Gluten Free Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies!!

Hey everyone!! Happy Valentine’s Day :) I’m not big on Valentine’s day so that’s the only mention you’ll get out of me but I figured I’d wish you all a good one. I figured today would be a great day to share my recipe for my Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies!! I loved these cookies so much and I really hope you’ll try them. Soooooooo good!

I used this as my start point and made a bunch of changes to create this new cookie. Yum!

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup gf oat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar*

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, drained on a paper towel

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cups gf rolled oats

3/4 cups sliced almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

*Instead of regular brown sugar I use Alter Eco’s Mascobado sugar that was sent to me to review. This was my secret for this recipe. It added a beautiful hint of caramel that was so perfect. I really love this sugar, you should definitely try it in place of brown sugar if you can get it in your local stores.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. Mix the sugars, syrup, applesauce, coconut oil and extracts in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

4. Add oats, almonds and coconut. Stir until combined then let sit for 10 minutes.

5. Drop cookies on baking sheet (I used a small ice cream scoop to portion my cookies… probably about the size of a rounded tsp). Bake cookies 10-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on tray then transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!!

These cookies are seriously amazing. I really love the almond extract in it too. I may add a little almond flour next time too :)

That’s all for me my friends! Hope you all have a great night, whatever your plans may be!! I’ll be spending a quiet night at home. It’s Thursday after all… which means a new episode of Impractical Jokers :) Have a good night!

A Very VaVa Thanksgiving ;)

Hey guys! Happy Thanksgiving! Or Happy Thursday if you don’t like/celebrate Thanksgiving ;) I spent my day with the family over at my brother’s house and had a lovely time. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any pics of Delilah because she’s like a tornado, tearing around the house at full speed!

Just wanted to do a quick post to show you what I enjoyed as my Thanksgiving dinner.

A cute little sweet potato that I roasted up all yumlike, some quinoa mixed with cheesy cauliflower mash and roasted brussels sprouts. Yum!

What did you guys do for Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a great day! I’m so thankful to be surrounded by an amazing family and great friends and I’m thankful for all of you! I consider you all my friends and I thank you for your continuous support! You are amazing!

If you haven’t already, please check out Alter Eco’s Thanksgiving Challenge and learn how you can give back this holiday season! I love their ideas for fun ways to spread knowledge, I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Have a great night and if you have the rest of the week off enjoy! I have to work tomorrow and Saturday, boo!

Back to Basics & Some Results

Hey everyone! Hope you are all well. Very excited that there is just one work day until Thanksgiving! Do you all have plans or are you going to be mellow. We are all going to my brother’s house (although my mom and I do most of the cooking, ha) and it’s going to be fun I’m sure :)

So before I get into any food I have a mini update from my Dr. appointment yesterday. There was so good news and some bad/annoying news. The good news first is that she seems confident that I do not have Lupus, which was what we’ve been testing for and I’ve been completely stressed about this whole time. However, I still have absolutely zero answers as to what the hell is wrong with me. I’m getting very frustrated because they have been testing and re-testing the same thing over and over. And I still have no answers. From what I understand, my vitamin D was very low (and I did ask why it could be since I’m outside all summer so she is just re-testing that too which is kind of silly), I have a slightly elevated ANA (which can be a marker for autoimmune disease and why I was referred to a rheumatologist in the first place) and a VERY elevated ESR which is a nonspecific marker for inflammation. The high end of it tends to be around 20 and my level was a 55. I am in limbo right now because my next appointment isn’t for 4 weeks but when they call with my new vitamin d results I’m going to see if I should come in earlier because I’m really tired of waiting. I’m really frustrated by the whole thing and I’m sure that isn’t helping anything at all. So I guess I’ll have to wait and see what she says.

Now onto the fun stuff, here’s some food!

For breakfast I combined all of these ingredients together and made…

my favorite Cherry Chocolate smoothie! I’ve noticed that the cherries I get frozen from the store don’t taste anywhere near as good as the cherries I froze over the summer. I’m so bummed that the 3 servings I had left had to get thrown out because of the power outage :( Sad business.

For lunch I brought some of my yummy Chunky Veggie Soup. It was really filling and very delicious. They flavor got even better as time goes on :)

And finally for dinner I had my new favorite meal ;) A layer of 1/2 cup of Alter Eco pearl quinoa topped with a layer of 1/3 cup of corn and then topped with a generous portion of my Cheesy Cauliflower Mash. So good!

And speaking of Alter Eco, just when I thought this company was at the height of awesomeness, they went ahead and topped themselves. They are holding a Thanksgiving Challenge with the goal of giving thanks to those around you. Check it out, it’s a great way to start thinking about how you can give thanks and create awareness :)

That’s all for today! Hope you all have a great night! I’m exhausted so hopefully I’ll get to sleep early tonight.

Cupcakes!!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well. It has been a crazy couple of days with some baking disasters which were saved and eventually came out with great results!

As I mentioned before, today is Delilah’s 2nd birthday :) My sister in law asked me to bake some cupcakes for her class for tomorrow since a few of the kids have milk allergies. I was debating between the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches and some cupcakes. I decided on the chocolate chip sandwich cookies but then had a mini disaster and ended up with the best of both worlds in the end!

Look at these beauties! You wouldn’t believe what an ordeal these turned into. I made my cookies but since they were smaller than the original time I made them (I wanted to make mini ones this time) they weren’t as chewy and I didn’t think they would make good sandwiches. So, I decided to scrap that and make some cupcakes.

I had to skip the almond milk because nuts are a no no too so I subbed rice milk instead because I didn’t know if soy was ok. Wouldn’t you know the rice milk doesn’t curdle when mixed with apple cider vinegar. I didn’t know if that made a difference but I didn’t want to risk it and have another disaster on my hand so I double checked that soy was ok and used that instead.

I didn’t want to waste the cookies so I thought it would be cute to decorate the cupcakes with them! I cut some in half and topped the cupcakes with them and I love the way they turned out!! I used the vanilla cupcake and frosting recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and I used this cookie recipe.

I’m really happy with how these came out! I hope the kids like their treats :) It was fun to get into the kitchen and bake again, even though it took the course of two days from start to finish with work in between. It was a bit tiring but it was totally worth it!

And now I just wanted to show you my lunch from today!

This was one of those meals that surprised me with just how tasty it was! After putting the cupcakes together at 6:45 am and having to shower, eat breakfast, make lunch and get to work by 9, I didn’t have much time to think. I grabbed some stuff from the fridge, put it together in fun layers and waited for lunch time. The bottom layer is some Alter Eco quinoa, then I put some corn and on top was my leftover cheesy cauliflower patties. When I heated it up the patties got warm and soft and gooey from the cheese and I mixed it all up and chowed down. And it was SO FREAKING GOOD. The whole bowl got creamy from the cheesy cauliflower mash and it was a really delicious, surprising meal. I love when meals that are thrown together turn out to be one of my favorite meals of the week!

That’s all for today! I’m not sure if I’ll be posting tomorrow but if I end up eating anything fun or shareworthy I will try to get back on! My throat has been feeling a bit funky and I’ve been coughing a lot so hopefully I won’t end up getting sick. I think I kind of want to make a big pot of soup this weekend… just in case ;)

Have a great night my friends!

Alter Eco Review and Coconut Sticky Rice Breakfast Pudding

Hey everyone! I’ll warn you right off the bat that today’s post has a ton of pics :) I couldn’t help myself, I was so excited to be contacted by Alter Eco Foods to sample some of their amazing products. I really love this company and what they stand for. They promote sustainability and responsibility through the sale of fair trade, organic, minimally processed foods. They maintain direct relationships with farmers and promote socially just and environmentally responsible practices. This company is absolutely amazing and provide high quality products that you can enjoy completely guilt free.

Thank you so much to Alter Eco for sending me so many amazing products to try! I was so excited to open my package, and even more excited to find such a nice variety of products to try!

I was lucky enough to receive three chocolate bars to try! There was a Dark Quinoa bar, Dark Blackout Bar and a Dark Coconut Toffee Bar. The Dark Coconut Toffee bar is not vegan so my mom inherited that one and she said it was absolutely delicious!

The Dark Blackout bar is an absolute dream for all dark chocolate lovers and purists. This chocolate is intense, pure 85% bittersweet dark chocolate. It tastes fruity and bold and is a perfect treat for anyone that loves high quality dark chocolate.

The Dark Quinoa bar was my favorite of the two because of the texture that the quinoa adds. The chocolate is also high quality dark chocolate that is rich, fruity and delicious and the toasted, nutty quinoa adds an amazing crunchy texture. Love this bar!

I was also lucky enough to try the Organic Royal Pearl Quinoa, the Thai Sticky Purple Rice (so excited about this one!) and Organic Mascobado Cane Sugar.

Another thing that I love about this product is that they tell you exactly where they get each and every product. As you can see, the quinoa came from Bolivia. Every single package contains the country of origin information.

I decided to try out the quinoa using a recipe featured in a Healthy Vegan Friday post that sounded AMAZING. I made up a batch of Ashley’s Cheesy Corn Quinoa¬†and I am so glad I did. First, Alter Eco’s quinoa cooked up so quick and easy and it was incredibly fluffy with a slight crunch to it. It is definitely a high quality quinoa.

Ashley’s recipe was really amazing too. The fluffiness of the quinoa, sweetness of the corn and creaminess of the melted cheese came together as a really delicious satisfying and comforting meal. I’m so glad I got to use Alter Eco’s quinoa to try out this recipe.

Finally, the ingredient I was most excited about trying was the Thai Sticky Purple Rice and it certainly did not disappoint! It has the most gorgeous purple color and a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. It may sound weird but I loved the way it smelled when it was cooking. It was nutty and also almost smelled a little bit like popcorn. It may sound weird but it smelled amazing!

I decided to make a Thai Sticky Purple Rice breakfast pudding. It is slightly flavored with coconut to keep up with the Thai theme but I also added some almond for crunch. Isn’t it gorgeous? The color is so rich and lovely, and the pudding came out so creamy thanks to the stickiness of the rice and the addition of a special ingredient: coconut butter!

Coconut Sticky Rice Breakfast Pudding

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice, cooked

1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tbsp sliced almonds

1 tsp coconut butter

cinnamon to taste

stevia or agave to taste

Directions:

1. Combine cooked rice with coconut milk in a medium saucepan and heat to a simmer.

2. Once simmering, add the rest of your ingredients except coconut butter. Cook until most of the milk thickens and is mostly absorbed.

3. Add coconut butter at very end. Turn off heat and stir in coconut butter. As it melts your pudding will become rich and creamy.

4. Transfer to a bowl and top with more sliced almonds and shredded coconut. Enjoy!

I haven’t had a chance to try the sugar yet, but I will definitely let you know how it is. It is Vegan and said to have notes of caramel and vanilla. It sounds amazing and I can think of a million different ways to use it! I’ll definitely keep you posted on that!

Thank you so much again Alter Eco, not just for sending me amazing products to try, but also for doing the right thing and promoting sustainability, protecting and supporting farmers, and maintaining socially just and environmentally responsible practices. Please go support this company and all of the wonderful things they are doing to bring high quality foods to our homes will taking care of the farmer’s that produce them. You can’t ask for more than that!

I hope you all have a great day!