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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Tahini Carob Cookies

We love books in this house.

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I mean really love books. Last week, during dinner, I asked Miss Rae what she and daddy had done all day.

Miss Rae: “We read books.”

Me: “What else?”

Miss Rae: “And then we read stories.”

Matty B confirmed that this, in fact, was true. Both kids love books, but if Miss Rae could have her way, they’d read books all morning, and finish up with a field trip to the downtown bookstore, Book&Game. Heaven for my wannabe reader.

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We go through phases (currently The Berenstain Bears and Curious George are the top faves), but Frog & Toad are a new discovery and a personal favorite because I remember them from my childhood!

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Frog & Toad are more relatable than you might think. Mostly, because as noted above, they make cookies and cannot stop eating them.

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You know that I’m a peanut butter/chocolate-aholic. This tahini/carob combo just seemed like the right thing to do.

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I seriously could not stop eating these cookies. There are a few unique flavors in this recipe that make you stop and say, “hmmm? This is new. And I like it!” And then you eat another cookie.

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I had a helper. When I told her we were using carob chips instead of chocolate chips she was like…

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I promised they’d still be delicious. I have a pretty good track record, so she believed me.

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I’ve already claimed that I own the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. And that’s still true.

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However, I guarantee that if you make these cookies, you’ll also have something in common with Frog & Toad because they are totally addictive.

Tahini Carob Cookies

Ingredients
1/4 cup earth balance
1 cup sugar
1 TBS molasses
2/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups ww pastry flour
1/2 cup carob chips

Instructions

Cream butter, sugar, tahini, molasses, vanilla and water until smooth.

Add flour, soda, salt and chips.

Roll into balls, spacing on cookie sheet, barely pressing down. Bake for 12 minutes at 350.

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Snickerdoodle Muffins

I’m not usually one to follow the crowd.

Ok, that’s a lie. I snubbed skinny jeans for a loooong time, and now I’m in.

And I didn’t even consider hemp hearts, or chia seeds, or many of the other weird things that I eat now, until I saw a whole stream of other bloggers take the first step.

So, really, this recipe should come as no surprise.

Have you noticed the stream of crazy hybrid dessert recipes floating around lately?

These brownies are really a mash up of brownie batter, cookie dough, and Oreo cookies.

And then there’s these Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Cupcakes

And don’t forget the ever popular concept of wrapping bite sized candy bars in cookie dough and baking them.. Or, if you’re Matty B, just eating them raw.

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I put spinach in all the kid’s smoothies.

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Our bedtime snacks are always bowls of crudités and fresh fruit.

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But these Snickerdoodle Cupcakes Muffins? I didn’t even try.

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They’re vegan, certainly. They are not, capital NOT healthy.

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On the bottom, a cinnamon spice muffin cupcake. On the top, an honest to goodness Snickerdoodle cookie. I thought it was genius. I thought I was being creative.

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Genius? Absolutely.

Creative? Maybe not. At least I didn’t poke a mini Snickers bar down in the middle. Yet…

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes Muffins

Ingredients

Cinnamon Sugar mixture
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBS cinnamon

Egg #1
1/2 TBS flax seed (ground)
2 TBS water

Egg #2
1 1/2 TBS flax seed (ground)
1/4 cup water

Cookie
1/4 cup earth balance vegan butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 TBS almond milk
3/4 cup WW pastry flour

Muffin
6 TBS earth balance, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups ww pastry flour
1/4 cup almond milk

Instructions

Combine cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

Combine flax and water separately for two flax egg mixtures. Set aside.

Using an electric hand mixer, beat all cookie ingredients (including smaller flax egg) until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 8 small disks (muffin top size) and dredge in cinnamon sugar mixture on both sides. Set aside.

In a large, 4 cup glass measuring cup, melt butter. Add remaining muffin ingredients, including larger flax egg.

Grease muffin tin, shaking a small amount of cinnamon/sugar into each hole. Roll around to cover interior of muffin tin.

Add 1 TBS dough to 8 muffin tin holes. Sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon/sugar on top of each. Add another TBS dough on top of that. Lastly, lay a snickerdoodle disk on top of each muffin.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Use a tooth pick or knife to check for doneness.

Zucchini “Noodle” Bake

J Man has a girlfriend.

I. Can’t. Even.

Last Saturday my mom took him to Kindergarten Sabbath School and I took Miss Rae to Beginners. About halfway through I received the following text…

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Apparently she told him that he had a beautiful singing voice and asked how to get to his house. He, naturally, provided step-by-step directions.

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When Miss Rae and I walked in after her program was over, this is what we saw of the happy couple. J Man was taking way more pride in his coloring than he ever has before and was very reluctant to leave. As we were leaving, she called out, “I think I love you!”

What?!?!?

I totally had this vision of Lady and the Tramp. You know, when the dogs are eating spaghetti and it’s all romantic?

I was inspired. (And also a little scared.)

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I knew I wanted spaghetti, but didn’t necessarily want a heavy pasta dish. Enter my awesome julienne peeler. These zucchini “noodles” happened in about 2 minutes.

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And then I got struck by cupid’s arrow by an amazing revelation.

Normally, I would salt the zucchini noodles and let them sit to drain out some of the excess liquid. Extra step.

Normally, I would rehydrate the TVP before I used it because, well, because that’s what you do. Extra step.

So I have one ingredients that’s too wet and one that’s too dry…?

So I just mixed everything together, no extra steps, and hoped for the best.

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The best is what I got. The TVP adds the protein that I need and being that the remainder ingredients are all veggies, this meal left me satisfied, but not stuffed. And the amazing revelation? Totally worked. The TVP was the perfect texture and the dish wasn’t watery at all.

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Important detail: because of a crazy schedule, I combined this the night before, stuck it in the fridge, and Matty B baked it the next day. That probably gave the TVP enough time to rehydrate from the vegetable juices.

In general, meals made the night before provide more time for me to grill my son the next day about who he played with and what they played. And if she kept her hands to herself.

No Lady and the Tramp reenactments on this mama’s watch…

Zucchini “Noodle” Bake

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini, julienned
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup dry TVP
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup marinara sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Almond milk mozzarella (optional)

Combine all ingredients (excluding cheese) in a medium bowl. Let rest in refrigerator overnight. Top with cheese if desired. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Raisin Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

Better With Veggies

I just went to the dentist. I’m not a dentist “hater”, but I firmly believe that you can love a person and hate their behavior and that’s how I feel about the dentist.

1. I absolutely despise having x-rays taken. Those sharp-as-knives bits of cardboard you’re supposed to bite down on? You know, the ones that slice into the soft tissue of your gums? Yeah, I hate those.

2. Hygienists: Don’t make small talk with me. Not only is it impossible to respond because my mouth is full of hand/tools/cardboard torture devices, but this is possibly the only quiet time I’ve had all day and I’d love to just zone out to the poster on the ceiling with the inspirational puppies.

3. I floss. I floss. Don’t try to tell me that I don’t floss.

There are foods to eat for optimal dental health.

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Thankfully, Spabettie created an amazing (unintentionally dentist friendly) chickpea raisin “tuna” salad. It sounds weird, huh? So good. And not even “Holley eats weird things, so she likes it” good. Normal person good.

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WebMD recommends hard, crunchy fruits and veggies like celery and apples for dental health. I WebMD myself frequently. I believe everything they tell me.

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WebMD recommends nuts and other protein sources for healthy, pearly whites.

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WebMD says that garlic has “broad antiseptic qualities.” I’ll take it.

And WebMD also says that you should avoid oranges because of their high acid content. Check out the background of my lunch.

Hopefully my antiseptic qualities balance out my acid content. I’ll eat whatever it takes to avoid the x-rays.

Currently, IV

Currently: snapping, stopping, spending, starting, skipping…

Snapping: photos

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Countless photos of “cousin time”. We had so much fun with Cousin Parker this weekend! Also, it made me really happy to find out that there are other children in the world who also avoid mashed potatoes, marinara sauce and other normal things that normal people eat. Needless to say, we had PB&J for dinner.

(Not) Stopping: until 5 miles.

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Longest run in at least a year. Mumford and Sons helped. Am I trendy? (Note: if you actually have to ask this question, the answer is automatically no.)

Spending: too much money at a Winter Festival.

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The carousel made J Man nauseous, but all was solved with the bouncy house (I know, this doesn’t make sense to me either.) I ate salad in a cup and the remainder of Miss Rae’s veggie corn dog after she took one bite and got bored. Honestly, I could probably survive solely off my kid’s leftovers.

Starting: a few new books.

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This one is full of kitchen tips. Does that even count as a book? Regardless, now I know how to open a tightly sealed jar (wrap plastic wrap around the lid to get a better grip.)

Skipping: all actions of vegan ness, or health, for that matter.

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I had breakfast out with my boss and a coworker. I always get the oatmeal at Maple Counter. It’s good! (And vegan.)

Boss: (as we’re perusing the menu, completely out of the blue) “Holley, so help me if you order oatmeal. We’re at Maple Counter! Get something good!”

I totally gave into peer pressure and got the “February is for Foodies” special: 3 white chocolate/raspberry pancakes, 2 veggie sausages, coffee and oj.

No regrets. Besides, didn’t you see my salad in a cup?

She & Him, 8/52

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

She: quietly, sweetly, looking at books. This is not typical.

Him: fresh out of the bath, with bathrobe.

Best Tofu Scramble

Things you should avoid:

1. Taco Bell
2. Giving your son the pink Hello Kitty plate and your daughter the Red Cars plate at lunch time. This is a big deal.
3. Acid washed jeans. They’re not trendy. You should trust me, the fashion expert, who would spend her days in yoga pants if it were socially acceptable in an office environment.
4. Facebook. I’m getting irritated. Why are there constant updates from people I don’t care about?

Things you should embrace:

1. Yoga. Truth. I can actually do more than one push-up in a row now.
2. Fuzzy socks
3. Real books that you hold in your hands. I bought 3 today. First books I’ve bought in over a year. I’m kinda over the Kindle thing.
4. Tofu

Yes, you heard me right. Tofu.

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I feel like tofu is a very divisive subject, similar to Obamacare or sweet pickles. You either love it, or you hate it.

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This recipe though? This recipe.

If you’re a self proclaimed tofu-hater, you will be not only singing my praises, but maybe even sending me cash. You know, so I can buy more yoga pants.

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If you’re already a tofu-eating rock star, well, rock on, my friend.

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I think the secret ingredient in this recipe is the tahini. You get a nutty, salty flavor that’s not at all reminiscent of peanut butter. It adds a delicious savory depth that’s just so good!

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Tips:

1. Press your tofu. Super important for texture.
2. Get your onions well caramelized.
3. If your tahini is super thick or hard, melt it just a smidge in the microwave so it blends in better.

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I ate mine in corn tortillas, but it would’ve been great with a side of toast (if you’re thinking breakfast), or just ala carte.

And with my belly full of tofu, I’m off to put on some fuzzy socks and read a real book. It’s a good night.

Best Tofu Scramble

Ingredients

1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 TBS olive oil
1 12 oz. package extra firm tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 TBS tahini
1/2 cup baby kale or spinach
2 TBS hemp hearts
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

At least an hour before you’re ready to cook, press your tofu to get all the water out.

When you’re ready to cook, in a medium frying pan, sauté your onion in the olive oil until caramelized.

Crumble tofu into a medium bowl, mixing in nutritional yeast, tahini and salt/pepper. Add to onion and cook until golden brown. Right before serving, mix in kale until slightly wilted. Sprinkle with hemp hearts.

Healthy Vegan Fridays is open for business! Check out other healthy vegan recipes!