Cookie dough doesn’t always have to be raw…

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Every morning I wake up at 6am to workout. Today, I decided to forgo that venture in order to post this recipe. It’s. Just. That. Good. In the span of four days, I have made these twice for birthdays (the first time was mine!), and gotten rave reviews. Some of you may know that I love unusual recipes and ingredients, especially in baked goods, which rank as my favorite food in general. For example: Black Bean Chocolate Cookies and Raw Dark Chocolate Brownies. And if that strange ingredient allows my recipe to have few total ingredients, I love that even more. Like Peanut Butter and Banana Oat Cookies or Power Pancakes. So when I stumbled across Texanerin’s Cookie Dough bites, I had to make a version of my own!

Just like my Black Bean Chocolate Cookies, these use beans as a flour alternative. Except this time it’s chickpeas (garbanzo beans). They leave the cookies incredibly moist, which gives the impression that you’re eating slightly undercooked dough-which is THE BEST! I know I’m not the only one who loves cookie dough-which is why this must be shared!!

 Even a couple days after I made them, they were still super moist and flavorful. But let’s be honest, they won’t last more than a couple days anyway!

I ended up using maple syrup instead of honey-but you get the idea.

I ended up using maple syrup instead of honey-but you get the idea.

The original post had a few helpful tips. Make sure you use natural peanut butter, so that your cookies don’t end up overly oily. Because, ew. You could try honey, maple syrup, or agave as a sweetener. I just love the taste of maple, and I was low on honey.

Chickpea wash!

Chickpea wash!

You won’t quite use a whole can of chickpeas, so you will have some yummy protein to snack on while you bake!

Processed dough

Processed dough

The original post said this dough isn’t good uncooked-and I totally disagree. I loved it! When you are rolling it into balls, you will probably get some on your fingers. Lick clean, please! (As long as you aren’t going back into the dough..unless this is a batch just for you!)

Chocolate PB love

Chocolate PB love

The consistency of the dough is a bit on the soft/stick side compared to typical cookie dough. Hence the need to wet your hands when shaping the balls.

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Finished cookies

Finished cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained, and paper towel dried
  • 1/2 cup + 2 TBS natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey, or agave)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup bitter or semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put all ingredients but chocolate chips in food processor, blend until smooth. Make sure to scrape sides a few times, to avoid leaving whole beans.
  • If dough warmed during process, put in fridge for a few minutes. This will avoid melting chocolate.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Wet hands and shape into small balls, place on cookie sheet. You can flatten them down if you wish, they won’t change shape much during cooking.
  • Bake for about 8-10 minutes (you can really cook as long as you like, there’s nothing in them that would make you sick if raw!).
  • Enjoy!
Snack time.

Snack time.

My patient, ever-watching companion. (I'm only half in the kitchen! Can't get mad!)

My patient, ever-watching companion. (I’m only half in the kitchen! Can’t get mad!)

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Cookouts, puppies and blueberries with chocolate

Last weekend I took Cooper on a walk at a nearby park. It’s a great park that allows off-leash dogs, which gives me the perfect way to tire out the pup when I don’t feel like running! We had just gotten to the park when Cooper met an adorable hound mix named Ferris. Ferris is just 3 months old, and Cooper will be 1 year on Monday, but he plays really well with puppies. They rolled around, chased each other and acted crazy for about 15 minutes, giving Ferris’ mom and I time to chat and exchange numbers, to set up “play dates”. I swear-getting around to asking for the phone number of another woman is way more stressful then going out and meeting guys was when I was single. It’s like you need an excuse to ask for their number, you can’t just say, “I like you, I feel like we could get along mostly-we should hang out, as friends. Can I get yo digits?”

Cooper and Ferris

Cooper and Ferris

So Ferris’ mom texted me this last week and asked if we (Cooper, Tim and I) would like to come over for a Saturday afternoon cook-out. They have a fenced in yard and all dogs are welcome, she said. I asked what we could bring, her suggestion was something green, but I immediately began thinking of baked items I could make. 

I think this is the third or fourth recipe for brownies I have added to this blog-but this is by far my favorite for summer. I love blueberries and chocolate, and decided to experiment by adding these delicious berries to a brownie recipe. I actually found inspiration in a whole wheat brownie recipe, so these are actually a healthier version too!! I mean, they’re still a bit sinful (butter and sugar…come on!), but slightly less than most options. And who wants something really healthy at a Saturday afternoon cookout anyway?? So I made up this pile of brownies and walked down with Tim and Cooper yesterday. The drink of the afternoon turned out to be Blueberry Dirty Arnies (blueberry lemonade and sweet tea vodka) so it was a blueberry themed afternoon! These were really popular too-which is always a great feeling. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Butter and Sugar

Creaming the butter and sugar

Adding the eggs

Adding the eggs-how yellow!

Double chocolate time

Double chocolate time

Time for the blueberries

Time for the blueberries

Exercising my patience and waiting for it to cool...

Exercising my patience and waiting for it to cool…

Sample for me (gotta make sure they're good enough for the bbq!!)

Sample for me (gotta make sure they’re good enough for the bbq!!)

Blueberry Wheat Double Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 4 TBS melted salted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 TBS warmed coconut oil (warmed just enough to pour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9×9 pan.
  • Use a kitchen aid mixer if you have one, or beaters to cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes.
  • Add coconut oil and continue to cream for 2 more minutes.
  • Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each. 
  • Lower the mixer speed and add the flour and powder, mixing just until combined.
  • Using a spoon, stir in the chocolate chips first, and then the blueberries (carefully as to not break them up).
  • Spread batter in pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Check at 25 minutes. 
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes, slice and enjoy!
Brownie Mountain!!

Brownie Mountain!!

Pizza night and Mother’s Day

Tim’s mother and granny are visiting us from Virginia. They have graced us since Wednesday, and unfortunately have to fly back tomorrow. Luckily we are spending Mother’s Day with them currently, which is a treat! Since they have gotten to spend a few night with us, we have had some fun cooking for 4 rather than 2. Last night we were talking about ordering pizza, when I realized we should just make our own! I had gotten a new bread cookbook yesterday morning at one of the many garage sales we visited, and was anxious to adapt a recipe to my own.

The crusts on these pizzas are part whole wheat, part white flour. All high-altitude flour, which is a great thing for us! We decided on chicken as a meat topping, but couldn’t agree on what kind-so we made two different ones! The first is sweet italian chicken sausage, portabello and green pepper with a tomato sauce base. The second is barbecue chicken with barbecue and olive oil base. Both were amazing, though I was personally partial to the sausage. I adapted a version of an “in a rush” pizza crust, which turned out beautifully when slowed down a bit (the rushed version calls for the oven to be preheated to 250 for 5 minutes, and the dough rises in the previously warmed oven for 30 minutes-I just left it on the counter for an hour). 

I also have been off dairy now since February, so I put Daiya cheese on the slices I planned to eat!!

Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day!!

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The Sweet-Italian Sausage, Portabello and Pepper Pizza

Half-Wheat Pizza Crust, “In a Hurry”

(makes 2 pizza crusts)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm (110-115 degree) water 
  • 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (plus a dash more for kneading/correct consistency)
  • 2 tsp salt

Directions:

  • You can either do this by hand or with a mixer and bread hook. If using mixer, place yeast and water in mixing bowl off the start. If using hands, just use a large bowl.
  • Put the warm water in bowl, sprinkle yeast over top and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add flour and salt, either mix with hands or turn to moderate speed on mixer.
  • Once the mix becomes roughly incorporated, either mix by hand or on low setting for 5 minutes until smooth. 
  • At this point I added a bit of water because my dough was dry, but that might not be necessary for you!
  • Form into two balls, let rise about 1-1 ½ hours until doubled.
  • Use as directed below!
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Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage, Portobello and Pepper Pizza

Two Variations of Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Full recipe of Half-Wheat Pizza Crust.
  • Corn Meal for dusting pan
  • One small can tomato sauce
  • .5 lb Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage, out of casing and cooked to brown
  • Sautéed portobello and green pepper (we used two small portobello caps and ½ a green pepper)
  • .5 lb chicken breast or cutlets, cubed and cooked through
  • Mozzarella cheese (mozzarella style daiya cheese for me!

OR

  • Any toppings you like!

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Sprinkle two baking sheets with corn meal.
  • Take your risen dough and use a rolling pin to spread just under the length and width of the pan. Mine was an inch from the sides of an average cookie sheet.
  • Spread tomato sauce on one dough, all the way around but leave ¼ inch on rim to act as crust.
  • Mix a ratio of 1:3 olive oil:barbecue sauce for the second dough. Spread in same was as before.
  • On the tomato based pizza, spread the chicken sausage evenly, then the portobello, then the green pepper. Top generously with cheese.
  • On the barbecue based pizza, first mix the cooked chicken with enough barbecue sauce to coat generously then spread the chicken on the pizza. Top with cheese.
  • Place pizzas in oven for 7-11 minutes, or until bubbly and beginning to brown!

OR

  • Follow first few steps and top with whatever you want, and bake at same temp for same time!

YAY!

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My daiya cheese slices!

 

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Monday Funday

First of all, apologies for this being a short post (and a huge gap since the last one) but I’m exhausted! Of course, we had a delicious dinner, so I need to share. Better yet it was a delicious and incredibly easy dinner (like, less than 30 minutes of actual work and 45 minutes of wine/crafting while the oven did it’s thing). So I have to post, right?!

Yesterday we found a nice 50% off package of organic lean turkey meat when shopping for a pre-planned dinner of barbecue and black bean topped sweet potatoes. Naturally, we couldn’t leave it there for someone else. We agreed that Monday night would be ground turkey night. What to do with it though? We’ve gotten some good practice with turkey meatballs, but I wasn’t really feeling pasta. After this weekend I needed a bit of healthy in my life (not that pasta can’t be healthy, in moderation, but I don’t have time for moderation right now-just give me good for me, and give me a lot of it). I sent this link for ideas, but could’t find one I liked. But what I could do was take some inspiration.

Have you been tempted by the healthy spaghetti alternative, spaghetti squash, yet?? I have, but hadn’t committed. 

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Until tonight.

I biked home from work, and made a pit stop at the grocery store. Lucky me, squash was on sale. So was the pasta sauce I love, the organic store brand option! With those items in hand – and ONLY those items (believe me, I was proud of my willpower in a store that sells FOOD) – I headed home to create. The results were tremendous. I didn’t need to use  any oil in this recipe, the turkey cooked up great in my nonstick skillet. The spaghetti squash cooked perfectly in the oven, no real attention needed. It is incredibly easy to make this squash super tasty, and it’s healthy!! One cup of it contains 10% of your daily vitamin C, 9% of your fiber, other minerals and vitamins, and is only 42 calories/10 carbs!! Yes please!

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Browning the turkey and adding the mushrooms-already drooling.

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Wine and tomato basil sauce? Sure.

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Stuffed.

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Baked.

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Destroyed.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (2 or 3lb) spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 4 oz crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • Red wine (to drink, and to splash in the sauce)
  • Handful of cheese (or daiya cheese, in my case!)

Directions:

  • Turn oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut squash long ways, clean out seeds, place cut side down in roasting pan (I lined mine with foil).
  • Drink wine.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Kill 30 minutes drinking more wine and playing with your dog (or making crafts!)
  • Heat skillet to medium. 
  • Cook ground turkey until almost all brown. Add in mushrooms. Season if needed.
  • Add pasta sauce and splash of red wineand heat through.
  • Remove squash from oven, flip over halves so they are squash bowls.
  • Scoop turkey mixture into squash halves. You will likely only need half the mixture. We reserved the remaining turkey sauce to put on the spaghetti squash we couldn’t eat, for leftover lunch. You could also cut the squash in half after baking and add more sauce if you are serving 4 people.
  • Top with cheese if you like, and bake for an additional 7-9 minutes.
  • Cut in half again to share, or simply eat out of a half all by yourself! We started on a half each, and had leftovers of course!
  • Drink more wine.
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Peanut Butter + Banana = Bliss

As I’m sure many of you do, I often find myself having a banana with a bit of peanut butter as an afternoon snack. Or as a breakfast option. Or between some whole wheat bread with honey and toasted. Or for dessert. 

You probably get it, I love the combination of peanut butter and bananas. 

Tonight I was craving this combination, but not in the normal direct-peanut butter to banana-banana to mouth sort of way. I wanted cookies. I wanted peanut butter and banana cookies. I wanted, healthy peanut butter and banana cookies.

I scoured pinterest for the perfect recipe but only got inspiration. So many recipes included refined sugars, or too much brown sugar/honey as a replacement for white sugar (somehow we have gotten to a place where anything brown trumps and becomes healthy compared to anything white-how did that happen?). I didn’t want a whole lot of sugar, or honey, or butter, or dulce de leche added to my cookies. We’re talking peanut butter and bananas after all, they’re perfect as is and could anyone argue that they’re sweet enough? 

So I made up my own recipe, and I’m quite content with the results. And guess what? I can share them with almost all of my friends because they are: gluten and dairy free! Sweet. Literally. 

These cookies have home ground oat flour (super easy with a blender or food processor), bananas, peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and corn starch. Cornstarch may take you by surprise-but it really softens the dough and allows for a super fluffy, melt in your mouth delicious cookie. I also added a few blue berries to half of the batch, which was a wonderful idea. 

Coconut oil: it’s rich, it’s lucious, it’s satisfying. And if you only use a little bit-it’s really not all that bad. Moderation, people. I wouldn’t recommend taking a tablespoon of it to the face, but I LOVE what it adds to these cookies. Because it’s only 2 tablespoons, it adds a nice aroma without interfering with the taste of the PB, banana and oats. But don’t take my word for it-whip up a batch of these babies yourself. It only takes 20 minutes (prep, bake and cleanup!!). 

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Blending the oat flour.

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Ready to bake!

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Out of the oven and oh so tempting.

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Yum. I’ll take them all, thanks.

Peanut Butter and Banana Oat Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 TBS peanut butter 
  • 2 TBS coconut oil (make sure it is the consistency of butter-you don’t want it too hard or runny)
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Optional blueberries (or chocolate chips)

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mash ripe bananas with a fork. Add PB, coconut oil and honey and blend with fork.
  • Using food processor, turn oats into fine flour consistency (takes just a minute).
  • Add in remaining dry ingredients and blend until combined (do not add blueberries or other topping yet).
  • Add oat mixture to banana mixture and mix to combine.
  • Spoon by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. 
  • Press in blueberries or chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Say, “YUM!”

Raw – Chocolate – Yum

I wanted to make this a separate post from my earlier soup recipe, because these brownies deserve a page to themselves. This recipe is entirely raw, vegan, and gluten free. And AMAZING. There is no butter, white or brown sugar, eggs or flour in them. The ganache is made with avocado. Seriously…can it get better than healthy that tastes guilty as can be? I submit that it cannot. I dare you to make these and give them to a bunch of guys watching NASCAR, and see if any of them think they’re healthy for a minute. I doubt they will!

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Raw Dark Chocolate Brownies with Ganache

For the brownies:

  • 2 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups walnut pieces
  • 1 TBSP honey or agave
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch kosher salt

For the ganache:

  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • Slightly more than 1/2 cup honey or agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder

Directions

  • Begin with the brownie base.
  • Using food processor, pulse walnuts to fine crumbs.
  • Add cocoa powder and honey and blend.
  • Add dates, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down sides as you go.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients until smooth.
  • Spread evenly in 8X8 pan.
  • Clean out food processor to use for ganache.
  • Place all ganache ingredients in food processor, blend on high setting until smooth. Check for avocado lumps and reblend if necessary.
  • Spread over top of brownie base.
  • Chill in refrigerator for an hour, and cut into pieces and serve!

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