Friday, January 17, 2014

The Opposite of Losing My Cookies and (Healthy) Addictions featuring Avocados

I'm back.  And by "back," I mean I've been finally cooking again. More time = more experimenting.

A new year means new inspiration and ideas - and a fully stocked pantry is certainly giving me motivation to do something with it!  My obsessions recently are quinoa, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and kale..convenient that I find a recipe using all of those!  But..not convenient that I didn't take a good picture of the AMAZING salad I put together incorporating all those ingredients.  Don't worry though, it'll come up again in the very near future.  Because I'm obsessed.

In the meantime, I tried out some recipes from a handy cookbook that I found recently.  It's the Gluten Free on a Shoestring: Quick and Easy by Nicole Hunn.  I know nothing about her, but I've been enjoying the quick and easy recipes in it.  I'm also not a gluten-free eater, but like to reduce my white carb intake in any way I can.  Here is her chicken fajita recipe that I modified into a pseudo fajita bowl...ish thing.

Read more to see the recipe, more food, and COOKIES!

Looking real pretty (ha..) in the pan!

The finished product on top of quinoa, romaine, and then topped off with avocados.  It tasted like heaven.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but cut it in half.  Here's what I used (for two servings):

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips.
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 T olive oil (instead of canola)
A pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
pinch of cumin
Paprika to taste
Pinch of chili powder
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar

topped with: 
1/2 c. of cooked quinoa
1 c. of romaine
1/4 of an avocado, chopped

1. Marinate the chicken in a bag with the lemon and lime juice while you prepare everything else (or a couple hours ahead of time if you really want!)
2. In a saucepan, place the oil, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the onion, garlic, green pepper, tomato, cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, and sugar.  Saute it in the sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the marinated chicken strips to the pan and lower the heat to medium.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is opaque and cooked through, about 10 minutes. 

Add over quinoa and romaine, and garnish with avocados.  Enjoy the flavor explosion!

Now I've always enjoyed kale, and LOVE kale chips but have never actually made them myself.  I decided to give it a go tonight, and added a little too much oil without baking them for long enough.  It came out more like roasted kale, but a delicious appetizer to my dinner nonetheless! 

And for the finale, avocados.

Wait, but those aren't avocados.  But they are. In cookie form.  Avocados are no longer a secret in baking recipes, but they still fascinate me with how they can turn an ordinary cookie into the most delicious texture.  I'm telling you, avocados are the most magical food.

Avocado chocolate cookies have been a favorite of mine for months now, starting with a recipe introduced to me from  Two Peas and Their Pod.  It's my go-to recipe for a somewhat healthier that feels possibly even more decadent than an ordinary cookie.

Somehow I made basically the same cookie but with a different recipe, without even intending to make cookies.  I had an almost-too ripe avocado lying around and originally intended to make an avocado chocolate pudding (see below) but wanted to use half the avocado for something else, too.  Hence some digging around with what I could make with basically the same ingredients as the pudding but in baked form.  I found another recipe for the cookies using less ingredients and went for it.

Well, this was the recipe that inspired me.  But here's what I did instead:

For a batch of 6 large cookies:

1/2 a medium ripe avocado
2 T liquid egg whites
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 T brown sugar
2 1/2 T granulated sugar
3 T cocoa powder
1/4 c. of gluten-free flour
1/3 c. chocolate chips

The recipe didn't call for flour, but I wanted them to be a bit more doughy, so I just kept adding flour until the consistency of the batter was thick enough to where it didn't drip off the spoon.  I can't say that I used exactly 1/4 of a cup, so just experiment until you reach the desired consistency!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the ingredients in a medium size bowl, making sure the avocado becomes smooth.  You could try putting it in a blender, but the batter wasn't big enough for my blender, so I just did it by hand with a spoon!

Drop by the spoonful (about 2 T worth) onto a greased baking pan (or preferably parchment paper if it's available). 

Bake for about 12-13 minutes.  Let cool. Eat. Devour.  It took a lot of willpower not to eat all six of these in one sitting, but the simplicity of them gives me incentive to make these more often...

Or mix them into an accompanying chocolate avocado pudding:

It tasted better than it looked.  I mixed a couple different recipes for this.  I have to say that although it was good, I think I'm just not a fan of avocado as a pudding base.  This is probably my third or fourth time attempting an avocado pudding and I haven't been wowed by it any of the times I've made it.

Here's what I did anyway - maybe adding more honey would help this as it tasted a little avocado-ish still.

Makes one serving.

1/2 of a ripe avocado
2 T Cocoa powder
2 T honey
2 T almond milk
just a dash of vanilla extract

Mash all the ingredients together.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!  Although it was good, it tasted even better mixed with my freshly baked chocolate avocado cookies.

With all the healthy fats of avocados, mixed with only a little bit of sugar, these are definitely a healthy alternative to actual cookies, while (in my opinion) tasting even better.  It's probably still not the best to eat the equivalent of 3/4 of an avocado in one sitting, but it's certainly better than eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting, right?


  1. oh the cookies look delicious!:) lovely recipes!♥

  2. Awesome recipes hun...would love to try the cookies!! Evrything looks yummmyyy :) <3