|Green with Envy: Chocolate Mousse to Mousse Up Your Dress||Meatless Monday Manfood: Chipotle Chili Mac & Cheese|
In light of this week’s world events, where disaster and loss of life is more prevalent than usual, it seems somehow wrong to be writing about food. Here in D.C. it was a gorgeous Sunday: sunny, breezy, and mild. The kind of day where you feel compelled to meet friends for brunch and window shop for fashionable, cruelty-free purses. Confession: That last bit is me all the way. I’m in the market for a vegan purse that doesn’t look it came from a commune’s Goodwill giveaway pile.
And while part of me feels uncomfortable even mentioning purses and brunch while Japan suffers the aftermath of what may go down as one of the worst disasters in recent memory, part of me knows there’s no use in pretending that we aren’t going about our lives like normal. When disaster strikes, people tend to rally with generous donations and an outpouring of support, but we also don’t, and maybe can’t, stop our daily routines.
I once had someone say that vegans care more about animals than they care about humans, and that’s why he couldn’t get behind the movement. Putting aside the infuriating ignorance of his misinformed statement, I strongly disagree. If anything, a vegan life has made me more conscious of my existence and how often we take life, whether animal or human, for granted. I am insanely lucky to spend my Sundays wandering the streets, drinking coffee, and buying kale at Whole Foods. I am beyond grateful that I have the time and resources to make my own animal-free food. My vegan life is luxury I don’t take for granted.
And today I think that’s all we can do (besides offering support in whatever form you feel comfortable with; if you’re inclined to donate, you might want check this guide out first).
Let’s be grateful for the little things, whether it’s the kale chips in my future, the ninety minute yoga class I took this afternoon, or the six cookies I’ve eaten since Friday.
Yes, the cookie recipe below is vegan, but it’s also got sugar and flour and chocolate chips. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. In fact, you can. Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s good for us, so focused on making sure we don’t stray from our diet, that we forget we’re lucky to even have the option to care. Take care of yourself. Enjoy yourself. And know how fortunate you are.
The Fortunate Vegan Cookie
(yields approx 15-20 cookies)
- 3/4 cup spelt flour (you could sub whole wheat, all-purpose etc.)
- 1 cup oats
- 1/3 cup vegan sugar (sucanat would be a great sub, but I didn’t have any)
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/4 t sea salt
- 1/4 cup dried coconut
- 1/2 cup canola oil (I wanted to use safflower but was out; try that if you’d like and let me know how it goes)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 t molasses
- 1 t vanilla
- 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped (try to get the unsweetened, unsulphured kind; you can get them at your local Trader Joe’s)
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (or carob chips would work)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silpat (very worthwhile investment!).
2. Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, coconut, and salt into a large bowl.
3. Use a smaller bowl to mix maple syrup, oil, molasses, and vanilla.
4. Add ingredients from step #3 to ingredients from step #4. Stir in cherries, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
5. Use a cookie scoop, your hands, or a spoon to roll dough into balls. Place balls on baking sheet, leaving enough room between cookies for the inevitable spreading.You can press down on the dough a bit to flatten the cookies. Note: The dough can be hard to work with and you might have a hard time getting it to stick together. Don’t worry though. As long as you’ve got it basically together, you’re good to go.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They’ll be just a little soft when you take them out. Once the cookies have cooled, transfer to a cooling rack.
The end result is a crunchy oatmeal cookie with a lot of hidden goodness. Pair with a cup of coffee, snack on a few as you stroll your ‘hood, and feel free to pass the vegan love onto others.