 minute mark. Top with mustard or whatever floats your boat! They’re delicious any way you slice it.
There is an influx of baby squashlets in the garden! And not just zucchini, ohhh no.
So somehow we ended up growing acorn squash in our back garden…. which is odd considering we never planted anything of the sort. I’m guessing some little entrepreneurial seed got excited when we put it out in the compost and decided to become …a plant? Which is awesome, considering I just ate squash for dinner last night and lunch five seconds ago. TWO kinds of squash: acorn aaand zucchini, yesss. And if you’ve been following me for awhile (or at least since last fall), you’ll know that I am madly, head over heels in love with squash. You name it, I’ll eat it. Fact. I am still the Queen of Orange!
Which means that I got creative last night and invented another stuffed squash recipe (and actually did the same for lunch today, such an inspired idea). Both variations are easily adaptable to whatever you have, and are delicious.
Anyway. So besides the squashy excitement, I also made cookies! Um. Why do you look so surprised?!
Because I love graham crackers. And vegan things. And cookies. And as I was searching for recipes, up popped one for vegan graham cracker cookies!! Whaaaat. This is what went through my brain: “cookies!! cookies cookies cookies hmm we haven’t had any cookies around here for the last day or so, clearly time to make more… these have graham crackers and cinnamon oooh”, at which point I was already preheating the oven and squashing the graham crackers into a pulp. Or rather crumbs, I suppose. Anyway. These cookies are fantastic: chewy (although be sure to store them in plastic if you want them to stay that way, not glass), graham-y, and full of cinnamon.
And this way my dad and I don’t have to fight each other for the last few graham crackers, as SOMEONE likes to eat an entire sleeve with milk and call it lunch. Harumph. Vaccuum Vati strikes again. I, on the other hand, like to spread mine with peanut butter (oh really?! Surprise surprise) or mash it into ice cream. This way we can share the crackers aaand the cookies, like normal people. A perfect compromise, if you ask me.
Vegan Graham Cracker Cookies
Very slightly adapted from Quiche-A-Week, here! This recipe is fab. Just do yourself a favor and make it, nowwww. I got about 20 cookies.
9 sheets of graham crackers (I use Erewhorn Organics), divided
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
scant 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
scant 1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c organic peanut butter (mine was creamy this time)
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water
chocolate chippies, optional
Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In small bowl, combine flaxseed and water and let sit. In a plastic baggie, mash 7 graham crackers into a fine powder (or use a food processor, but seriously–smashing them with a rolling pin is wwaaaay more fun). In a largeish bowl, sift together graham cracker crumbs, flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, cream together peanut butter and sugars. I opted to skip the electric mixer and get a bicep workout, but that part’s up to you. Add in flax ‘egg’ and mix. Toss in applesauce and vanilla. Mix again. Toss wet into dry, and mix again, until just incorporated. Break up the last two graham cracker sheets into smallish pieces, and stir into the batter. Add chocolate chippies if you want—I added them to about half the batch, by sticking them into the tops of the cookies.
While the oven is heating, stick the cookie sheet into the freezer—the dough is sticky, so this makes it easier to deal with. Drop cookies onto the cookie sheet by spoonful, flattening slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until slightly firm to the touch. Cool for a few on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.
Eat with a milk-type bev and pretend you’re a child. Works like a charm, every time.
Southwestern-ish Stuffed Acorn Squash
Recipe by… me! Serves 4. This makes enough filling for 3 squashes (squashi?), so I used the leftover half for lunch today, and stuffed it with zucchini, corn, and egg, topped with a teeny bit of parmesan. Also delicious, do what suits you!
2 acorn squashlets
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 zucchinis, ideally warm from the sun in your garden
a handful or two of frozen corn, defrosted
a bit of fresh spinach (this is terribly specific, I know…)
cinnamon and curry powder, to taste
salt and pepper
1/4 c shredded monterey jack cheese
1/3 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 425.
Wrestle the squashes to the ground and somehow attempt to cut them in half. I always seem to struggle with this… Once the squashlets are halved, brush the cut side with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place cut side down onto a cookie sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender.
In a saute pan, heat a bit of olive oil and pepper. When hot, add zucchini and saute until tender. Add in black beans, corn, and spinach, and continue to saute. Toss in desired amount of cinnamon and curry powder, and stir to combine. When veggies are done, stir in monterey jack cheese before turning off the heat. Spoon the filling into the cut halves of the squash, and top with cheddar cheese. Eat whilst hot :)
Like I said above, this recipe is infinitely adaptable. Use whatever you have on hand—beans, eggs, any veggies, whatever cheese. Decidedly satisfying in any form!
It’s been one of those weeks where you get up and think… do I really have to put clothes on today? Dis.Gust.Ing. Too hot to live, let alone bake. I really am a pacific northwesterner in this regard: hot weather makes me nutty. Today I sort of decided to stick it to the weather and go take a hot yoga class, since I’d been sweating all day anyway. Surprisingly, it was a great idea: maybe there is something to that ayurvedic idea of eating hot foods on a hot day? Huh. Anyway. After said hot yoga class, all I wanted was a dunk in cold water and one of these.
No bake, for the WIN.
The solution for when it’s too hot to do much of anything and turning on the oven (or really even the stove, let’s be real here) turns into a capital offense. I had grilled cheese for dinner last night (although I did go gourmet with some sauteed veggies, ha) since I was so unmotivated to do much of anything except watch other people (i.e. Olympians) be ridiculously fit. Whatever, I made up for it with my yoga today, so there. And with these bars. These are FAB. And healthy, which is a bonus considering most no-bake items seem to involve some form of strange food product like cool-whip. Let’s not go there, shall we? Back to these:
Mmmm. Banana coconut bars on a nutty date crust. Naturally sweet and so frostily delicious. Bonus points for being gluten free and vegan, as well as refined sugar free. You also get a healthy dose of magnesium from the cashews, calcium from the almond butter, healthy medium-chain fatty acids from the coconut, and potassium from the banana. See? It’s like a complete summer meal in a bar (welllll…sort of). Wheee! Squat and gobble to your heart’s content, I won’t tell… even if you do it in a sports bra and running shorts because, like I said, it’s too hot to live or bother to look decent. Or to blog… this is all I got today!
Vegan Banana-Coconut Bars
I slightly adapted these from the DAMY health blog, here! These are frosty and best when straight out of the freezer. Easy to make, they come together in a snap and set up decently quickly, satisfying all kinds of crazy summer cravings (Besides, they’re healthy to boot!)
Poke around and scrounge up the following:
For the crust:
1/2 c raw cashews
scant 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1 c pitted dates, chopped into smallish pieces
a tbsp or two of water, if the crust needs a little help to come together
For the topping:
1 ripe banana
scant 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut+ some for sprinkling
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 c organic almond butter
1/4 c light coconut milk
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together cashews, coconut, and date pieces until the dough comes together, with pieces of nuts intact. Add a tablespoon or two of water if it needs a little help. Spread this mixture in the bottom of a lightly greased pan (mine was 9″ square, making thinnish bars), flattening it out as you go. In your food processor once again, blend the topping ingredients, scraping down the sides occasionally, until smooth. Pour the topping on top of your crust, and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Top with some reserved coconut, and cover with plastic wrap or foil (bonus points for foil, it’s recyclable!). Let set for at least 2ish hours before slicing (it should be firm). Store in the freezer!
Love tasty food. Eat. Feel magically cooler… ohmmmm.
oooohhhKAY! I’m BACK! You know, you might have missed me if I’d been gone too long… and we can’t have that, can we?! Oh no.
Now that I’m back in the realm of relative normalcy (I say relative because really… am I ever really normal? Correct answer: NO), it’s time for seasonal baking and cooking! Which means that I’ve been effectively eating my weight in fresh fruit and veggies errryyday (hooray, summer!!), particularly strawberries and zucchini. I kind of forgot how in California it’s farmer’s market time basically year-round… I’m a naturalized Oregonian now! What is this weird sunny weather that persists allll the time?! Why do I have to go running at 6:30 am in order to avoid completely dying of heatstroke?! Pshh. Good thing I’m 99% sure I’m moving back up the Pacific Northwest… heaven forbid I get too tan! Hehe. But for reals, I LOVE the NW… it’s lovely! Weather included :)
ANYWAY. After that longish tangent, let me get to the point I was originally making before I interrupted myself: I love in season eating! So expect to see a lot of that around here these days.
You see, here’s what happened: I made delicious zucchini cakes (AGAIN, mind you this is the second time), but they were FUGLY. And I was HUNGRY. Soooo… you get dessert, instead! I know, I know… you’re sooo disappointed. But really, don’t be. It’s FAB! And I’ll send some savories your way sometime soon, promise!
Besides, this dessert is sneakily nutritious, which happens to be my favorite kind. Because who doesn’t love getting sneaky nutrients in a dessert?! These little muffin-tin cookies are vegan (with vegan chocolate chips, which I didn’t have), gluten free, and sugar free! Can’t go wrong with that… especially when you eat them with ice cream! Ha. I suppose if you wanted to be completely virtuous, you could rustle up some healthier non-dairy frozen sub… but I was too lazy. If chickpeas in cookies freak you out, tough beans! Ha. Juuust kidding. Don’t worry, you wouldn’t know they were in there unless I told you :)
Sneakily Healthy Muffin-tin Cookies (Aka Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies)
I adapted my version from Chocolate Covered Katie. She prefers a link rather than a write-out, so you’re going to have to go visiting for the full recipe… clicky click click! It’s delicious, promise! Click the link for the original post; my notes are below.
Yield: 5 muffin/cookie/things
I made a 1/2 recipe, as per usual, and baked them in muffin tins (I got 5).
Bake at 350 for somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on size and desired gooeyness (they’re vegan, so no worries on freakydeaky uncooked eggs)
All the ingredients halve easily, so no problems there. Use whatever smaller pan floats your boat—when I unearth my six-inch baby cake pans, I’ll probably make it again in those.
I used 1.5 tbsp olive oil.
If dates aren’t your thing, go ahead and sub in brown sugar (I’d say somewhere around 1/2 c for the same level of sweetness), but I prefer dates. It keeps things all natural and a bit more virtuous :). I used 4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped into smaller pieces.
I used chickpeas, but I’d like to try this again with cannellini beans for something different!
Happy first day of spring to you too, Salem. Thanks for the nice weather SNOW. What?! Like, actual snow this time too. About three inches of fluff on my car this morning… what is this?! Thankfully today was Workout Wednesday (ie the only reason I go to campus is to work out), or else I might have skipped class, hehe. (As Kira pointed out, at least I have my priorities straight. Miss a workout with Christine? NEVER! ha. But hey! Justified, as pilates/fitness instructor is my career of choice) Besides, I had to go give Christine her quinoa-banana bars. Yes. I am the kind of person who bakes treats for her fitness instructor. We have the same workout addiction after all: Must…work… out! And buy new active wear! Healthy snacks in exchange for a Pilates-Core body butt kicking? I think it’s a fair trade ;)
So now I’m nicely sore and contemplating going back out into the wet for work. And wet indeed it is now… we’re getting semi-frozen rain-ish-slush-gross now, because, well, why not? I have holes in my uggs, that’s why not. My heels got suspiciously damp when I was wearing them this morning… seriously, I had all these grand plans to take my winter-wear home over spring break to leave it, so that I had less to take home in May. Fat chance. Watch, I’ll leave it all here and it’s be sunny and glorious the rest of April. Hmm. Maybe this is logical… maybe I should take it home?! Oh weather gods, how you love to mess with us here in Salem. I like snow, don’t get me wrong, but only when I can ski on it, pleaseandthankyou.
Anywayyyy. Today I have bars for you! Healthy snack-type bars, like a cross between banana bread and a granola bar. They’re packed with all kinds of goodness: whole grains, peanut butter (YAY!), quinoa, flaxseed, bananaaaaas, and cardamom. Mmm. Can’t go wrong with the banana-cardamom combo, it’s fab. These bars also happen to be vegan, just for funzies! They’re perfect with a little (more) nut butter swiped on top (uh-oh, I can see the bottom of my peanut butter jar, mayday mayday!) and extra bananas :)
Peanut Butter-Banana Quinoa Bars
Recipe only slightly adapted from here! Makes… 8 ish? I made it in a pie dish, and cut rectangles out of the center. Wedges would have been good too.
2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c chunky peanut butter
1 ripe banana
1/3 c cooked quinoa*
1/4 c wheat germ
1.5 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 c milk bev (soymilk for me)
sprinkling of dark chocolate chippies!
*I cooked 1/3 c dry quinoa in 2/3 c water, yielding enough for the bars + dinner leftovers :)
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a dish of choice. I made mine in a 9″ pie dish, since a square 9″ seemed too big.
In a smallish bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and baking powder. In a largeish bowl, mash up the banana with a fork, and then vigorously stir in peanut butter until combined. (Added bonus: bicep workout!) Add in quinoa, wheat germ, flaxseed, sugar, vinegar, and soymilk, and stir to combine. Toss flour mixture and chocolate chips into the wet ingredients, and mix together until combined. Spatula-ize the batter into your prepared pan (Yes, spatula is a verb now), and bake for just about 30 minutes. A tester should come out clean when done.
Workout, feel pumped, eat, love! Repeat as necessary.
Kira and I had… wait for it… TWO DEAD BANANAS in the apartment this morning.
This might seem unimpressive, or rather unextraordinary, under normal people’s circumstances, but let me explain. It is ridiculously hard to keep us in bananas. Here’s the deal: we shop for foodstuffs on Sundays… and buy upwards of TEN BANANAS. For two people. And they usually last us until about Saturday… with no dead bananas leftover for baking purposes. Which is sad, as baked banana things are suuuuper tasty. But seriously. The amount of bananas consumed in the Nerdaerie is astounding. Potassium deficiency ain’t got nothin on us!
So. Since I discovered this bonanza of potassium-rich goodness sitting in our adorable hanging fruit basket, I decided that cookies needed to happen! Natch. Besides, cookies are more fun than thesising on a Saturday morning. (Even when the bunnies are helping out on the thesising front, cookies still win by a long shot…besides, then when I actually do buckle down and work, I have cookies to put in my thesis cup! ha.)
These cookies are, like a lot of my cookies, good for you! I love having snacky-type cookies around, so I feel like I’m getting nutritional benefits out of my dessert. Enter the banana cookie! Bananas: excellent source of potassium, fiber, and prebiotics for calcium absorption. Raw almond butter: mufas! (monounsaturated fatty acids: healthy fats), and cholesterol-lowering properties. Oats: whole grains! Cinnamon: helps control blood sugar spikes. Coconut: all kinds of good things, including good fats. PLUS, these cookies have no added sugar, are vegan (with vegan chocolate), and are friendly for those of my peeps dealing with genetically high cholesterol (which really doesn’t seem fair). These cookies have no cholesterol, so feel free to indulge :)
And besides all that goodness, these cookies are fab. Soft, and like Kira said, almost like a macaroon. Tasty, just like a Saturday morning should be! I may have start buying an extra bunch of bananas, just to let them spottify on me for baking purposes… too bad Kira and I would have to hide them from each other to keep them around longer than a few days!
Banana, Almond Butter and Oat Cookies
Adapted from A Full Measure of Happiness, here! I got 14 cookies. Of course, I put a Hayley-type spin on these…I’ll give you one guess. Yep. CHIA SEEDS! How did you know?!
2 dead bananas (mine were spotty brown)
1/2 c nut butter (I used crunchy raw almond butter for these)
1 tsp vanilla extract
very scant 1/4 c canola oil
1 heaping spoonful of unsweetened applesauce
2 c rolled oats
1/3 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp baking powder
scant 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (I think I would add more next time)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 c chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350! Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
In a largeish bowl, mash up your banana, and then mix in nut butter, vanilla, and oil until thoroughly combined. In a smaller bowl, stir together oats, coconut, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chia seeds. Mix dry into wet, and stir in chocolate chips (these are some low-maintenance cookies). Drop by the spoonful onto your cookie sheet: I crammed all of them onto one, since they don’t spread, and was able to fit 14. Bake for 12-14 minutes (I took mine out at 14ish), until lightly browned on the edges.