Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

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As I mentioned in my post on dealing with sugar cravings during pregnancy, one of my favorite ways to allow myself to indulge in a sweet treat every now and then is to simply make a healthier version myself and keep them at home.  That way I know exactly what ingredients are inside and can more or less control the amount of sugar than I’m consuming.  That being said, a lot of baking experiments happen in my kitchen.  Here is the result of one of them, and I am so excited to share them with you today.

This recipe is super simple, relatively quick, and definitely offers a healthier option if you L-O-V-E chocolate chip cookies as much as I do.  These cookies turned out fluffy and perfectly sweet, and you definitely need to try them. Like today.

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Closeup of the melty, chocolate-y goodness inside.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar free maple syrup (I use Cary’s because it’s super cheap at Walmart)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder (my favorite brand is Gold Standard Whey by Optimum Nutrition)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate, whatever you prefer!)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, slightly melt the coconut oil and mix it well with the maple syrup.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla to the coconut oil mixture.  Mix with a whisk until nice and smooth.
  5. In a separate medium bowl, add the almond flour, protein powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix until well combined.
  6. Add the flour mixture into the bowl with the coconut oil mixture.  I like to use a rubber spatula to combine them, because the dough gets all stuck inside the whisk and you are definitely not going to want to waste any of this cookie dough!
  7. Fold the chocolate chips into the dough.
  8. Use a tablespoon or a regular spoon to spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet.  This dough is a little sticky, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!  I got 10 medium/largish-sized cookies from my batch.  Make them slightly smaller and you could easily get an even dozen.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies just start to turn slightly golden on top.  It’s important not to over bake these to ensure maximal fluffiness.
  10. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before enjoying!  Store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days.

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In case you’re the type of person that cares about these sorts of things (which I’m totally not right now), here are the nutrition facts per cookie:
Calories: 255.2
Protein: 9g
Carbohydrates: 13.5g
Fat: 19.5g
Sugar: 7.6g
Fiber: 3.4 g
*these numbers are based on a batch of 10 cookies.  For more cookies, numbers will be slightly less.

Hope you all enjoy!

The Juiciest, Cheese-Stuffed Turkey Meatballs!

I don’t know about you guys, but I used to completely not enjoy cooking with ground turkey.  It seemed liIMG_9327.jpgke every time I attempted to make turkey meatballs or turkey burgers they turned out dry and bland.  But if you’re like me, you also get tired of the daily rotations of beef and chicken.

I embarked upon a mission to make the juiciest, tastiest turkey meatballs of all time, just to have another option for mealprepping or as another dinner protein to have handy.  These meatballs did not disappoint, delivering all the moistness you’d expect from a meatball, and an explosion of flavor in every bite.

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Seriously guys, there’s nothing more satisfying than oozy, melty cheese…especially when it’s in the middle of a meatball.

I was trying to figure out just why these turkey meatballs are so satisfying, and why I feel just so gosh dang good after eating them, when I came across this article on Mark’s Daily Apple.  It turns out that turkey (when made into juicy, delicious meatballs) doesn’t just taste good, but it’s also loaded with tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin.  Serotonin, known as the “feel-good hormone,” is vital in regulating your mood, sleep, and even your sexual desire.  But enough science about why turkey is great.  Let’s make some balls of meat!!

Ingredients:

Serves: 10 medium-sized meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large handful of kale (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • Salt + pepper
  • Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. SERIOUSLY I USED LIKE 1/4 OF THE JAR)
  • 10 cubes of cheese – I used Trader Joe’s Grassfed Organic Cheddar slices; I just stacked two slices up and cut them into squares, but I recommend cutting cubes from a block of cheese.
  • 1 tablespoon Kerrygold Grassfed Butter (unsalted) – for the pan

How To Do It:

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1. Put the pound of turkey into a large mixing bowl and season it generously with salt + pepper.  Crack the egg inside, then douse that thing with Everything but the bagel seasoning!

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2. Take your large handful of kale (about this much) and chop it all up into smaller pieces.  Make sure to remove all stems, lest you be in for a crunchy surprise on biting into your meatball!  Add the chopped kale to the bowl with the turkey.

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Fresh garlic packs so much more flavor than garlic powder.  For optimum deliciousness, use 3-4 cloves. (One clove of garlic is one segment of the bulb).

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3. To crush the garlic, you will need a mortar + pestle tool, as pictured.  Peel all skin off the garlic cloves and chop them into somewhat smaller pieces.  Put them in the mortar + pestle and crush them up!

4. Add the crushed garlic to the turkey.  Use a large spoon to mix all the ingredients well (or use your hands – they’re going to get dirty anyways when you are ready to start rolling the meat into balls).

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5. Now we’re ready for the best part: the cheesy insides!  You can use whatever type of cheese you like best, I recommend cheddar or mozzarella…I bet it would be fantastic with feta cheese as well.  I double-stacked these organic cheddar slices from Trader Joe’s and cut them into squares, just because this is what I had on hand.  However, I’m 347% sure that it would probably be easier to cut a block of cheese into cubes.

6. Then it’s time to get messy.  Using your hands, take a small handful of the meat mixture and roll it into a ball.  Using your thumb, create an indentation in the middle.  This is for your cheese.  Insert a cube of cheese, take another pinch of meat to cover the cheese, and continue rolling into a ball so that all the cheese is covered.

7. Continue until all turkey is used up.  You should have about 10 medium sized meatballs.

8. Add the butter to your pan and heat it on medium-high heat.  Allow the pan to get hot (once the butter starts to bubble) and then add the meatballs one by one.  Cook them about 8-10 minutes, continuously turning them with a spatula so they can get browned all around, and making sure they cook all the way through (remember, you don’t want medium-rare turkey….)


Unless you have some sort of magic power that I don’t, these meatballs are not going to be perfectly round.  They will get flat-ish on some sides because the meat is so soft.  But the softness of the meat and cooking them in butter are the keys to what make this recipe so juicy!  The meatballs will absorb the butter, giving them lots of flavor!  These are great for meal prep lunches, or to have on hand for preparing quick dinners.  The first night I made them I paired them with cauliflower rice and some veggies.  The next night I threw the leftovers into a kale salad. Boom – five minute meal magic!  Enjoy them with zucchini noodles and marinara sauce to combat those Italian food cravings!

Super versatile, super yummy!  Hope you enjoy guys!  If you decide to make them, feel free to leave a comment and let me know how they turned out!

xoxo

Cashew Crusted Haddock with Garlic Herb Butter

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My boyfriend and I usually don’t deviate much from our routine protein purchases.  As much as I love chicken breast, filet mignon, and ground turkey, sometimes I just want something a little different.  This week our local Trader Joe’s had these super fresh looking wild-caught haddock filets that we HAD to try.  I can’t say that I’ve ever had haddock before or even really knew what it is, but I decided to experiment a bit.  We were NOT disappointed.  I mean, how can you go wrong with crushed cashews and homemade garlic herb butter???  In fact, this recipe ended up tasting SO amazing I couldn’t wait to share it with you all!

The haddock on its own has a very delicate flavor; they do not taste fishy at all.  But topping this fish with a homemade garlic herb butter elevates the flavor from delicate to DELECTABLE.  For this recipe, make sure you have a food processor of some sort on hand (I used my Nutribullet and it worked just fine), as well as the following:

INGREDIENTS


For the butter:

  • 2-3 tablespoons Kerrygold grass-fed butter (literally the BEST butter, trust me)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the cashew crust:

  • 56 g raw cashews – if you don’t already have one, I highly recommend investing in a little food scale! The one I have linked to is not exactly the same as the one I have, but very similar. It is reasonably priced, convenient, and you can weigh out food in ounces, grams, or pounds. 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Add all ingredients for the butter into your blender or food processor and combine until well-blended.  Transfer your garlic herb butter to a bowl and set aside for later.  Make sure you scrape all the extra butter and seasonings from inside the processor to get everyyyy last drop 😉 You don’t want to leave any of this deliciousness behind.
  3. Next, process the cashews until they are finely ground.  Add the salt + pepper into the cashews to give them a little more flavor.
  4. Get out a glass baking dish – I used a 9×13 inch dish – and spray it with nonstick coconut oil.
  5. Rinse the haddock (or whatever fish you choose) with water before laying them flat in the baking dish.  Season the fish with salt + pepper.
  6. Take your garlic herb butter and spread it on top of the fish.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make sure it’s distributed fairly evenly.  The butter will melt over the fish in the oven and lock in the scrumptious flavor.
  7. Next, evenly coat the top of the fish with the ground cashews.
  8. Now here’s the most important part! Bake the fish at 400 degrees F for ONLY 5 MINUTES.  Then turn the heat up to BROIL (500 degrees) and broil the fish for 5-6 more minutes.  Not only will this make the cashew crust nice and crisp, but cooking the fish for only 10-11 minutes ensures that the fish will be PERFECTLY FLAKY.  Cooking for longer might dry it out.

I only wish the pictures looked as appetizing as this tasted!!  Seriously, I’m drooling just thinking about it.  We had oven-roasted broccoli on the side, but I think you could pair this dish with just about any vegetable, or even rice or mashed potatoes if that’s your sorta thing.

Nutrition per 4 oz serving:
Total calories: 207.5
Protein: 20.55 g
Carbohydrates: 4.2 g
Fat: 13.1 g

Happy eating 🙂 🙂