Good Eats (and cookie dough that this pregnant woman can safely eat!)

I’m still enjoying having access to a full, complete kitchen once again.  My cooking and baking senses have gone into overdrive, and Chris and Joe (and lets face it, me as well) are reaping the rewards.

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This is a photo of two meals that I made recently.  The first is the one in the background and is unfortunately blurry – Slow Cooker Chicken Black Bean Tacos from Skinnytaste.com. I didn’t realize how much of a difference adding red cabbage could make to tacos but trust me, it takes them from fine to fabulous.  Joe was a big fan, which always makes me happy.

As usual, I made a few modifications to suit our tastes.  You can click on the link above for the original recipe.  Here’s what I did to change it up:

  • Use lime juice as suggested in lieu of red wine vinegar
  • Don’t add as much chili powder (Joe can’t handle the extra heat)
  • Double the recipe and up the crock-pot time by 1 hour – this yielded 16 tacos which made dinner, lunch leftovers, and extras to go with the next night’s salad
  • Shred the chicken on a plate, then return to black beans and mix together
  • Start the layers with coleslaw on the bottom
  • Top with shredded cheese, homemade salsa, hot sauce, or whatever else you like
  • These go well in taco shells but also in a tortilla or in a pita… I actually preferred them the next day when the chicken mixture was cold

004aNext up is Chickpea Salad.  I came across this gem on Fit Pregnancy and oh my, is it delicious.  I left out the butter lettuce and olives, but other than doubling it kept it exactly the same.  It makes a large bowl with enough for leftovers.  Yes, I like to have leftovers.  As my mother once said, “If you’re going to make a mess, you might as well make a big one”.  Joe was a fan of this recipe, and it goes well with the chicken tacos.  I made it with the toasted pitas but didn’t double those (I figured that we could do without the carbs).

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These were some zucchini fritters that I threw together using leftovers.  We were in a rush for dinner and I wanted something easy.  They turned out to be perfect and another Joe-pleaser.  They might sound semi-complicated, but they’re simpler than what you’d think.  I added a small amount shredded cheese to suit our tastes and would recommend following her suggestions of serving with sour cream, plain full-fat yoghurt, or lemon juice.  We didn’t have those on hand and while they were yummy without them, one of those additions would have been nice 🙂

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These are (almost) vegan oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies.  Almost, because I added some decidedly unvegan dark chocolate chips.  Mid-mixing them up, it dawned on me: these are vegan.  Vegan, as in no dairy and no eggs.  Which means that this pregnant mama can safely indulge in some raw cookie dough.  Yahoo!

Yes, I doubled them and yes, they make a lot.  I put most of them in the freezer for things like giving to friends, bringing to parties, etc. (okay, okay, I admit that they’re also for when we’ve I’ve got a chocolate craving!).

Based on doubling the recipe, here are my substitutions:

  • Use 5 C whole wheat flour instead of 5 C spelt flour
  • Use 2 C raisins + 1 C dark chocolate chips in lieu of 3 C raisins
  • Add the optional finely chopped walnuts
  • Use 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp allspice instead of 1 tsp cinnamon (don’t skimp on the cinnamon – I usually add a bit extra)
  • Use 1 C real maple syrup, 1/2 C mild liquid honey, and 1/2 C warm water in place of 2 C maple syrup (I ran out of maple syrup so had to make up something on the fly – turned out pretty well, though I’m sure you could use syrup only and they’d be great)
  • Use the coconut oil.  I’ve made these with sunflower oil and they’re good, but the coconut oil gives it a little something extra.

These cookies are kind of dry, in my opinion.  If you’re mixing them up and you think that the dough is too crumbly (like I thought), then add some oil a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.  Don’t be afraid to use your hands to mix the dough.  Another note: these don’t spread out much.  I had them in nice little spheres on the cookie sheet and they came out as slightly flattened nice little spheres, a bit like biscuits, as you can see in the photo.  No worries – I just pressed the next batch down a bit and they were fine.

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What’s been cooking in your kitchen lately?

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