Hi there! I’m so excited to share this one with you! And the next few recipes after this as well. Despite what I’d consider my extensive kitchen acumen, learning how to rethink cooking with an eye-toward more plant-based eating and figuring out how to use different flours in baking feels a little like playing the piano with five broken fingers. Sometimes I really nail it and sometimes I merely stumble through slowly with a metronome and it’s a total flop. I’m searching for my sea legs, especially with baking.
I’ve also been grappling with how best to acknowledge change. A year ago, if you looked in my desk drawer at work, you’d find plastic spoons for my yogurt, gummy bears, and shoes, lots of them– not in the same drawer of course. Now, though, open the drawer and you’ll find a mix of fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast to sprinkle over my salads, metal forks because, like, the environment. You’ll also find a mini Ball jar of ground flax seeds for morning oatmeal, maca powder because in this day and age why wouldn’t we add a natural adaptogen to our oatmeal or coffee (with almond milk, please)? I also have a small box of Brazil nuts from which I grab one a week max for fear of selenium poisoning if I grab too many. And shoes, still. What have I become?! This, from the one who normally orders the rabbit ragu with buttery sauce AND the pâté. And a cheese plate with the charcuterie too. It’s tough to reconcile. I was so much less embarrassed about a bag of gummy bears.
In my quest to figure out the connection between food and well-being, I stumbled upon Jessica Murnane’s podcast. She was a resource for discovering so many other really cool plant-based wellness advocates, entrepreneurs and athletes. Jessica is so down to earth and also figured this plant thing out for herself coming from an “eat anything” kind of background. She too has noted that eating plant-based and whole foods has expanded her palate rather than constricted it.
As I started to feel less panicked about all the things I didn’t know, I reached out to Jessica to thank her for doing what she does. I had no idea she was in the midst of writing a cookbook! She so lovingly sent me one. As it’s release date is today I’m ordering a few to give as gifts to friends and family who I really think will love it. Her whole philosophy is that everyone should try to do something good for him/herself by eating a plant-based meal for at least one meal a day. She explains why in a primer at the beginning of the book. Her cookbook, One Part Plant, is aptly named. It’s beautiful and accessible, stunningly designed and never judgmental. Her narrative is reassuring, encouraging and honest.
Aside from the beautiful pictures, varied recipes and intuitive organization of this gorgeous book, my favorite part is the way it’s written. She has a “notes from the field” section regarding people’s reaction to change, the minefield of eating out, how to deal with family holidays, and so many other bumps in the road that come up regarding food preferences and choices. Kind of like if someone were to open my desk drawer and see powders and seeds instead of gummy bears. My favorite note from the field is about “‘Shine Blockers’ And How to Deal with People Who Aren’t Down with Your Plant Eating.” It’s funny and true.
Recipes like these chocolate chip cookies don’t hurt either. They’re luscious and nutty, melty and satisfying. They take 10 mins to throw together and 10 mins to cook. Don’t tell anyone that they’re gluten-free, refined sugar-free and vegan because they wouldn’t know otherwise. In fact, if you said it to me less than a year ago, I’d probably roll my eyes and opt for the “real” cookies instead. I’ve made these about 3 times in the past two weeks and I just cannot get enough.
There’s so much good stuff in this book, especially for weeknight cooking. Her timing couldn’t have been better. To bring it back around, sometimes I think the best way to acknowledge change is to just own it. Be honest about it, live it and forgive yourself if you fall short of your goals and don’t meet other people’s standards. Keep your intention for change in mind. It’ll lead you to things like these perfect cookies. Have a great week!
CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
- 1 tbs flax meal
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks or dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make a flax egg: mix the flax meal and water in a small bowl o glass and set it aside for at least 10 minutes.
Whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda in a medium-size bowl. Combine the maple syrup, vanilla and fax egg in a large bowl. Begin to pour the flour mix into the bowl of liquids a little at a time, stirring as you go. When it is all incorporated, pour in the coconut oil and chocolate chips and give it a few more stirs.
Use a tablespoon to drop the dough onto the prepared sheet. The cookies won’t spread a lot so you can put them close-ish together. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then check on them. They should be slightly brown on top and still feel a little bit doughy. If they’re not there yet, you can bake them for a minute or two longer, but you don’t want to overcook these. After they’ve cooled, they’ll haden a bit. Store them refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week or in the freezer for even longer.