Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Gracie and I were in the mood to bake cookies. I have an over abundance of peanut butter, so naturally the best way to use it up is make Peanut Butter cookies, right? Daddy has been gone all weekend (just arrived early this morning) so we decided to surprise him with a little treat.

This recipe is very easy. Measurements are pretty much the same throughout, so it's easy to memorize. I substituted flax seed for egg and like the gentle nut flavor it adds to the dough. 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water is the equivalent of one egg. You could also use chia seed gel which adds yet another layer of protein to these delicious cookies. 3 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 1 cup of water yields a nice thick gel. 3 tablespoons of gel equals 1 egg.

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tb. ground flax seed, mixed with 3 Tb. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in flax seed mixture and vanilla until combined. Mix in as much flour as possible with the hand mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

Shape dough into 1-in balls. Roll in additional white sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten by making crisscross marks with the tines of a fork.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Tasty, tasty! Enjoy with a short glass of soy or almond milk. :-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vegetable Pot Pie

One of our family's favorite meals is vegetarian chicken pot pie. I remember when I was a child, we could buy individual frozen vegetarian pot pies at the health food store: chicken or beef flavor. Once in a while we'd have them for a treat and it seemed like the longest 45 minutes in the world as that delicious pot pie cooked in the oven. I'd sneak a peek at the ever-goldening crust and hope that it was ready to eat soon. Then...the moment arrived. I'd slip my fork through the flaky crust and try to take a bite and immediately burn my tongue! It was worth it. All too soon the pot pie was finished and the craving was satisfied for a while.

Unfortunately, the company stopped making those little delectable morsels of vegetable goodness. The only frozen precooked pot pies you can find now are the Amy's brand. I've tried them, and while very good, they just don't measure up to the original vegetarian pot pies of my memories.

The solution? Make my own. Here is my rendition of pot pie. I'm sure there are many wonderful recipes out there, but this is what I've created. I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it, please send me your feedback. I'd like to hear what additional ingredients you added or subtracted.

1 T. olive oil
3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and diced (red potatoes would work fine, too)
1/2 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
2 vegetarian chicken patties, cooked and cubed
1 T. vegetarian chicken seasoning
1 tsp. granulated onion
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
salt, pepper to taste

1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
4 T. vegetarian chicken seasoning
1 T. cornstarch

In a medium pot, saute vegetables in olive oil. Add seasonings as vegetables soften.

In a blender, blend 1/2 cup cashews with 1 cup of water until very smooth. Add additional 1 cup of water, chicken seasoning and cornstarch. Continue blending until well combined.

Pour cashew milk mixture into vegetables and cook over medium heat until combination begins to thicken. Stir often to make sure vegetables do not stick. Take off of heat and immediately pour into 8 x 8 casserole dish. Cover with your choice of uncooked pie crust. Poke 4-5 holes in top of pie crust to vent. Bake pot pie at 350 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting through.

Complete the meal with a fresh green salad. Serves: 4 (depending on the size of pieces you cut!)