Sunday, June 26, 2011

(Almost GF) Chocolate Chip Cookies

     I have to say ALMOST gluten-free chocolate chip cookies because the chocolate chips I used were sweetened with barley malt (not quite gluten-free). These cookies are a nice sweet tooth fix. :-) I found the recipe in babycakes - such a fun, adorable, inspiring book! I only changed two things...yes, to all who know me, this is not surprising. :-) I even captured some of the process...the recipe is at the end...I know that's what you'll be looking for!

(Almost Gluten-Free) Chocolate Chip Cookies
The great thing about vegan cookies is you get to
taste the batter with no worries of raw eggs!

...excitedly awaiting my goodies!

...just right!

The final yummies...I only ate two though!! :-)

The Sweet Treat Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup safflower oil
6 Tbsp applesauce (homemade or store-bought)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp agave nectar
2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup vegan chocolate chips (be sure to purchase gluten-free chips to ensure purity for GF cookies)
Steps to take to get to your yummy treat:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the oils, applesauce, salt, vanilla extract, and agave. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, flax seed meal, baking soda, and xanthan gum. In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing together with a rubber spatula between each batch until all dry ingredients are added and well-mixed. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Using a tablespoon or a melon baller, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Space each dollop of dough 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies on the center rack for 15-18 minutes. Half way through the baking time, rotate the pan 180 degrees. For a crispier cookie, bake at least 18 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-8 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Makes 36 cookies.
May your sweet tooth thank you for the treat!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ginger-Lemon Quinoa

     If you haven't tried quinoa (pronounced ki-nwa) or if it has been a while since you've picked this grain off the grocery store shelf, I urge you to get a supply and try out my newest recipe! It's perfect for summer as it includes ginger, lemon, & fresh corn. Quinoa is also full of good-for-you fiber & protein.

Ginger-Lemon Quinoa

The Nourishing Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable stock
pinch of sea salt
¾ cup red onion, chopped
½ cup sweet potato, chopped into thin quarter moons
1 ear fresh corn, cut off the cob, or 1 cup frozen corn
2 scallions, thinly diced
Parsley for garnish
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated, squeeze out juice (about 1 tsp)
1 lemon, juiced (about 2 Tbsp of juice)
1 tsp ume vinegar

Rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the saponin, a natural enzyme inhibitor, to reduce the bitter flavor. Over high heat, bring to a boil the quinoa, water, sea salt, red onion, sweet potato, and corn. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
To juice the ginger – remove the peel by taking a spoon and simply peeling off the outer layer to reveal the yellow flesh of the ginger. Grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and ume vinegar and mix together.
Once the quinoa mixture has cooled, add the dressing and sliced scallions. Toss and serve warm or as a cold salad. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Great served in a nori sheet with fresh vegetables & a hint of Dijon mustard – roll up like a burrito & enjoy! A perfect dish to serve at your next meal or summer potluck!

Nori Wrap filled with Ginger-Lemon Quinoa,
Blanched Vegetables, & Tahini Sauce

It is HOT here in Texas, so I am definitely eating light & cooling foods, such as this dish! May you all be well...choose something each day to improve upon! Hugs to all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The latest...

     Time gets the best of goes by so quickly, yet so slowly...all at the same time. Hm. Well, I'm back, and hoping to make up for my lack of postings the past few weeks! :-) I went to a surprise birthday party a few weeks ago for one of my classmates and here is what I needed a little work, but with practice maybe I can sell them in the future! ;-) Ah, here begins the brainstorming process of potential business opportunites...

What to do with all this fruit?!
...make an edible fruit & vegetable bouquet!

All the ladies at Dani's Surprise Party! :-)
     This goes back to the Raw Food section of my program. Here I am with my instructor, Alicia, and my very own homegrown wheatgrass! How domestic, right?! :-) Just one ounce of wheat grass is equal to over 2 lbs of fruits and vegetables!! Wowza! It is also helps rid the body of harmful toxins. So just have to start sprouting and growing winter wheat berries!

Taking shots of wheatgrass - can you tell our skin is simply glowing?
     My culinary program is nearing the end. Our last day of cooking was today... bitter-sweet... well, mostly sweet since today was full of desserts! ;-) Honestly though, I couldn't be more pleased that I took this step to pursue one of my heart's desires (a desire that was perfectly planted by God...for more reasons than I presently realize, I'm sure). :-)

     The next couple of months will be spent completing my externship hours. I've chosen two locations to invest my time. One is a chef's academy for young children where I will help assist and teach children how to cook whether it be during birthday parties, scout's field trips, or one of the many themed camps. I'm really looking forward to being in this environment to bring out my inner-teacher and to bring joy to a child's heart through cooking. The other location is a raw food business where I will be assisting in producing their raw food products. Both experiences should be fantastic! Stay tuned for what becomes of these experiences and where my little footprint goes next...

     Blessings on your health...Katie