Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I'm still what I guess would be considered "almond-sensitive." I can have a bite of something with almonds in it, but a large quantity of anything almond-y still causes a reaction. I think it's the best of both worlds because it means I can sample almond recipes but not really eat them. Score.

Here is a quick recipe I whipped up for my friend Vanessa's delightful holiday party, which was a predominately gluten-free affair. Even though the name makes them sound like they'll taste like cardboard, they're actually little bundles of awesomeness. They have a great texture - chewy and crunchy - similar to a normal chocolate chip cookie. Packaged up in a little holiday tin, these make an easy holiday party addition or a great gift.

Or you can always just leave them out for hipster Santa with some hemp milk. 

Enjoy!

gluten free chocolate chip cookie

Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (room temp)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I love Enjoy Life brand)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Combine almond meal, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.

  3. Add coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extra and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter by rounded tablespoons. Flatten top slightly (they don't spread out much when baked)  

  5. Bake for 9-10 minutes and then allow to cool before serving.

  6. Rub your belly. Makes about 15 cookies. 
     

Some dairy-free gluten free chocolate chips, baking soda, yummo black sea salt and Mexican vanilla. 

Some dairy-free gluten free chocolate chips, baking soda, yummo black sea salt and Mexican vanilla. 

Rollin' in the dough. Oh and since they're vegan - you can eat the dough without worry!

Rollin' in the dough. Oh and since they're vegan - you can eat the dough without worry!


/

Avocado toast

It's so simple. I don't even know where I first had avocado toast but I do remember my mind being blown. But I remember thinking... "why have I never had this before?"

Mashing the avocado is such a subtle thing but it's like the difference between peanuts and peanut butter - life changing. It only takes a minute to make and the deliciousness is through the roof.

Sometimes we'll get really crafty and drizzle tahini on top or toasted black sesame seeds. Or add feta for tartness. But truth be told, the simple and classic avocado, sea salt and toast combo does it for me every time. The ideal post-yoga weekend breakfast. And I've been told it's Ayurvedically perfect, so that's a bonus.

avocado toast

Avocado Toast

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Ezekiel english muffins
  • 1/2 tsp ghee (or whatever oil you like)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Cut avocado open, scoop out the inside fruit and mash it in a bowl. I like the leave some whole bits of avocado - kinda like leaving the peanuts in crunchy peanut butter. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Add ghee/oil to a pan and pan fry the english muffins over medium heat until browned (2-3 minutes) on both sides. 

  3. Spread avocado mixture on hot toasty english muffin. Nothing to it! And then devour. Makes 2 servings. 

avocado
/

The best date ever...

Yes, the best one. The one you eat. I actually stayed far away from dates for a long time due to their high sugar content. Mike introduced me back to them when we were in Dubai a few years ago. It's basically the national delicacy there. They stuff them with nuts, coat them in chocolate. Delicious, yes, but not exactly the healthiest preparation.

Simply dates and almond butter. easy peasy.

Simply dates and almond butter. easy peasy.

So I revisited the mighty date. And let's be honest, they're pretty awesome. They add the perfect sweetness to my favorite muffin recipe. They're wonderful when they're chunked up in smoothies. A single date is an easy pick me up after a sweaty morning yoga class when I didn't have a chance to eat breakfast. When we were in NYC, we were inspired to blend together dates and nut butter. Since I'm back in Miami for a bit and in my own kitchen (yay!) it was one of the first things I wanted to try out. So easy. It took 2 minutes, literally.

Nutty Date Recipe

Ingredients

It's so easy! Just pipe the nut butter into your dates!

It's so easy! Just pipe the nut butter into your dates!

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (I used almond)

Instructions

  1. Slice dates down the center and remove pit. 
  2. Warm up your nut butter slightly. My stove burner was still warm from making breakfast so I warmed the almond butter in a bowl on my stovetop. 
  3. Put nut butter in a pastry bag or ziploc bag (like I did). If you go ziploc, cut a bottom corner off the ziploc bag and squeeze all the nut butter into that corner.
  4. Use a careful hand and squeeze nut butter into the date.
  5. Voila, tasty and portable nutty dates. Refrigerate for a colder dating experience.

Notes: Dates with pits are typically softer and more delicious than pitted dates. For this recipe, you're going to be slicing them anyway and it's really easy to remove the pit so I would recommend just going with dates with pits.

So super easy! Mike even made some!

So super easy! Mike even made some!


/

Overnight Chia Oatmeal

With my dreams of 7am FlyBarre this morning dashed by my hurt ankle, I decided to do another thing I love. Make food. I was really excited to get back to Miami just to cook in my own kitchen. I grew up watching my dad cook but I was never really interested in what he was making - mainly because it had meat or butter or something I wasn't crazy about. It's a shame too, because he studied with Julia Child. I guess it's true that we all come to things at our own time. When Mike and I moved in together six years ago, I started giving a shit about cooking. Took some cooking classes, watched some youtube videos, started playing around. Bought kitchen accessories I don't use - like an avocado slicer. I mean, come on - I can just use a knife. We have dabbled with vegan, dairy-free, paleo. Thank god Mike is always open to anything food related, because I have made all sorts of weird stuff. 

chia pet

chia pet

So since I can't really walk much today (double ugh) I opted to make one of my favorite easy breakfasts - overnight chia oatmeal. This has the added bonus of being eaten with a spoon. Another one of my cook-y purchases back in the day was little mason jars for making things like this, but nowadays I just use old peanut butter and ghee glass jars for added ambiance. This recipe is also great because you make it the night before - perfect for impressing parents with your food planning skills or times when you have to get out of the house early. And it's healthy, delicious and vegan. Score. 

Chia oats and almond milk cappuccino. Good morning.

Chia oats and almond milk cappuccino. Good morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oats (I use Whole Foods quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 medium banana (optional)
  • Berries as topping (optional)
  • 1 tsp almond butter (optional)
  • Honey or agave as desired

I used an 8 ounce mason jar (or this time I used a leftover peanut butter jar from True Loaf Bakery - love that place). Add oats, almond milk and chia to the jar - close it tightly and shake it up. Make sure all the little chias get some liquid or else they will stick together. Let sit overnight in the fridge. Or probably 2 hours is good if you're in a rush. The longer the milk can soak into the oats, the better though in my opinion. In the morning, just take the container out of the fridge, let it sit for a few minutes, slice up some banana and berries and toss it into the mix. Spoon in some almond butter, or sliced almonds would be delish, too. Drizzle with sweetener if you're into that sort of thing. Mix it up and rock it out. You could also add greek yogurt if you wanted some extra protein. Super yum! 

breakfast, devoured.

breakfast, devoured.

/