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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even though it is 100 plus degrees out today, it was a little overcast and we were inside watching soccer. It seemed like a good idea to bake some cookies with the kids. I decided to try a recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies. I have to say, the kids and I thought they were really good! Give them a try and see what you think...I have them in the freezer to save for special (occasional) treats in school lunches next month. :)

I found them on http://veganbakedgoodsdontsuck.tumblr.com/page/3
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (this is the true maker of these cookies!)
  • vegan chocolate or carob chips - put in as many as you like
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (I used coconut oil which worked really well)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water
directions
Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. Add chips. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium size bowl mix vegan sugar and oil well.  Add the vanilla and then add the water. Mix it well.  Add the wet to the well in the dry. Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it.  Add more chips if you need to.  Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes.

The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer than you want them to be. They will harden up some as they cool.

Remove from the oven and let them sit on the pan for a couple of minutes before transferring them to wire cooling racks.

Serves: almost two dozen

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Caprese Grilled Panini plus extras

I had to add this in after the post on freezing lemon juice. I bought a watermelon last week, and as much as we ate it, we still couldn't eat it fast enough before it started getting mushy. I decided I would try freezing it. I put the cubes of seedless watermelon in my blender and then poured the juice in ice cube trays. I now have healthy, frozen treats on hand for the kids!

I tried a new recipe for kale this week. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2862
I think I needed to wilt the kale a little longer, but overall it was pretty good.


I saved the best for last! I went to Whole Foods Market yesterday and found some fresh ciabatta bread. I have to admit it is not the healthiest choice in bread but it was the perfect thing for this caprese grilled panini. I don't have a panini press so I had to improvise. I heated up my beloved cast iron grill pan from Crate and Barrel. The sandwich was so easy to make and SO delicious! I cut the bread in sandwich size portions and then sliced them in half. I layered them with mozzarella cheese, sliced tomato and tons of fresh basil from my friend's garden (thanks Shelley!). I brushed the bread with some EVOO and placed it on the hot grill pan with a lid from a pot onto the top to help keep in the heat. When the bread was nice and toasty, I flipped it over. While it was cooking, I made some Balsamic Vinaigrette. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/simple-balsamic-vinaigrette-recipe/index.html  My husband is one of those people that loves to dip his food in sauces. This recipe was the perfect compliment to the sandwich. A definite do over!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Coconut Tarts with Fresh Strawberries

My kids have been begging me for dessert every night. They ate a good, healthy meal tonight so I decided to make something special. I had some shredded coconut in the fridge and decided to make something with it. The end result was fabulous and everyone enjoyed their special treat!

Coconut Tarts: (makes about 8)
2 egg whites
2 cups shredded coconut
Mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350.
Beat the egg whites and then add the coconut.
Spray a muffin tin and press the coconut mixture into the cups. At this point you can sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on each one.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

We topped ours with a sliced strawberry and the kids requested a dollop of whipped cream on theirs.

This was such an easy and yummy dessert for a hot summer night!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Do you know what is in your lemon juice?

I have found that many recipes I have been cooking lately have called for fresh squeezed lemon juice. As I don't always have fresh lemons on hand, I had to come up with an alternative to the store bought lemon juice that contains all sorts of stuff other than lemons (check out the bottle if you have one in your fridge). Trader Joe's sells a big bag of lemons or limes pretty inexpensively. I use my juicer to get all the juice out and freeze it in ice cube trays. When it is frozen solid, I pop them out and store them in the freezer in a ziploc bag. When you need some juice, take out a cube and defrost it-easy! I have even grated the rind of limes and frozen it for the recipes that call for lime zest. Next time a thoughtful neighbor brings by more citrus than you know what to do with-juice and freeze!