A Fresh Dille

“no more cookies!”

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on June 15, 2010

This last week has been filled with some delicious baked goods. Baking is something that I find relaxes me when I am stressed and often find myself mixing well into the evening. Since I last shared about my adventure to my family’s summer home on Martha’s Vineyard plans falling through, I have found myself choosing sweets over the savory dishes I usually prepare. Of course I still ate many salads, wraps, veggie burgers, and even a delicious sushi date night with V, but I must admit that sweets were what I craved or preferred making. Measuring and mixing things I knew would work well together was easier than chopping, spicing, and sautéeing. Often, I find myself referring to Dreena Burton for her delicious cookies and this week was no different. The favorite Super-Charge Me cookies were made with dried cherries, dark chocolate, and coconut. As many already know, this is a no-fail recipe.

Wanting to try something new and with the abundance of spelt flour in my pantry, I chose this recipe from the Sweet & Natural blog for Walnut Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies based off of Dreena’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. We had some extra coarse salt from Slovenia that I used for these and everyone agreed that they felt the salt was more pronounced than usual. We all loved the salt and dark chocolate pairing. The cookies were extra rich with a little from walnuts and coconut oil.

With all the cookies in my parents home (made them their instead of V’s because of the array of baking ingredients), my sister and mother proclaimed that their should be “no more cookies!” After the first night we had a few, I stuck the remainder of baked treats in the freezer for occasions they wished they didn’t declare such a bold statement. Although all my baked goods are vegan, this does not mean they are void of sugar or fat. In my opinion, plant-based fat is better than animal based any day and I also feel nature’s sugar (maple syrup, agave, etc.) is entirely acceptable every day of the week. Chocolate is something I have promised to treat myself daily and this notion will probably never leave my mind.

However, vegetables are another key component of my days.

or herbs…specifically basil, from V’s overflowing mini garden. This was Ashley’s great vegan walnut basil pesto with nutritional yeast. Instead of using the limited supply of the salt from Slovenia, I bought Pink Himalayan Sea Salt from Trader Joe’s that I saw on Kathy’s lunchbox bunch blog. She discusses both the good and the bad about salt here, but I have never had an issue with too much salt since I eat limited processed foods. I also tend to prefer raw unsalted nut butters and buy organic and low sodium canned beans (when buying canned).

The first meal with pesto was a random lunch of mashed avocado and pesto on toast with cherry tomatoes and two of my favorite sides, apples and broccoli. I still can remember the day I fell in love with simple mashed avocado on toast at my favorite nyc cafe, cafe gitane.

the kitchn

The French Moroccan cafe has become quite popular since my sister and I first found the nolita gem years ago. Most often, the wait is pretty long, but around the corner is the best NY designer consignment shop, INA. While waiting for a tiny table at cafe gitane, we often head over to INA to browse some of our favorite modern labels like Stella McCartney (meat free Monday fan) and Alexander Wang, as well as the classics like Chanel and Balenciaga. Cafe Gitane seems be attracting more and more actors. The last few times I have sat close to a few of my favorites like Elijah Wood and Michelle Williams. It is not only the simple yet delicious food that brings happy diners back, but also the casual european cafe atmosphere. When my sister sent me a text last week that she was eating street-side at Gitane with my mother, I envied them. I decided the closest I could get was to make some avocado toast. It was almost as tasty with the addition of pesto.

Another lunch in the last few days was a wrap consisting of leftover kale and mushrooms sautéed in tomato sauce with creamy hummus and baby spinach. Obviously, more broccoli and apple involved to round out the meal.

This sweetie asked me to write  about some of my favorite wrap combinations but honestly, the key components of most wraps I make are leftovers. My dinner tonight will most likely be turned into a wrap or salad tomorrow.

A shockingly bright spinach, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomato, and white corn salad with Angela’s addicting Better than Bottled Balsamic.

Okay, I am too addicted to the Veganomicon Chickpea Cutlets and need to make some new creations like Jessica’s butter bean or black bean cutlets. The simple seitan from the book sounds great too, but I just can’t seem to break away from the ones above. The sweet potatoes are another addiction I won’t be giving up anytime soon. I know you feel me on those!

I will end with my favorite meal of the day, Breakfast. Here are two that I savored in the last few days.

Overnight oat parfait with a banana, raspberries, and hemp seeds

Trader Joe’s vegan blueberry raspberry muffin spread with raw creamy almond butter and earth balance.

Other things:

-Have you been watching the World Cup? What sports, if any, do you enjoy watching on TV? I watched the US vs. England game with my boyfriend and father because my dad is such a “football” (soccer) lover. It seems like most Brit’s are. I remember one vacation to Hawaii, he stayed in the hotel room because the World Cup was on. Soccer and tennis are two sports I enjoy watching, as well as running (especially the Olympic marathon and track & field).

-Do you prefer baking or cooking more savory things? I answered this above but I realized today that I was a little over the baking bug. In the next few days I know there will be many more savory items to share.

-Do you have a restaurant or cafe that you have noticed has become increasingly popular? Do you space out your visits or save it for special occasions? As I wrote above, my favorite NYC casual eatery has become quite the trendy hot spot, however, I moved from NY since then so only get to go when in the city. I make sure to fit in a visit each time though.

-Also, I am curious if you get emails when I write responses to your comments. I hope so because I try to write back often!


32 Responses

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  1. Natalie said, on June 15, 2010 at 2:29 am

    I have not been watching the world cup unfortunately!!

    I prefer cooking savory things over baking… but I love eating baked goods =)

    In NYC my favorite restaurant is Souen! But they closed the one that I went to all the time (13th st) when I worked there – I think it is really popular now!!

    On a sidenote, Alexander Wang went to my school!!!!! He’s in my second grade yearbook =) (he was in 8th grade at the time and he won best actor,best dressed, and best dancer in class polls! haha)

  2. healthyexposures said, on June 15, 2010 at 7:35 am

    the walnut spelt cookies look and sound delcious, and it looks like the super charge me ones came out great, too 🙂 You are right – those are no-fail!
    everything looks delicous, as always – and i can certainly understand the love of the chickpea cutlet 😛 I just use that recipe to finish off any beans I have open. Otherwise I rpoabbly never would have strayed from chickpeas, either!
    i love baking more, probably – but also love cooking. i guess it just depends on if i’m trying to kill time or not. although i will say, chickpea cutlets & seitan are tons of fun to make! 😛

  3. Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries said, on June 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Super charge me cookies are my favorite! And you have inspired me to finally try Angela’s balsamic dressing. I really need to stop buying my salad dressing and just make it! And sweet potato fries are the best addiction ever. 🙂

  4. Jillian (back to the nest) said, on June 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Awesome cookies. I love that you can see how the chips are still a little melty in the photos. yum!

  5. brandi said, on June 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I haven’t watched any games yet, but I’m hoping to catch the USA game on Friday.

    We love those Supercharge Me Cookies! Addicting.

  6. Ameena said, on June 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I got a bit nervous when I saw the title of this post because I thought you’d sworn of cookies for some reason, which would certainly incite panic! I have never had Super Charge Me cookies but they look quite delicious!!

    There is this one restaurant in Beverly Hills that Ali and I discovered by accident and we’ve been frequenting it the past few years, but now all the little L.A. wanna-be’s have turned it into a lounge-ish atmosphere. Not exactly kid friendly anymore! I am quite disappointed!

  7. Aimee said, on June 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Love this post – the chickpea cutlets with sweet po fries – one on my favorite dinners!!!
    Those TJ muffins look quite good – ill have to give them a try!!!
    I love cooking savory dishes but lately many of the blogs have inspired me to try my hand at some baking – id love a new muffin recipe – any suggestions i would love!!!
    Have a great TUesday!!!!! xoxo aim

  8. Amanda @ . seek . said, on June 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Hehe I can definitely relate to the idea of “no more cookies”… I went on a baking spree the other week and had baked treats coming out the wazoo. But it can’t be helped, can it? Baking is definitely a perfect way to de-stress, and who doesn’t love a freshly baked cookie or muffin? I’d love to try out those chocolate chip spelt cookies, but I have to get through my frozen stash first 😉 Oh, and avocado on toast? Hands down one of the best combinations ever.

    I haven’t been watching the World Cup, but my dad has. I find it’s kind of hard for me to really get into watching sports on TV. I used to watch a lot of hockey, being Canadian and all, but even that interest has tapered off in the past little while. I still love going to games, but watching it on TV just isn’t the same.

    And, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten an e-mail when you’ve responded to my comments…

  9. Kelly said, on June 15, 2010 at 10:47 am

    YUM! I want all those cookies!!!

  10. Kelsey said, on June 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    COOKIES! omg i call them baking binges when i bake and bake and bake lol. my family is usually like “stop already lol”

    ur the best for topping earth balance on the muffin. mm and blueberries and raspberries together are always fantastic! i love to warm the muffins up a bit and top with veg butter so it melts a bit and then enjoy witha tea or coffee!

    im not a soccer fan at all.. i really dont know why but i guess its cuz i didnt enjoy playing the sport..hmm maybe thats why.

    xoxo ❤

  11. Emma said, on June 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    hey claireness- what id the difference between flour and spelt flour? is this something i should be on to already? also- the roasted/french fry looking veggies you make… how do you do them?

    beso- Emma

  12. Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said, on June 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I made those cutlets tonight (gluten free, of course) and they are freaking amazing! I ate more than my hubs!

  13. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine said, on June 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Super Charge Me cookies are hands down the best vegan cookies I’ve ever made. So perfectly delicious!! I’m definitely more of a sweets baker. I love to cook vegan food, but baking is way more theraputic for me! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  14. Ellen said, on June 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Holy Cow, all of your eats look SO SO good! (Even the broccoli 😉 I LOVE Cafe Gitane too. The avocado spread is so yummy. I usually get that and the mixed greens salad with chicken. It’s simple, but fresh and more importantly, pretty inexpensive!


  15. lisasfoods said, on June 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I just love plain mashed avocado on toast or fresh bread, especially with a little cracked black pepper. So good.

    I’m more of a savory cooker than a baker – I like to make vegetarian soups and stews, and experiment with different international cuisine. My baking often turns out to be a flop.

  16. shannon (The Daily Balance) said, on June 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    your photos are stunning! get me every time 😉 those cookies look especially divine!

  17. Jessie (Bites and Pieces) said, on June 15, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Yum, those cookies look amazing! Avocado on toast is one of my favorite snacks of all time. I like to sprinkle the avocado with a bit of black salt. It is SO good. 🙂

  18. Alex @ IEatAsphalt said, on June 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I would be happy to take any of those cookies off of your hands. They look incredible. One of my favorite recipes is for oatmeal cookies with cherries and dark chocolate. Delish!!

  19. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said, on June 16, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Im the only vegan food blogger who’s never made super charge me’s, i swear! My issue is that spelt still has gluten and most GF baking mix flours are so icky that I dont bother baking traditionally anymore. It’s a crying shame, too!

    Your sister’s proclamation is sacrilege and heresy too 🙂

    The comment you left me re Hills/Laguna, spoiled, oh, I can see it!

    Per you last post, J Crew. I am not a J Crew shopper, at all 🙂 but love the photo spread you posted!


  20. Katie said, on June 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

    a) I don’t get e-mails about responses.
    c) You were baking and cooking up a storm! I was actually flipping through both v-con and ed&bv yesterday and remembered so many recipes I want to revisit.

  21. wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas said, on June 16, 2010 at 10:39 am

    No World Cup for me.

    I love avocado on toast, too, and lately I’ve been loving it topped with fresh cilantro-y salsa.

    I think I prefer baking in the winter, with more savory foods winning out in the warmer weather.

  22. Lauren @ Health on the Run said, on June 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    You really do have some beautiful looking food!! 🙂 I also tend to get the baking bug when I’m stressed out or disappointed/upset about something. I just crave sweet things. But then again…I usually like something sweet every day, so I’m never one to declare no more cookies!! 😉

    And no, I haven’t gotten an email reply from you (if you’ve responded). I just recently made this discovery on my blog and it made me feel awful. I think maybe I’ve fixed the problem now, but not sure yet…

  23. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) said, on June 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I have not been watching…we are not sports watchers unless we are at the event! Dang, all your food looks so good! I am with you…the perfect wraps are those made with great leftovers! I am normally a baker, but I have really been trying to get into cooking more. I went to culinary school and they did not have a baking degree at the time. Now they do…to bad it is too late to worry with school! Have a great night!

  24. BitterSweet said, on June 17, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Those are some good looking, healthy meals!

    One of my favorite places in the city is Soom Soom Falafel on the Upper West Side. I know, it’s not one of the esteemed vegan establishments, but it’s all vegan except for the desserts anyway. It’s simply the best falafel around, in my opinion! (And trust me, I’ve had a lot of falafel in my time)

  25. Anna said, on June 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Oooh, that cafe sounds like a great place– mainly because I’m a celebrity geek, ha!

    Dreena can do no wrong…everything I cook from her books turns out AMAZING.

  26. quinnlovescali said, on June 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    That pesto looks incredible!

  27. actorsdiet said, on June 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    i haven’t been watching the world cup (i don’t like sports in general) but i like that my husband has something to distract him while i’m out of town.

  28. Run Sarah said, on June 19, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Your cookies look SO good – yum. I need to make my own veggie burgers/cutlets – I almost always buy the pre-packaged ones because they are so convenient.

  29. holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) said, on June 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    claire dear…your eats are simply GORGEOUS! and i agree – we all need something sweet in our lives. however, i just made a batch of strawberry coconut cookies, and they are CALLING MY NAME. dangerous territory for someone trying eat clean after vacay 🙂

    have a great weekend!!!!!

  30. Lele said, on June 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I am a huuuuuuuuuge stress baker. Every time I get bad news, I reach for my muffin tin!

  31. Amy said, on June 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Dark chocolate + sea salt = one of the best combination, ever.

  32. Teri [a foodie stays fit] said, on June 26, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I’ve wanted to try Super Charge Me cookies for SO long but didn’t have the recipe. Thanks for the link!! I love baking sweet things. always. hands down. forever. 🙂

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