Tag Archives: Meghan Telpner

Cookie Craving Conundrum

craving

noun crav·ing \ˈkrā-viŋ\

Definition of craving

  • an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing

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I woke up this morning with a craving for oatmeal raisin cookies! But I also knew I needed to get some work done to pad my bank account to pay for college … to which I have my Admissions Interview on Tuesday! Fingers crossed!!!

So in between work, I brought up the websites of some of my favorite health/nutrition mentors:

After reading oatmeal cookie recipes on their sites, I settled on the Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Meghan’s website. I quickly jotted down the ingredients and figured I needed to hit up my local health food store for the necessary flours and coconut sugar.

I did stop by Safeway on my way to the health food store to see if they carried the ingredients and if so, what was the price point. (Un)luckily, Safeway did not carry the flours or sugar … so one more block to walk!

At the health food store, I was able to easily locate the buckwheat and brown rice flours … and it made me think I might have some at home … but I wasn’t willing to walk home to check! So I grabbed one of each, plus a bag of coconut sugar – something I hadn’t cooked/baked with before. (As it turns out, I did have both buckwheat and brown rice flour at home, but they’d been open and unused for so long, that I felt it was better to toss them and start fresh!)

I had included eggs on my grocery list, but thought I should try to follow the base of the recipe as best possible, which means using “chia paste” instead of egg (also – to keep it vegan!) … so no eggs made it into my basket.

I’m very thankful that all of Meghan’s recipes that I’ve attempted thus far have been very clear and easy to follow. In order to make the chia paste, I needed to grind some chia seeds … and I thought of 3 different “appliances” to make this happen:

  1. Electric spice grinder
  2. Mortar & pestle
  3. Vitamix dry container

Starting with the quickest and easiest … the electric spice grinder (a coffee grinder … but I don’t drink coffee, so it’s never had coffee beans in it). This tool was perfect! It took literally seconds and voila! the chia seeds were now a chia powder!

Mixing the powder with warm water quickly created the chia paste and again – it pasted up in mere seconds!

When making this recipe, I followed the base recipe (wet & dry ingredients) but was VERY skeptical as the recipe called for 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened! HALF A CUP!!! Holy Hannah!

The changes I made were:

  • Raisins instead of chocolate chips
  • Walnuts instead of pecans
  • Cornstarch instead of arrowroot starch
  • Baked 11 minutes in stead of 15 minutes

After the wet ingredients were added to the dry and thoroughly combined, I was still skeptical as the “batter” was very oily …

I scooped out 5 cookies and spaced them well apart on the parchment-lined baking tray … in case they decided to become 1 cookie! I was very pleased to see the cookies completely held their shape and didn’t spread AT ALL!

I was able to fit the rest of the batter, shaped into cookie balls, on the second tray, so not to take too long with multiple batches.

These cookies have great sweetness, but not overly sweet. The coconut sugar definitely has a different smell/taste/texture than regular granular sugar, but it’s so enjoyable!

I’ve changed the color below to show my changes:

Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 serving chia paste*
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

*Chia Paste – 1 tbsp chia seeds, ground … mixed with ¼ cup warm water (now, 1 tbsp of chia seeds yields more than 1 tbsp when ground … I only used 1 tbsp of the ground chia seeds … not sure if that was right, or if I should have used the whole amount of ground seeds!)

Make It Like So

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix together coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and chia paste
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flours, oats, baking soda, salt, raisins & walnuts
  4. Add wet into dry and stir until combined
  5. Using 1-2 tbsp of mixture, form into balls and flattery slightly and place in parchment lined cookie sheet
  6. Bake for about 10 – 11 minutes, until golden
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The rest of the day was pretty lazy … for the whole household …

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Takeaway Taco Salad

During the last bit of 2016, I was wondering what I would do to challenge myself in 2017. And since I’ve recently (re)found my love for cooking, I thought that a great challenge would be to test a new recipe at least once per week!

I’ve looked through and flagged many pages in 6 of my top choice cookbooks (in no particular order):

  1. The UnDiet Cookbook, by Meghan Telpner
  2. Whole Foods to Thrive, by Brendan Brazier
  3. Oh She Glows Everyday, by Angela Liddon
  4. Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook, by Del Sroufe
  5. Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking, by Dana Shultz
  6. Thrive Energy Cookbook, by Brendan Brazier

For Week 1, I decided to try a simple-looking recipe … Takeaway Taco Salad from The UnDiet Cookbook.

The base recipe has only 8 ingredients, with 2 sub-recipes with 6 ingredients each.

The first sub-recipe is Cashew Cream Cheese and is noted to be “the perfect dairy-free, creamy, cheese-y alternative” and can be made thinner to resemble sour cream. I’m always skeptical on cheese alternatives …

Well yet again, (author) Meghan has proven herself and her recipe to be great! This recipe makes about 1 cup of “cream cheese” and is noted to only last refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days … so I’ll be finding ways to use this!

The second sub-recipe is Tahini Dressing and I’ve made this a couple of times before with the Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potato recipe, so I know it’s awesome!

On to the base recipe! The theory of this recipe is to pack it into a mason jar and have it ready to go … on the go! But I’m trying it at home, so I’ve simply placed the ingredients in a bowl in a pretty fashion so that I could take a picture:

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Then I poured them all into a larger bowl, added the called-for amount of Cashew Cream Cheese (1 TBSP), mixed it up … then checked the recipe for how much Tahini Dressing to use. But it wasn’t specified.

So I opted for approximately 2 TBSP of Tahini Dressing and mixed it up. Once all combined, I poured it back into a more reasonably-sized bowl and dug right in!

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The recipe makes 1 serving … something I absolutely ADORE since I’m only one person and live with no others!

You’re only required to use 1/4 avocado … so I know I’ll have this at least 3 more times to use up the whole avocado. But I think this recipe could very easily come into regular rotation!

I made the dressings this morning so they could marry and thicken in the fridge during the day. But honestly – this recipe was so very easy!

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Blogmas Day 17

BLOGMAS DAY 17

This blogmas is coming to you from the future … because I was in bed early with a headache and didn’t get to blogging!

Saturday! I didn’t do much – it was quite a boring day by most people’s standards!

In the morning I cleaned the kitchen. I went to the grocery store to pick up some black beans.

In the afternoon I made the Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes from Meghan Telpner‘s The UnDiet Cookbook (seriously LOVE this recipe!)

I’ve signed up for a 1-month free trial of CraveTV so that I can watch the 1st season of The Affair. I can get season 2 and the current season 3 on demand through my TV provider.

I’ve been battling a headache since about Wednesday and yesterday it became much more apparent. I still feel it this morning, so I don’t plan on doing much of anything today (except laundry … I MUST do laundry!)

Advent Calendar Day 17: Chocolate Covered Almond

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“Sweet, crunchy and totally addictive, chocolate almonds are a classic for a reason. Whether you want to satisfy a sweet tooth, need an afternoon pick-me-up or are looking for the perfect holiday treat to serve your guests, the answer is always an almond covered in a thick layer of chocolate. And this rich and nutty black tea is every bit as tasty. It’s got cocoa, carob and tons of yummy almond bits, plus an energizing shot of roasted yerba mate to add a warming toasted almond flavour. This little indulgence is so good, you won’t even realize you’ve gone back for seconds.”

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I brewed this tea as per normal … water from my metal kettle that was sounding warm, but not boiling. Then I popped in a few ice cubes to cool it further so that I could drink it now and not have to wait 30+ minutes for it to cool! I smell the chocolate but don’t necessarily smell the almond. But this is a very enjoyable tea!

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Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

Last week I attended the Vancouver Sun’s annual book sale and snagged Meghan Telpner‘s “The UnDiet Cookbook” for a whopping $2.00!!!

Then after work on Friday, I stopped by Indigo on Granville Street to view a couple other cookbooks. I ended up spending a few tens of dollars and picked up Dana Shultz‘s “Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking” and Angela Liddon‘s “Oh She Glows Every Day“.

I spent a great deal of time on Saturday morning looking through each of these cookbooks and found that on a couple, possibly a few occasions, they had similar recipes. So what else is one to do but a Recipe Taste Off!

The first match up features the following 3 recipes:

  • Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes ~ The UnDiet Cookbook
  • Loaded Sweet Potatoes ~ Oh She Glows Every Day
  • Thai Bakes Sweet Potatoes ~ Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

So I make a list of the ingredients for all 3 recipes, determine what I already have on hand, and reduce my list to the few items I have to pick up. Turns out, 6 medium sweet potatoes can run a person upwards of $10 LOL

One of the recipes is already set to serve 2 and since there is only one of me, I decided to make all three recipes to serve 2 …

Contestant Number 1: Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

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Damn, right!? Ok let’s get this show on the road!!

The recipe was very easy to follow. The amount of coconut oil that is called for to cook the onion and garlic seemed like a bit much, but it worked out perfectly.

I also had to make the “Tahini Dressing” in this cookbook as it was called for as the drizzle on the sweet potato. And this also super easy recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Holy Hannah it’s got flavour!!!

The sweet potatoes could have cooked for another 10 – 15 minutes longer, but I’d already cooked them the “maximum” 60 minutes as outlined in the book … and I was starving! Plus it all smelled so good, I couldn’t wait any longer.

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Once assembled, and photographed – of course!, I dug right in. I’m really glad I started out with this recipe as it lived up to its typed hype!

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I would absolutely recommend this recipe (& cookbook) and cannot wait to try some of the other recipes!

Just a couple of nights from now I’ll dig into the next Recipe Taste Off contestant! Stay tuned …

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