Ham and cheddar strata

I love salt. I am not one of those people who shies away from adding it liberally to food. But last week I had a terrible experience with it.

It happened on Friday when I made a ham and cheddar strata for JZ and my grandma, who both happened to be at my house for lunch. I added 1/4 tsp of salt to the recipe, which when combined with the salty ham and cheese, was a bit of a salty assault to the taste buds.

Ham and cheddar strata

The salt fest continued that evening when JZ and I went out for pizza at Son of a Peach with Tracey and her guy. I had a hefty portion of pizza and washed it down with only my glass of red wine – I foolishly left my water untouched. Fast forward 30 minutes when we’re on the road to pick up my parents from the airport, and I’m dying of thirst because of all the salt from the pizza. But of course we have no water in the car, so it isn’t until nearly 2 hours later that I finally get home and chug nearly my body weight in water.

That isn’t enough though, and my thirst wakes me up 4 times throughout the night. When I wake up the next morning, exhausted from all those wake ups, my mom looks at me and says “Your face looks puffy”. Gee, thanks mom, good morning to you too.

Moral of the story? Stick to a scant 1/8 tsp of salt when making this ham and cheddar strata. And don’t have really salty pizza afterwards.

Ham and cheddar strata

Ham and cheddar strata
 
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A tasty egg dish made with bread cubes, ham, and cheddar cheese. Recipe can be easily doubled to serve a crowd*! Nut free, soy free. Gluten free option**.
Author:
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups bread cubes
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup low fat milk
  • 75 g sliced ham, diced
  • 50 g cheddar cheese, diced
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack placed in the middle.
  2. Grease a 2.5 quart round baking dish with olive oil on the bottom and sides. Place bread cubes in the dish, evenly spread out.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, ham, cheddar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour mixture over the bread cubes. Use a spoon to evenly spread out the cubed cheese and ham, if necessary.
  4. Cover with saran wrap and let sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  5. Then remove the saran wrap and bake for 40-50 minutes depending on the size and shape of the baking dish. Check for doneness after 40 minutes by inserting a large toothpick into the centre of the strata. If it is not done cooking, put back in oven and continue checking for doneness every 5 minutes.
Notes
*If doubling recipe, use a larger baking dish (such as a 9x13 rectangular dish). Cooking times may change.
**Use certified GF bread to make recipe gluten free.

Do you love salt? Have you ever overdosed on it like I did?

This post was shared on Buns in My Oven‘s What’s Cookin’ Wednesday link up.

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Anniversary dinner at Spencer’s at the Waterfront

A few Fridays ago, JZ and I celebrated our one year anniversary at Spencer’s at the Waterfront.

But that’s not where we initially made our reservations. Actually, it’s a bit of a story. And after telling it, you guys might totally agree with me or think I’m totally crazy. I’ll let you decide.

So originally we made reservations at a different restaurant that gets great reviews. But on the day of our dinner, I called the restaurant to confirm our reservations for that night. I also took a peek at the menu, and noticed they were still serving their summer menu. So I asked about that while I was on the phone, and they told me that yes, they were still serving their summer menu.

Now this was a restaurant that says right on its website that it serves “earth to table cuisine”  and cooks with “local, seasonal ingredients from near-by farms and food artisans”. Well call me crazy, but I don’t see any peaches or corn growing in this neck of the woods around this time of year.

It just rubbed me the wrong way that a restaurant that labels itself as “earth to table” would be so out of season. So I decided to make reservations at one restaurant that has never failed me: Spencer’s at the Waterfront. A local foods restaurant that stays true to its image, it had its fall menu up – and it looked delicious!

Spencer's at the Waterfront

JZ laughed and laughed and laughed at me when I told him the reason I wanted to change the reservations (actually, it’s been over a week and he’s still laughing at me), but he’s pretty easy going and was happy eating wherever I wanted to go. So to Spencer’s at the Waterfront we went.

After ordering our wines (a Blackstone Merlot for me, and a Konzelmann Gewurztraminer for him) we selected our starters. JZ had the cheese plate with one cheese: a sharp white cheddar. It came with spiced honey with bee pollen, pickled pears, and crisp bread slices. My appetizer was a cumin roasted cauliflower salad with chili date puree, spicy almonds, and pickled onions. I cannot rave enough about this salad – the Middle Eastern flavours were phenomenal! It was also beautifully presented in an intentionally jumbled way.

Spencer's at the Waterfront - cauliflower salad

I also really enjoyed my entree: wild caught salmon with white beans, Swiss chard, maple chili squash puree, and grilled scallion vinaigrette. The white beans were in a delicious creamy sauce that gave a perfect richness to the dish, while the vinaigrette added a nice punch of flavour.

JZ had the top sirloin that came with some roasted vegetables and the most amazing three cheese and chive smashed potatoes. Rather than a light and fluffy texture like mashed potatoes, these were heavy and dense – and full of flavour too. I think they were JZ’s favourite part of his meal!

Spencer's at the waterfront - salmon

For dessert we had no trouble agreeing upon the chocolate brownie with dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream, and sponge toffee. And yes, it tasted every bit as incredible as it looks! The plate had so many different flavours, textures, and temperatures – it was fun to eat!

spencer's at the waterfront - brownie

All in all the meal was fantastic. Just like the past year (has it already been that long?) with JZ has been. Love ya big guy!

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My favourite herb roasted potatoes

There is always a debate about the potatoes at my family’s holiday meals. Actually, there’s usually debate about a lot of things, but the potatoes is always one of them.

See my mom loves riced potatoes. Have you heard of them? Basically they are just boiled potatoes that you put through a ricer, which turns them into small pebble-sized pieces. You don’t add anything to them – no salt, no butter, nada. They are boring with a capital B.

My favourite herb roasted potatoes (vegan, gluten free)

My mom argues that they are just a vehicle for gravy, which gives them their flavour. But I’m of the belief that potatoes should taste good before adding gravy (because then when you add gravy, it will be doubly as good). And I’m not alone in this – my sister is on my side of this argument too!

The one potato dish that we can all agree on is my herb roasted potatoes. I make these at least a few times a month because everyone I make them for loves them. So this year I vote we change our official potato dish to these herb roasted potatoes – it will be one less thing to argue about!

My favourite herb roasted potatoes (vegan, gluten free)

Herb roasted potatoes
 
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Baby potatoes tossed in olive oil and dried herbs, then roasted until golden and crispy. My favourite potato side dish! Vegan, gluten free, nut free, and soy free.
Author:
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb mini potatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. While it is heating up, wash and dry the potatoes then cut into halves (you may need to cut larger ones into thirds or quarters).
  2. Cutting the potatoes can release water from inside, so I like to pat them dry with a paper towel. This step is optional, but I find it helps them to roast better!
  3. Next toss the potatoes in a bowl with the olive oil until they are well coated, then add the dried herbs and salt.
  4. Spread onto a baking sheet (with the cut side facing up) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and flip all the pieces over, then bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.

What type of potatoes do you have for your holiday dinners?

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Vegan supper club #5

One of the things I love about cooking is that it works as both a solo and social activity.

When I cook for myself I tend to get in the zone. I turn on some good tunes, roll up my sleeves, and work out some of my inner thoughts while working the pizza dough, or whatever it is that I’m making. It’s while I’m cooking that I figure out some of my biggest problems, come up with some of my best ideas, and even sometimes write blog posts in my head.

But as much as I love cooking by myself, there’s also great pleasure that can be derived from sharing the task with someone else. I always look forward to my vegan supper club with Tracey because it’s such a good chance for us to catch up while creating something delicious.

This month we made a delicious menu of detox salad, lentil sloppy Joes, and chocolate pudding cake.

supper club - detox salad

The salad we chose was this ultimate detox salad from The Roasted Root, partially because it looks fantastic and partially because Tracey had whack ton of cabbage to use up from her CSA box. I really like how the ginger gave a subtle kick to the lemony dressing. It worked really well with the creamy avocado and nutty sunflower seeds in this! Also the colours were amazing – it makes you feel healthier just looking at it.

supper club - lentil sloppy joes

The lentil sloppy Joes we made from Char Eats Greens’ blog were pretty easy to throw together and really tasty! The veggies in the mixture added some great texture too. I would definitely make these again.

supper club - chocolate pudding cake

Dessert was the chocolate pudding cake from Oh She Glows’ cookbook. It looked like a liquidy mess when we put it in the oven, but it worked out perfectly! Warm, chocolatey, and seriously gooey… can you get any better?

supper club - chocolate pudding cake 2

Just looking at that picture is giving me a craving… good thing I have tons of leftovers!

Do you prefer cooking alone or with others?

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The Combine

Last week my mom and I drove down to Simcoe to have a girls night with my grandma. We were debating staying in or going out, but I don’t think any of us really felt like cooking so we opted to go out to The Combine. It’s a new-to-me restaurant in Simcoe with a local foods menu, so obviously it’s right up my alley.

What’s also neat about The Combine is that it’s located in a renovated historical house, and the owners actually live upstairs. And true to their local mantra, they have a garden on the property where they grow produce that gets incorporated into the menu. I didn’t get a chance to glimpse at the garden because it was dark (and cold!), but the restaurant itself is beautiful on the inside and out. It has such a cozy feel inside with its wooden decor and dim lighting.

The Combine - red wine

The wine list also stays local with several options from Ontario wineries. I tried both of the reds they offer by the glass and preferred the Cave Spring Pinot Noir in comparison – but after I started eating I noticed the earthy notes in the wine a lot more and didn’t like it quite as much. It’s funny how what you eat can totally change our perception of the taste of wine!

Before our meal we were brought out complimentary bread from from a local artisan bakery called The Good Bread Company. I’d never heard of this bakery before, but it’s definitely on my radar now. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m visiting grandma.

The Combine - bread from the Good Bread Company

My mom ordered the burger special with a side Caesar salad. She raved about the Caesar and said it had the perfect kick of lemon to it. She also said the burger was very good. And it was a great deal too – on Wednesdays the burger with a side is only $11.95!

The Combine - burger

I went for the pickerel dish because I love pickerel and don’t get to eat it that often. Unfortunately this dish disappointed. The pickerel wrapped in pancetta was alright, but I wasn’t a fan of the braised fennel and tomato white bean stew it came with. It might have been better with just a dash of cream and good pinch of salt though.

The Combine - pickerel

My grandma’s wild mushroom tagliatelle with peas, goat cheese cream, and truffle oil was the best dish of the night for sure. The earthy mushrooms were perfectly complemented by the creamy, garlicky sauce. We all agreed that we would come back and order this dish in a heartbeat.

The Combine - wild mushroom tagliatelle

But I’ll have a hard time deciding what to order next time I go back because there so many good options: pizza made in The Combine’s wood brick oven, pulled pork potato skins, and perch tacos with butternut aioli all sound amazing to me. Guess I better go back with an empty stomach!

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Healthy options at Cora Breakfast and Lunch

A few weekends ago I was out for brunch at Cora Breakfast and Lunch (a Canadian breakfast chain) with a bunch of friends when we noticed the most insane breakfast special: banana chocolate morning cake. Despite being called a morning cake (which sounds healthy), it was essentially just chocolate cake topped with bananas and caramel sauce. In fact, a lot of items on Cora’s menu are pretty extravagant, even though they promote themselves as a healthy restaurant.

Healthy options at Cora Breakfast and Lunch

I was curious about the nutrition content of the meals at Cora but realized that their website doesn’t list it, so I tried Googling it. And I still found virtually nothing other than information for select dishes on websites like My Fitness Pal. But this nutrition information was incomplete and potentially inaccurate. So I was inspired to write this post about healthy options at Cora Breakfast and Lunch. I’m not working undercover at the restaurant so I don’t know the actual nutrition information, but as a Registered Dietitian, I can make my best guess.

And based on my guesses, these are what I would recommend for some of the most healthy options at Cora Breakfast and Lunch, as well as the dishes that you shouldn’t be fooled by. I didn’t include my estimated calorie counts for each dish because I don’t think that’s what healthy eating should be about. What’s important is eating nutritious foods and paying attention to your hunger and satiety cues. But I will say that none of these items are even half as bad as Cora’s 1990s Harvest – yikes!

1. Peggy’s Poached

This breakfast would probably be my top pick for the healthiest menu item at Cora. It comes with one poached egg on toast, a small dish of cottage cheese, and about a half plate of fruit. It’s my top choice because it has the best balance of carbs, protein and fat out of all the dishes, while also providing a good variety of healthy foods. I like that it comes with cottage cheese, which is a good source of lean protein and calcium. And the generous portion of fruit gives you a ton of vitamins, minerals, and fibre!

2. Two Eggs and Fruit

This is one of the more plain menu items at Cora, but definitely one of the healthiest. As the name suggests it comes with two eggs any style, about half a plate of fruit, and 2 pieces of toast, which is a reasonable portion size. Although it’s more heavy on the carbs from the ~2 cups of fruit and 2 pieces of toast, the fruit is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. I also like that this dish doesn’t contain any added sugar and it has a good amount of protein and healthy fat from the eggs.

Healthy options at Cora Breakfast and Lunch - two eggs and fruit

3. Two Eggs and Ham

This dish includes two eggs, two pieces of toast, and a choice of ham, sausage, or bacon. While it doesn’t have the benefit of fruit with it, I also consider this to be a fairly healthy dish since the portion size isn’t unreasonably large – and let’s be real here, sometimes we just crave some meat in the morning! The best choice of the three would be ham since it’s lower in fat and higher in protein than sausage and bacon.

4. Yogurt and Harvest Crunch

Yogurt and granola from restaurants isn’t always a healthy choice. As I wrote about in this post, it can often be very high in sugar and calories! But Cora does two things right: it uses plain yogurt and a small portion of granola. Since the yogurt is plain, it doesn’t contain any added sugar – just some healthy dairy fat, calcium, and protein amongst many other nutrients. The granola itself is high in sugar, but the 3-4 tbsp portion size means you’re not getting too much. Instead the majority of the sugar in this dish is the natural kind in the fruit, which is more slowly absorbed thanks to fruit’s fibre.

Healthy options at Cora Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt and harvest crunch

Don’t be fooled by these dishes:

  • The Samira Wake-Up: This dish is essentially just a huge (and I mean huge) plate of fruit with a side of toast. These are perfectly healthy foods, but all you are essentially getting in this meal is a whole lot of carbs. Order the eggs and fruit instead so that you get protein in your meal!
  • Ode to Oatmeal: Oatmeal sounds like a healthy choice, right? It is… but not when it’s served topped with cream, maple syrup, and sugary granola as well as a side of toast. If you order this dish, ask for all the toppings on the side so that you can control how much you add.
  • Waffles with fresh fruit: Just because it comes with fresh fruit, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Along with fruit, this dish also comes with custard and whipped cream. Sounds more like dessert than breakfast to me!

The advice in this post for healthy options at Cora Breakfast and Lunch can be used at other breakfast restaurants too. The things to keep in mind are to look for reasonable portion sizes; aim for a balanced breakfast of protein, fat, and carbohydrates; and avoid breakfasts that sound more like dessert. And keep in mind that you don’t always have to order healthily – it’s 100% okay to indulge every once in a while too!

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Apple butter granola

Last week I lost someone special in my life.

It was really hard to work up the initiative to sit down and write this post. I mean, I still can’t think about it without getting blubbery. Especially when I’m sitting alone, like I am now. Luckily this past week I’ve spent a lot of time with my family, which I think has been helping us all get through it. I even laughed the other day when my 98-year-old great great aunt came over and amused us all with her quick wit and stories about her past.

Apple butter granola

Turning to cooking has also been helping me. The day after we got the bad news and were all feeling a bit foggy headed, I did the only thing I knew I could do to help: I got to work in the kitchen whipping up a cheddar and scallion strata for lunch. It was my way of taking care of everyone.

On Sunday I made a big batch of date squares to serve at the lunch after the funeral the next day.  There was already food provided, but I just felt like it was something I needed to do – because date squares were his absolute favourite.

Apple butter granola

Well, other than apple pie, which was his other favourite.

So to honour his memory, I want to share with you today my apple butter granola recipe that tastes like apple pie. Apple pie that you can eat for breakfast. But made with whole grains, healthy fats from nuts and seeds, and no added sugar, it’s a whole lot healthier than apple pie, while still tasting delicious. I’m pretty sure he would have liked it.

Apple butter granola

Apple butter granola
 
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Light, crisp granola made with apple butter that's as healthy as it is tasty. Vegan, peanut free, soy free.
Author:
Yield: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats*
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup apple butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°C.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set the raisins aside until later.
  3. Then in a small saucepan on the stove, heat up the apple butter, vanilla, and canola oil, stirring until combined. Pour into the dry mix and stir until everything is well coated.
  4. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, making sure to stir it halfway through. Then remove from the oven and let cool completely. Add in the ½ cup of raisins, then store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Notes
*Use certified GF oats to make recipe gluten free.

Apple butter granola

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Easy homemade chicken noodle soup

Easy homemade chicken noodle soup

I kid you not when I tell you that I haven’t really had a cold since first or second year of university.

Whether it’s my healthy diet or the fact that my immune system got turbocharged after sharing sandboxes and snotty hands with other kids at my childhood daycare, I don’t know. But I’ve been lucky to have been blessed with many sickless years. Until this fall.

Easy homemade chicken noodle soup 1

Recently I was sick for what felt like weeks! I didn’t have a cough, but I was congested up the wazoo with a sore throat to boot. A week or so later JZ got sick too – I didn’t give it to him, I swear! – so when he came on the weekend I made us the best homemade cure: homemade chicken noodle soup.

Easy homemade chicken noodle soup 2

Most chicken soup purists say you should make your own broth. And let’s face it, they’re right. There’s nothing like homemade broth. But when you’re feeling sick and blowing your nose every 5 minutes, putting in all that work is the last thing you want to do. And besides, you’re sick, it’s not like your taste buds can even tell the difference.

So this is my easy homemade chicken noodle soup recipe that is ready in about an hour (including roasting the chicken) so that you can get back to watching a Gossip Girl marathon on the couch while building up a mountain of used tissues beside you.

Easy homemade chicken noodle soup 4

Easy homemade chicken noodle soup
 
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Homemade chicken noodle soup that's ready in under an hour!
Author:
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts, roasted and shredded
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 springs fresh thyme
  • 1.5 cups egg noodles
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large pot. When it is hot, add the onion and saute over low heat for about 6-7 minutes until it is soft.
  2. Add the carrot and celery, and cook for another several minutes until they are soft enough to be pierced by a knife easily.
  3. Add the shredded chicken, chicken broth, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the egg noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes until they are done. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Easy homemade chicken noodle soup 3

What are your go to meals when you’re sick?

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Month In Review: October 2014

Hi everyone, happy November! I must say I’m pretty excited about the arrival of this month. While I’m not so jazzed about the increasingly cold weather (anyone in California want to adopt me?), I love that November is an acceptable month to start getting in the holiday spirit. That’s my rule at least.

But today I want to look back instead on the past month. I’ve noticed that a few other blogs do monthly review posts, and I’ve always liked the idea of doing them. I know life is often too busy to spend hours poring over blogs, so these posts are a great place to get a snapshot of what went down on Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen over the past month. So here goes my first one – let me know in the comments what you like/dislike about it or if there’s anything you’d like me to add to these posts!

Month in Review - October 2014

// Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen Recipes

This month has been a good month for recipe development! I blame it on the fact that I still can’t find a job as a dietitian in the area where I’m looking. I need to keep myself productive somehow, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen and practicing with my camera.

The latest recipe from this past week were these nut free spooky chocolate soy nut butter cookies. Halloween may be over, but who needs an excuse to make cookies, right?

Spooky chocolate soy nut butter cookies

After Thanksgiving, I shared this lightened up version of my family’s favourite cheesy baked cauliflower, which I made healthier with Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise. This would be a great side dish for Christmas too!

Cheesy baked cauliflower

Probably my favourite recipe of the month were these healthy oat and flax date squares. I hogged this whole batch without sharing – they were that good #sorrynotsorry.

Healthy oat and flax date bars

This artichoke dill hummus is a great twist on classic hummus, and takes about 2 seconds to whip up in a food processor (and also about 2 seconds to demolish).

Artichoke dill hummus

// Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen Blog Posts

This month’s vegan supper club with Tracey was another good one, featuring cornbread, chili, and pumpkin spice blondies. Be sure to check out the post if you’re in need of some vegan cooking inspiration!

Vegan Supper Club 4

In October I had the opportunity attend the Delicious Food Show with a media pass. I discovered tons of great companies and ate lots of good food! 

One Friday earlier this month, JZ and I played hooky and went to Stratford for the afternoon. I wrote a review of Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria, where we had awesome pizza.

Pazzo Pizzeria

I only wrote one nutrition focused post this month, where I discussed the question: Are healthy choices on restaurant menus actually healthy? Read the post to find out!

// Blogging

You might have noticed a shiny new badge on my sidebar this month… and that’s because I had not one, but two of my photographs accepted on Foodgawker! I still consider myself an amateur with my camera and have no idea what I’m doing 50% of the time, but this was a nice confidence boost.

my foodgawker gallery

This month I also became a Featured Blogger for The SoyNut Butter Company. This is a company that I’ve been supporting since I was 11 years old, so I’m psyched to be working with them!

// Off the blog

This year I attended my first Oktoberfest celebration! I had a great time and even  tried to drink beer. I couldn’t make it through a cup though – I’m a wine girl through and through! I made these awesome homemade pretzels to share at the pre-party. It took about 4 hours and resulted in a kitchen covered in white spatters from the baking soda water, but it was worth it.

homemade pretzels

I went in to Toronto with Sam for a delicious dinner cooked by The Healthy Maven herself. Gotta love blog friends!

I’ve been spending a lot of my time studying for my upcoming RD exam. I’m currently a temporary member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario, but I have to pass this exam if I want to become a permanent member and keep those two letters behind my name. I feel like I forget how to study though… any current students want to hit me with some study tips?

And that’s it for October. Here’s hoping for a great November!

What were the highlights of your month?

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Spooky chocolate soy nut butter cookies

Disclaimer: As a Featured Blogger for The SoyNut Butter Company, I was compensated the cost of the ingredients for this recipe. However, all opinions are my own, and I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter is a product that I truly endorse. I’ve actually been using it since I was 11 years old!

Spooky chocolate soy nut butter cookies

Growing up with a nut allergy (to all nuts except for almonds!), I got used to my restrictions and learned to not feel sorry for myself. When I tell people about my allergies, I often get comments like “So you’ve never had Nutella (or some other food made with nuts)? Man, that must suck!” Well, not really. I was okay with it.

Flourless chocolate soy nut butter cookies -- gluten, dairy, and nut free!

Except on Halloween. It was hard as a kid to have to give up half my Halloween loot because of all the nut-filled chocolates! And I always had to forego eating the homemade treats at my classroom Halloween parties because the parents couldn’t guarantee that their baking hadn’t come in contact with nuts. It was the one time of year when I bitterly wished I wasn’t cursed with a nut allergy.

Which is why when I bake now, I like to try to accommodate everyone. So for Halloween this year I made these nut free chocolate soy nut butter cookies using I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter. These cookies are not only nut free, they’re also free of gluten and dairy as well. Holidays are always more fun when everyone can enjoy them!

Flourless chocolate soy nut butter cookies -- gluten, dairy, and nut free

Spooky chocolate soy nut butter cookies
 
Prep time
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Flourless chocolate soy nut butter cookies that are nut free, dairy free, and gluten free.
Author:
Yield: 9-10 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy soy nut butter
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • Optional: ½ cup coconut butter (not oil) or royal icing for writing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the soy nut butter, cacao powder, brown sugar, maple syrup, egg, and salt. Mix with an electric hand mixer until everything is combined.
  3. Use your hands to roll the dough into 9-10 balls, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten the balls slightly with your hand.
  4. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 8-10 minutes. They will still be a bit soft when you remove them, but they will firm up after cooling on a cooling rack.
  5. Optional: Melt ½ cup of coconut butter in a dish, then let it cool in the fridge until it has firmed to an icing-like consistency. Scoop into a piping bag, then use to decorate the cookies. Note: you may have to put it back in the fridge between cookies to let it firm up again. Alternatively, you could use royal icing, which is easier to work with. If you choose to ice the cookies with coconut butter, make sure to store them in the fridge!

 

Flourless chocolate soy nut butter cookies -- gluten, dairy, and nut free

Are you doing any Halloween baking? 

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