A Piece of Humble Walnut Brownie…

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I am baking these right now as I listen to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. I have been very consistent with my 30 Day Challenge, however, today I really wanted to bake these and then freeze them. I have a pocket of time to do so. It seems as though there is never a pocket of time in which I can do much of anything these last few weeks. However, these brownies are really good and I am grateful to have stumbled across them when in a time of great confusion. I meant to post this a long time ago, but I just found it. Here is an old entry from a couple of months ago.

I run, I work out, and I eat well. I have an unfortunate tendency to pride myself on healthy lifestyle. I like to read, watch, and inform. It kind of has been a passion of mine since I was quite young. I remember in first grade, our teacher read us a book about a dragon who smoked. The book had an extensive list of all the chemicals that are in cigarettes. I ran with this. Every person I knew who smoked, I felt the utmost urgency to tell them all about what they were inhaling into their lungs. They didn’t seem to care. Anyhow, it has come to no surprise to my husband, that I have been fighting a cold for the last couple of weeks. I have had Laryngitis, a sinus infection, pink eye in both my eyes, and now what seems to be strep throat. Humble pie, no, but I will take a piece of Humble Gluten Free Walnut Brownie. I made this to comfort my bruised ego and my prideful blow. Judge not lest you be judged, so here I am with sincere apology. No more Judgey McJudgerson!

Gluten Free, Vegan, and Oil Free Walnut Chip Brownies

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or finely grated apple
• 8 pitted medjool dates
• 1 medium ripe banana
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup brown teff flour
• 1/2 cup almond meal 
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 

How To Play:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper so it overlaps on two sides. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of the pan with oil.
2. In the food processor, process the applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth out with a wet spatula. Batter will be very sticky! This is normal.
6. Bake for about 25-27 mins at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing as they are VERY delicate and fall apart. It is suggested to cool and then freeze the brownies until firm, so you can slice them easier without them falling apart. Keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Enjoy.

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Green Chickpea Medley.

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Being from the coast, I remember countless times of being at my grandparents’ house, a house situated right on the beach, and my parents taking their aluminum motor boat out into the depths of the West Coast sea. My sister, grandparents, cousins and all the rest of the family, would sit around the bonfire telling stories. I was quite young, so probably didn’t make for an interesting conversation piece, but never will I forget my foot being scorched by an ember from the fire that was hidden underneath all the ash. My uncle came to the rescue by pouring his cold beer all over my 5 year old foot. My grandma would often collect oysters along the shore and fry them up for the next evening’s dinner. If mom and dad caught a salmon, then it would be there for dinner time as well, with new baby potatoes from grandma’s garden, along with some beans, and last but not least ketchup for Papa. A Vancouver Island dinner, a true living off the land and sea kind of meal. Well, this dinner isn’t so much a Mountain man experience, but Sean did catch the fish I used to go along with this meal, from the West Coast of Vancouver Island this summer. I baked salmon with a smudge of mayonnaise, squirt of lemon juice, a dash of dill, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of grapeseed oil. This is a wonderful dish for a BBQ, a luncheon, or as a simple side platter rested upon fresh cut tomatoes. The Chickpea Medley is from Oh She Glows. When I make this, I find myself eating it for lunch, dinner and then lunch again for the next day. I also prefer parsley over cilantro, but either way, it is super yum.

Green Chickpea Medley

(Oh She Glows)

Ingredients:

For the chickpea medley:

2 cups dried/uncooked chickpeas (makes 5.5-6 cups cooked)

1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach

1.5 cups cilantro, large stems removed (or parsley)

3/4 cup red onion, chopped finely

For the dressing:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

3/4 tsp kosher salt + ground pepper

How To Play:

1. To cook chickpeas: Soak 2 cups dried chickpeas in a large bowl of water overnight. Drain and rinse the beans in the morning and add to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until fork tender, about 40 minutes

2. Rinse and drain the spinach and cilantro (or parsley). Spin until dry in a salad spinner.

3. In a food processor, add the spinach and cilantro and pulse until chopped very small. Add the processed spinach and cilantro, drained cooked chickpeas, and chopped onion into a large bowl and stir.

4. In a small jar, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, maple syrup, and salt.

5. Pour the dressing on top of the spinach chickpea mixture and stir well. Let stand for about 10 minutes (or overnight) to let the flavors develop.

Enjoy.

The First.

I am being reminded of my first year of marriage.  This would be because we got married in the spring.  The colors from the Heather, Grape Hyacinth, Cherry Blossom Trees, Daffodils, and Tulips were instrumental in the choosing of the colors for our wedding.  The first year was difficult.  I wasn’t too keen on being a team player with certain things and Sean wasn’t used to having to let someone know, being me, when he was going to be late coming home from work.  We were both very independent, stubborn and opinionated.  Fortunately, we are extremely committed and because of commitment and sacrifice, we are respectful to one another and have matured and are still maturing into a team, a unit, and a family.  I have always liked cooking and experimenting with different foods.  Sean in our early years was very bent towards red meat and potatoes.  I didn’t know how to cook red meat and I’ve never been a potato kinda gal, so my dinners were often times a flop.  Most nights we would go to our favorite little restaurant and be guaranteed a great meal.  Other times we would go to the butcher and buy ready made meals or stuffed chicken and so forth.  It was a splendid time, but costly.  Kids came into the picture and the lifestyle of being single, kind of became non-existent.  I realized that I had to get my butt in gear, in more ways than one, and embrace change and healthy lifestyle to the fullest. No more excuses.  No more laziness.  Included in a shower gift, someone had given me a Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I flipped through it and instantly became a Martha groupie.  I happened to come across this chicken recipe that has become the staple dinner for when we have company.  I wanted it this evening, so therefore, here it is. Thanks Martha for the inspiration, you rock.

Baked Crisp Parmesan-Romano Chicken

 (Inspired by Martha Stewart)
Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for baking sheet
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp sea salt
1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 whole chicken-rinsed, patted dry and cut in 8 pieces or (I use 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and 3-4 breasts, cut in strips, instead).
For the coating:
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, or cream crackers, processed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated Romano cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 Tsp ground pepper

How To Play:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, and garlic in a 9×13 baking dish. Add chicken to marinade. Cover. Refrigerate at least 1-8 hours.
Stir together bread crumbs, cheeses, parsley, and pepper in medium bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, oil lining. (I just grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.) Dredge each chicken piece in bread crumb mixture to coat. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake chicken until bread crumbs are golden and chicken is cooked through, about 45-50 minutes. Serve this dish with arugula, tomatoes, blanched green beans, and crumbled Parmesan cheese tossed with olive oil and vinegar or a simple spinach salad with grated carrots, pecans, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy.