Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vegetarian goulash & sunflower seed cookies

November 5, 2013

You know days where you just don't feel like putting forth much effort into dinner? Days when you are tempted to order in? Today is that day. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to eat which didn't help matters. My will power somehow stayed strong (must be from giving in and eating three cookies before dinner, but we'll get to those cookies a little later) and I decided to try to stick to the challenge.

I looked in the fridge and saw that there was still leftover vegetarian chili. Hmmm. I'm sure the kids wouldn't be thrilled if I said we were having leftovers. What to do. Then it hit me. I was going to remake one of my favorite meals that my mom used to make for me. Goulash. My mom's recipe was made with ground beef, corn, egg noodles, and a tomato sauce. I can do this.

I had the kids pick out what pasta they wanted: veggie spirals. They played in the other room while I got to work. Good thing because then they wouldn't see the chili container come out of the fridge! I put the leftover chili (made from carrots, celery, turnips, onion, leek, garlic, lima beans, chickpeas, red quinoa, home canned tomatoes, tomato sauce & paste) into the food processor. It was still a little thick. I went back to the fridge and saw that there was about 1/3 of a quart of home canned tomatoes. Perfect. I tossed that into the food processor to thin out our "sauce". I steamed cauliflower and sliced up some leftover bread from our dinner out last night. I stirred the sauce into the pasta and then added 1/2 a bag of corn (frozen from farmer's market).

Dinner was a hit! Everyone cleaned their plates and had no suggestions for next time. Score! Ok, now onto the cookies...

I wanted to try to make a healthier cookie. Healthier not healthy. I mean, it still has to taste like a cookie. Oh, and by "I", I really mean the kids. I just supervised but they measured, poured, mixed, and shaped. I found a recipe on dulcedough.com and decided to try to make sunflower seed cookies. We halved the recipe and with half of it we also added in a big handful of dried cranberries. 1/2 cup butter softened (I used vegan), 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds. Mix butter and sugars until fluffy then add egg and vanilla. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Add it to the butter mixture. Stir in oats, coconut, and sunflower seeds. Bake at 350 for 8-11 minutes. I had to bake mine for 14-16 minutes depending on the size of the cookie.

The kids and I really liked them. You definitely need to like sunflower seeds in order to enjoy this cookie. They have a strong taste. However, I normally do not like shredded coconut and I loved it in this cookie. I preferred the batch that had the dried cranberries in it. This is a keeper recipe. I think that next time I will work on making it healthier by maybe using half wheat flour and possibly cutting down on some sugar.

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