Today is was rainy and gray outside so I decided cookies were in order. I don't make cookies often and when I do make them I usually look for cookies with some kind of nutritional value...cookies are not healthy, but I figure pumpkin raisin cookies are probably better for you than say chocolate chip. I was craving chocolate, but I don't have any vegan chips on hand so the Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies from Veganomicon caught my eye. I had all the ingredients and it calls for almond extract (I use almond flavor and I mentioned over a year ago I have several bottles of it for some reason...well, I finally used one up today on these cookies...score!) so that is what we baked. Now that I think of it, the raspberry fruit spread I used has something like 40% DV of vitamin C and the dark chocolate cocoa powder has to have antioxidants, right? See, I can find the silver nutrition lining in any vegan treat. The kids had a great time helping with this one which made for less than perfect looking cookies, but they are more fun and tasted great. We shared some with our neighbors, Vicky and Greg, who called offering mixed greens (great trade!). Nothing brightens up a cloudy day like baking cookies and these worked like a charm. As soon as they were out of the oven the sun came out and we went outside to our park to play. We saw a double rainbow which was quite exciting for the kids. I took pictures with my iPhone because it was quickly disappearing so I didn't want to run inside for my good camera and miss it.Dinner tonight was a new take on Esme Sauce. I've been playing around with it to cut down on the oil and tamari. I'm pretty pleased with tonight's results. Rob said he thinks I have it dialed in just right now.
"Dialed In" Esme Sauce:
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (optional...you could also use cashews)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 Tablespoons tamari (or Bragg's Amino Acids)
2 Tablespoons miso (I only have red miso right now so if you have something mellow like white you might want to add more)
1 garlic clove minced
A splash of mirin
3 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup water (add at the end to get the consistency you like)
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and use an immersion blender until smooth, adding the water at the end to get a pourable consistency.
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 to 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (the green ones, of course)
4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
If you don't like to add crunchiness, but want to add the nutrition you can put the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in the sauce before you immersion blend it, but it will turn a little green. It is still good and the kids like it both ways, but I enjoy some crunch. You've seen this so many times on my blog I'm sure you know we like to serve the sauce over whole wheat pasta with peas, but it is also good with quinoa and broccoli or brown rice and kale. Use it on mixed greens...really anything. The topping is also great on lots of things like salads, pizza, soups, etc. This should make enough for a family of five, plus maybe a serving for leftovers. I made Chickpea Cutlets again from Veganomicon now that I've fallen for the baked version (I don't use oil, just parchment paper on cookie sheets) I will be making these all the time. I subbed nutritional yeast for the bread crumbs and this works quite well.