Monday, August 11, 2014

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love this recipe for chocolate chip cookies, it comes from Danielle Walker at Against All Grain. I first made it when I was strictly gluten-free, now I make it whenever I'm craving chocolate chip cookies but remember the nasty feeling I get after I eat "real" chocolate chip cookies, which are hard to beat if they're homemade but leave you feeling kind of sick, especially if you eat more than two or three. Or four... or five:) Danielle inspired me so much during my illness and as I got better, and her story is such a powerful example of healing through food. I remember the day her book came in the mail, how excited I was, and I can't wait to order her newest book, Meals Made Simple.
   While I measured out the ingredients to a T (Danielle says that with the coconut flour especially if you get even just a little bit more or less than the amount called for, it can alter the texture dramatically), I mixed it all together a little differently- adding the coconut crystals to the butter before the egg and whisking all the dry ingredients together beforehand. I also swapped butter for the palm shortening, this change disqualifies them from being Paleo, but I prefer the cookies made with butter and I tolerate it fine. And I added a *bit* more chocolate than the original recipe calls for;) So. You'll want to cool these on a wire rack completely before storing, they're a little soft especially at first, and they can bend or break.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (gf, df)

Makes 14-18 cookies

1/4 C Palm Shortening (or 1/4 C [1/2 stick] unsalted sweet cream butter)
1/4 C Coconut Crystals
1 Egg, at room temperature
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C Blanched Almond Flour
2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
3/4 C Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips, or plain dark chocolate chips if you're like me and don't care

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the shortening on medium speed until fluffy, add the coconut crystals and keep beating until it's incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, the honey, and the vanilla and beat 2 minutes more. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, stopping to scrape down the bowl. Stir in the chocolate by hand. Scoop level tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches in between each one to allow for spreading. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Friday, August 8, 2014


We live in a college town. A town where every small business imaginable is within reasonable walking distance from the square or campus which is right off the square, and the student/hipster population is soaring. One of my favorite places to frequent is the Cupboard. The Cupboard is one of two local markets, they carry fresh and local meat, cheese, produce, artisan items, and other stuff that's hard to find. There's a restaurant in the middle of the store, you can either go into it and sit down or go around to the other side and order takeout. I eat in the cafe a lot, but sometimes when I'm on the run and I just don't have time to sit down the takeout is a nice option. Their salads are my favorite. I'm not a big couscous fan, never have been, but they make this one salad with couscous, red pepper, parsley or cilantro, cranberries (don't laugh), and almonds. To. Die. For.  The switch kind of flipped this week and I'm back to not eating, but this just kind of sounded good for a late lunch. Except for the couscous, so I swapped it with Quinoa. (As couscous is technically pasta and these hips and thighs cannot possibly take any more pasta, this is probably a good choice;) It's best chilled, and you can monkey with the amounts to suit your tastes.

Quinoa Salad with Red Pepper, Almond, and Cranberry (gf, df, v)
This makes 2-3 servings but as I'm the only one who eats it it will last me a couple of meals.

3/4 C uncooked Quinoa
1/2 small Red Bell Pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1/4 C loosely packed Flat Leaf Parsley or Cilantro, chopped
1/4 C Dried Cranberries (a brief soak in some boiling water will perk them up)
1/4 C Roasted Almonds, finely chopped
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lime or Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Rinse Quinoa and, if you can, soak it for an hour or so then drain. Place all other ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high heat, add Quinoa and stir occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed. Quinoa should be fluffy, not mushy. Cool slightly, add to remaining ingredients and adjust seasoning if necessary. Chill before serving, refrigerate any leftovers.

The REAL reason for this post is I saved up my pennies and purchased a new camera body yesterday (Canon EOS 1D Mark III) and I wanted to take pictures of something;)