Tag Archives: healthy

A “Happy-Medium” Cookie

Do you ever turn into Cookie Monster?  I know I do.  There are some days when chefs in the kitchen at work recognize a certain intense (or desperate) look on my face and silently point to the freshly baked tray of double chocolate chip goodness cooling on sheet pans.  I think they half-expect me to break into pleading wails of, “ME WANT COOKIES!!,” but I’ve contained myself so far.

Anyway, everybody loves a good cookie now and again.  The chewy texture of the dough and crunch of the chocolate chips is exactly what the soul and body calls for at times.  If you’re like me, though, you may want a healthier cookie option that tastes great and gives you a couple added health benefits that Tollhouse break-and-bake lacks.

Enter my favorite “happy-medium” cookie.  These are absolutely delicious, and don’t have an overt “healthy” flavor to them.  There’s a nuttiness from the whole wheat flavor and oatmeal, but thanks to the essential cookie ingredients (butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate!) they retain their homemade chocolate chip cookie taste.

How do I know that these are really delicious and healthy cookies?  Because friends that I’ve made these for continuously ask me to make them again.  Sometimes a little too frequently.  And they’re foolproof, so I don’t end up with any bricks

I think Cookie Monster would approve.

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Happy-Medium Cookies (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip)
Adapted from A Dash of Sass

Makes 2 dozen cookies

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup butter or margarine, softened to room temperature

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. milk

1 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular 100% whole wheat flour)

½ tsp.baking soda

½ tsp.baking powder

½ tsp.salt

½ tsp.cinnamon

1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats

¾ to 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the sugars and butter together in a medium bowl.  Add the egg, vanilla, and milk, and cream for another 30 seconds until combined.

In a separate large bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients (whole wheat flour through cinnamon).  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined.  

By hand, stir in the oats and chocolate until well distributed.  (The recipe at A Dash of Sassincludes walnuts — feel free to add if you wish!).

On a cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment, drop teaspoons of dough about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 11 to 14 minutes. Cooking time may vary, but I like them right between 11 and 12 minutes, because I like softer and chewier cookies.

Remove from oven and let cool.  Then enjoy on their own or with a glass of milk.

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Better than a Prescription

I must be sick.

It’s been beautiful the past three days and I haven’t stepped outside anymore than I’ve needed to.  There have been no runs in the sun, no walks in Duke Gardens, nothing outdoorsy taking place in my life.  Instead, I’ve felt like I’m going to sneeze every 20 seconds and my nose is starting to resemble Rudolph’s.

Allergies seem to be the culprit.  I think I could star in an Allegra or Claritin commercial right now and I wouldn’t even have to act that I’m sniffling, sneezing, coughing, wheezing.  It’s all real.

Thank goodness for soup.

Chicken Jalapeno Soup to Cure Anything
Makes 5 to 6 large servings

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup onion, diced
4 medium carrots, chopped
3 jalapenos, chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 ½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. paprika
¾ cup golden hominy
¾ cup great northern beans (drained and rinsed if using the canned variety)
1 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth or stock
¾ to 1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add in onion,carrots, and jalapenos and saute for 3 minutes.  Add all seasonings (garlic through paprika) and stir to combine for about a minute. 

Add in hominy*, beans, and chicken**.  Mix well in the pot and let cook for 2 minutes to allow everything to warm together. 

Pour in chicken stock and water.  You want to make sure that everything is covered with liquid.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir occassionally during the cooking process and adjust seasonings before serving.

Cook’s Notes:

*Hominy — a variety of corn (I affectionately call it “corn on steroids” because the kernels are huge) can be found in most grocery stores in the Mexican or Hispanic food section (it comes in a can).

**Rotisserie chicken — I simply bought a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, let it cool, and then shredded the meat to use for this soup.  I removed the skin, but you can leave some on if you like the flavor. 

This soup is FILLING.  And it’s incredibly healthy — lots of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, plus some healthy fats from the olive oil.  It’s a perfect dinner on it’s own and gets better and better the longer it sits, so this is a time when you can look forward to leftovers!  Plus, if you’re stuffed up like me, the spice from the peppers and seasonings will help decongest you. 

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Slow Down with Sweet Potato Chili

If you read yesterday’s post, you learned that I was the recipient of some bad luck in that ice cream exploded all over me twice before 8am.  How this came to happen makes me laugh because I think I only have myself to blame.  

I am a very curious person.  I tend to notice things that other people don’t, and then wonder why things are the way they are.  So, when I saw a milky substance leaking over the floor of the employee break room yesterday morning at work, my first thought was, “What is milk doing on the ground and how did it get here?  I’ll open up the cooler.” 

Turns out it wasn’t milk — it was ice cream.  That one of my employees left in the refrigerator overnight because it was too big to fit in the freezer.  **Shakes head** 

Well, you think I would learn.  Sadly, I did not.  Because 20 minutes later when I noticed a milky substance pooling underneath the ice cream machine in the dining room again my immediate thought was, “Why is this milk here?  I should open the ice cream machine and see what’s wrong.” 

Side note….but do you remember Gusher fruit candies and how the juice squirts out as soon as you bite into a piece?  Imagine that, but with ice cream rather than fruit juice; that’s exactly what happened when I opened the machine’s door.  Melted ice cream splattered everywhere and left a huge mess over me and the floor.  I just started laughing, went back into the kitchen and poured myself a third cup of coffee because I knew it would be “one of those days.” 

Read on…

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