Chocolate Biscuits

I get the feeling that my daughter’s main course for school lunch is desert. I can’t blame her. I survived on swiss cake rolls and doritos for lunch growing up. No matter how hungry I was, I just couldn’t stomach a warm moist sandwich. The chickpea chocolate chip cashew butter oatmeal cookies made me feel better about desert for lunch, but her new school discourages nuts. This newly found recipe is the perfect solution and tastes delicious. No one will guess they contain chickpeas!

Ingredients

1/3 cup spectrum shortening

1/2 cup oats

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup cocoa

1 teas vanilla

1 teas baking powder

Directions

Mix it all up in a food processor until smooth. Drop onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350.

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Chickpea Stew

1 Tablespoon safflower or sunflower oil

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

7 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups chopped onion

2 medium carrots, sliced or diced

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

Sautee onion with oil until soft. Add vegetables and water. Partially cover and let simmer peacefully another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve as a soup/stew or over rice.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup*

3 cups dry lentils or two cans lentils, drained and rinsed

7 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

6 to 8 medium cloves garlic, crushed (optional)

2 cups chopped onion

2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)

2 medium carrots, sliced or diced

1 or 2 potatoes, peeled and diced

Place lentils, water and salt in a kettle. Bring to a boil, lower heat to the slowest possible simmer, and cook quietly, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Or skip this and start with canned lentils.

Add vegetables. Partially cover and let simmer peacefully another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

*adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

Easy and Healthy Dinner Options

Dinners can be a cinch when mystery sauces and spices aren’t an option and the sky isn’t the limit.

Chicken or Fish

Fresh or thawed chicken or fish (favorites: drumsticks cooked with skin on, salmon or cod)

Lightly coat (or spray) with sunflower or safflower or canola oil and lightly salt

Cook in pan at 425 for 20 to 45 minutes, until internal temp reaches at least 165 for fish and 185 for chicken.

Squeeze fresh lime juice on fish (option).

Pasta or Rice

regular or brown rice pasta with a little oil and salt; mixed with a little rice milk can be good, too; and/or with roasted or sautéed fresh garlic

plain rice (or with chopped garlic)

Sides

broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or sliced potatoes. lightly coat or spray with safflower or canola oil, sprinkle with salt. Cook in pan at 425 for 10 to 15 min for broccoli or cauliflower; 20 to 60 mins for carrots or potato slices.

plain baked potato (with a little oil and salt)

chickpeas (if canned, drain and rinse)

boiled peas, green beans, or mixed vegetables

McCain’s smiley fries

Any of the above can be sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley

Lunch Box Ideas

Pick one:

Quesadillas made from: 365 brand flour tortillas, Tofutti cream cheese, refried beans (can get unspiced refried beans at whole foods and trader joes) or black, pinto, or kidney beans drainded and rinsed, canola spray

Roll-ups made from 365 brand flour tortillas, Tofutti cream cheese, and/or cashew butter

Sandwich with bakery/unpreserved bread, and Tofutti cream cheese and/or cashew buter

Bakery/unpreserved bun with leftover roasted chicken and Tofutti cream cheese

Soup (see recipes or Amy’s lentil or Amy’s split pea)

Leftover pasta

Pick one: leftover peas, green beans, mixed vegetables, or carrot slices (the leftover broccoli and cauliflauer are usually not eaten)

Pick one: banana or pear squeezer, bag of dried pears, delmonte canned pear halves (barlette pears in water and sugar), fresh sliced pear, banana, or mangos

Pick one: bag of potato chips or pretzels

Pick one: Natures Best chocolate cream or choc chip cookies, homemade cookie bar, or banana bread

Smores Cookie Bars

Smores Cookie Bars

1 2/3 cup flour (I mix regular and wheat flour)

1 teas baking soda

1/2 teas salt

1/4 cup spectrum shortening*

1/8 cup canola oil*

1/8 cup rice or soy milk*

1 baby jar pears (pear sauce)*

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 teas vanilla

2 1/2 cups oats

8 oz chocolate (use enjoy life choc chunks)

6 oz mini marshmallows (used cut up big vegan marshmallows)

Mix all of the ingredients except chocolate and marshmallows. Add more rice or soy milk if needed to get a moist cookie dough. Line 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Press half the cookie dough into the bottom of the plan. Layer with marshmallows and most of the chocolate. Top with remaining cookie dough and chocolate, pressing down. Bake at 350 for 25 to 35 min (until knife comes out clean).

*note: for a non-vegan recipe, these 4 ingredients can be replaced with 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter and 2 eggs. Recipe is adapted from http://www.spoonforkbacon.com