Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lemon-Poppy Seed-Ginger-Thyme Cookies

Last night i had the urge as i often do, to bake cookies. They used to be my biggest weakness and I even earned the nickname "cookie monster" at one point. Since then, i have refined my appetite for cookies and my waistline is thanking me for it. However, when i do make them now they have to be vegan and i only do so because I've seen an interesting recipe and this one doesn't disappoint.
This comes from Happy Healthy Life-(the lunchbox bunch)* and its very different! don't be afraid it actually tastes not bad, i modified the recipe quite a bit to my own taste and ingredients on hand, so it can hardly be the original- view that one, or mine- either way, give it a go. I was able to stop at 2 :)
My version also lets you eat them ASAP, no fridge time!

Lemon-Poppy seed-Ginger-Thyme Cookies ~inspired recipe

2cups Spelt Flour (or whole wheat)
2tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
1/2tsp Salt
1/4cup Poppy seed
1tbsp Fresh Thyme (chpd)
1 Lemon (zested)
1tbs Fresh Ginger (minced or grated)
1/4cup Oil (try to use safflower, sunflower, coconut- i only had canola*)
1/2cup Organic Local Honey* (adjust amount according to sweetness, i could have done with less)
2tbs Brown Sugar
1 Lemon juiced
1tsp Lemon Extract (or vanilla)
**1-3tbs WATER* (DON'T add this till you've mixed everything- you will need it if the batter is too dry instead of adding more fat)

Prep. preheat oven to 350F, set up 1 dry bowl 1 wet bowl
Mix. all dry ingredients, wet- adjust amount of sweetener if you like
Wet. after you have added the oil, lemon juice and liquid sweetener AND mixed, you may need to add a tbs or 2 of water to form the batter, i think just 2tbs worked for me, eyeball it. this is the best trick to avoid adding more fat to the recipe
Roll. into balls, smash with hand on the cookie sheet
Bake. 15min at 350F regular, adjust time if you use convection

These cookies are low fat, healthy and guilt free- i like to use liquid sweeteners in place of white sugar like the original called for. They boost fiber from whole grains and loads of anti-oxidants from the lemon, ginger, honey and thyme.

notes + variations
 ~ Honey: i don't mind using honey every now and then if its coming from a local non-harvested bee farm, some vegetarians/vegans do not use honey, if so Maple syrup would be the best alternative for this recipe, or agave- but you need the rich flavor
~Oil: i am not a big fan of using canola oil in recipes, although it is cheaper, fast and usually on hand- products made from Corn are highly processed and refined. The industry loves to promote canola to support their business, it is high in Monounsaturated fats, but plant oils are much healthier for us in my opinion. Use safflower or sunflower if you can, you will be getting your omega-3s and 6's + Vitamin B!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vegan Italiano

I haven't posted for awhile, but today is one of those days i forced myself to use my free time to be useful in the kitchen and make the most of leftovers. I think it turned out pretty good!! The theme of today was definitely Italian inspired (my favorite). The best thing i made was this pasta, it rocks! and its low fat-ish. It was also a good was to use the food that's starting to go bad. Its one of my new standbys :)

Cheese Free "Creamy" Tomato Basil Pasta
serves 2

1/4pkg  Spicy Pepper Spaghetti (infused, from the Italian store)
3clvs Garlic, minced, pureed
5 Fresh Tomatoes (i think mine were hot house); chpd
2tsp olive oil, salt and pepper
1/2can Cannelloni Beans (white); pureed
4tbs Fresh Herbs (i used thyme, oregano, basil* use mostly basil); chpd

Boil. the water while you are cutting up the ingredients, add pasta when you are ready to saute
Saute. garlic in some olive oil for 1min, then add chpd fresh tomatoes and begin to make the sauce, when they have become a little juicy add extra oil, salt and pepper; wait till really juicy before next step (this doesn't take more then 10min)
Puree. white beans, if you havent already done so ahead of time, add to tomatoes and stir to form a sauce, heat for a couple minutes more
Assemble. put some pasta in a bowl, pour 1/2 of the sauce on each, then garnish with 1/2 of fresh herbs for each; twist together before eating
Simply delicious! you wont miss the cheese, and the beans make it creamy and satisfying, garlic and herbs add a fresh flavor

And Lunch Was...
This is a poor picture, but the item im showcasing is the Vegan Italian Chili, on top of Happy Herbivore's, Vegan Italian sausage*. The chili was my idea cause the sausage needed something with it, i was excited to try it but im not a big fan of "meat substitutes", either meat or no meat i say, however it is a great way to have a sausage! Now on to the chili. I have never made a chili of my own recipe before, nor an Italian one, so this is new. Not bad!!

Vegan Italian Chili

2clv Garlic, minced
1 Onion, chpd
1/2can Pinto Beans
1/2can Cannelloni Beans
1-2tbs Chili Powder
1tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2tsp Red pepper flakes
1tbs Red Wine Vinegar
3tsp Oregano
2tsp Thyme
1tsp Rosemary
1/2tsp Fennel/Marjoram
1/2 Green pepper, chpd
1/4 Zucchini, chd
1 24ozcan Diced Tomatoes

1 W/W Bun
1 Vegan Italian Sausage* The Happy Herbivore
+/- Vegan Parm Cheese

Prep. heat oil and saute the onion, garlic, peppers, and zucchini, add spices
Simmer. add beans, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, adjust spices as needed
10min cook time

Enjoy! and remember, you CAN cook yourself thin :)
xoxo Green Love Goddess