Paleo Vegan Chocolate Almond Cookie Bars

 

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Yep.

So, I made these and they are really, really good.

That’s all I’ve got today because it’s Friday and school is out for the summer and it’s time for me to do something other than sit in front of a screen.

Who am I kidding? I’m going to hide from my kids in a cool room with a cold drink and watch Netflix documentaries for 2 months.

 

Recipe and instructions are pasted below, but the original recipe is here at FoodFaithFitness. (Except instead of using plain coconut oil, you could use some special cannabis coconut oil. Think of it as another layer of the cookie. Or think of it as the best idea you’ve had all year.)

The only things I did differently were double up on the dark chocolate (because, duh), and I didn’t add salt because the almonds were already salty. Next time I make it, I will definitely back off on the honey.

Ingredients

  • 1 Can Full-fat Coconut Milk (14oz) Do NOT use low fat
  • 1/2 Cup + 3 Tbsp Honey, divided (Agave or Maple Syrup for Vegan version)
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut oil, at room temperature (should be the consistency of softened butter)
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut flour, Sifted (66g) *
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 Cup Almonds, finely chopped (87g)
  • 3/4 Cup Dark chocolate chips (dairy-free for vegan option)
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, set over high heat, whisk together the can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of Honey (or agave), reserving the remaining honey for later. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, turn the heat down to medium and and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduced by about half.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a large measuring cup to cool while you make the crust. Note: You should have about 1 1/4 cups of sauce left after cooking it.
  3. Once you’ve made the sauce, heat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper, spraying the sides generously with coconut oil spray. Note: It helps to spray the bottom of the pan before putting in the parchment paper, to secure it.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the remaining 3 Tbsp of honey with the coconut oil until smooth and creamy. Stir in the flour and pinch of salt until a wet dough forms.
  5. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. This will be a little bit tough, just be patient with it. I found it easiest to use the palms of my hands, and rinse them off every so often, until the dough was pressed in.
  6. Bake the crust just until lightly golden brown, about 7 mins. Note: this would be a good time to chop the nuts if you haven’t already)
  7. As soon as the crust comes out of the often, sprinkle the chopped nuts on top, and lightly press them into the crust. Then, sprinkle on the chocolate chips evenly, followed by the coconut flakes..
  8. Pour 1 Cup of the slightly cooled coconut milk mixture (you’ll have a little left over, but you don’t need to use it all for these bars) EVENLY over the top of the surface. Then, gently shake the pan around until the coconut milk mixture begins to sink between the layers.
  9. Place into the oven and bake until the sides are lightly golden brown, about 27-28 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Then, cover with tinfoil and refrigerate overnight. **
  11. The next day, run a very sharp knife around the edge of the pan, slice into bars and DEVOUR

Notes

* The coconut flour I usually use needed 3/4 cup, but I also tried it with a different brand and 66g was only 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. So, PLEASE weigh your flour first before trying to make the crust.
** You NEED to let these sit overnight to make sure the coconut milk really has a chance to chill and thicken.

 

Cannabis Coconut Oil

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The way I sell using cannabis to myself is by being a bit of a science geek about it. 

I’ve been meaning to do this for a few months, but every time I sat down to write, I’d end writing a couple of lines and then something shiny would catch my eye. That something shiny was usually the TV remote.

Okay, it was always the remote. It was catching my eye because I was, not surprisingly, stoned. Couch lock: the struggle is real-ish.

I’m not a long time cannabis user. I tried smoking it three times: once when I was making a record, (I got paranoid and hungry, two things I don’t need more of in my life), once when I was on tour (I don’t even think I inhaled, or if I did, I felt nada), and once after surgery when my sister told me it was good for pain. (It gave me an asthma attack.) You know how they say “third time is a charm”? Nope! The third time kicked me in the metaphorical nut sack*, so I thought that was a pretty good sign that smoking was not going to fly with me.

Fast forward ten or so years later when I was diagnosed with two chronic, debilitating diseases and was looking for an alternative to opioids. I happen to live in a super cannabis friendly city in a cannabis friendly state where not only medical MJ is legal, but our first recreational pot shops recently opened. If you *have* to have cancer or arthritis, Washington state is a pretty rad place to live.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1/4 oz weed (flowers, preferably)
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 t soy lecithin

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 235 degrees.
  2. Course grind weed in food processor
  3. Put weed into pyrex or other oven safe baking dish
  4. Put dish on a sheet cake pan or cookie sheet
  5. Cover dish with a layer or foil and a snug fitting lid
  6. Bake at 235 for one hour
  7. Remove and let cool down until room temp or so
  8. Return to food processor and grind to very small pieces, not quite a powder
  9. Put weed back into baking dish
  10. sprinkle soy lecithin over the weed
  11. add melted coconut oil and stir
  12. return foil and lid to dish, dish to cookie sheet, and the whole thing back in the oven
  13. Turn oven down to 215 and let cook for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so
  14. Allow to cool
  15. Strain through cheesecloth
  16. Enjoy your baking and/or medicine making!

 

*Metaphorical Nut Sack is my new band name. Sorry, I already called it.

Super Easy Potato Leek Soup

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All photos and recipe copied courtesy of Simply Recipes

My 20 year old daughter is a vegan who also doesn’t eat gluten or onions. Gluten I can cook without. There are plenty of options. Meat is optional, too. BUT ONIONS? I cook with onions almost every day. So, when she comes over for family dinner, I always try to have something here for her to eat, and this soup is such a winner, I’ve started making it for the whole family. (With some bacon on the side.)

 

  • 3 large leeks
  • 2 Tbsp butter or your favorite vegetarian substitute
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)*
  • 2 lbs potatoes (Yukon gold or Russet), peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
  • Pinch of dried marjoram
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Sprinkle of Tabasco sauce or other red chili sauce
  • White or black pepper to taste

Method

1 Clean the leeks. Cut them lengthwise, fan them open under running water to dislodge any dirt or mud hiding inside. Cut off the tough dark green tops and discard (either compost or freeze for making stock). Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. (See How to Clean Leeks)

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2 Melt butter on medium heat in a 3 to 4 quart thick-bottomed pot. Add the chopped leeks, stir to coat with the butter. Cover the pot and lower the heat to low, cook for 10 minutes until the leeks are softened. Check to make sure the leeks are not browning.

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3 Add the broth, diced potatoes, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, and a teaspoon of salt to the pot. Increase the heat to high to bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.

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4 Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Use an immersion blender or standing blender to blend about half of the soup if you want a chunky soup, or all of it if you would like your soup to be more smooth. Add the parsley, and cook a few minutes more. Add a few dashes of Tabasco to taste. Add freshly ground pepper and more salt to taste. (Potatoes soak up salt, so you may need to add more salt than you expect.)

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Mashed Potatoes

 

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Photo courtesy of Serious Eats. Because the last fucking thing I wanted to do on Thanksgiving was to take pictures of food. 

 

I know, you think you know mashed potatoes. So did I. Then I tried this recipe. I didn’t know mashed potatoes. Anyone can boil potatoes and mash them up. It’s the way you do it that’s important. You can read up on the science on the Serious Eats site, which is quickly becoming my go to site for recipes that don’t suck.

  • 4 lbs russet potatoes
  • 2 cups whole milk (or 1 cup milk and 1 cup half and half)
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp, in 1/2 inch pats
  • salt and pepper to taste

PEEL potatoes and cut into rouch chunks, about 1-2 inches cubed.

TRANSFER to a bowl of cold water to rinse. Change the water two or three times until it runs clear.

BOIL 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

DRAIN potatoes in colander and RINSE under hot running water for 30 seconds to wash away excess starch.

MASH the potatoes in a food mill over the empty pot.

ADD milk and butter and fold gently with a rubber spatula to combine.

SEASON to taste, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Best Gluten Free Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

 

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These are the best, easiest to make sugar cookies in the world. I’m not saying that because it’s my recipe. It isn’t. It’s my mom’s. Kinda. I changed the “secret ingredient”, mostly because I didn’t have any of the “secret ingredient” in my fridge. I don’t have express written permission to use her recipe, but since this recipe is online in various places (minus the “secret ingredient”, which I cannot divulge, so please don’t ask), and I adapted it ever so slightly to make it gluten free, I figured it was okay to share. (The recipe works with regular flour, too.)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 1/2 T heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c GF flour (any all purpose GF flour will do. Just make sure it has xanthan gum.)

 

CREAM the BUTTER and SUGAR until they are uniform.

ADD the EGG, VANILLA, CREAM, and LEMON JUICE, and MIX until uniform.

In a small bowl, MIX the SALT, BAKING SODA, and FLOUR.

ADD the dry mixture to the wet, and mix until smooth.

REFRIGERATE for at least 30 minutes. (The dough will last a couple of days in the fridge, if need be.)

PREHEAT oven to 350.

Take dough out of the fridge, let it sit for about five minutes, shape it into a disc, add a little flour to keep it from sticking to everything, and ROLL OUT between two pieces of parchment paper. (The thinner you roll, the crisper the cookies will be. If you don’t want crisp cookies, roll a little thicker.)

CUT OUT (Find some kids to do this part if you don’t care about your kitchen being a disaster afterward.)

BAKE for 7-10 minutes, depending on how thick you rolled the dough.

MOVE to rack and allow to cool completely.

FROST  and decorate with your favorite frosting and decorations. (We are pretty low key around here with the decorating. It’s way more fun to eat them.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Easiest Blackberry Pie on Shortbread Crust

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Crust? What crust? (I may have overdone it with the blackberries. I’m sure you won’t make the same mistake.)

My 11 year old son and I went out early yesterday morning and picked blackberries for about a half an hour. It had recently rained for the first time in over a month. Seattle’s weather has been unusually hot and dry this summer, and the berries are reflecting this. My dad is a famous berry picker, and has been for some years. He says that the berries are small and particularly sweet this year. The smaller, drier berries made for a fantastic pie that doesn’t drown in berry juice.

Since we had been out picking berries, and I had a family dinner to prepare, I decided against the time consuming top crust. I also didn’t want a fussy bottom crust, so I decided to go with a tried and true shortbread crust that is nearly foolproof. The result was this pie that was gone by nightfall. (Even I had a piece, and I don’t really like pie, which is why I make them all the time.)

Crust:

1/4 cup softened unsalted butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 c flour

1/2 t salt

Filling:

4 cups blackberries

1/4-1/2 cup sugar (to taste, depending on how ripe your berries are)

3 T flour

1 T lemon juice

1/4 t salt

To make the crust:

Set oven to 375. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor. Add the egg yolk and blend until uniform in color. Add the flour and salt and mix until it looks like sand, and holds together when squeezed. Turn out over a 9 inch pie plate, and press into the bottom and up around the sides. Put the plate into the freezer until the oven is pre heated.

To make the filling:

Mix the berries and all other ingredients in a big bowl. Let sit until the oven is preheated.

Put it all together:

Scrape the berries into the chilled crust. Put the pie plate on a cookie or baking sheet, and put into the middle of the oven on the middle rack. Bake for an hour. Cool on a rack. Put it in your mouth.

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Cannabis Infused Five Minute Chocolate Cake

Gluten free, dairy free, grain free, sugar free, and is made in less than 5 minutes, start to finish. Bonus: a not very secret ingredient that reduces pain and inflammation, is legal in Washington and Colorado, and is literally growing in my back yard.

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Okay, my front porch.

  • 1 very ripe medium banana
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1 T peanut or almond butter
  • 1 T canna-coconut oil (or if you prefer not to be medicated, another T of nut butter)*
  • 2 heaping T cacao powder
  • 2 t sweetener (of any kind)

Put the banana, egg, vanilla, nut butter and canna-coco oil into a food processor and blend until uniform in color. Add cacao powder and sweetener. Mix until it looks like chocolate cake batter.

Pour into two greased coffee mugs, and put those mugs into the microwave for about a minute. Remove (carefully) and flip over onto a desert plate. Or eat it right from the mug, but if you flip it, it will stop baking and the bottom will act as a sort of ganache.

*Everyone’s THC tolerance is different. If you don’t already know how to make your own canna-coconut oil, click here for some general information.