Recipe of the Month: Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Who doesn’t love a soft, homemade chocolate chip cookie!?  A few weekends ago I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies, so I rifled through the internet looking at recipes and picked the ingredients I liked from three. I combined ingredients together and wound up with these cookies.  It was a gamble, but they turned out so soft and amazing!  If you haven’t tried coconut sugar in your baking, I encourage you to give it a shot.  Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index and includes vital amino acids compared to regular white sugar.  I also substituted whole wheat flour instead of white.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ c whole wheat flour, unsifted
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 c butter
¾ c coconut sugar
½ c brown sugar (I cut this amount in half based on the recipes I saw)
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 c chopped walnuts (optional)
1 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 c dark chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao chips)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375.  In large mixing bowl, cream butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar.  Keeping mixer on low, gradually add in baking soda, flour, shredded coconut and salt. Mix well.  Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes.

Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, drop cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes*.

*Baking Note: Because coconut sugar is darker in color it turns cookie dough and cookies darker.  When checking cookies to see if they are done, don’t judge by color, but instead how crispy they are getting.
Now go for a run so you can eat more cookies!!!

Bridget Baxter
www.bridgetbaxter.com

Recipe of the Month: French Onion Soup

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Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of soup after a cold winter day?! Garbanzo beans make a great addition to the traditional recipe and add an extra bonus of protein, fiber, magnesium and iron.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large onions (1 red, 1 white, 1 sweet)
  • 2 heads garlic, minced
  • 2 (32) oz containers of unsalted beef broth (or low sodium depending on your preference)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed well
  • Sliced Muenster & Havarti cheese
  • Thick sliced, grilled baguette (I prefer Le Petit)
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat large soup pot with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add onions. Saute 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add in minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and another tbsp olive oil. Stir and saute another ~5 minutes. Sprinkle whole wheat flour over onion garlic mix. Add in red wine and bring temperature to med-high, stirring frequently until the wine has cooked off. Once wine has cooked away, continue to saute another 5-10 minutes making sure onions and garlic are soft. Add in garbanzo beans and beef broth. Simmer for ~20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, pre-heat oven to 350. Slice baguettes about 1” thick and brush with olive oil. Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

Place 1-2 slices of baguette in wide mouth soup bowl and top with cheese slices. Using a soup ladle, pour soup mixture over cheese and bread. Wait a minute or so for the cheese to melt. Dig in!

Bridget Baxter
www.bridgetbaxter.com

Cozy Black Bean Soup

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Winter nights are here so bring on the cozy comfort foods!  This easy-to-make black bean soup is a great meal for post-winter running and will warm your body right up after braving the cold.  Black beans are packed with fiber, folate, vitamin B6 and the complex carbohydrates your body needs after exercising.  Black beans also have a high levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which can offer many health benefits.

Enjoy this recipe with a grilled baguette, a side arugula salad or just by itself.

Ingredients:

3 cans black beans, rinsed well
1 can stewed tomatoes
5 garlic cloves, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
½ white onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 anaheim chili, chopped (optional as it adds extra spice)
3-4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (or more depending on the desired consistency)
⅓ c dry red wine
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

Using a large pot or dutch oven, saute onions, garlic and anaheim chili over medium heat or until soft. Add in carrots and red pepper and mix well with other sauteed ingredients.  Add red wine. Turn up heat and stir often until it cooks.  Add in beans, tomatoes and broth and bring ingredients to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend ½ of the soup until creamy and add back into the chunky part of the soup.  Mix well and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Top with sliced avocado, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds (pictured) or cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

Bridget
bridgetbaxter.com

Pesto Baked Salmon

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Good food doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive!  This meal takes about 30 minutes total and is ready to serve once it’s in the oven.  Salmon is a great source of omega 3’s and protein, providing many health benefits including reducing inflammation in the body and improving cardiovascular health.

thumbnail_pestobakedsalmonCooking in parchment packets improves flavor and also helps seal in the nutrients of the food being cooked, which are simply extra bonuses to an already low maintenance, delicious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fillet of sockeye salmon
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ fresh lemon, squeezed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 8-10 spears of asparagus
  • Parchment packets

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil over asparagus spears and season with salt and pepper.  Place asparagus side by side in the bottom of the parchment packet. Spread pesto mixture evenly over salmon fillet.  Top with cherry tomatoes and drizzle ½ the amount of lemon juice over all. Place salmon on top of asparagus spears in the parchment packet and fold edges of packet to create a seal.  Place packet on a baking sheet and put in oven for 20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.  Cut open packet and drizzle with remaining lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!

Bridget Baxter
www.bridgetbaxter.com

Pan Seared Cashew Chicken with Sauteed Greens

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With summer coming to an end, I hope everyone finds time to take advantage of the fresh produce at the farmer’s market. Peppers, onions and kale make a great sauteed side dish to this cashew chicken inspired meal. thumbnail_PanSearedChicken

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cups kale, chopped or torn apart
  • ½ red pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ green pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Marinade:

  • 3 tbsp Moxie Nosh cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    *This marinade also works well with beef and other meats

Instructions:

Place ingredients for chicken marinate in food processor or bullet and blend until smooth and well mixed. Place chicken thighs in large plastic bag for marinating. Pour over chicken and seal plastic bag making sure to get all air out. Refrigerate 30-45 minutes.

Heat one pan to medium-high heat and another pan (preferably cast iron) to high heat. Drizzle both pans with olive oil.  Chop kale and thinly slice peppers, red onion and garlic. Set kale and peppers aside.

Place onions and garlic in pan and saute 5-7 minutes or until soft. While onions and garlic are in pan, place chicken in cast iron skillet, season with salt and pepper and sear for 2 minutes on one side.  Reduce heat to medium, flip chicken. After flipping chicken, add peppers and kale to the other pan, stir until vegetables are well mixed and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken another 5 – 7 minutes or until done.

Remove both pans from heat, serve, and enjoy!

Bridget Baxter
www.bridgetbaxter.com

Recipe of the Month: Crackers with Herbed Goat Cheese

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Hot summer nights call for fresh, easy eats!  This no-cook, no-bake recipe is easily a crowd pleaser and can be served as an appetizer or with a veggie loaded salad.

Ingredients

  • Crackers (for this recipe I used dill flavored Triscuits, but pick your favorite)
  • Goat cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh apricots, sliced
  • Fresh dill, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary & mint, finely chopped

Instructions

Spread a small amount of goat cheese over crackers and sprinkle with fresh herbs.  Top with tomatoes and apricots. Get creative and substitute sliced pear, grapes kalamata olives or anything you please instead of tomatoes and apricots. Serve and enjoy!

Bridget Baxter
BridgetBaxter.com