Saturday, December 24, 2016

Make This At Home! Ginger Chai Whoopie Pies

Ginger Chai Whoopie Pies by Jasmine De La Paz

If you are looking for a healthier holiday treat, then these whoopie pies are just for you. I'm not a huge fan of gingerbread houses or cookies, but this year the thought of a ginger treat sparked a craving, and I had to come up with a recipe to satisfy it. Once I get a craving, there is no stopping me!

Whoopie pies are considered to be either a cookie, pie, or cake! They are somewhat soft with a  cake like texture, and include a creamy filling that just melts in your mouth. These pies are made with fresh ginger, chickpea flour, tahini, and chai spices - making them vegan, gluten and refined sugar free. They are decadent, so I recommend sharing with family or friends or else it will be very tempting to devour them all yourself. I'm speaking from experience!

*I recommend making these whoopie pies 24 hours in advance, as they take time to prepare*

Ginger Chai Whoopie Pies (makes 16 stacked cookies)

Dry ingredients:
2 cups almond flour
2 cups chickpea / garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup yacon syrup or blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup tahini
2 chia "eggs" (2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp almond milk)
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chai Vanilla Cashew Filling
1 cup raw cashews
(soaked in water for at least 4 hours)
1/2 can coconut milk (chilled)
1/4 cup plant milk
(I used macadamia milk, but almond is just fine)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (sub vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom

Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl, then set aside. Make your chia "eggs" and let sit for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, add the chia egg and stir so all the wet ingredients are combined. Add your wet and dry ingredients together, mixing lightly with a fork until a dough forms. Chill the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Drain and rinse the cashews, and add everything to a blender. Blend on high until everything is well mixed. Pour the filling into a bowl, cover and let sit in the fridge overnight or at least 4-6 hours. The filling will look a little thin at first, but will thicken and set in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and align a baking sheet with wax paper or foil. If using foil, lightly coat with coconut oil so the cookies don't stick. Using a 1 1/2 inch scooper or 1 tbsp, scoop out and make small balls with the dough, place them on baking sheet and lightly press the dough down flattening the cookie lightly. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Do not over bake, as you want the cookies to but soft. Let cool, and transfer to an air tight container.

Once the filling has set, apply 3-4 tbsp to the bottom of one cookie using a spatula, and gently add another cookie on top of the filling. Once all your cookies have filling and are stacked, I recommend transferring to the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to make sure the whoopie pies are in tact.

Keep stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, and enjoy!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Make This At Home! Comforting Vata Moroccan Stew

Comforting Vata Moroccan Stew by Jasmine De La Paz

The last few weeks have been tough, to say the least. We are all highly sensitive beings, and it is so important to monitor how you feel, both physically and mentally, and honor what you need now, more than ever. 

Providing your body with warm and nourishing meals is one way to help maintain a state of balance during this time. In Ayervedic philosophy, Winter is associated with qualities of Vata - which are cold, air, dry, and light. Eating foods in season that are warm, moist, oily, and heavy will provide the comfort that your body needs. 

I love to make big batches of soups and stews. This Moroccan Stew was inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Green Kitchen Stories. I switched up the recipe and added a few different spices and veggies, but it includes all ingredients to meet your Vata needs - eggplant, okra, warm spices, oil, ginger, and avocado! I've already made this twice and have felt so good after each meal. I even made this for my husbands 95 year old Grandpa, and he loved it! 

Comforting Vata Moroccan Stew (serves around 4)

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • I large knob of fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cups cho
    pped okra
  • 1 bunch chopped chard

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 14oz can garbanzo beans
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes 
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried barberries 
  • (you can get these at most world markets) 
  • juice of half a lemon
  • dash of salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • 1/4 tsp saffron 
Turmeric Cauliflower Rice 
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • dash of salt & pepper
Kale with Tahini Dressing & Avocado
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 avocado 
Add oil to a large pot and start by sautéing the garlic and ginger till fragrant (be careful not to burn)! Add in the eggplant and okra, and stir around for another 5 minutes or so till the veggies soften. Now, add the tomato paste and spices and stir frequently for a couple of minutes so it doesn't burn. I added a couple drops of water so it wouldn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Your house will smell so good at this point! Next, add in the tomato chunks, 2 cups of vegetable broth, pumpkin puree, and saffron. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover for about 30 minutes, stirring every once in awhile. After 30 minutes goes by, add in the garbanzo beans, chard, raisins, and barberry. If needed, you can add the rest of the vegetable broth depending on how thick you like your stew. Stir around and let simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Once done, your eggplant will be soft and juicy. Add in the lemon juice right before serving! 

The cauliflower rice is super easy, and a great substitute to grains. Wash the cauliflower and cut into medium chunks. Add half of the cauliflower bits to a food processor, and pulse till you get a rice like texture. Pour this into a bowl, and do the same thing with the other half of the cauliflower. Warm up the oil in a pan, then add the riced cauliflower and spices. Stir frequently, until the cauliflower is warm and has lost some of it's moisture. 

Wash and dry your kale, roughly chop or tear with hands, add to a bowl, then drizzle with tahini, lemon juice, and crushed garlic. Massage the kale with the ingredients using your hands - don't be afraid to get dirty! Once the kale has softened and has soaked up the dressing, it is ready to be served! 

Add everything into a bowl, and top with avocado, a drizzle of tahini, pumpkin seeds, black sesame seeds, and more golden raisins.