Peanut, Cabbage, and Sesame Slaw

Usually when I’m making something that can be easily construed as “health food”, I make just one serving.  I’m usually pretty sure that my boyfriend, Jeremy, will not be interested and I’m usually right.  A funny thing happened, though, as this asian-inspired coleslaw sat on the table waiting to be photographed.  Jeremy walked over to it to see what it was.

“Can I have some?” he asked.

“No, I’m not finished taking pictures yet.”

He walked away.  A few minutes later, he’s back in the kitchen.  “Just a bite?”

“No, I’m still working with it… Now, are you messing with me, or do you really want me to make you one of your own?”

His face lit up.  “I want one!”  So I made another bowl of salad just for him and he spent the rest of the day telling me how good it was.  He even asked if I would make one for him every day.  I told him that I couldn’t make that kind of commitment.  But it felt good to be asked.  🙂

Peanut, Cabbage, and Sesame Slaw
makes 4 servings
adapted from The Kitchn

For the dressing:
– 3 Tbsp peanut butter
– 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
– 1 Tbsp soy sauce
– 1 Tbsp sesame oil
– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix all ingredients with a fork or a whisk until smooth.

For the salad:
– 1 head green cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
– 3 large carrots, grated
– 4 green onions, thinly sliced
– 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
– a small handful of roasted peanuts

Mix the cabbage, carrots, and green onions together in a large bowl.  Toss with peanut butter dressing until well-mixed.  Top each individual serving with sesame seeds and peanuts.

Peanut Butter White Bean Blondies

If you’ve read this blog before, you might know that I like to try to sneak healthy ingredients into my meals in unexpected ways.  I’m always happy throwing some spinach into a smoothie or having turmeric with breakfast.  Which is why I was thrilled to find Chocolate Covered Katie’s incredible recipe for Peanut Butter White Bean Blondies.

Instead of using flour, the batter is based in white beans…but you really couldn’t guess it based on the taste and texture.  In fact, I’m thinking we might want to change the name to “Dense, Gooey Pieces of Peanut Butter Heaven”.  Who’s with me?  And while you’re enjoying your decadent treat, you can feel smug about all the protein and fiber you’re eating.

Perfect for a Fourth of July picnic.  Or for my inevitable anxiety snacking as I begin my final term of nursing school with a night shift clinical rotation and impending licensure exam and job hunt.  What?  Oh I’m fine.  Just fine.  (Eats another blondie.)

Does anyone else have big plans on the horizon for the summer?

Peanut Butter White Bean Blondies
makes 1 8×8 pan
from Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe

Note: I didn’t really make any changes from the original recipe, but katie lists a few options for how to make these.  This is the version I used.  Check out her original recipe for substitution ideas!

– 1 1/2 cups white beans
– 3/4 tsp baking powder
– 1/8 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 3/4 cup coconut sugar
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
– 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
– 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Blend all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a food processor until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.  Fold chocolate chips into batter and pour into an 8×8 inch baking dish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool and enjoy.

* I added this post to this week’s Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back FridayPennywise PlatterFull Plate Thursday, and Wellness Weekend.

Peanut Butter Oat Clusters (GF, Vegan)

It was the perfect day for a potluck picnic and I decided to bring something wholesome but with an edge of sweetness.  That’s how these chocolate-studded bite-sized peanut butter clusters came to be.  By the end of the picnic, they were all gone.

Oh, and just because the dough contains some healthy ingredients, try not to ruin your dinner by standing over the mixing bowl and eating it by the handful.  Do as I say, not as I do.  🙂

Peanut Butter Oat Clusters
makes 40-50

– 3 1/4 cup oats
– 3/4 cups brown rice flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
– 1/3 cup coconut oil
– 1 cup peanut butter
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix oats, brown rice flour, baking powder, and flax seeds together.

Melt the coconut oil in a medium bowl in the microwave.  Add peanut butter and use a fork to mix until smooth.  Add brown sugar and vanilla and mix until well-combined.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Using a Tablespoon, drop dough onto a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  They do not really spread out while baking and so you can put them quite close together.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just starting to brown.  They will firm up as they cool.

* I added this post to this week’s Seasonal Celebration Sunday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Monday Mania, and My Meatless Mondays.

Peanut Butter Spelt Cookies

Whenever I make cookies at home, I run into a big problem…I end up with a lot of cookies at home.  And I just haven’t figured out how not to eat way too many when they are just over there on the counter.  Calling my name.  Maybe I’ll get the hang of it when I’m a real grown-up.  But for now, I have to resort to sneakier methods of self-control such as (1) giving most of the batch away, (2) putting half of them in the freezer where instant gratification is less of an option (frozen cookies just don’t have the same siren call), or (3) making cookies that only contain ingredients that I would put into a healthy snack.  These fall into the last category.

My favorite part of these crumbly, sweet, and salty treats is that they are made with whole grain spelt flour, which is a good source of fiber, manganese, copper, and zinc.  My second favorite part is that it contains Grade B maple syrup as the sweetener instead of refined sugar.  Also, the ingredients list is simple and to the point.  They’re on the small side, so you can eat two and say that it only counts as one.  And they’re vegan, in case you’re looking to cut animal products.  I like to think of these as my all-of-the-satisfaction-with-none-of-the-guilt-peanut-butter-cookies.  But that’s too much of a mouthfull.

Before baking

And after. Hey, there's some sunlight in this picture! Thanks, Portland!

Peanut Butter Spelt Cookies
makes about 4 dozen small cookies
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories

– 2 cups whole grain spelt flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 1 cup natural peanut butter
– 1/3 cup tahini
– 1/2 cup maple syrup
– 1/3 cup walnut oil (you could use olive oil here instead)
– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Lightly grease 2-3 baking sheets.  If you are using non-stick baking sheets, you probably don’t need to grease them.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.  In a separate large bowl, mix peanut butter, tahini, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla extract until well-combined.

3. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.  The dough will be quite soft.  Drop dough by the tablespoon-full onto your baking sheets and lightly press down with the back of a fork.  It helps to get the fork a little wet occasionally to keep it from sticking.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  They may seem a little under baked when you remove them from the oven but they will seem less doughy when they cool.

* I added this post to this week’s Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Whole Food Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, and Hearth and Soul Hop.