Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is from the February 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. I haven't modified it because it's dangerous to modify recipes when baking, or at least I think so. These cookies are very moist, chewy, and highly addictive. I must stress that part of what makes them work is using the oat flour, so if you substitute another kind you are doing so at your own risk!

The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World
Vegetarian times Feb. 2009

2 cups walnuts
3 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oat flour (it's important to use this kind of flour. My neighbor tried whole wheat and they didn't turn out as good.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips (I think I used about 2/3 of a bag. Obviously they don't have to be vegan.)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Parchment paper for cookie trays (I don't know if it's really necessary, but I used it)
2. Blend walnuts in food processor for 30 seconds, or until ground into a fine meal. Add canola oil, and blend 2 to 3 minutes more, or until mixture has the consistency of natural peanut butter, scraping down the sides of food processor occasionally.
3. Whisk together brown sugar and 1/2 cup of water into a sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Pour brown sugar mix into the food processor with the walnut butter and vanilla extract and blend.
4. Add flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to food processor and mix. Cool 10 minutes.
5. Transfer to mixing bowl and stir in oats first, then chocolate chips.
6. Shape cookie dough into balls and place on baking sheet. Flatten cookies with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in water. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry. Cool three minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. (I thought the glass thing was really weird, but I did it and they turned out great. The less you cook them the chewier and moister they are. The ones that stayed in longer weren't quite as good).

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

I've made this recipe twice in the last two weeks. My neighbor turned me on to it. We found them equally delicious when we used corn tortillas and when we used whole wheat tortillas, so use what's available to you or whatever your preference is. These are my modifications from the following recipe: Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Makes 10 enchiladas when using small corn tortillas, 5 when using larger flour tortillas.


1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced (I use my trusty garlic press)
1 or 2 limes, juiced (press firmly and roll them around on the counter first to loosen the juices)
3 sweet potatoes, cooked and diced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin plus a little extra
1/2 teaspoon chili powder plus a little extra
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro OR 4-6 cubes frozen cilantro
10 white or yellow corn tortillas OR 5 whole wheat or multi-grain tortillas
Olive oil
American cheese (optional)
Enchilada sauce
Shredded Pepper Jack cheese (optional)


Start by peeling the sweet potatoes and slicing them into approx. 1/4 in. rounds. Pour a little olive oil into a glass baking dish and coat all of the potato slices (by "a little olive oil" I probably mean at least 2 Tbs). Add a little ground sea salt and toss to coat. Heat your oven to 350°F and roast the potatoes for around 30 minutes. Turn the potatoes at least once while roasting/baking.

In a mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans, minced garlic, and lime juice. Add the cilantro, cumin, and chili powder. When your potatoes are done (they should be soft all the way through and a little crispy looking on the outside) dice them and mix them in with the beans and spices.

Pour enchilada sauce into the bottom of a baking dish (a long one is best). Be sure to use enough to coat the bottom so that the enchiladas won't stick to the bottom. (The real recipe has directions for a home made sauce. I just used Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce.)

*If you are using flour tortillas skip to next part* To assemble the enchiladas, grab a skillet and heat a dash of oil. Lightly cook the corn tortillas to soften them, one at a time, as you stuff each one. (I was very skeptical about doing this, but it actually worked really well. Just be sure to heat both sides of the tortillas. If you prefer an oil-free method you can microwave them between two damp paper towels for a few seconds, although I have not tried this myself.)

Lay the first tortilla in the sauced baking dish. I placed 1 or 2 slices of American cheese on the tortilla, although this step can be omitted if you are trying to make it low fat or vegan. Spoon some of the sweet potato mixture down the center. Wrap and roll the tortilla to the end of the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas (you may need to add more sauce to the bottom of the dish as you go because you'll be wrapping them IN the dish and using up the "buffer" sauce). Top with the rest of the sauce. Top with a sprinkle of shredded Pepper Jack cheese (optional). Be sure to wet all exposed parts of the tortillas with sauce in order to avoid having crunchy tops or ends. Note: I use the whole jar of T.J.'s sauce, and I even add a little water to it to thin it out and make it stretch.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are piping hot and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Be careful not to overcook them or they'll get dry.


Several things are influencing me to start a blog:
1. I'm starting to feel like I'm falling behind technologically speaking.
2. My mom recently sent me a link to an old family friend's blog. (I do not aspire to make mine as good as hers.)
3. I'm getting tired of having to search in so many places for my recipes.
4. I figure this is the easiest way to share recipes with people who ask for them.

We'll see how long this lasts!