Posted on June 9, 2020
It’s been awhile since I had made homemade cookies. I’ve been focused on trying new things and making new concoctions, which is amazing and fun. But it’s important to keep those staples around such as chocolate chip cookies. Once every couple weeks is rather sufficient for us nowadays.
This recipe was inspired by cornstarch. I know what you are probably like, what the heck?!
Okay I have fallen in love with cornstarch since switching to a vegan/plant based diet. It literally allows magic to happen every time I use it.
There is a consistency with corn starch that reminds me of talc. It feels like a soft sand when I close my eyes and rub it on my hands or finger tips. I wanted to give it that crumble texture and still a formable consistency.
Lately it has been a favorite thing of mine to always have treats on the cake dish. Even if that means healthy, nutrition dense snack bars or a sweet treat like chocolate chips cookies.
A couple things about the cookies:
- Make sure you preheat your oven FIRST before you even start anything.
- If you use dark chocolate, I HIGHLY encourage the MORSELS. It makes for an incredible gooey cookie!
- Don’t skip the parchment paper. It really allows the cookie to not over brown on the bottoms.
- I’d stick to a nut based milk, but you are the baker. Try the oat milk!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 TBSP GROUND flax seed.
- 2.5 TBSP water.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) PLANT BASED OR VEGAN butter.
- 1.25 cups Brown sugar.
- 2 TSP vanilla extract.
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour.
- 2 TSP CORNSTARCH.
- 1 TSP baking soda.
- .25 TSP salt.
- 1.5 cup NON dairy chocolate chips. ENCOURAGE MORSELS.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Take your 1 tbsp ground flax and 2.5 tbsp water, combine and set aside to allow consistency to form. (Egg replacement)
- Get a medium size Mixing bowl, take your room temperature butter and brown sugar, combine until smooth. It’s important the butter is room temperature so it doesn’t stick to your mixer. Trust me.
- Now add your flax egg and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture. Combine well.
- Get your flour and pour over the wet mixture. Leave it and put add the baking soda, salt and cornstarch on top of the flour. Then combine and mix. This is where you will start to see the crumble mixture take place. This is normal and what you want.
- Now add your 1.5 cups of chips and mix.
- Roll into balls in the size of about 2 tbsp. DO NOT flatten or you will lose that airy/gooey mound.
- Bake at 325 for 12 minutes exactly.
Posted on June 7, 2020
It started about one year ago and we noticed our daughter having lack of endurance.
So let’s starts with, when I was pregnant I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 30 weeks and delivered my daughter at 38.5 weeks. Which left me doing meal tracking, dietician appointments for education, check ups, insulin every single night before bed, walks up 3 flights of stairs 3 times a day and pricking my fingers 4 times a day to monitor my sugar levels.
When I delivered my daughter they educated me on the chances and risk of becoming diabetic later on in my life or any time in Gracies.
I did not worry too much and just continued on with life as a new mom.
Here we are almost 4 years later and noticing that as she is getting older, her endurance is not growing with her like we THINK it should be. Now this is not some serious means for concern as she is a toddler and they are all over the place. But we also don’t want to be parents that neglect something that may need attention.
Just so happens this week we plan to take her in and have her sugar levels tested. Cover our bases and go from there.
We don’t believe in medicine outside of insulin if she needed it, but we aren’t worried about that being an issue. We are actually on the road to considering it being a REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA. Which is hard to diagnose in kids from our understanding, but again she has all of the symptoms.
We won’t self diagnose, which is why the doctor visit is coming and we are definitely looking forward to hearing what the pediatrician does say or if we even need to be concerned. I will be sure to keep you posted on her and what happens.
So lately I have been reading my butt off about all sorts of things that pertain to toddler foods and proper nutrition. Ideas on how to cook and snacks to make. Since we are a vegan/plant based family and I am completely dairy intolerant, we have some specific pallet eaters.
My daughter is VERY picky as I am sure a lot of other toddlers are also. It always seems to be one thing only keeping me from a successful meal or snack. She will even be on a total kick of let’s say, apples and peanut butter. So I go and stock up on what’s needed and different kinds just for her to be over it in a week. I’m learning. Ha.
Well these little bars I literally just whipped up and I measured nothing. However I am confident by explaining you can nail this recipe and even dress it up if you want!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 2.5 cups Rice Krispies
- 1.5 cups Dark chocolate morsels or chips
- 1 cup Unsweetened Almond milk or milk of your choice
- 1/4 cup Peanut butter
- Chocolate Protein/meal powder (I used Beachbody’s chocolate meal replacement powder with 16g protein per scoop and used 1/2 of one scoop since they are for a toddler)
I am guessing on those measurements by my eye. Just like I had mentioned I didn’t actually measure originally.
How to make the bars:
- Get a large bowl and pour your Rice Krispies into it. Set aside.
- Melt your chocolate/peanut butter in a double boiler. You can place a small pot inside another with water and melt the mix this way. I do not suggest the microwave.
- Stir frequently as mixture melts.
- Once the mixture is melted, add in your milk and protein/meal powder. Mix and combine well.
- Pour your melted mixture over the Rice Krispies and fold together. I used a silicone spatula.
- Once full mixed and combined, lay and press into a large glass/metal baking dish. ANY SIZE. It’s up to you how thick you want them. The thicker they are the longer you freeze them.
- Top with coconut flakes or whatever you’d like. Chia seeds, hemp hearts or even drizzle more peanut butter on top.
- Freeze for one 1-2 hours or until hard. Cut with buttered knife for easy slicing. Keep refrigerated for better keep or on counter top for up to 2 weeks.
TODDLER AND VEGAN APPROVED.
Posted on June 4, 2020
There was a day when I was able to eat 5 pieces of pizza and a side of ranch if I wanted, but those days ended and here I am dairy intolerant. I have always wondered if we give ourselves intolerance by not getting enough of that source. But that is just a personal theory I have.
Tonight was one of those nights when I made different meals, which is not ideal for family meals. But I really wasn’t up for anything other than super fresh!
So I made Ryan and Gracie a couple Boca Burgers, which I can’t have due to them having milk in them. Yes they have milk and the Boca crumble does not. Weird right? Either way I didn’t want a burger tonight, so they enjoyed that with a side of veggies and homemade russet fries. I didn’t take a photo of their dinner, but I promise it looked awesome and they both ate every bite.
When I make salads I always just grab and cook. There is no rhyme or reason to what I grab or how I am seasoning. Seems weird I know, but it’s how my mojo works. Ha!
For some reason this dressing is something I just literally grabbed and tossed together, turning out to be a sauce you could use on anything! I mean that to.
The sauce is what made and finished the salad. I mean all those vegetables are delicious, but the sauce is what combines it all. Right? Yes! At least I feel that way. Perhaps my light sense of humor and smiling face can’t be seen right now, but I am being silly. Okay I’ll get back to focusing.
Here is what you need for the secret sauce:
I am going to apologize ahead of time, but I don’t measure this dressing. I will measure what I do next time just to see what I really am adding.
- GENEROUS squeeze of Spicy Mustard. Any brand will work.
- Few DASHES of Rice Vinegar
- 2 splashes of Olive oil
- 3 tbsp water ( I do measure this!)
- DASH of sea salt
- DASH of pepper (or more if you want spicy)
Whisk this mixture together for a good 30 seconds and vwa-la! This makes enough for one LARGE salad. Double this recipe to make more. (Use the cornstarch as needed to thicken your dressing the way you like) I used about 1 tbsp by the time I was done adding.
You can use this on ANY meat and I assure you it will be amazing! You can add any spice to it, but it will be goo either way. You can use it for vegetables, pour over mashed potatoes, use as a marinade or pasta dressing!
- 1 tbsp Unsalted/roasted sunflower seeds. Or any kind works.
- 2 tsp Nutritional yeast flakes
- 1.5 tsp Everything bagel season
- 2 tsp hemp hearts
Combine and toss over your salad before the dressing! I promise you won’t regret it.
Posted on June 4, 2020
This family LOVES pizza! I mean who in the heck does not like a fresh slice of heaven and it’s Vegan approved!
Okay perhaps the analogy of heaven and pizza might not be the best, but you get the point that pizza is amazing to us. Ha ha!
Now I have not been able to eat dairy for a long time and since then I have found ways to enjoy pizza. Learning about different dairy free cheeses and that they do have different tastes. Knowing that probably making my own nuts cheese is the best idea, but I mean I have already given up the tasty dairy we all love so much. However now I know what I know, I do not even believe we should consume dairy products. That’s another subject and another day.
I used to make pizza on tortilla with lots of veggies and vegan cheese. It is still a favorite of mine! The light toasty tortilla shell and fresh vegetables is seriously mouth watering.
Husband likes meats on his pizza and my daughter prefer just cheese and pepperoni. Well we don’t consume meat anymore, so I got my husband to join my vegetable pizza and made a second cheese only that everyone could enjoy.
Now this dough turned out literally perfect! I bet if you chose to make the size a bit smaller and stuff the crust, it would be epic! Slather some garlic butter over the crust before baking, yum.
However I didn’t do either of those things this time around, perhaps next time.
Here is what you will need for the dough:
- 4 cups all purpose flour (set some aside for rolling later)
- 1.5 tsp Sea salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 pack of active dry yeast. (I suggest using fast acting)
- 1.5 cups warm water. (Roughly 110 F)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (additional 2 tsp/set aside)
- Warm your water and get your yeast packet. Combine your packet of yeast, 1 tsp sugar with 1.5 cups warm water. Set aside and allow to become active. 10 minutes approx.
2. Combine 4 cups flour, 1.5 tsp salt and the yeast mixture. (Once the yeast is ready) I used a silicone spatula to combine. You can also use a dough hook.
3. Now add your 2 tbsp Olive oil (optional but I highly suggest) combine or use hook until forms a solid ball. If dough is too sticky add 1 tbsp flour at a time until it is not. Or 1 tbsp water at a time if too dry.
4. Remove from the bowl and knead for roughing 3-5 minutes on a floured counter top.
5. Now grease a clean bowl with the other olive oil (2 tsp) and set your dough ball inside. Cover with a towel, let sit and rise for approx 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Be sure it’s a little warm where you set it. I placed mine in a corner cubby on the counter.)
6. When the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Separate into two pieces and form two balls.
7. Now cover with the same towel and rest for 15 minutes. NOW Preheat your oven to 450 F.
8. Now press down with your palm to create a circle. I stretch over a sheet of parchment paper. Begins stretching the outside to pull and create a larger circle. Be careful not to create to thin of areas. Remain an even dough nest you can. If the dough keeps shrinking back up when you pull on it, set it back aside and rest for an additional 5-10 minutes.
10. Once your oven is preheated and your pizzas are dressed. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. I rubbed a little olive oil on the edges before baking.
There is always something special with home made pizza and the flavor it gives. Nothing like it. I hope you enjoy and share with your friends and family.
Posted on June 3, 2020
It was the first day that I have ever had hired help with my daughter. Even though it was my niece, her cousin, it was new for me.
I had no idea what to do with myself since I normally don’t do anything alone. Gosh that sounds so sad. Ha ha! So I set out to just do something I enjoy doing at home, but without interruption. Which meant full attention to my recipes, my photos, my fun kitchen dancing skills and of course being able to LISTEN to my instrumental music I love so much.
Even though on every single given day, I do spend it in a kitchen. Mostly because I just am not a gal who sits well and I am a total kitchen person. I really enjoyed every single 120 minutes of it.
In between baking and during some waiting steps, I would step outside to my garden space, enjoy the environment and soak up some moments of sunshine. Knowing I was able to go back inside without any bother to actually finish my task! You parents know what I’m talking about. Ha!
So as I chose what to make in the kitchen today, I quickly realized snack time was coming. Gracie was being such a good girl downstairs with her new babysitter, I wanted to make her snack a treat also. So the beautiful idea of muffins came to mind and of course chocolate chips make everything a treat. Boom and vwa-la!
WHAT YOU NEED TO GET THESE TASTY TREATS:
- 1 cup Almond milk (Soy works also)
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (lemon juice works also)
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar. (I used coconut)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup Apple sauce
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used about 2-3 tbsp extra for topping before baking)
- Pre heat your oven to 325F and place 12 muffins liners inside pans.
- Medium mixing bowl add your Almond Milk and Apple cider vinegar to create a vegan buttermilk. (Mine is brown in photos due to using coconut sugar) let it sit for about 10 minutes until it begins to bubble on top.
- Large mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine and set aside.
- Once the buttermilk is ready after 10 minutes. Add your sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Combine Well.
- Now marry the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. I folded it together gently with a silicone spatula. Don’t over work it. The mixture will be a tad lumpy, it’s okay. Add in your 1 cup chocolate chips and fold together.
- Fill liners about 3/4 full, SPRINKLE YOUR EXTRA CHIPS NOW if you want them.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. I baked for 17 minutes in my electric oven and tin pans.
- Check with toothpick! If it’s mostly dry it’s done.
- Once done baking, set aside and cool on rack for 15 minutes. I let mine completely cool in order to allow the liners to come off easier. Trust me! Unless you have silicone liners.
Toddler approved and seriously so good you need to be careful the plate isn’t too close! Ha!