{Belated} Halloween Favorites

Happy Belated Halloween!

Technically I am typing this post up on Halloween so that “belated” shouldn’t be in there, but I figured that most of you wouldn’t be reading this until November 1 so… Technicalities.

As a wrap up to the Halloween extravaganza I thought it would be fun to do a short Halloween Favorites survey!

Ready? Too bad. You don’t have a choice 😉

What is your favorite Halloween movie?

Halloweentown from Disney Channel.

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Fun fact: The girl who played Marnie is also the voice on the Trix commercials that said, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!”

Pick your favorite chocolate AND non-chocolate candy.

Dark Chocolate Kit-Kats and Black Licorice Jelly Beans.

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Do they even sell dark chocolate Kit-Kats anymore? No judgement on the black jelly beans. You haters are crazy.

What is your favorite seasonal candy?

The mixed bags of candy corn with the regular, pumpkins and chocolate.

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The pumpkin shapes just made these 10 times more fun.

Which Halloween costume from your childhood was your favorite?

I went as a waitress one year with my best friend and we served “eyeballs” on plates.

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We got the waitress idea from some super ugly blouses that I acquired from my mother and were hanging in my closet at the time… And this book that my friend was reading. She was Hope. And I was Faith. Super original, I know.

If you could go as anything for Halloween, what would it be?

A witch!

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E-cards= I ❤ you.

How did you collect your candy when trick or treating?

We had the classic plastic orange pumpkins every single year. Nothing fancy.

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I think we still have these downstairs in our basement actually!

What is the funniest trick that you’ve ever seen played on someone for Halloween?

I really haven’t seen anything that fantastic. The look on someone’s face after being “spooked” though is pretty hilarious.

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Buzzfeed has 40 more of these pictures from a Haunted House if you are curious: http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/best-pictures-of-scared-bros-at-a-haunted-house-of-20 DO IT. They are so funny.

What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Dressing up and getting to be someone else for the night. When I was younger it was getting to have Halloween parties at school with all of the wonderful candy and cookies that parents brought in.

halloween-cookie-collage

Does anyone remember when these required a little more manual labor before baking? They used to come in tubes and you would have to slice all of the cookies before popping them into the oven.

Oh, and I just realized that I did a similar post last year for Halloween listing my top 5 “scary” Halloween movies.

Also, if you have any leftover candy that you don’t know what to do with, you can always use the candy corn to make candy corn popcorn and the chocolate pieces in my candy pizza!

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What did you do to celebrate Halloween this year?

Answer some of the survey questions above!

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Cookbook Pre-Release Tour and Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

I bet you are surprised to hear from me on a Sunday! I know it’s not my usual posting day, but I just wanted to pop in and share a little bit about another upcoming cookbook from BenBella Books. (The close dates of my review on The China Study Cookbook and then this post are purely coincidental and don’t worry about it becoming a regular occurrence… unless everyone likes cookbook reviews, and then I would consider doing them more often because I myself love them too. )

Getting onto the cookbook though, this one has actually not even been released yet, making it even more special and tempting. Once again I am featuring a new book from Lindsay called Happy Herbivore Light & Lean:

HappyHerbivoreLight&Lean_FrontCover

With easy, no-fuss recipes, the bestselling Happy Herbivore cookbooks show how easy, affordable, and delicious eating healthy can be. Now, in her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon provides recipes that put a special emphasis on weight-loss and a set of exercises that, like her recipes, are quick, easy, and produce great results.

Like all Happy Herbivore cookbooks, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean contains filling, flavorful, plant-based recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. But this time, Nixon takes healthy to an all-new level, with low-calorie, satisfying meals that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals—and without deprivation.

True to its title, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean also includes “recipes” for your body with basic workouts, plus tips and tricks that will inspire you to move more for a trimmer, more-toned you. As always, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean recipes are free from oils, processed foods, and diet chemicals such as artificial sweeteners.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean keeps it healthy, keeps it simple, and keeps it delicious.

As the official release date isn’t until December 3, 2013 (although there is word that some people can get it earlier!), I won’t be able to include a review with this post. However, to give you a little insight into the world of The Happy Herbivore I was able to have an interview with Lindsay herself and ask a few questions:

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Me: When movies come out there are so many behind-the-scenes promotional videos and backstage glances at what happens when the movie is filming. We don’t usually get to see those aspects with things like books and cookbooks. Some may not find it as exciting as watching Jennifer Lawrence practice her archery skills for The Hunger Games, but I think I speak for all of us food-lovers in saying that we’re very intrigued about the whole process! What have been some of the most exciting and/or terrifying times in the Happy Herbivore kitchen when working on your cookbooks?

Lindsay: I usually share a lot of behind the scenes stuff, actually 🙂 I’ve done videos and lots of pictures in the past — and I always tweet and Instagram pics of recipes as I’m writing them 🙂 and I love showing off photo bloopers from the shoots!

I’ve lit things on fire. Set the fire alarm off at least 5 times. burned and cut myself more times than I can count and stained my ceiling a not-so-nice shade of green when I used the blender without the top on… just to name a few 😉 (Me: Doesn’t it make you feel so much better that the professionals burn and cut themselves too?!)

Me: I’m so used to your past three books being entirely food-related that the additional exercise component in HH Light & Lean has definitely caught my attention. I remember you mentioning before that you used to be a personal trainer. Was that an influencing factor in your fourth book? Why did you decide to include “‘recipes’ for your body” this time with workouts and fitness tips?

Lindsay: I added memoir pieces to my third book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, and really liked that personal connection to my work. I knew I wanted to do that again in future books (and I did with Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, and I am now with my 5th book I’m currently working on). (Me: This mention of a 5th book has got me very excited!)

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean was very much inspired by my meal plans (getmealplans.com). The recipes in the book are different than what I provide my clients with my meal plan service, but the approach I use in the meal plans — caloric density; more food less calories—is what my focus was with this new book. I also wanted to make it about the whole body, not just what we put in our mouth 😉 so I added workout sections. It was nice to revisit (and incorporate) my past experiences as a trainer. Writing Happy Herbivore Light & Lean had a very full-circle feeling for me.

Me: One of my favorite features on HappyHerbivore.com is your Minimalist Monday posts. You provide some fantastic advice for creating the life that we want and deserve to have, without all of the unnecessary fluff and negativity. Where did you learn about minimalism and what tips do you have for beginning to incorporate it into our own lives?

Lindsay: My minimalism was, at least initially, forced on me. I lost my job. My husband was being laid off. We had to sell most of our possessions so we could move into a tiny studio that truly fit the definition of shoebox. We had no money, etc. It was means for survival at first, but I quickly realized how much happier I was living with less. Before long I was embracing minimalism. As our system improved, and it would have been too easy to slip back into old habits, our minimalism kept us grounded and has been one of the key ingredients to building the life we now have (and love). I talk about my minimalism and give tips every Monday on the blog. Click the “minimalist” tag on the blog to get the laundry list of all the old posts. I also did a “how to be a minimalist” blog post that’s a great starting point. (Me: I’ve included the links to these specific pages that Lindsay mentioned if anyone is interested.)

Me: For my final question I want to focus on food again, as of course we are here mainly to talk about your upcoming cookbook! Today as part of your pre-release tour I am sharing your Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. What are some of the other recipes from the cookbook that you are most excited for people to try, and which are your personal favorites?

Lindsay: Asking a chef to pick a favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick a favorite kid 😛 (Me: Or a book lover to pick a favorite book… next to impossible! This was kind of an unfair question 😉 )

I’m excited for all of them 🙂

Every time I release a new book, I am certain which recipes will be really popular, and usually I’m right with most, but then there are a few that become crazy popular and I never saw it. I look forward to those surprises most.

And with that cue from Lindsay, I am happy to share today a recipe straight from the pages of her cookbook. One that I am sure will be extremely popular with her readers, and I hope with you as well!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 16

Soy-free, Fat-free, Quick, Budget, Pantry

These are the best low-fat chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever eat! They’re ridiculously addictive fresh out of the oven. You’ve been warned.

 

 Ingredients:

  • 1⁄3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ c light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ c nondairy milk
  • 1 c whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • few dashes of ground cinnamon
  • ½ c vegan chocolate chips

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, vanilla extract, and nondairy milk.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and ground cinnamon together.
  4. Transfer the dry mixture into the wet mixture in three batches. Stir until almost combined. Fold in chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls on cookie sheet and bake for 7–10 minutes for a soft and light cookie or a few minutes more for a firmer cookie, being careful not to burn.

Variation: 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: Replace 2 tbsp of flour with 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa.

Chef’s Note: 

For a firmer cookie, work a fresh banana into the flour (crumble it in until you have clumps). If your banana is ripe, reduce sugar.

Per Cookie:

Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.7g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.5g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.2g

Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

My note: I haven’t personally had the chance to make this recipe yet, but here are a few others that I found online who have. And of course all of them gave it glowing reviews! The Healthy Vegan Plate, Veggie Burgher, Vegan Yogini, and many more…

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Thank you so much to both Lindsay and BenBella Books for allowing me to be a part of the pre-release tour for Happy Herbivore Light & Lean!

hh-blogger-tour

 

If you haven’t already seen it, I have also done a review of Lindsay’s previous cookbook Happy Herbivore Abroad last year.

She has four cookbooks in total now, and I would recommend that you check them all out!

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore, Happy Herbivore Abroad, and of course her newest.

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Questions for you:

Do you have any of the previous Happy Herbivore books?

Are you a fan of chocolate chip cookies?

How do you feel about minimalism? Do you try to practice it in your own life?

Are you frequently burning or cutting yourself in the kitchen too?

Grain-Free, Vegan Carob Chunk Cookie Bars

It has been over a week since I posted my last recipe, and quite a while since I posted a full-blown recipe that was not a pancake.

It has been even longer since I posted an allergy friendly recipe!

Last weekend I had quite a bit of time free to myself and instead of lounging around with my laptop I decided to bake instead.

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Grain-Free, Vegan Carob Chunk Cookie Bars

Wheat/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy/Egg-Free, Nut-Free Option, Peanut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed + 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2-1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2-6 tbsp honey (replace with maple syrup to make vegan)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour (any other nut flour or seed flour will work)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the coconut oil and carob powder until well combined. Pour the carob sauce into a small loaf pan or large rimmed lid. Place in the freezer until solid (around 15 minutes for me).
  3. Combine ground flaxseed and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat the flaxseed mixture in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes or until the water is all absorbed.
  4. Add the mashed banana, honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the flaxseed mixture. Stir until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together. Then mix in the wet ingredients. Combine well.
  6. Take the carob out of the freezer and break into small chunks. Mix about 1/3 of the chunks into the cookie dough.
  7. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with coconut oil and further line with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Evenly spread out the cookie dough in the pan. Top with another 1/3 of the carob chunks.
  8.  Bake for 20-30 or until golden brown and the cookie bars bounce back to the touch. Remove from the oven and slice into 9 pieces.

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Notes:  

  • If you are able to eat eggs you could probably substitute two eggs for the flaxseed + water mixture.
  • I used only 2 tbsp of honey and 1 small banana but my parents said that they would have preferred it to be sweeter. Next time I will use 1/2 banana and 6 tbsp honey.
  • I didn’t use all of the carob chunks and had some leftovers just for snacking. Depending on the size of yours and thickness you may end up needing them all. Also, if you don’t use carob a starch-free alternative would be cocoa. This would be much more bitter however (you could try experimenting with additional honey but that would probably not hold up/freeze as well).

cookie-bars-4f

 

Shared at Food Forager.

Being finally able to post an egg-free and dairy-free recipe makes me incredibly excited. I felt like I was kind of abandoning the whole intent of my blog being for those with food allergies. While I will continue to post non-vegan recipes, I will also try to make more of an effort to post allergy friendly recipes as well.

Thanks for all of your really nice comments and insight on my post yesterday about my gastric emptying study results. I have more doctor appointments scheduled for my week off in between the end of my full time internship and the start of school/my part-time internship. They are mostly just to check-in but as always I’m hopeful that I will walk away with something new to try out!

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Have you been baking a lot this summer or just sticking the heat-friendly, non-oven recipes?

Have you ever tried carob before? Do you prefer its sweeter taste to cocoa?

What are your plans for the weekend?

What Other People Ate #2 (WIAW)

Just for the record, I have held off on doing a sequel to the original What Other People Ate that I posted in May. The main reason being that I was worried everyone would think I was being lazy and using other people’s gorgeous photography. Maybe I am being lazy. But I truly do just like sharing the love and linking to the often downright inspiring recipes of some of my fellow bloggers.

Today just feels like the right time for a second edition. As I shared in my post this past Friday, my life has been a little less than perfect lately with my never-ending stomach problems (I’m finding out the results hopefully tomorrow… although my mom and I have agreed that they will most likely come back normal). In addition my grandma’s recent surgery which you all so sweetly prayed for on Friday, as well as another tragedy this past weekend when my Great Uncle died.

I didn’t know him very well. Actually, to be honest, because he didn’t live extremely close, I don’t actually ever remember meeting him (although I’m sure I did when I was much younger). Still, a loss is a loss and I have been hearing from my mom all of the wonderful things that he did in life. He held a host of interesting jobs including being a well-recognized costume make-up artist and also an expert gardener who crossbred flowers to make up his own original species. I have thought of him more than once over the past few days and how admirable he was for following his passions and living life to the fullest.

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Enough sappy talk for now though- it’s time for another mash-up of Jessie’s Together Tuesdays and Jenn’s WIAW. Once again making the impossible possible as Tuesdays and Wednesdays collide!

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together-tuesdays

I present…

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ATE (and what I not so secretly

wish I could be eating right now too) PART TWO:

Breakfast

Paleo Cookie Crisp Cereal from Real Sustenance

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Who else loved having an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast when they were younger?

Snack

Homemade Nut Cheese from The Fitnessista

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This recipe sounds like it would be absolutely perfect paired with some crispy crackers. This recipe is made even better by the fact that it’s dairy-free and vegan!

Lunch

Vegan Carrot “Hot Dogs” from Clean Eating Veggie Girl

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Seriously? How real do these “hot dogs” look? Amazing.

Snack

Basic Acai Bowl Blueprint from Bittersweet Blog

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Acai bowls are always just so pretty and I love the idea of having a basic blueprint recipe to be able to customize to your liking.

Dinner

Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Kebabs from Skinny Taste

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Skinny Taste always has such simple and tasty recipes. This one is no different with a delicious and easy to make pesto sauce marinade.

Dessert

Almond Butter Banana Cookies from Civilized Caveman Cooking

wiaw-other-almond-butter-banana-cookies

Another super simple recipe, these cake-like cookies are free of refined sugar and packed full of delicious, whole ingredients.

My last What Other People Ate post ended with me commenting that my eyes were drifting closed… Sadly not much has changed because before adding in the images tonight I took a short and unplanned 15 minute cat nap.

Whoops.

Hope you all have a great and productive Wednesday!

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Questions for you:

What recipes have you been eyeing this week?

Have you had any family members die that you weren’t very close to? How did you react?

Do you ever feel lazy when it comes to blogging?