FOOD fit for a Rockstar

Deena Kamm's recipe book and always evolving food philosophy

Chocolate Sesame Cookies for my girls (all three of you)

April28

My amazing friend Ellen has just requested this recipe, but I know Erin and Madey have also asked for it – and since you are my girls, I am posting it before all the other stuff I have drafts of….. These cookies are crazy good. I have done them both vegan and non vegan… Here’s how:

8oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (this is one time I make a sugar exception, but London doesn’t like these so it’s fine)
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
3 Tbsp. Tahini (Organic only if possible!!! Seeds are very heavily sprayed)
2/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour (I have also used Spelt and Quinoa mixed)
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Applesauce (*or 2 eggs – more on this later)
3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds

Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat stirring frequently. Remove from heat RIGHT after it is all evenly melted (if you wait it starts to harden/thicken) and add in the Tahini. Set aside.
Combine flour(s) baking powder and salt in a small bowl – set aside.
in a large mixing bowl or Mixer beat together applesauce, sugar, vanilla, then add chocolate mixture. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
Cover and chill in Fridge until the dough hardens up… anywhere between 1/2 hour to an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast Sesame seeds in a flat iron skillet or frying pan until slightly brown and they start to pop out of the pan.  Let the seeds cool off a bit.  Roll dough into small balls (I use a small ice cream scooper when I am NOT using eggs, but with eggs you can make them bigger balls) Roll the ball in the sesame seeds to coat. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for around 10-15 minutes. If using applesauce you may need to bake them for up to 20 minutes.  You will know they are done when they bounce back slightly when touched OR when they just don’t depress when touched and don’t look wet anywhere.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.

*Note about the eggs – the first time I made this I used eggs because I had them in the house from a friends Chickens down the street (I don’t usually purchase eggs. Terribly cruel industry – I can’t support it) SO they remained balls and came out almost like a brownie ball. I also made them much bigger – about 2 inches in diameter. They were admittedly amazing. However when I made them without eggs and used applesauce instead, they came out like flat, thin, chocolate brownie cookie crisps and they were also amazing. So I think both are great, but I prefer not buying, eating, or using eggs, so I opt for the vegan version. The applesauce version also took longer to cook which surprised me. Just go with the flow and let the cookies tell YOU what to do. Don’t be afraid. Even if you screw it up, it’s still gonna taste good and then you can change it next time. Baking is not THAT much of a science (like I was raised to believe.) Experiment and enjoy eating the fruits of your brave labor!

Let me know how they work for YOU!

D-

Husband Rating 4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star gold-star“Open your mouth Sesame – cuz these are delicious.”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces “Mommy – I don’t like those seeds on there.”

Sweet Potato Chips

January8

SUPER easy side dish that’s fun, satisfying, and healthy…

This is another one of my “What the F am I going to make for dinner tonight” babies.  It’s as simple as it looks…

Preheat oven to somewhere around 375-425° depending on how much time you have, how crispy you like things, how thick you cut your potatoes, how fat your potatoes are, etc…  As always – don’t be scared.  It’s just food. You can always get it perfect the next time.  Cut however many Sweet Potatoes will fit on your cookie sheet into discs as shown above.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper (if you have and use this) place as many chips as you can flat on the sheet.  Baste the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt or Herbamare (I frequently use this instead of sea salt. You can buy it at Whole Foods and other Health Food Stores.)  Bake for about 15 minutes then carefully flip over and baste the other side with olive oil, sprinkle with more salt (if you want) and put back in the oven to bake for another 15 minutes or until they are soft enough or crispy enough for you – however you think you will enjoy them best!

I served these with a big salad. We were stuffed. There was no mess to clean up either. Bonus!!
Let me know if you make them and what YOU did different or how you served them.

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “ I can eat these all day long.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “I want to eat all of them.  I don’t want to share ANY.”  (But he did)

Enjoy!
D-

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

January8

I used to buy these cookies every single time I went to Whole Foods.  They charge a very unreasonable amount of $1.25 per cookie and they are individually wrapped in saran (which I am NOT a fan of – that stuff is omitting god knows what kind of pvc chemicals right onto our food!!  Here’s a link to some basic info on that, if you’re interested) AND they are not organic!!!  What!!  Why am I paying for these??  But I was lazy and didn’t want to add something else to my list of things to do in the day so I kept buying them.  Until… one day Zeke asked the nice people at WF’s if he could buy some unbaked dough so we could make them fresh (because they always seemed too hard) and that’s when we found out that they are baked, frozen, shipped and then thawed and put on the shelf.  No wonder they are hard as a rock!  Why are we still buying these???

We aren’t… anymore.  Because I straight up stole the recipe and figured out my own better, healthier version, amounts, and bake time.  They are THE easiest dessert I make now and I can give them to London guilt free and even sometimes for Breakfast in a pinch because they are pretty healthy.  So here’s how I do it:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the following ingredients together in a mixer or bowl:

3/4 Cup – Maple Syrup
1 1/2 Cup – Almond Meal
1 Cup – Oat Flour
1/2 cup – Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup – Safflower Oil (or Sunflower, or Walnut,… – just stay away from Canola as it is highly processed and hard on your blood)
1/2 Cup – Finely Chopped Walnuts (you can/should use a food processor for this, if you have one.)
1/4 Cup – Quinoa Flour (Grind whole Quinoa in a [coffee] grinder for this if you can’t find Quinoa Flour or don’t want to spend the money.  Or you can also use Barley flour, but Quinoa is so much healthier and tastes identical in this recipe.)
1/2 Tsp – Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp – Nutmeg (ground)
1/4 Tsp – Sea Salt
One or more Jam, Jelly, Fruit Spread of your choice (I only use Jams that contain NOTHING but fruit. Trader Joe’s carries several great organic fruit jams, as well as Whole Foods. You just have to read the ingredients before you buy!! BUT, we love the Fiordifrutta brand and order many of the varieties by the case. They only use apple juice to sweeten so it is lower fructose.)

Using a regular size ice cream scooper, scoop out a ball of dough, round it out with your hand, flatten it half way on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (if you don’t have paper, just do without it. No big deal) take a small spoon, like a demitasse spoon, or your thumb (thus the name) and create an indent in the middle that you will later fill with jam.
Bake unfilled cookies for 5 minutes, remove from oven and fill with Fruit Spreads, continue baking for another 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Make approximately a dozen cookies.

This is the above recipe DOUBLED.

This is my nutty son eating his second cookie right off the rack.

What a face! Crumbs and all.

 

Husband Rating (a very dramatic) 10 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “ Thumb-prints? Print out this recipe because these are the best cookies ever!”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “Mommy – I only like the strawberry but I want one of the lemon because it’s reeeeeally good.”

Thanks to Whole Foods for listing the ingredients and giving me a huge head start on this one!
Enjoy!
D-

so I don’t forget what inspried me…

November30

I used this Giada recipe the other night to make what turned out to be a great dish!
Giada’s Pasta Primavera

Giadas Pasta Primavera

Giada's Pasta Primavera

It was a huge hit. I didn’t use the tomatoes because I forgot, but I did roast the veggies and use Brown Rice Pasta from TJ’S. Yum. Zeke made his famous Stuffed Pizza and I made a simple salad with Ann Gentry’s Vegan Ranch Dressing. (that’s another post. It’s so good!! You’ll never go back) My whole family was happy and full. Hard to do considering they are convinced that everything we eat is weird and gross.

Husband Rating 4 stars: gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “It’s-a guud.”

Country Style Yeast Free Bread

September17

Zeke found this one for me on the Internet somewhere – sorry I can’t give it it’s due credit, but I changed it a bit anyway…

country_style_bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour – I used 1/2 Whole Wheat and 1/2 Unbleached White
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients. (Don’t sift flour)
  2. Mix liquids and add to dry ingredients. Stir until there is no more dry flour.
  3. Depending on the humidity of the air where you live you may need a little bit more or less liquid.
  4. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
  5. It may take a few minutes for the flour to fully absorb the liquid, so don’t rush to add liquid or flour to it.
  6. Score lightly the surface in a diamond or X shape to prevent splitting of the crust.
  7. This is a country style bread that should be sliced thick.
  8. It is important not to overwork the dough.
  9. Shape into a ball or an oval, with oiled hands.
  10. Place on clean baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes at 400F.
  12. Variations: Rub the dough ball with virgin olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and oregano for a focaccia flavor.
  13. For tea time add a tsp pure cane sugar.
  14. The liquid can be replaced for orange or other fruit juice if the bread is to be used for teatime and you can even add dried chopped fruits.
  15. For a savory bread the liquid can be tomato juice and you can add chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the dough.
  16. Sprinkling of seeds in the dough or on top of the bread is also possible.

I brushed the uncooked ball of dough with Olive Oil and sprinkled Sea Salt. It came out pretty yummy.

Husband Rating 4 star: gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “An interestingly unique take on a time honored favorite!”

D-

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