Cookies – now we’re talking.

 

Alright! These cookies I can proudly say – I made them!

I used this gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free recipe for chocolate chip cookies.
However, I read the comments on that page, and I thought about all the other things I have tried to bake with coconut and almod flour, and I decided on two changes:

. I used a little bit of baking soda, because I wanted a ‘fluffier’ texture;
. I used a bit of almond milk to make sure they wouldn’t be too dry

Conclusion: both these changes were much welcomed. The cookies turned out kind of crunchy on the outside but softer inside, and with the right amount of moisture.
The one thing I will change for next time is I’ll add more honey or more chocolate chips, because this batch was truly not sweet enough.

Oh, and as can be observed in the picture, I went wild with half of the batch: I added some cocoa powder, white chocolate chips and even some tiny marshmallows. Very yummy – but I’ll restrain from that in the future and stick with the simpler, slightly ‘healthier’ version.

 

P.S. No more baking for a little while. Carbs… can’t get too friendly.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies…

I got this gluten-free cookie mix to have in hand for a day I really *needed* cookies but didn’t have the patience/ingredients to make them from scratch. Yesterday was that day.

So this mix… made the BEST cookies I’ve ever had. Ever. Seriously. I am deeply in love with these cookies. They were crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside… and they had a deep, super rich dark chocolate taste…  infinite perfection.

The good side of it all is, now I am really encouraged to try to make similar cookies from scratch.

The mix uses coconut flour as base, something I’ve been somewhat regularly experimenting with. The mix also contains some ingredients I’m sure are a big part of the secret but that I want to stay away from – like potato starch – so it might prove a challenge to find adequate substitutes. In any case, I plan on using this recipe next… fingers crossed!

 

(P.S. I’ve been reading the reviews for this and other products from this brand on Amazon… and it seems they are pretty good at making gluten-free, grain-free stuff… so if you are looking for these qualities in your cookie mix, I recommend it!)

Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

So I get most of my recipes from Pinterest. The other day I really wanted to make this mini turkey meatloaf, but I didn’t have any ground turkey at hand, so I ended up doing these beef meatballs instead.

I did use my muffin pans to make them just because I thought it was a cute idea but it turned out to be just plain stupid, because I ended up having to clean up even more stuff. Note to self, stick to easy (easy cook, easy clean up).

Anyway, the meatballs are pretty delicious and relatively healthy – at least from a low-carb, grain-free, gluten-free perspective (no flour, no breadcrumbs, just beef, egg and seasoning). Plus they were baked, no frying involved.

I did use a tasty yogurt sauce by Eating Right (yeah, disappointing  right? I see now that the title of this post makes it seem like I actually prepared the sauce myself…). Ideally you’d make your own sauce, and personally I’d even prefer some tomato sauce on my meatballs, but I happened to have this in hand and it went so well on this dish (Marshall used barbecue sauce, which I also love with basically anything).

The side is just some adorable baked brussel sprouts with bell peppers, onions and baby arugula. Yum.

Chocolate covered… everything

 

I made these a while ago, but I guess I feel it’s appropriate to post them tonight because of all the halloween candy going around. Oh also I did make some chocolate covered apple slices last night…

Not much explanation required, right?

Well maybe I am just plain dumb, but the first time I tried to melt chocolate, it completely backfired and I ended up with this huge burnt blob and an unfulfilled desire for sugary goods. Here were my mistakes: first, I tried to melt to much chocolate at once. You really don’t need a whole lot of chocolate when you are making this kind of thing for only two people. Second, when you take the chocolate out of the microwave (after just 30 seconds), it doesn’t LOOK like it melted at all – but don’t put it back in! Just mix it with a spoon, and the chocolate chips start dissolving in plain eye sight! – so so easy.

And the real secret… people are so stuck with this ‘chocolate covered strawberry’ tradition… but basically ANY fruit tastes good with chocolate. In Brazil, chocolate covered grapes are quite common and amazingly tasty. I really really like apples and chocolate, specially if you have some nuts to sprinkle over it. But honestly, it goes well it bananas, berries, grapes… alright, maybe it wouldn’t go so well it mango or kiwi, but mostly anything.

Oh and use dark or semi-sweet chocolate. It’s just better.🙂

Brussel Sprouts!

The main thing to be talked about here is the least evident in the picture: Brussel Sprouts (they don’t photograph too well, poor sprouts).

People have an unfair prejudice against Brussel Sprouts. They are DELICIOUS! All I do with them is cut them in half, spray a bit of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and throw them in the oven for a while. They turn out crunchy and tasty. They are also wonderful with some sort of sauce, such as teriyaki.

On top of it all… brussel sprouts are so good for you!!! (see this article on Livestrong)

The salad is just a bunch of spinach, cherry tomatos and mozzarella cheese. It’s my lazy way of doing Caprese.

And the burger, well… I’m just a sucker for burgers. They are top 3 on my proteins-ranked-by-deliciousness list.

Spaghetti Squash!

I looooved cooking and eating this dish! (so much so that here I am, posting about it 10 minutes after I’ve finished it…)

I followed the step-by-step here and it was soooooo easy!

Let’s be clear though: it’s not pasta (to say so would be a lie and an insult to Italy).

Still – I loved the taste, texture and I think it went perfectly with the tomato sauce. I’m pretty much a number one fan now. Buuuuut Marshall didn’t like it at all – neither taste or texture. So I think it’s something that each person must try and decide for themselves.

P.S. The chicken drumsticks were pretty delicious too… I don’t know if I can ever go back to being a breast girl now (that’s what she said). And the tomato sauce had some fresh basil, cherry tomatos and sliced bell peppers in it. Yum!

Paleo Banana Bread and Apple-Pear Pie

This weekend has been very productive… for non-academic stuff. Not only did I do laundry, vacuumed, washed the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, hung a painting on the wall and met up with friends…

… I also baked these!

The reasoning: I wanted pie, but I also had two very ripe bananas to get rid off. Since I was going to use almod flour and coconut flour for both… why not make them at the same time?

The pie was made with the same crust as the ones from a previous post, BUT: I baked it for less time and it turned out much better. Plus, I left it in the fridge for several hours before trying it for the first time. My only regret is not using enough pears/apples… again, I wish I had more filling.

The banana breads have lots of cinnamon in them; one only has raisins and a little bit of almods, the other has lots of almonds, raisins and dark chocolate chips. Needless to say which one turned out better. Still… both turned out a little bit bland. Not sure what to do to make it better; more honey? raisins? we’ll see…

(to be honest, they are not so much banana breads, as they are an adaptation of this recipe: http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2012/07/banana-blueberry-paleo-muffins/)