Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Home Grown Tomatoes - I heart pistachios

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies
Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column written by Giovanina Bucci

Well I'm officially back in school.  And to be honest, I'm not quite feeling the late nights of homework when I could instead be sitting outside, in good company, with a cold brewsky in my hand.  I just have to remind myself that this one measly month of school work will put me one step closer to crossing another beast off of the life list!  Ah, The List.  I love that thing.  I know we've all talked about this, but I can't get enough.

So my most recent dietary endeavor has involved reading The Body Ecology Diet - which is awesome!  I'm not really a "dieter".  I just can't get into them.  I eat a certain way because it feels right and I only deviate from my normal way of eating if something feels off.  The Body Ecology Diet is really directed towards those folks who suffer from candida, which is when the body over-produces yeast and things like sugar (which is in FREAKING everything!) feed on the yeast and then you kind of constantly feel like dirt.  Fret not, I don't feel like dirt.  But this book is really informative and has inspired me to be more watchful of my sugar intake and to make an effort to become a bit more conscious of what exactly is fueling this dear body of mine.  Enter chocolate chip pistachio cookies.  Ha!

Oh how my Friday nights have changed.  It was about 9pm and I found myself with a glass of red wine (yes, I know that red wine has sugar, but it was Friday!), a quiet house, tunes on the IPod, and a fierce urge to bake something.  So I did.  I baked chocolate chip pistachio cookies so that I could give them all away.  I didn't even try one.  Not one.  Not even a bite.  Although, there was one little sugared pistachio that didn't quite stick to the dough, so...I indulged.  Forgive me.  I'm actually posting this recipe in the good faith that those whom I delivered the cookies to were honest with me about their tastiness.  If anything, let this recipe inspire you to always answer honestly when people ask, "How was it?!"        

This recipe is another little gem that I adapted from My Sweet Vegan.  It's a really great recipe to use as a starting point for cookies and allots you some freedom in choosing what kind of sweets or nuts you want to add to spruce them up!  For this batch, I halved the recipe and ended up with about 11 cookies.  Below is the full recipe from My Sweet Vegan, which she suggests makes about 36 cookies.  (Obviously, I made mine a little "healthier" in size)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit.

1 C. Earth Balance Butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. dark brown sugar
1 C. whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 C. almond milk (or soy, rice, hemp, etc.)

At this point Hannah added different kinds of nuts; almonds, cashews, and pistachios (1/2 C. of each).  I took the liberty of utilizing what I had available which were vegan chocolate chips and pistachios.  So you can most certainly be creative with what you use as additives.

Combine the butter and sugars.  In a separate bowl mix together the four remaining dry ingredients (whole-wheat pastry flour to salt).  Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter and sugar combination.  Finish the cookie dough by adding the vanilla and milk and folding in your chocolates/nuts/dried fruit.  Bake for 10-14 minutes and that's it!

I'm sure the summer is flying by for many of you.  Nonetheless, I hope you're enjoying it!


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