Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Adapted from a recipe on a bag of Trader Joe’s oats

These cookies don’t just have a slight hint of peanut butter. They are full on, in-your-face, overwhelmingly peanut buttery. They are for peanut butter lovers.

Ingredients

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup apple sauce (can be replaced with butter, if you want)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 11.5oz bag chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips are really good in these!)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the white and brown sugar and butter until creamy.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.
  3. Add the peanut butter.
  4. By hand, stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and seeds/nuts.
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  5. The dough will be really gooey, so this will be a little tricky, but scoop up a couple tablespoons of the dough, pack it in together to form a cookie, and drop it onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
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  6. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, until edges are light brown. IMG_9335

Low-fat Lemon Blueberry Drop Scones

IMG_6440_2This recipe uses lemon yogurt in place of half and half or cream, for a lighter, lower fat version. These will be fluffier and less dense than your normal scones.

Ingredients

Makes 15 scones

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest (zest of 2 small lemons)
  • 1 cup lemon yogurt (almost two full 6-ounce containers)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) blueberries

Glaze

  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (juice of one large lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon peel).
  2. Add in the yogurt, egg, and melted butter. If using an electric mixer, be careful–it gets really sticky!
  3. Once the ingredients are well combined, stir in the blueberries by hand.
  4. Using two spoons, scoop the dough onto a greased cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. To make 15 scones, they should be around 2 1/2″ wide.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.
  6. To make the glaze, combine the sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Start with two tablespoons of lemon juice, adding more if needed.
  7. Allow the scones to cool for five minutes, then drizzle the glaze on top, while still warm.
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Spaghetti Squash Taco Bowl

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I had half of a spaghetti squash leftover from making spaghetti squash primavera, and was craving something spicy, so I made a spaghetti squash taco bowl!

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1/2 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper (color of your choice), chopped
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Note: This is fairly spicy! If you need to tone down the heat, deseed the jalapenos. You can also add only half the curry powder, paprika, and cumin.

To serve

  • cilantro, diced
  • green onion, diced
  • greek yogurt (or sour cream)*
  • salsa
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese*

You could also use: lime wedges, avocado, extra jalapenos… !

*Leave off to make vegan

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. Place the squash, uncut, on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool for half an hour.
  2. Cut the squash in half. For this recipe, you’ll only need half (or you can double the recipe). Remove the seeds with a spoon or your fingers. Using a fork, scrape the sides of the squash, scooping out the “spaghetti.”
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  3. In a large saucepan or pot, toss the jalapeno and onion in the olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, until slightly softened.
  4. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for another few minutes, until the bell pepper is slightly softened.
  5. Add the spaghetti squash, tomatoes, corn, beans, and spices. Stir until well combined.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for ten minutes.
  7. Serve with lots of toppings. Make sure to stir your bowls up–the greek yogurt makes it nice and creamy!
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Orange Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My parents and friends in New England are getting pummeled with snow. (Another 10″ today?!) Meanwhile, this afternoon I went outside barefoot and picked oranges off the tree in the yard…

IMG_8930Trying to figure out what to do with all the oranges in the yard, I decided to make some cookies. Feel free to leave off the glaze if you want, though it adds some extra orange flavor!

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons orange juice (juice of three large oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon + extra to garnish
  • 12oz bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F    

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the orange juice (1/2 cup), butter, yogurt, and egg.
  2. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and orange zest (2 tablespoons).
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  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Use a spoon to drop the dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Use 2-3 tablespoons per cookie.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375°F.
  6. While the cookies are baking, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
  7. When the cookies are done, let them sit for five minutes. While still warm, drizzle the glaze on top.
  8. To garnish, sprinkle some extra orange zest and cinnamon.
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Blueberry Pancakes

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One of my favorite bedtime stories growing up was Blueberries for Sal, which my parents always read to me in the green arm chair in my room. Whenever I eat blueberries, I can’t help but think kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!

These pancakes also remind me of my grandfather. I made them for him a month or so before he died. We ate them on his back porch, which faced the woods–pines and hemlocks and oaks. As we ate, we watched the goldfinches and chickadees dart from the bird feeder (slightly mangled by a black bear), to the trees, and back to the feeder again. We poured lots of maple syrup on top. As I got him a second helping, Grandpa sang the song from Scrooge, which he sang so often everyone thought of it as his song: Thank you very much, thank you very much, it’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or use more all-purpose)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 heaping cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Use an electric mixer to blend the milk, vanilla, egg, and melted butter.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Mix until well-combined.
  3. Stir in the blueberries by hand.
  4. Use 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the batter. Cook the pancakes on a greased frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Both sides should be a light golden brown.
  5. Serve with lots of maple syrup!
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Spaghetti Squash Primavera

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not ditching pasta. That will never, ever happen. But oh my goodness, this is good. There’s a little kick to it, thanks to the red chili pepper flakes. Aside from the time it takes to bake the spaghetti squash in the oven (which can be done ahead of time!), this is fast and easy to make.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 cups spaghetti squash (half of a large spaghetti squash)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • grated parmesan, to serve (leave off for a vegan meal)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. Place the squash, uncut, on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool for half an hour.
  2. Cut the squash in half. For this recipe, you’ll only need half (or you can double the recipe). Remove the seeds with a spoon or your fingers. Using a fork, scrape the sides of the squash, scooping out the “spaghetti.”
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  3. In a large pot, toss the garlic, onion, carrot, and celery in the oil. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes, until slightly softened.
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  4. Add the peas, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and spaghetti squash. Stir until well combined.
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  5. Add the marinara sauce and spices. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan.
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Brie, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

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I had some caramelized onions leftover from the sweet potato burgers I made the other day. I’ve been itching to make some grilled cheese sandwiches. The apple was nice and tart, which balanced out the sweetness of the onions. And, well, do I need to tell you how delicious brie is? Especially when it’s melty and gooey? (Don’t even get me started on baked brie…)

Ingredients

  • a few chunks of brie
  • apple slices
  • two slices of good bread (I used whole wheat sourdough from the bakery)
  • couple slices of butter
  • a small handful of red onion slices
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Put the red onion in a saucepan with the brown sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the onion is soft. Add more brown sugar and vinegar to taste, depending on how much onion you’ve used.
  2. Spread butter on one side of your slices of bread. Place the first slice in the saucepan, with the butter side down. Put the slices of brie on top, followed by the apple slices and caramelized onions. Add the second piece of bread, butter side up.
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  3. Place a lid over the saucepan and let it cook for a minute or two. The lid helps the cheese get all melty and delicious.
  4. Check to see if the bottom is lightly brown. If it is, flip the sandwich over and cook on the other side, putting the lid back over the saucepan.

Sourdough Bread Pudding

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Sourdough isn’t traditionally used for bread pudding, but I had a loaf that I needed to use up. It occurred to me that the slight tang of the sourdough might actually be a nice contrast to the sweetness of bread pudding. I loved it! (David, I should note, likes things a little sweeter and prefers a more traditional bread pudding. Though he did go back for seconds…)

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (14 slices) of sourdough bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • chopped walnuts, to serve
  • maple syrup, to serve

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Slice your bread into 1″ pieces.
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  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, followed by the raisins.
  4. By hand,  slowly stir in the bread. It’s a lot of bread, so it helps to do this in batches. Add 1/4 of the bread, stir (the moisture from the liquid will reduce the size), then add more bread, stir, etc.
  5. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan.
  6. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the bread to absorb the liquid and flavor.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.
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  8. Serve with a splash of maple syrup and chopped walnuts on top.
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Breakfast Sandwich

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When I need a hearty, filling breakfast this is my go-to sandwich. It’s quick to make and leaves me feeling full into the afternoon. If I am in a rush and need to take it on-the-go, I leave off the salsa, push it down gently to flatten it a little bit, and wrap it up in tin foil.

Ingredients

Makes one sandwich

  • 1 egg
  • onion slices
  • tomato slices
  • avocado slices
  • cilantro
  • scoop of salsa
  • cheese (I like sharp cheddar or pepper jack)
  • bagel/english muffin/bread

Directions

  1. Place the cheese on half of the bagel and put it in the toaster oven*, face up. Toast until cheese is melty and gooey.
  2. While the bagel is toasting, cook your egg. I like mine over easy (fried on both sides, with a runny yolk).
  3. Assemble, then cut in half for easy eating.

*If you don’t have a toaster oven, toast the bagel in your toaster and melt the cheese on top of your egg instead. IMG_8156

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers with Caramelized Onions

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Ingredients

Makes 12 small burgers, or 6 large burgers

Burgers

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup cooked)
  • small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped rosemary, plus extra to garnish
  • pepper, to taste
  • oil, butter, or cooking spray

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

To Serve

  • lettuce, avocado, mustard, etc.!
  • buns (totally optional…I ate a leftover burger over a big bowl of salad!)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes. Wash them, prick them six or seven times with a fork, and wrap in tinfoil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until soft.
  2. While the potatoes are baking, make your quinoa according to the instructions on the bag.
  3. When they are cool enough to touch, scoop the insides of the potatoes into a bowl. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes with a fork until soft.
  4. Stir the potatoes, quinoa, onion, paprika, and rosemary together. Add pepper to taste.
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  5. Form patties with your hands. I found it easiest to form a ball (I made them racquetball size, but would them a little bigger and thicker next time), then flatten it between my palms.
  6. Cook in a greased saucepan over medium high heat. It will take a good 3-4 minutes per side to cook thoroughly. They are fragile, so flip gently!
  7. Serve on a bun, or eat over a salad with the caramelized onions (recipe below).
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Caramelized Onions

This is super easy!

  1. Slice the onion.
  2. Place the onion, along with the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the onion is soft. If your onion is really large, add more vinegar and/or brown sugar, to taste.

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