Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GoLean Crunch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

As a fledgling child, my first signature dish was peanut butter cookies.  They were nothing fancy.  In fact, I used the recipe on the back of a Peter Pan peanut butter jar.  The fact that I made food that was edible and other people liked it meant the world to me back then.  Years later, I still yearn for compliments from honest critics so I guess not much has changed, eh?  Not exactly.

These peanut butter cookies are nothing like the sugary, fatty cookies from my youth.  These cookies are filled with fiber and protein.  They're reduced fat and quite delicious.  WhoNu?

These cookies are inspired by this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Granola Cookies from Food and Wine, but they are very much my own.

GoLean Crunch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


  • 2 cups Kashi GoLean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax Cereal
  • 1 cup reduced fat peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Transfer 1 cup of granola to a food processor and pulse until finely ground; transfer to a medium bowl.  Add the peanut butter, egg, salt, and chocolate chips.  Stir the mixture until smooth.  Add remaining granola.

Form cookie dough into balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.  Flatten the ball with the tines of a fork or hand press to about 3-inch rounds.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet.

In a small saucepan, heat chocolate and almond milk over low heat, stirring continuously, until smooth and melted.  Remove from heat and immediately dip the cookies in the melted chocolate.  Allow chocolate to harden.  Refrigerate if necessary.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gulf Coast Faux BLT Salad with Mussels

I bring it back to the bottom of the map (Ooowee)
I bring it back to the bottom of the map (Ooowee)
I bring it back to the bottom of the map (Ooowee)
I bring it back to the bottom of the...
- Lil' Wayne

This salad is a homage to the U.S. Gulf Coast, the mysterious and quirky region at the bottom of the map.  While the Gulf is admittedly still reeling under the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and the recent oil spill, tourist and locals in many parts of the region continue to "laissez les bons temps rouler," otherwise known as, let the good times roll.  This is most evident in the food and passion for cooking throughout the Gulf.  After all, the Gulf is a region with an abundant food supply that also loves to eat.  Chef Mario Batali once exclaimed, "The Gulf Coast has the potential to create a culinary raw ingredient paradise that smart cooks can capitalize on."  I would most definitely agree and that's exactly why I thought back to the Gulf Coast as I created this salad.

Pork, fish, and shellfish were the first three ingredients that came to mind as I began to think of regional foods from the Gulf Coast, and I thought how much fun it would be to create a faux BLT salad with shellfish.  And viola... This salad is an explosion of flavor with smoky, garlicky charbroiled tofu, juicy green roma tomatoes, citrusy mussels, and crisp frisee and arugula lettuce tossed in a lemon and pecorino dressing.

Gulf Coast Faux BLT Salad with Mussels


  • 1/2 dozen fresh shucked mussels
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 package smoked tofu
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated aged Pecorino
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 green roma tomato, cubed
  • 3/4 cup frisee lettuce, loosely packed
  • 3/4 cup arugula lettuce, loosely packed

Toss mussels in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Set aside.  

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to broil on high temperature setting.  In a small bowl combine liquid smoke and garlic.  Set aside.  Cut tofu in 1" thick rectangular strips.  Toss tofu in liquid smoke mixture and broil on a baking sheet for 4-6 minutes on each side until lightly charred.  Allow to cool and cut tofu strips into smaller pieces, about the size of bacon crumbles.  Remove from oven and set aside.  

In a mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup water with lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper to taste.  Stir while slowly incorporating grated cheese to create a slurry-like consistency.  Finish with olive oil.  Add salt to taste.  

In a large bowl, combine salad, tomatoes, 1/4 cup of tofu, mussels and 2 - 3 tablespoons of salad dressing.  Mix to combine and transfer to a dinner plate.  

Servings: 1 with leftover salad dressing and tofu 

Salad dressing recipe from Lupa in Manhattan by way of GQ Magazine: http://www.gq.com/how-to/rest-of-your-life/201206/dinner-party-guide#slide=8