turtle cookies

I confess, I have absolutely no idea what to call these cookies besides delicious.  At first I was going for caramel-chocolate chip, but that’s a bit wordy and does not do justice to how incredible these are.  Then I thought monster cookies, since that’s somewhat where the inspiration came from but they did not have any other ingredients in them to make them actual monster cookies (m&ms, whole oats, raisins, etc.).  And then I thought, well I think it came from either my mom or sister when they were eating them that they were almost turtle flavored.  caramel, chocolate + nuts.  Although no nuts.  But close enough for me and maybe next time they will have nuts.

So if you can think of a better name for these delightful cookies, please share.

 

Turtle Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1/4 c grapeseed oil (or any other light oil)
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4c oat flour (oats ground into flour is what I used)
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits
1. In a small bowl, combine the oats, sorghum flour and baking soda.  Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat up the butter or margarine until it is nice and fluffy.
3. Mix in the oil to the butter or margarine until it is somewhat mixed well, and then add in the sugar and continue mixing.
4. Once the sugar and butter/oil mixture are combined, add in the salt and eggs.
5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until fully mixed together.  If this ends up being too sticky, you can add some more oat or sorghum flour.
6. Once the batter is a good consistency, add the chocolate chips and caramel bits.
7. Try not to eat the entire batter as-is… and then take small scoopfuls of what is left and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
8. Bake in a 350′ oven for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through if necessary.
I used the smallest scoop I had and these cookies were still a very good size, and it made 4 dozen cookies.  If you add in extra cookies for the amount of dough that was consumed.
Holy yum.
The caramel bits were such a random splurge at the store…
But definitely, 100% worth it.
They could also be called “I took way too many photos of these cookies” cookies, but that’s an even greater mouthful than caramel-chocolate chip…
Mouthful being the key word.

banana millet muffins

I absolutely love having snack staples in the house.  I have gone only a handful of days in my life without having a snack – I just cannot seem to make it from one meal to the next without a little something.  Needless to say, after going gluten free, snack options became a nightmare (at first).  I am a self-diagnosed snack carb-o-holic and gluten free snacks (mostly pre-packaged) just did not do it for me, so I was stuck.  Well, at least until we came up with our go-to muffin recipe that gets made pretty much every-other week now.  We made a batch (over a dozen muffins) and store them in the freezer.  Then the night before we want to bring them as a snack, just take them out and put them in a container to thaw out – and they taste just as good as when you make them.

We are currently all out of these muffins.  And you can bet that there will be a batch made tomorrow because we have plenty of ripe bananas to use up!

Gluten Free Banana Millet Muffins
  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats ground into flour in a blender
  • 1/2 c millet flour
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 1/4 c millet, toasted (on stovetop for 3-5 minutes until they start to pop
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 4-5 bananas
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2 eggs

1. Grind the oats in a blender to use as a flour.  Add in millet, chia, toasted millet, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
2. Mash up the bananas with the lemon juice and then whisk in the eggs.
3.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined.
4.  Bake in a preheated 375′ oven for 20ish minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Let cool completely and then you can freeze in a tupperware until you’re ready to eat.
If you make about 16 muffins like we normally do, these come to less than 100 calories a piece and make a perfect mid-morning snack or side-dish to a meal.  They’re gluten free, but filled with all sorts of nutritious gluten free ingredients.  Enjoy!

granola for friends

I love granola much more than I should.  Yes, it is healthy, but not eaten by the handful like it so commonly is (in this household anyways).  After the gluten episode this past weekend we were forced to re-evaluate our oat consumption.  I was going on a nice streak there for a while where I had oats every breakfast – and I mean each and every breakfast.  Sure, there were a couple of other things thrown in their occasionally, but usually it was oats.  Regular oats, steel-cut oats, oat bran, overnight oats, dough-boy smoothies…  Because of the sheer consumption of oats and a new employee budget, gluten-free oats was not something that I even wanted to think about.  Yes, I will pay $2 for more oats and avoid paying $6 for just making sure they’re not cross-contaminated with wheat.  Well, as I now know – gluten-free oats should be the star of the show here.  Unfortunately we had over half of a big tub of good ol’ quaker oats to use up and I was not going to throw away any more food.  And there’s no better place to use up food you can no longer can eat than on your friends!  I surprised one of my good friends with a big ol’ bag of this granola.  And I will definitely be making it again for myself and sister with gluten-free oats.

Cinnamon-Vanilla Granola adapted from Coffee & Tea Warehouse 

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2c light brown sugar
  • 1/4c oat flour (or whole-wheat)
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/3c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 300′ and get out a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Place rolled oats into a large bowl and add in the brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon.  Mix to distribute.

3. In a small sauce pan, heat up the oil and honey until they just come to a simmer.  Take off heat and add vanilla.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

5. Put on the baking sheet and bake for around 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.

This recipe is incredibly versatile.  You can add nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cacao nibs… anything your heart fancies.  This was always my go-to granola recipe a few years back and I am not quite sure why I ever gave up using it!  I always added 1c of sunflower seeds in with the oats and it was awesome.

I highly recommend making this and having a bowl full of granola with the milk of your choice.  Just doesn’t get much better than that.

Want a more natural and gluten-free version?  Here’s what changes I will make next time for us!

  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2T sucanat
  • 1/4c oat flour
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/3c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1t vanilla

I would consider decreasing the oil a bit as well… but it is just so darn good I don’t think I want to mess with it too much!  But I think decreasing the amount of sweetness and using sucanat instead of brown sugar will be the perfect alteration for our taste buds.

Now where are those gluten-free oats…

what i ate wednesday #12

Three months.  That is absolutely crazy.  It is also the middle of my third week at work – well, technically it should be the end of my 3rd week since I worked over the weekend.  But I will be using my comp days for Hawaii in November so I can’t really complain!

Post-Workout Snack

I really need to integrate more weight-lifting into my workout routine so I started using the book The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women.  Today was my first workout from the book (after a 2 mile run) and I can already tell it’s going to be a great addition to my routine!  The book urged you to have a protein-powder smoothie/recovery drink after the workout so I happily obliged this morning.  I made my favorite Pineapple-Mango Smoothie with a 1/2 scoop Raw Protein Powder added in.  I’m not really a fan of the taste, but I need more protein so I’ve got to do it.

Breakfast

Overnight oats – just can’t get enough of them!  I also added 1/2 a scoop of protein powder in these and topped with a nectarine, blueberries, ground flax and sunbutter.  For some reason this did not sit with me too well…  Maybe a mixture between the protein powder and sunbutter?

Lunch

Leftovers from dinner last night.  I’m keeping Sami’s Bakery in business!  We made a pizza topped with Mama Pea’s Hummus (from her new cookbook!) and curry.  So delicious.  Last night we topped it with lettuce, but I had a side of baby carrots and a hard-boiled egg instead.  Also had another nectarine and watermelon – lovin the summer fruit!

Mid-Afternoon Snack

I brought two rice cakes with PB2+J.  I don’t care if it makes me a child, I could have peanut butter and jelly every single day.  So good.

Dinner

Grilled out tonight!  It actually felt like fall here rather than mid-August but I am definitely not complaining – fall is my favorite season!  Had sweet potato fries + garden green beans on the side.  And of course homemade pickles!  My new favorite :).  Another new favorite?  Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Covered Almonds.  Oh my word.  Had a handful of those after dinner…

Happy Hump Day everyone!  I’m back to getting caught up on all the blog posts I missed this past weekend – only 4o more to go!

sonoma: the food i ate

Of course I have to start out my Sonoma recap with the food I ate – hard not to, right?  Well, luckily I went prepared, which I have to do now-a-days to make sure there are enough healthy snacks around that won’t make me feel sick after eating them.  However, it’s always good to have a back-up plan just in case you need more fuel – luckily a brand new Whole Foods was one mile away.  I only went there for some chocolate-covered dried bananas one afternoon but it was nice to know if I needed something else it was there for me!

I am a breakfast person, no doubt about it.  I go to bed thinking of breakfast and can’t wait to dig in after a morning workout and shower.  I knew the conference I was working at was going to offer breakfast, but just fruit and toast or bagels.  Fruit good, toast and bagels bad.  So what did I do?  Well, I researched the hotel and found out they had a mini-fridge in the rooms.  Score!  4 days = 2 cups of oats + one container of unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 4T chia seeds.  Overnight Oats in a hotel room!  Especially delicious and special with a topping of Justin’s nut butters and bananas from a fruit bowl that happened to be delivered to our ‘working office” aka smaller conference room.  I packed a pint jar and a spoon/fork/knife utensil I got as well.

I also indulged every single morning in coffee – Starbucks bold style.  Nothing added, and I surprised myself by absolutely loving it that way.  I’ve come so far from my soy milk + sugar free flavored syrup days.

Lunches were a little more up in the air.  The first day I packed something to eat on the plane before we landed and then late afternoon I had a really delicious salad at the resort restaurant.  It was greens with roasted strawberries and caramelized shallot vinaigrette (I got it without cheese).  They actually cooked the strawberries in a pizza oven and they were surprisingly delicious (I didn’t know how I felt about warm strawberries on a salad before this).  I had this salad again one other time but with a side of frites – which were absolutely delicious.  Another lunch I got one day was an omelette (I ordered before 11:30 so they were still serving it!).  I had peppers, onions and salsa on the omelette (and they cooked it in oil and not butter) with a side of potatoes (cooked in oil) and a side of fruit (instead of the toast).  It was really good and a nice change-up from a salad!  One other lunch I ended up with just lettuce with oil + vinegar.  I then politely asked someone for a side of pb&j and brought it up to my room for on top of some rice cakes – delicious!  Love pb&j.

Dinners included a taco bar (just beans + salsa + guacamole).  I was disappointed they didn’t have rice and just flour tortillas.  The next night my co-worker and I escaped and ended up at Mary’s Pizza Shack.  I ran by it the morning before and noticed they had gluten free pizza on the menu!  I had mine sans cheese and with pineapple and olives.  So good – and filling!  I couldn’t even eat it all.  The last night I had the regular meal they were serving which was Salmon with potatoes and veggies (that turned out to be asparagus!).  I also tested the gluten sensitivity by eating a piece of their chocolate-hazelnut torte for dessert.  It was so good and I am happy to report that I had no ill side-effects.  Unless the nausea on the plane from sitting by the smelly guy was more to do with that than his odor… but I’m thinking not.  Definitely not going to make it a habit right now to have gluten filled goodies, but this was definitely too good to pass up and I am happy it did not make me sick!

Other than the regular meals, I had clif bars + lärabars as well as rice cakes and almonds + raisins.  I also ate all the apples and two of the peaches from the fruit tray along with all of the bananas :).  I also made sure to get plenty of water + pellegrino (and managed to stay away from the soda)!  It definitely is a struggle eating good, healthy, and allergen-conscious meals when you are not in complete control of the offerings, but I think I did a good job.  And I know I was definitely healthier than the rest of the conference-goers by avoiding the fresh-baked cookies, breads, as well as the various other foods laid out.  I was worried before I left how I was going to make everything work out but it ended up being perfectly fine!  Definitely ready for the next one!  Although I’m happy I have a few months because it was tiring!

oatmeal chocolate chip

I am currently procrastinating packing…  Well, not serious procrastination.  It might be worse – I’m waiting for laundry to be done so I actually have clothes to pack.  Which could have been done right away when I got home at 5pm.  But no, it’s 9:30 and the stuff just went in the dryer.  Whoops.

It’s a little nerve-wracking packing for my first business trip.  Having to pack a bunch of ‘dress-up’ clothes that will need to be ironed at the hotel (shocker!), shoes, plenty of workout clothes (hoping I won’t have to get up super early to do it!), all my getting-ready goodies.  Not to mention my food.  I have no clue what there will be for gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian offerings.  My guess is not much – if even that much.  So I have oats and a box of almond milk to make overnight oats in the fridge in my room so at least I’ll have a nice and filling breakfast in the morning.  I even picked up a few individual packs of Justin’s to have on top!  I also bought a pack of rice cakes today and have a myriad of Lära and Clif Bars as well as some raw almonds.  This way, I will at least have some options available to supplement what I am guessing is going to be a fruit and salad-filled weekend.  And a long weekend at that since it is Wednesday – Sunday.

I am all checked in – after an incredibly long phone call with a guy from AirTran.  For some reason my payment wasn’t going through for a checked bag that was holding up the whole process and took much longer than it even needed to…  Good thing that right as I got off the phone, these little guys just happened to be waiting for me to eat them ;).

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 c oat flour
  • 3/4t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/3c melted earth balance (or other butter)
  • 1/4c organic sugar
  • 1T molasses
  • 1 egg (or flax egg)
  • 1/2c non-dairy milk
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 c mini non-dairy chocolate chips

1. In a bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients except for the oats and chocolate chips (you could sift them as well).

2. Whisk together the melted earth balance, sugar and molasses.  Add in the egg, milk and vanilla.

3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and add the oats and the chocolate chips.

4. Scoop into little balls, roll, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake in a 350′ preheated oven for 10 minutes.

6. Eat!

These cookies are similar to the Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies I made awhile back but with more chunks due to the oats as well as puffier because of the egg addition.  These are also way cut down on the sugar (only 1/4c for over 3 dozen?).  I thought they were a good sweetness, not an over-the-top sugar high but enough so it tasted like a treat!

Who knows what I will be experiencing this weekend, but I have been told it will be an ‘ease’ into what some business trips will be like in the future, so enjoy it while I can ;).

what i ate wednesday #10

Number TEN?!  I can barely believe it!  And this is my first WIAW where I had to pack my food because I had to eat at work – which is definitely taking some time to get used to.  Now I have to go back to thinking what I’m going to eat for lunch and snacks and get it ready in the morning, much more work than just grabbing stuff whenever!  So here we go…

Breakfast:

Dough Boy + Protein Powder.  Topped with ground flax, 1/2 a banana, blueberries and sunflower butter.  I also had a buckwheat blueberry muffin Kinley made last night.

Lunch:

Leftover dinner from last night – Oh She Glow’s Heat Wave Summer Salad.  I almost followed the recipe exactly, but instead of the speltberries I used quinoa to keep the gluten away!  It was so delicious.  I am loving the cold pasta/grain salads during the week!  And another buckwheat blueberry muffin (pictured below).

Afternoon Snack:

I had a jar of pineapple and strawberries – my favorite combo!  And two rice cakes (didn’t end up putting the AB&J on them but I’ll be bringing them along tomorrow and hopefully I get the chance to eat it this time!)

Dinner:

In honor of Mama Pea’s book coming out, I made Mmmm Sauce for the first time.  It was Mmmm good.  Had it on top of brown rice pasta + lentils with kabocha squash on the side.  So good.

Time to go relax for a few hours and go to bed!

what i ate wednesday #9

Today was a busy, busy What I Ate Wednesday!  It is also somewhat bittersweet because this is the last Wednesday I will spend unemployed.  Say what?!  Yes, I was offered a job yesterday and I will be starting this Monday!  It will be very nice to get into the “real world” finally, but I think I will somewhat miss my days of sitting at home.  However my credit card bills will like the paycheck.

Kinley decided to take off of work today to spend one of my final free days with me and it was nice to relax together on a non-weekend.  It also gave us time to shop since I have zero clothes for work.  It will be quite the experience to build up a nice wardrobe in a couple of days – but I am definitely up for the challenge!  I think I’ll write more in detail about my new position (and experiences throughout the process) tomorrow – it’s time to get to my eats!

 


Breakfast

Oat Bran + Rolled Oats, topped with a banana, nectarine, ground flax, hemp seeds, chia and sunbutter.

Lunch

Sandwich with Millet & Flax bread, avocado, hummus, cucumber and salt.  Veggie Straws (my favorite) and a combo of strawberries and blueberries on the side.

Afternoon Snack

Chocolate Banana Smoothie!  

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • ~1t cocoa powder
  • ~1/2-1t agave nectar

Blend until smooth and delicious!

Dinner

Leftover pasta salad from last night.  I made Daily Garnish‘s Strawberry Pesto Pasta Salad and it was absolutely delicious.  I also added chickpeas to the mix for a protein boost and had it on a bed of arugula.

Nighttime Snack

Millet Puffs + Erin Baker’s PB Granola + Chocolate Covered Raisins + Unsweetened Almond Milk.  Awesome end to the day.

I ended up with a handful of shirts, a dress, a pair of shoes and some workout clothes (okay, those aren’t to wear for work but I have been meaning to buy some new stuff).  I still really need to find some more dress pants (my two pairs won’t take me too far), maybe a couple more dresses and I am really wanting to get a few skirts, but I cannot find any!  So I will be headed to the mall tomorrow/friday/this weekend to finish up my closet!

Question: What’s your favorite store for dress clothes, specifically skirts?

what i ate wednesday #8

I have a confession.  I ate breakfast.   Before taking a picture.  It was my first time since participating in WIAW that I have done that.  And with two months now under my belt, you’d think I would remember… guess not.  So the best I can give you is a deconstructed breakfast and a recipe.  But at least my little morning forgetfulness was only kept to the one meal!

Breakfast:

Overnight Oats topped with blueberries, a nectarine (got a HUGE box at TJ’s last weekend), ground flax and sunflower butter.  Yum!

Recipe for Easy Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 3/4-1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1T chia seeds

Combine all ingredients and keep in the fridge overnight, or at least for a couple hours.  Such an easy and not-warm breakfast just perfect for warm, summer mornings!

Mid-Morning Snack:

Cherries – on sale at Whole Foods for $3.99/lb!

Lunch:

Millet & Flax Bread with Garlic Hummus, grilled (tastes like garlic bread – so good!).  With a side salad topped with carrots, a fried egg and some salt.  Perfect and simple Lunch.

Accompanied by some iced tea – made with Tazo Awake.

As well as a Blueberry Muffin Lärabar.  This was the first time I had one of these – and it really did taste like  blueberry muffin!  There will definitely be more of these in my future.

Afternoon Snack:

Beanitos with TJ’s Autentica Salsa

Dinner:

Lemon and Green Pea Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers + Chickpeas.  Recipe in Veganomicon.  Also had two of Oh She Glow’s Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.  Hers looked prettier.

what i ate wednesday #7

Wow, has it really been 7 weeks since I first joined WIAW with Peas and Crayons?!  Many things have changed since my first post in terms of eating, but I am gradually feeling better and realizing what my body likes and doesn’t like – just wish it wasn’t such a process to get there!  Well, I tried half of a sprouted wheat bun on Monday night with dinner, and let me tell you my body definitely did not like me.  I was hoping sprouted wheat was going to be okay, but I guess not.  I was feeling so off last night for dinner that all I could manage was a bowl of fruit…  My appetite was better than that today fortunately, so here are my eats!

Breakfast:

New oat combination!  1/4c rollet oats + 1/4c oat bran mixed with 1 1/2 cups water.  Bring to a boil and then cook for around 10 minutes with a half of a banana whisked in at the end – so fluffy!  Topped with sunbutter, blueberries and some sucanat + cinnamon.  Also had one of my Gluten Free & Dairy Free French Breakfast Puffs on the side.  These things are sooo good.

Mid-Morning Snack:

Photo shoot of the muffins – I ate this exact one.

Plus a bowl of fruit – strawberries and pineapple are one of my favorite mixes!

Lunch:

Brown Rice Wrap with hummus + lettuce with carrots on the side.  Also had two of the Gluten Free & Dairy Free French Breakfast Puffs after – they’re so good I couldn’t resist!

Afternoon Snack:

One of the new Coconut Chocolate Chip Clif Bars – I think this is my favorite flavor.

Dinner: 

Salad with leftover roasted veggies, homemade bean + beet burger with ketchup.  On the side?  Just half of the most delicious Millet/Flax Bagel from Sami’s Bakery.  The best part?  They’re gluten free!  Oh my goodness, I stumbled upon these at a store I was at today and just had to get them.  I also got a loaf of Millet/Flax bread and a pizza crust!  They are the first gluten free baked goods I have gotten, and their ingredients are all amazing – nothing weird at all which is saying something for packaged gluten free products.  Definitely excited to try out all their goodies since this one was delicious!