Sunday, October 30, 2011

Couscous Cakes - AKA -The Husband's Favorite

One day I picked up a small healthy heart cookbook. A few days later I tried a recipe from the cookbook. That night I discovered Miles' favorite meal! Interesting point, it contains no meat! I never thought that would happen! I know I am blessed to have a husband who is willing to try lots of different foods but I also know it is because his taste buds are "fixed" that he loves a lot of those foods. So there is hope for the rest of you too!

I too love this recipe and so do the kids. I get squeals of excitement when they come in the kitchen and ask what's for dinner. Faith will promptly run to tell Daddy that we are having his favorite dinner and expect to hear the same excitement from him as well. You must be ready to hear about this amazing meal now, right?

Start with a box of whole wheat couscous. I can only find this at Cub locally but I buy it in bulk at a health food store. It can be tricky to find the couscous in whole wheat but that is what makes it healthier so try health food sections. Couscous is SO SIMPLE to make. Just boil the amount of water on the box and dump it in. Remove it from the heat and cover and let it sit for about 5 minutes. VERY FAST!

It will absorb all the water and look like this. Take off the lid and fluff with a fork. It would be great just like this as a side dish too. Grab a bowl and toss the cooked couscous into the bowl.

Then I add a few more ingredients. Egg or an egg substitute and Cavender's Greek seasoning. How much egg substitute depends on how much couscous you make. For the box above I started with 1/3 cup of the egg beaters. It is better to error on not putting enough in since you won't have more couscous to add. I think I did end up adding 1/4 cup more to get it to all come together. It will vary if you buy the couscous in bulk of course.

Then I add about 2/3 cup feta cheese. I buy this at Sams for $7.48. The same kind at the store in town is $6.59 and you only get half as much. If you can't get to Sams then your best bet is to stock up when it goes on sale. It doesn't have to be Athenos brand and if you buy it in brick form and crumble it yourself you can save quite a bit. 

Then I add about 4 chopped green onions and some black pepper. Mix that together until you get a nice wet consistency that will hold together. If it is too dry then add a little more egg substitute. Prepare your pan on the stove by heating up a couple tablespoons of olive oil.

Grab a 1/4 measuring cup and fill it with the mixture.

Dump it into the hot oil using a spoon to get it out of the cup and then flatten it with the back of the spoon. It will take about 3 minutes per side to cook these. Warning: the first few I make take a little longer but by the last two they are cooking quite quickly so you will need to watch them carefully.

I try to get 3-4 in the pan at a time to make it go quickly but you have to watch them carefully so you don't end up burning them. Mmm...I can taste that crispy edge in my mouth right now. Out of one box of couscous I get about 10-12 cakes.
Of course I have to mention that you can do this with quinoa also. I have done that with a roasted red pepper sauce mixed in instead of eggs and they were awesome.

I served it with a side salad, some very crunchy grapes, home made hummus with pita, and lots of smiles all around the table. We decided they would also be good the next day in a pita with some hummus, lettuce, and Greek dressing. However, there are NEVER and I mean NEVER any leftovers!

Just in case you were wondering couscous has several health benefits. It has protein and fiber of course especially if you choose the whole wheat version. But it also contains selenium which is an antioxidant that helps protect blood vessels from plaque build up and narrowing of the arteries. Since it is hard to find significant dietary sources of selenium adding some couscous to your diet will help you meet that requirement!

So get eating!

1 box whole wheat couscous (cooked according to package directions)
1/3 cup egg substitute (plus 1/4 cup more if needed to come together)
2/3 cup Feta cheese
4 chopped green onions
1 tsp. Cavendar's Greek Seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
olive oil

To a bowl add cooked couscous, egg substitute, feta, green onion, Greek Seasoning, and black pepper. Gently combine. If mixture is too dry add a little more egg substitute. Heat a couple tablespoons olive oil in a pan. Add 1/4 cup couscous mixture to the pan and flatten with the back of a spoon. Cook approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Yields 10-12 couscous cakes. (You will need to add more oil as you cook)

Sidenote: It is also good with finely chopped red onion!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Muffins

I get to go shopping today for the whole day with no kids and my best friend Julie! I am so excited about this. It doesn't get much better than that does it? Except maybe for this bowl of quinoa and Greek yogurt topped with chopped apples, walnuts, a little Sunbutter, and agave that I am eating for breakfast right now!

We HAVE to go shopping so we can get all our supplies for our scrapbooking retreat that is coming up in a couple weeks. We might make a few other stops!

So I thought I would try to get a quick post in this morning for another lunch idea. Again, I found this recipe in Runner's magazine. I did tweak it a little because it called for 3/4 cup of sugar and you know I CAN NOT do that much sugar no matter how far I run! So here is what we had for lunch yesterday........

I fixed a quick side salad of mixed greens and spinach topped with sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, peperoncinis, feta, and soy nuts and drizzled it with a little Greek dressing.  I ended up being glad I was out of regular tomatoes because this salad was delicious with sun-dried and the soy nut crunch is much cheaper than the pine nut crunch and just as delicious! I cut up an orange for Miles and I to share. Have I said before that oranges are getting really good! Go get some! The sweet potato muffin made the meal complete and was a great lunch addition!

Last night at dinner Miles was commenting on how much he loves what I had made, (couscous cakes) and I said, "Hey you didn't say anything about the muffins at lunch!" He tried to redeem himself by saying, "I loved them. I had two of them!" I didn't even notice he had had two of them.

I think they are a perfect muffin. They are sweet but not too sweet and very moist! They are fairly dense but very chewy and have such a great flavor.

Sliced open with a little Earth Balance = A+

So here is the recipe with the couple changes I made:

Sweet Potato Muffins

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar ( I used 1/2 cup Stevia and 1/4 cup Sucanat)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
(I also added 1 tsp. cinnamon)

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 cup vegetable oil ( I used 1/4 cup applesauce)
1 cup pureed or mashed cooked sweet potato
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffins cups or use liner. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl. Whisk all wet ingredients in another bowl. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture gently until just combined. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes. (I only cooked them for 20 minutes and I usually have to do longer so start at 20 minutes)

Wet ingredients minus the sweet potato and dry ingredients.

To cook the sweet potatoes I peeled 2 two of them and diced them up. Then I boiled them until they were tender and used my handy potato masher to mash them up finely. I do have extra sweet potato in the fridge but that was on purpose so I could make more of these muffins this weekend. The recipe only yields 12-14 muffins so if you only want that many then just cook one potato.

Gently fold in the wet ingredients to the dry.

The batter was quite thick. I am not sure if it really was supposed to be but the muffins turned out great so I am going with it!

Cook for 20 minute and enjoy the fruit of your labor!

P.S. The husband ate another muffin for breakfast so despite his lack of swooning over my muffins yesterday I do believe he likes them!

P.S.S. I know my kids would LOVE these muffins but I don't think I am sharing this batch with anyone else. I will give them some of the second batch.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Spread for Lunch

As promised I have been working on lunch ideas. I always need lunch to be quick! For most of our marriage I have been fortunate enough to have Miles come home everyday for lunch. I think it is a true blessing to steal that extra time together. However, it also makes one more meal I have to prepare everyday verses shoving an apple and a few crackers in my mouth when I get hungry. What usually happens is I look at the clock and say, "Oh no! It is 11:30 and Miles will be home soon. What can I fix for lunch?" I rush to the kitchen and get working. I will admit that many days we have leftover dinner and that makes it a little easier but I like to have some things on hand that can make it quick when I don't have leftovers. This sun-dried tomato spread is one of them!

This is quite simple to make and I use it in a variety of ways not to mention it tastes divine! It is a recipe I found in an issue of Runner's magazine where they were posting some quick meal ideas for runners.

You do need a little time to make the sauce but once the sauce is made you can make very quick meals. I like to make extra to keep in the fridge so we will have some on hand for several days.

You need to start by soaking some sun-dried tomatoes in water for about 30 minutes. You are supposed to go run for those 30 minutes! Any amount of water is fine. You will discard most of it and reserve 1/4 cup of it to mix in. Then blend the tomatoes in a food processor until fine.

Then you will add these ingredients to the food processor: olive oil, roasted red peppers, garlic, walnuts, oregano, and a pinch of cayenne. You can buy chopped walnuts to save time or pre-chop them a little so they can get ground up very finely. I also chop up the roasted red pepper a little before it goes in the food processor. You want to have a nice smooth texture.
(The actual recipe is posted below)

Yesterday for lunch I spread some of this delicious sauce on a whole wheat tortilla.

Then I topped it with feta cheese, my favorite!

Then of course I had to add something green.

Then a few more veggies for some crunch and to make it more filling because I didn't want to add any meat to it this time. So cucumbers and tomatoes it was!

Then I drizzled just a little of this Greek dressing on top and rolled it up.

 I grabbed a cluster of grapes I had already washed from the fridge and ate my lunch. I was in and out of the kitchen in about 6 minutes. Faster then you can order at the drive through, pull ahead to pay, and get your meal I would say! Plus much more nutritious for sure and pretty filling with all those veggies in there.

(Runner’s Magazine Aug. 2011 issue)
10 sun-dried tomatoes halves (approximate - add more if you like)
1/3 cup roasted red pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup walnuts
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano
Pinch of cayenne
Salt to taste
¼ cup fresh mint (optional - I have never added)

Soak sun-dried tomatoes in water for approximately 30 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the soaking liquid and blend in a food processor then add remaining sauce ingredients and blend until fine. 

I do have another post I did about this recipe here that is the actual full recipe from the magazine. It works well for dinner too! Add some chicken to your wrap or pita bread or make a salad and top it with a few dollops of the sauce in lieu of dressing. I did spread it on whole wheat dollar buns with some rotisserie chicken, spinach, feta, and sliced avocado for our Sunday night feasting with small group and it went over pretty well I think! Just PLEASE try it! The flavors are so amazing and you will not be sorry you have this in your fridge when you forget it is almost lunch time like I do!

In other news...............

My floors are about 75% finished! The trim needs to be nailed back up and the tile layed in the entry. Then I just might be able to put the living room back together!

My baby girl got her glasses today! I think she looks super cute but didn't I pay extra to not have that glare on those lenses???????? I hope it is just the way the sun is coming in the room behind her! She has been happily wearing them since she came home from school without a complaint. Let's hope it stays that way!

This golf ball has been my best friend for the last couple days. I think I have plantar fasciitis. I have been trying to increase my mileage and this is the nasty pay off I get! I have been keeping a couple golf balls in the freezer and rolling my foot over it several times a day to try to relieve the pain. I never thought I would say this but.....I haven't been able to run since Monday and it really stinks! I am a little bit panicked. Ugh! You would think I would be happy to have an excuse not to work out.

I now must get dinner started for tonight! On the menu is Couscous Cakes, Miles' very favorite, a side salad, and hummus with pita for dipping! Vegetarian it is!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Applebutter Over Night Oatmeal

Big things are happening around here! My house has been torn apart for months really and it has been driving me CRAZY! But this is what was going on around here last night.....
Which is why I did not cook or post anything! This has been a long time coming! I don't know why anyone in Minnesota should have carpet right when you walk in the door. Winter lasts almost 6 months around here. That is a lot of snow and mud!

So I quickly threw together a salad for Miles and myself and some sandwiches and veggies for the kids who ate in front of the TV so I could keep them out of the way! Before you judge, know that we eat breakfast and dinner together almost everyday at the table and before school started we ate lunch together too. Now it is just me and Miles at lunch! So a little TV and dinner together sometimes is perfectly fine!

I decided at 8:30 last night that I should make our breakfast for the morning. We needed something that would fill us up after such a light dinner. Plus I think I burned off every calorie I ate yesterday, not only running, but pulling out carpet, tack strip, and staples, as well as moving furniture. Our backs were hurting!

Overnight oatmeal it was! I think if you haven't tried this yet from my previous post that you really must. It is so filling and you can make it so many different ways.

It is very simple. Add 1/2 cup old fashioned oats to a bowl and toss in 1/3 cup of milk of your choice. We like to put vanilla soy in ours. Then add 1/3 cup yogurt. We like Greek yogurt. If you want to skip the yogurt then add more milk.

The rest is all optional! I stirred in a packet of Stevia and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Then I added a couple heaping spoonfuls each of pumpkin and my homemade apple butter and mixed it all up and put it in the fridge.

I really like to add a little crunch to this oatmeal so after heating in the microwave for about 30 seconds I added some sliced almonds, and crumbled up a leftover vegan apple strudel bar I made for our Sunday night feasting. Then of course I drizzled it with agave because I am addicted to that stuff!

It was good to the last drop and I am totally stuffed! It is a good thing because I woke up at 11:30 last night after being asleep for about an hour and a half totally starving!

Just a few tips on this overnight oatmeal:
* Make sure you have a liquid for the oats to soak up.
* Save the crunchy things for the morning. Don't mix those in at night. Puffed wheat, oatmeal, granola, chia seeds, and nuts are all yummy!
* Warm it up a little in the microwave since it is getting colder outside now!
* Be creative. I also like bananas or blueberries and nut butter or jam mixed in. Sometimes I mix those in at night and sometimes I put them in in the morning.
* Experiment. I have found that sometimes it is good to mix things in and sometimes it is better to just put a dollop on top and not mix it in. Example: I should not have mixed in the apple butter. I sort of lost the flavor in there. I will just dollop it on top next time with some chopped apples, walnuts, and agave I think.
* It is also good blended. Mix the overnight oats in a blender and put the blender in the fridge overnight. Then just add a little more milk (1/4 cup) in the morning and give it a whirl. Top with your favorite things.

It becomes like an oatmeal smoothie in a bowl, very creamy, yet still more filling then just drinking a smoothie. Plus you can add in other healthy things like wheat germ, flax, or chia seeds or anything else your little heart desires! I double the recipe when I do it in the blender so there will be enough for both Miles and me.

* Finally, I learned all of this from one of my favorite blogs so if you want more ideas and recipes you can find them on her site.

I know I have posted about his before, but have you tried it yet? That is what I thought. You must do this tonight and let me know your combinations. Plus it was such a delicious breakfast after such a busy day yesterday that I had to share.

I am working on some more lunch posts because I feel like I haven't shared enough of that. I usually keep it pretty simple and as quick as I can so stay tuned for lunch ideas!

Have a happy fall day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

A few years back my mother-in-law and I attended a little mini soup making class. It was super fun and I learned a heck of a lot in a short amount of time. Ever since then soup really has been my favorite thing to make. First, (I am sure you know what I am going to say now) it is a dump it all in the pot kind of meal which I love! Second, it is super easy to make and third there are so many combinations to make that I don't ever get sick of it! I guess I should also add that it makes a huge portion so we have leftovers and some for the freezer and it is usually very healthy without changing too much.

So are you ready for "Soup Making 101?"

Almost EVERY soup begins with these three vegetables. They have some french name I can't remember. Even cream based soups, which I don't make too much anymore, but they are hiding in there! I usually chop up 2-3 carrots, 1 onion, and 2-3 stalks of celery. You will dice this very finely or chop it in a food processor. For chicken noodle I doubled that amount. I kept half of them just like this and the other half went into the mini food processor.

Don't fill yours this full! I always think I am going to save time and it never does. I end up taking some out so it can chop better!

I usually chop the carrots, celery, and onion separately but this time it all went in together with a couple cloves of garlic, minced. Toss the processed veggies in a big pot with about 2 tablespoons butter or butter alternative. I think I used Earth Balance. What you will do now is "sweat" the vegetables over low heat. This is a very important step and I do it with every soup I make. Sweating the veggies brings out their flavor and begins to release their sugars. I found this helpful information to better explain what I learned at that soup class.
Sweating vegetables is the first step in building layers of flavor in many dishes. It is crucial in soups, sauces, braised dishes and stews. Cooking the vegetables in this way draws out excess moisture, concentrating the flavors. It also allows those initial key aromatics to slowly develop their sugars. As they cook, the flavors marry as they begin to get to know each other in the pot. Sweating is a simple step that only adds a few minutes of cook time and yields far better results than if the vegetables were added raw with all of the other ingredients.

I must say that the above statement is absolutely true! It does yield far better results. You will sweat the veggies like this for about 5 minutes. You do not want to caramelize them so stop if you see they are starting to turn brown.

Next you need to add your liquid to the pot. You can definitely use vegetable stock if you want to make a vegetarian soup but for chicken noodle it has to be this! Dump the whole 32 ounce carton in. Yep, the whole carton! Trust me it will be much more flavorful. I also then add about 6 cups of water and added my non-diced veggies.

Then add 2 heaping tablespoons of this magic ingredient! I do mean MAGIC! You cannot substitute bouillon cubes. Like the jar says it is "Better Than Bouillon." I learned about this secret at the class. I am completely giving out my secret to good soup and it hurts a little! But for the sake of healthy food in your mouth I can do it! I am not sure what to tell you about making it vegetarian. I can't make soup without this. I guess I will start looking for a vegetarian alternative. I don't ever eat any kind of canned soup anymore because this ingredient changed the way every bite tastes! Do you understand what I mean now? Have I said enough?

While those ingredients are simmering over medium heat I cooked my chicken up. I used about 3 medium chicken breast but 2 large ones would be fine. I diced them up and cooked them in a little olive oil and garlic in a pan. I didn't take a picture in order to spare my vegan friend Jenny this time. You should check out her blog even if you aren't vegan because she has some awesome ideas! Right now she is doing a cookbook give away that I would love to win! Click here if you want to see about the giveaway and her latest pictures of her awesomely organized fridge!

So finally people are getting on board with whole wheat egg noodles! I haven't made chicken noodles soup in a while because these have been hard to find. Surprisingly the Wal-Mart brand is the one that had the least amount of ingredients so I picked that one. I cooked about 1/2 the bag for the soup. Note: you will want to undercook the noodles a little since they will go into the pot and continue to cook there as will the chicken so don't over cook that either.

When your chicken and noodles are cooked then dump them into the pot and stir. I then added a tablespoon of chopped basil and about a teaspoon of oregano and black pepper. Give it some time to simmer on the stove over low heat so the flavors have a chance to blend. Give it a taste after about 20 minutes. Sometimes I add more chicken base at this point to taste. The flavors will be even better the next day! I hardly ever add extra salt in case you were wondering. In fact I usually buy the reduced sodium broth or stock because soup can get really salty if you aren't careful. You can always add a touch if you find it needs it later.

Serve yourself up a warm bowl of hearty goodness!

and perhaps a side salad and my homemade whole wheat oatmeal bread!
(See below for the recipe)

This was delicious for dinner last night and lunch today on this crisp Sunday afternoon! Happy Soup Making!

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread

1 cup rolled oats
1 ½  cups whole wheat flour + more to form dough
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grind oatmeal in a food processor or blender. In a large bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, dissolve honey in vegetable oil then stir in the milk.
Combine both mixtures and stir. Add more flour if needed until a soft dough is formed. Knead a little bit in the bowl. Form the dough into a ball or small rectangle and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Fun Dinner"

Fall break = kids sleeping in = late breakfast = late lunch = not so hungry for dinner! Plus I wasn't in the mood to cook a meal last night. When these sorts of things happen then we have what we like to call "Fun Dinner" but of course you know that is my attempt at getting my kids excited about eating whatever I can find around the house quickly without cooking. So here is what it looks like.

It looks kind of fun, right?

It is mainly snacky kinds of foods and anything I have leftover that needs to get used up put in small containers on a tray. I do this for my kids more often in the summer for lunch and put it in a muffin tin. Sometimes they each get their own muffin tin and sometimes they share one. It is incredible what you can get them to eat that way! Like I say everything tastes better in mini form!

If you are wondering if this is what I fed my husband too then the answer is you bet! You get what you get and you don't throw a fit! It is all pretty healthy food and it is surprisingly easy to fill yourself up this way. Plus I had a little helper in the kitchen.

Now I will admit I am not one to accept "help" in the kitchen very often like I should but she was actually being quite helpful fitting everything onto the tray and telling me what else I should put on the tray and suggesting other green foods we could use! This is her kind of meat and she gets to choose whatever she likes.

So we  had some English Seaside Cheddar I needed to use up from Whole Foods and some reduced fat Monterrey jack the kids like. Then the last of my Trader Joe's sesame almonds (sad) and some organic raisins. These were not the ones from Whole Foods that I am desperately missing! I ate those too fast! Then Faith suggested we could have some cucumbers and I had just a couple leftover small yellow peppers to throw in there. I usually give the kids some kind of cracker or pretzel they can eat their cheese with or dip in something like hummus so pretzel thins it was. Those almonds and raisins tasted pretty darn good together I must say!

Then we had the last of the grapes, bell pepper and celery sticks, the most delicious orange (they are starting to get really good), and some veggie straws! If you haven't tried Veggie Straws or Apple Straws you need to do so now! That is some light ranch for the kids to dip their veggies in. I don't think either one of them ended up using it which is making me really happy. I am glad that they don't feel like they always need to dip their veggies in something all the time. Sometimes it is good to just eat them plain plus I was short on hummus!

We definitely needed to use up the apples because the fruit flies are about to get out of control! And we had these crackers. These are the BEST CRACKERS EVER MADE! I actually feel like I have been holding out on you a little bit. These are the only crackers I eat. I missed crackers when I changed my diet. It is very hard to find healthy crackers. These are made by Crunchmaster and are just called Multi-Grain Crackers. We buy them at Sams but I have seen smaller bags at the grocery store. They are a little different in those bags and I prefer the ones from Sams. They are actually gluten free and made with brown rice flour, sesame seeds, quinoa seeds and a few other ingredients. Come over and I will share some from my pretty little jar on the shelf I keep them in!

Then Faith managed to cram some salsa on the tray for me (mainly for Miles) and she hollered down the stairs that we were having "Fun Dinner" tonight and it was time to eat at the boys. She also told them we were all coming down to watch a movie while we ate. She likes to be bossy. I don't know where she gets that!

So that was my fantastic dinner last night! All eaten on paper plates in front of a very old and somewhat lame family movie streamed from Netflix called, Baby Geniuses. We managed to graze our way through and only a few veggies remained on the tray.

I did better tonight though with homemade chicken noodle soup! I will share that recipe soon. Now here's hoping you get to have a "Fun Dinner" sometime soon too and close up your oven and stove for a night! Sorry if you have no kids to blame it on!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can't believe I am posting two desserts in a row! I really don't eat that much dessert. I reserve it for Sunday Night Feasting at small group but my house is full of middle school boys so I made them some cookies today. It is fall break around here and we happily had Evan's 4 best friends over for the night. They have been awesome! Loud but awesome! They even loved the cookies. Miles heard one of them say, "Mmmmm!" as he bit into his cookie. Miles said too early that they were healthy cookies and I gave him the evil eye. You must always let someone take a bite first and then you can tell them they are healthy, especially when it comes to 6th grade boys. While girls no longer have cooties, healthy cookies might!

Begin by grinding up 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats. I used my mini food processor again. Then grab a bowl for the rest of the dry ingredients.

Add to the ground oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt and mix well.

To the bowl of the mixer add 1/4 cup butter or butter alternative and beat until fluffy. Then add 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/3 cup Stevia, 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar or sucanat, one large egg, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix well. With the mixer on low add in the dry ingredients until just combined.

This is the magic! We all know dark chocolate is better for us but it has taken some time for dark chocolate to grow on me. This is an excellent recipe to try to get used to the taste of dark chocolate if you are not a fan. Gently stir in about 1/2 the bag.

Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes. They do not flatten out the way regular chocolate chip cookies do. This recipe only makes about 18 cookies so if you need more double it.

Then enjoy these delicious fluffy, soft, moist and healthy little gems! You can eat three of these for about the same amount of calories in one regular chocolate chip cookie. When it comes to cookies three is always better than one!

Even those 6th grade boys all ate the cookies and liked them and even had seconds. If they pass the 6th grade boy test I would say we have a winner!

Here is a condensed version of the recipe in case you wish to print it.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
*3/4 cup rolled oats
*1 cup whole-wheat flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 cup butter, softened or butter substitute
*1/4 cup applesauce
*1/3 cup Stevia
*1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar or sucanat
*1 large egg
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Grind oats in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add applesauce, Stevia, Splenda brown sugar, egg, and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies,  until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 13-15 minutes.