Monday, January 19, 2015

Yummy Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

These little grab-and-go carrot cookies are the perfect thing for a healthy, fiber-filled breakfast that will keep you feeling full. I also eat them post-work out (and I always eat two because they are just so yummy) or for a late afternoon snack (when I know I just can't quite make it until dinner).

My kids like them without nuts and with chocolate chips; I much prefer them chocked full of walnuts and raisins.  Try a combination that fits your family's likes. These will keep on the counter in a zip lock bag for a few days. If you have any left over you can freeze them. Enjoy!!

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup coconut sugar (you can sub in brown sugar if you don't have coconut sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbl coconut oil, melted, OR olive oil
1 Tbl ground flax + 3 Tbl water (to make a flax egg) OR 1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened natural applesauce
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk)
1 1/2 cups of shredded carrots (about three carrots)

Add ins - use what you like or use nothing at all:
(My favorite is walnuts and raisins. My kids like just chocolate chips)
1/2 Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips OR chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375F

If you are making a flax egg instead of using a regular egg, make it first because it needs to sit and thicken. To make a flax egg: In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbl ground flax seed with 3 Tbl filtered water. Give the mixture a little stir and let sit for 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken and when used in place of an egg, it will act as a binder. 

Put whole wheat pastry flour, wheat germ, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Use a whisk to combine all ingredients together.

In another medium bowl, combine oil, applesauce, almond milk, and flax egg OR regular egg. Fold in shredded carrots.

Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Add whatever add-ins you are using.

Use a cookie scoop to scoop mixture on to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 17-18 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a plate. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Texas Barbeque Bean Soup

My husband is a huge chili lover. I have to admit, it isn’t my favorite dinner on earth, but, I make it for him because it makes him very happy! He absolutely LOVED this BBQ Bean Soup- which is really just another name of BBQ Bean Chili. It has those same smokey flavors, but, with a unique twist- BBQ sauce!! I have never put BBQ sauce in chili before, so, when I saw this as an ingredient, I had to try it out. He gave it rave, rave reviews and told me I had to blog it.

**Of course, mine, like the original recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant Favorites cookbook (this was an awesome Christmas present) was meatless. But, I think you could easily add a 1/2 lb of ground beef or turkey to the pot and cook before you add the onions. You could also add rotisserie chicken before serving satisfy the meat-lovers in your family. Enjoy!

2 Tbl olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp salt
1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced (I used red)
2 Tbl chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or 1 fresh jalapeno, minced (I used the jalapeno)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 15oz can diced tomatoes (I used petite fire-roasted)
2 15 oz cans beans (you can use whatever beans you like best, I used black)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (I omitted this)
1/3 cup BBQ sauce

**See note above if you want to add meat to this soup

***For topping ideas see note below

Warm the oil in a covered soup pot on low heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic and salt and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft. Add the bell peppers, chipotles (or jalapeno), oregano, thyme, cumin, and black pepper and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the water and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans, corn, and BBQ sauce, bring back to a simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes.

***I served this chili with cashew cream sauce (click here for the vegan sour cream substitute recipe which my husband and I think is far better than real sour cream), grated cheddar cheese, sliced green onions and homemade cornbread. Other toppings include sour cream, diced avocado and crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Whole Grain Bran Muffins

I think you either love the texture of a bran muffin or you hate it.  I, personally, LOVE it!!! When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light I knew I had to make it. The dates simmered in fresh squeezed orange juice, as well as the mashed banana, in place of any sugar really intrigued me. Cooking Light said they are 170 calories each and pack nearly 30% of your daily fiber. Hey, that's not too bad.  These muffins are very delicious (I already ate two and I'm jonesin' for another right now). Next time I make them I will try one of the add-in ideas to spice them even further.

If you are a fan of bran, give these a try! Enjoy!

1 3/4 cups wheat bran
1 cup whole pitted dates
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mashed banana, about one medium
2 Tbl butter, melted
2 Tbl canola oil <I used coconut oil>
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs

Other add-in ideas (or leave them as is):
  • 1 cup grated carrots & 1/2 cup chopped walnuts OR
  • 1 grated zucchini OR
  • 1/2 blueberries & 1/2 cup sunflower seeds OR
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F

Spread bran on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes <I only did 7 minutes> or until lightly browned, stirring once.

Combine dates and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat; uncover and let stand 5 minutes. Place date mixture in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Add buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (through vanilla); process until smooth.

Combine flour, bran, baking powder, and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add date mixture to bran mixture, stirring just until moist. Add eggs, stirring just until combined. Place 12 muffin cup lingers in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake at 350F for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan; cool on a wire rack.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fudgy Skillet Cookie

I whipped this Cooking Light recipe up last night for the fam. I love how easy it was to bake the whole thing in one skillet!! My kids loved getting a big "pizza" slice of the cookie (and actually, to me it was more brownie-like). You guys know me well enough by now to know that I substituted the butter for coconut oil, used dairy-free chocolate chips, whole wheat pastry flour and subbed out the regular sugar for coconut sugar - it was still delicious!!! So, substitute as you will - or make the full fat version (when it comes to sweets, sometimes you just have to go whole hog).  I also added some toppings. The kids wanted mini marshmallows and I sprinkled sliced almonds on top for my husband. The possibilities are endless and you can also leave it plain. Enjoy!

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted <I used coconut oil>
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar <I used 1/2 cup coconut sugar total>
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour <I used whole wheat pastry flour>
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
10" cast iron skillet OR a 10" round baking pan

Extra topping ideas:
Mini marshmallows
Sliced Almonds
Chopped peanuts
Chopped pretzels
Chopped pecans
Chopped walnuts
More chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a microwave safe bowl melt butter and 1/4 cup chocolate chips on HIGH for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well. Heat for another 30 seconds and then stir until completely melted and combined. 

In a large bowl, combine butter/melted chocolate mixture and sugars with a wooden spoon. Stir in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Transfer to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; smooth top. Sprinkle with topping(s) of your choice, if using.

Bake until cookie is golden brown and just set in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.