Wednesday, August 22

{Parties & Savory Vegetable Flatbreads}

Parties are sweet.  I love mingling.  Meeting and reuniting with friends is refreshing to my soul.  Last night we gathered with friends for a barbecue.  We were asked to bring a side dish.  I love bringing food to events.  It gives me a chance to whip together new dishes.  I opened my fridge that afternoon and peered in at the possibilities.  It's full of fresh produce right now.  Our little biweekly CSA box is keeping us well stocked. Pretty quickly, I decided to use as much of the produce as I could. I was up to my ears in eggplant, peppers, cucumbers and more.  Flipping on the stove, I warmed coconut oil in a pan and pulled out my good ole food processor.  Soon all my veggies were sautéing or pureeing as I hummed about the kitchen. A little bit of this and that and before I knew it I had two tasty spreads to work with.  All I needed was something to spread them on!  One of my favrite food writers, Caitlin from Roost, had a flatbread I'd been wanting to try.  I quickly browsed through her little site and whipped up her delicious recipe. An easy treat for anyone!

The two flat breads were a hit at the party. My sweet friends requested the recipe and my husband is already asking for a repeat, so this one's going on the books. I hope you can give it a try for your next gathering! Enjoy!

{Red Pepper Kale Spread}
1/2 cup Pine Nuts
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 cups Red and Yellow Peppers, roughly sliced and sautéed in Coconut Oil
Dash of Garlic Powder
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Pepper to taste

Puree in a food processor or blender and refrigerate until ready to use.

{Sweet Eggplant Beet Spread}

3 cups Eggplant, chopped and sautéed in Coconut Oil
1 medium Sweet Onion, chopped and sautéed in Coconut Oil
4 Red Beets, cooked and peeled
1 1/2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
 *add more if needed
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Pepper to taste

Puree in a food processor or blender and refrigerate until ready to use.

{Roost's Flatbread} 
*with a few alterations
3 cups Almond Flour
1 tbsp Oregano, chopped
1 tbsp Sage, chopped
1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Eggs

Extra Topping:
Veggies, sautéed or Beets, cooked and sliced
Shredded Goat's Cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients, then add the wet. I like to knead with my hands, but it's up to you.  Roll the dough into a ball and place between parchment paper.  Roll into the shape and thickness you desire. I created two breads out of this dough. Place them on a sheet with a pastry mat or oil your cookie sheet.  Lightly brush the dough with olive oil and place into your oven for 10-14 minutes. Remove once it begins to brown around the edges.  Let it cool and then lather it with the spread.  Add additional veggies on top if you wish and sprinkle the grated Goat cheese for a delicious finish. Place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.  Once it's ready, pull it out and let it 

Sunday, August 12

{Famous Chocolate Chunk Cookies}

The chocolate chip cookie, so simple and yet so strangely essential.  Since discovering my new direction with food, many attempts have been made to perfect this little treat.  Each one has been an adventure, bringing me closer to understanding the workings and secrets of baking a perfect gluten-free and vegan chocolate chip cookie.

I'm an admirer and follower of Elana Amsterdam, the author of two cookbooks and a lovely blog called Elana's Pantry.  A strong advocate of almond flour, she has convinced me of it's benefits.  Her use of it in her chocolate chip cookies intrigued me.  I gave her recipe a try, loved it, but decided to add my own twist to it.  Not too long after, I found my own perfect chocolate chip cookie.  It turned out to be truly delicious and nutritious!

Now, I can't say I have created the chocolate chip cookie, because we all know this world is full of varying preferences, but I can say just about everyone who has tried my cookies asks for more or for the recipe.

This post is the belated fulfillment of many promises over the months to share this recipe with you all. It's been my little secret for the last year or so, but now I'm excited to finally bring it to your kitchen!

{Chocolate Chunk Cookies}

2 3/4 cup of Almond Meal
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil
1/2 cup Agave or Pure Maple Syrup
1 tbsp Vanilla

1 cup roughly chopped 65-70% Dark Chocolate
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While it's heating whisk the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients in the order given and mix with a wooden spoon until thick.  Fold in the chocolate chunks and chips.  Use a tablespoon to plop the dough on a cookie sheet, about an inch apart.  I recommend using a pastry mat with your cookie sheet, but if that's not available lightly grease the sheet.  Gently press the dough with the heel of your hand to keep the tops from browning too quickly. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cookies cool for 15 minutes and then remove using a spatula.  

As you try this lovely recipe feel free to ask questions.  I know it can be difficult, following a recipe to a tee, especially if you have variables like crazy ovens, so ask away! Enjoy!

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