Simple Sunday #4: Guilt-free chocolate chip cookies

Some days you don’t just want chocolate, you NEED chocolate. Today was one of those days! My goal was to make a cookie that not only satisfied my chocolate craving, but was also relatively healthy. Since my IT band injury a month ago I’ve been focusing on eating less and healthier, since I can’t run and to aid in my recovery. I REALLY miss running, so hopefully after a few more weeks of PT I can run again. 😦

Well, after searching my vegetarian cookbooks, Instagram, and Pinterest for inspiration I found myself on Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog. She is the queen of healthy, vegan desserts. It was there that I found a great recipe: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/04/27/worlds-healthiest-chocolate-chip-cookies/ . I have made a few modifications to the original, but she gets all the credit for an amazing recipe. I was skeptical to try an egg and butter-free cookie, but I was pleasantly surprised! They were delicious!  Plus at 80 calories per cookie you don’t have to feel guilty about eating one (or two or more 😉 )! So without further ado, roll up your sleeves and let’s get to baking this guilt free, quick, and easy cookie!

Guilt-free chocolate chip cookies

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Yield: 9 cookies

Nutritional analysis: see below

Ingredients

Dry

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

dash of salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons cane sugar (I used Trader Joe’s, which is vegan)

2 tablespoons (or more) semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli are vegan)

Wet

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Mix the all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, expect for the chocolate chips.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture. I recommend adding the almond milk tablespoon by tablespoon.

4. Roll the dough into 9 balls and place on the greased baking sheet.

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5. Press the chocolate chips into the dough balls.  (NOTE: You may want to use more or less than 2 tablespoons, which is fine! Just know that the nutritional analysis below was performed for cookies with 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips!)

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6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

8. Enjoy one (or a few)! 😉

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NOTE: The chocolate chips here are not melted because the only chocolate chips I had at my apartment were the frozen ones my boyfriend and I use as a topping for Greek Yogurt. If they were room temperature chips they would have melted in the oven!

Nutritional Analysis (from MyFitnessPal): Calories: 81; Fat: 2.6 g (0.7 saturated); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 57.2 mg; Potassium: 5.6 mg; Carbohydrates: 13.4 g; Fiber: 0.7 g; Protein: 1.2 g

What is your favorite type of cookie? It’s hard for me to chose one…but if I have to, I’d say any type of peanut butter cookie. Have a great night everyone! 🙂

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Simple Sunday #2: Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Good morning! I hope everyone is having a wonderful and restful weekend. 🙂 I’m enjoying a work free weekend myself, as my new job is only during the week. I have plenty of homework to catch up on, though. Graduate school will do that to you. 😛 Anyway I decided to take a break this morning, to experiment in the kitchen, and I want to share my results with all of you.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins are today’s Simple Sunday recipe. While I am a vegetarian, I sometimes consume and  bake with eggs. Therefore, I was skeptical that vegan muffins would turn out. I accepted the challenge nonetheless. Well, I am glad I did! These vegan muffins turned out just fine! The batter was thicker than muffin batter made with eggs, but otherwise I did not notice much of a difference.

I obtained this recipe from page 11 of the Vegan Outreach leaflet Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.  The only modifications I made were using frozen blueberries instead of fresh and I did not make a crumb topping, so the muffins would have less sugar and fat. I hope all of you enjoy. 🙂

NOTE: To make these muffins truly vegan you have to make sure you use a vegan sugar. Some sugars are whitened with animal bones, which means they are not vegan. I used Trader Joe’s organic sugar made with evaporated cane juice, which is vegan according to page 5 of this pdf: http://www.traderjoes.com/pdf/lists/list-vegan.pdf.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

1.5 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup almond milk or another vegan milk (I used Silk Original Almond Milk)

1 cup frozen or fresh organic blueberries (or a different fruit)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with muffin liners.

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2. Mix the sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl.

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3. Add the vegan milk and oil to the dry mixture and mix. It will be pretty thick.

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4. Add the frozen blueberries. The mixture may turn blue, but do not be alarmed! 😛 The muffins will not be blue once fully cooked.

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5. Fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with the batter and bake for about 30 minutes. If using fresh fruit reduce the baking time to 20-25 minutes.

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6. Take the muffins out of the oven and allow to cool completely.  Eat! Otherwise store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days.

Tip: Since I think muffins taste best warm, I like to reheat them in the microwave when I’m eating day old ones.

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(See, they aren’t blue anymore!)

I hope all of you enjoy the muffins and have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

Question of the day: What is your favorite type of muffin? My favorite is actually lemon poppy seed, not blueberry!

Simple Sunday #1: Pecan roasted brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts. You either love them or hate them. In fact, I read somewhere recently that they are the most hated vegetable in the USA. Luckily, I am a brussel sprout lover.  I credit that to my boyfriend who made me try them a few months ago…Yes, it took me 22 years to try them, but I turned out okay! 😛 You will never know if you are a hater or not unless you try them.

Anyway, we made gnocchi for dinner tonight and felt like trying something new for our vegetable side dish. And voilà! Pecan roasted brussel sprouts were born.  This recipe was adapted from several different recipes so it is not exact. It is super simple though! It is perfect for when you want a quick side dish that is a little fancier than regular steamed vegetables. Also, brussel sprouts are wonderful for your body. Chock full of iron, protein, potassium, and antioxidants, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. 😛 So for my first ever Simple Sunday here is a quick and easy side dish recipe. Enjoy. 🙂

Pecan roasted brussel sprouts

ingredients

16 oz. frozen or fresh brussel sprouts

1 Tablespoon or so of olive oil

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

pinch of garlic

handful of chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray .

2. Pour the 16 oz. of frozen or fresh brussel sprouts into a bowl.

3. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and coat all the sprouts.

4. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix .

5. Add the chopped pecans and pour the mixture onto the greased baking sheet.

before cooking brussel sprouts

6. Bake the brussel sprouts 20-25 minutes or so until slightly browned. Turn the sprouts at least once during cooking.

7. Serve and enjoy. 🙂

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Do you like brussel sprouts? Why or why not? If so, what is your favorite way to eat them?