healthy cooking

Blueberry Vanilla Chia Oat Cookie!

And the longest title goes too…this lovely yummy creation! These cookies look more like a muffin top but seem more of a cookie to me. They are great for breakfast or a mid afternoon, I have yoga in 2 hours and dinner isn’t until 7, type snack. Easy to make, few ingredients and a little love will get you these!

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What you need:

  • food processor (if you have a high powered blender that should be okay too)
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries, or any other fruit for that matter. The original recipe I modeled this after called for bananas. Be creative and remember that changing ingredients just means changes in the food’s taste, appearance, smell, consistency. Either way it all tastes good to our mouths and bellies! 🙂
  • 1/2 cup of dates. I used my trusty Oxford phonics mug and packed that baby halfway full and rather tight. (By the way, if you live in Taichung — Cotsco has dates and they are really reasonably priced and can be used in so many food creations! Best part of using dates? This is your sweetner! If your dates are hard, you can soak them in hot water for 15- 30 mins. This is important because when you blend your dates in the food processor, you want them to become silky smooth!

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  • 1/4 cup of light oil. I used sunflower but you can also use coconut oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts. The original recipe called for chocolate chips but I opted for nuts. Also raisins, crasians, cacao nibs..you get the point?! Be creative and remember this is all about making your taste buds and stomach feel satisfaction and love! With a dash of accomplishment, obviously.
  • 2 cups of oats. I used wholewheat rolled oats but any oats will work. You can also use gluten free for all those intolerants out there.  (Taichungers — I got my oats at Finga’s but they also have them at City Super).

Creation Time:

  • Put your (soaked) dates, oil, vanilla and blueberries into the food processor. Let it run for a few minutes until it is super smooth.

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  • Add in the cinnamon, salt and baking powder and whiz around for a few seconds. Next, add in 1 cup of oats into the processor and let it run for a few seconds, just until the oats are chopped. Depending on how large your processor is, you can add 1.5 cups into the blueberry blend. Mine is smaller and only 1 would fit. Adding more in would slightly change the chunkiness of your cookie but that’s not a bad thing! They are YOUR creation anyway!
  • Pour creation into a separate bowl and mix in another cup of oats. *Remember if you added 1.5 cups in the first whiz around, only add in another 1/2 cup.* This is also the time to add in your nuts, chia seeds, dried fruits or dangerously enjoyable chocolate chips.

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  • Put foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spoon your cookies onto the pan. Each cookie was roughly 2 heaping tablespoons. Mine were big enough to be filling and small enough to just take away the hunger edge. You know what I am talking about too. The hungry, irritable, one track mind focused on your next meal. Sure you do, we all experience it sometimes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 350F. Last move is to turn the tray around for another 8 minutes or so. Let the cookies cool and enjoy with an afternoon beer or coffee/tea in the AM.

Please feel free to post comments about any of these posts! We did a lot of cooking, relaxing and eating over CNY.. Here are some more food creation from this past week:

  • Vegetable noodles with a homemade teriyaki sauce

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  • Homemade veggie burgers with sweet potato fries..yum. We also served these with two sauces: sesame, chive and paprika mayo & honey mustard. I was happy overall with this creation but want to get the recipe right before I post — this weekend we’ll try again. 🙂

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Spicy Moroccan Inspired Soup

I am pretty sure around the world there has been lots of cold and random weather, including Florida..where I am from. Tell me one person who does not like a nice hot bowl of soup on a cold night? No one. That’s what I thought! Here is a recipe for a Moroccan inspired soup. This soup is packed with nutrients, protein and lots of love. Be warned: It is delicious and filling. And make room in the fridge for leftovers.

Spicy Moroccan Inspired Soup

Ingredients:

  1. 1 tablespoon Olive Oil (or other oil)
  2. 2-3 garlic cloves — Or think about this…how much do you like garlic? If you really LOVE it then throw in 4-5, if you only want to smell mildly the next day use 2-3!
  3. 1 sweet onion (diced)
  4. 3-4 celery stalks (diced)
  5. 2 -14 oz. cans of diced or stewed tomatoes — I used one of each. Why? Because that’s all I had.
  6. 6 cups of vegetable stock. (If you are not 100% vegetarian then feel free to use chicken or beef stock!)
  7. 1.5 cups of red lentils (uncooked) — for the sake of a less than satisfying grainy taste in your soup, make sure to rinse and drain those puppies!
  8. 2 handfuls of spinach, kale, chard or any other dark leafy green to throw in at the end
  9. 1 can of your favorite beans — I used chick peas.

Spice up your life!

  1. 1 bay leaf — can be optional if you are making this when you have already gotten home from work and realized you have none and don’t feel like leaving again.
  2. 1 & 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin or coriander. — the original recipe I modeled this after called for cumin but once again I did not have any so I opted for coriander (which is a major staple in most my meals).
  3. 2-3 teaspoons of chili powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of paprika or sweet paprika (to taste)
  5. salt and pepper, as your taste buds feel necessary.

Substitutions:

For the carnivores: add some lamb

Get crazy and be creative with your ingredients! Try a different bean or add an extra vegetable like sweet potato.

And here we go…

Start by mincing the garlic and dicing the onions. Add oil and garlic to a soup pot or whatever you have that holds large liquids. I used a wok since that is what I have. When your nose has alerted you of a lovely garlicy smell, add your diced onions. Saute the onions for about 5 minutes and then add your celery. Saute celery and onions for a few more minutes.

Then add in your spices (bay leaf, coriander/cumin, chili powder, etc). Mix the spices through and saute for a few more minutes. Stir in 2 cans of tomatoes, including their juice, broth and lentils.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer uncooked for 25-30 minutes. If it is too brothy for you then turn up the heat and allow some of the liquid to bubble away.

Time to eat! Serve with some homemade croutons or some chopped up cilantro!

Also just wanted to point out my trusty kitchen utensils:

Oxford Phonics Mug a.k.a. 1 cup (for measuring) and a spoon which doubles as my tablespoon and teaspoon (not the best plan for baked goods!)

                            

And also the most handsome dog of them all, Ziggle B. Johnson