Saucy: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip PowerBalls

We proudly present another episode of our new HCC TV Show: Saucy where we provide practical answers to you culinary queries with some sass and some laughs.

This episode is something most of us can relate to: Sugar Cravings!

The issue is especially rampant this time of year with cookies baiting and tempting us at every turn!

Our motto? If you can’t beat ‘em, join em!

We came up with a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, no-bake cookie that’s simple to make, satisfying and surprisingly delicious.

Let’s kick it back to our viewer.  Here’s what she had to say…

Dear Robyn + Quinn, My sweet tooth is out of control.  Like, I literally need something sweet every day around 4pm.  It’s so hard because the office candy bowl is always stocked full of Snicker’s minis and I have this one co-worker who is constantly bringing in cookies.  Why is she trying to destroy me?!  Is there something I can have to satisfy that sweet craving that isn’t a piece of fruit?  That never seems to do the trick.

Help!
Nicole

Well Nicole, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  We feel you so hard and sincerely hope this helps…

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip PowerBalls
Servings: about 12 balls
Time: 10 minutes
NOTE: If you’re someone who doesn’t like a ton of sweets hanging around you can half this recipe like we did in the video.  If you want to share, make the full recipe (or even double it and store some in your freezer!).

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsps. dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  •  ½ tsp cinnamon
  •  ¼ tsp sea salt

Directions

Stir together oats and almond butter.  Then add in maple syrup, seeds, chocolate, cinnamon and salt.

Mix until thoroughly combined (you can just go ahead and use your hands!). Add some more oats if mixture feels too wet.

Spoon out 1 tablespoons’ worth and firmly shape into a ball. You might need to firmly squeeze them into a ball so they keep their shape

Place on a container and put in the fridge to “set” for 30 minutes.

But we really need to know, what are your favorite healthy holiday treats?  Share the goodness in the comments below…

 

Dip, Baby Dip

by Health Coach Quinn

Last year I had my first ever foray into latke making.  Not sure how I’ve gone my whole culinary life without making them.  It’s a travesty, I know.  But luckily it has been remedied.

In typical HCQ fashion I needed to test the crap out of the recipe.  When I make something new I need to get inside the recipe.  Try a whole bunch of different swaps and really put on my scientist hat to understand how and why the recipe works.  Then I can intuit my way through it and make upgrades as I see fit.

This time started on the traditional route, using my grandmother’s recipe which comes straight from the Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook, then went rogue by adding in some sweet potato.  Both efforts were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself, and I fully intend to keep testing the recipe with other add-ins such as parsnip and celery root.  But in this culinary adventure the real standout stars were the accoutrements.  

I’m an accessories girl.  If latkes are jeans and a t-shirt, I threw down some serious statement jewelry with my sauces… Here’s what happened

(the options look limitless!  That beautiful latke is like a blank canvas just waiting to get sauced!)

Homemade Chunky Apple & Pear Sauce
This one is seriously heaven.  It would be amazing with pork chops, in some yogurt or just on its own as an awesome autumn snack.  Try it.  People WILL fall in love with you if you feed them this apple (& pear) sauce.  Promise.

  • 2 apples (pink lady or honey crisp)
  • 1 pear (anjou or bartlett)
  • 1 cup organic apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a few sprinkles of freshly ground nutmeg (it’s gotta be fresh!)

Directions

Peel, core and dice the apples and pears as finely as you can.  Put them in a pan with apple cider over medium-high heat.

Stir occasionally as the cider boils.  The apples and pears will begin to break down after about 810 minutes.  Help that process along by using a potato masher.  Just go in there and give them a nice smash every couple of minutes.

After about 10-15 minutes (depending on how small you cut your pieces) you will see that the apples and pears are starting to break down into mush.  Add in the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Give it a stir and continue to cook, mashing occasionally until you have a nice, yet smooth chunky texture.

 

Maple Cinnamon Cream
This one is heavenly when paired with the Apple (& Pear) Sauce.  It’s also a fab dessert on its own.  If you’re someone who loves that sour cream texture with your latkes but would rather keep it sweet than savory, this is your jammm.

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Put everything into a bowl and mix well.  Garnish with a little extra dash of cinnamon.

 

Lemon Dill Yogurt
This one is kind of like raita minus the cucumber.  Super light and refreshing.  It’s great for cutting through the fat of the latkes.  The sheep’s milk yogurt adds a little something extra, plus it tends to be easier to digest than regular cow’s milk yogurt (for anyone out there with dairy sensitivity)

  • 1 cup sheep’s milk yogurt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoons freshly minced dill

Directions

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Gluten Free Orange & Sage Quinoa Stuffing

This recipe has all the flavor a classic Thanksgiving stuffing…but won’t leave you with a raging gluten hangover.

Because so many of our Campers avoid “the glu” (our sometimes code-name for gluten) we wanted to give you a Thanksgiving option that has all the flavors and fixins’ you’ll  find in a traditional stuffing but give it a totally whole-grain, healthified makeover.

Preeeetty sure we nailed it with this one.  What do you think?

quinoa stuffing

Gluten Free Orange Quinoa and Sage Stuffing
Servings: 6-8
Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 cups quinoa, well rinsed
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp dried sage OR 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp dried parsley OR ¼ cup chopped fresh
  • ½ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (can use white button, baby bellas or any kind)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for cooking plus more quinoa
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

*Note: save a little parsley, zest and walnuts for garnishing at the end

Directions

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot.  Then add your quinoa, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed (quinoa will continue to bake in oven so it’s okay if it’s a little wetter than usual).

In a separate pan heat extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat.  Sauté onions with garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.

Add celery, mushrooms and herbs and season generously with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook an additional 5-6 minutes (until mushrooms begin to brown).

Toss cooked veggies and herbs into a baking dish with quinoa, orange zest and walnuts and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Garnish with an additional sprinkle of parsley, zest and walnuts and serve.

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

By Quinn

I’ve found that some of the most delicious food is often the simplest.  This easy and elegant fish recipe hardly has anything to it – the only thing you need is some super fresh wild caught fish.  From there, it’s about observing your each filet as it cooks in order to bring it to prepare it perfectly.

If time is your issue, put your excuses away sister because this whole meal takes no more than 10-minutes of preparation and it tastes like a $30 dish from a fancy NYC restaurant.  

Don’t sweat if your fish is slightly over or under cooked the first time you make it. It will be better the second time.  Promise.  That’s how you learn to cook.  It’s all about trial and error.

Just making the effort to put a homemade meal on the table is an incredible act of self care.

And love, well, that’s always delicious.

chilean sea bass 2

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass
Servings: 2
Time: 10 minutes

  • 2 filets of Wild Caught Chilean Sea Bass
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 a lemon or lime (optional)

 Directions

Take your fish out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, even if it’s just out for a few minutes, that’s great.

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat with 1-2 tablespoons on extra virgin olive oil.  The amount that you use depends on the size of your skillet since the oil will spread out.  If you’re using a smaller pan, you can use less oil.  Larger pan, more oil.

Generously salt the fish on both sides, but of course you want more on the non-skin side.

When the oil is hot, but not smoking put in the fish, skin side up.  Allow it to cook for about 3-6 minutes.  Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish.

Just be very aware.  Watch as the color changes.  It will go from cloudy to solid. When it is 90% cooked through, flip it over and cook the skin side for 1-2 minutes.

I love the skin, there are so many good fats in there but if it’s soggy, it doesn’t takes so good, so you want to cook it just a bit.

At the end, squeeze 1/2 a lemon or lime over both filets.  Best served immediately.

We recommend pairing this with a simple salad like THIS ONE or a great veggie dish like THESE.

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How to Talk To Your Farmer

{Re-blogged from Health Coach Quinn}

I talk to a lot of people who are intimidated by farmer’s markets.  They feel like they don’t quite know what questions to ask, who to buy from and end up getting totally overwhelmed by the process.

First thing to note is: it’s up to you to get the conversation going.  

Most farmers are incredibly intelligent, have copious amounts of information about their crops and could talk ad nauseum about them…if you show a little interest.

They are so entrenched in what they do that they assume you know what they know.  Like, if someone asks about your job, you’re not going to immediately offer detailed information about how exactly you do what you do…  People need to ask for it.

Here is your simple guide to get the convo going with your local farmer.  Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question!

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The Basics

  • Do you use any pesticides or herbicides in your field? (just because a farm is not certified organic doesn’t mean they don’t follow organic standards.  It’s always best to just ask!)
  • What’s the freshest today?
  • What is the most ripe? (especially if you’re talking about fruit)
  • What items do you recommend?

A little more in-depth

  • When was this harvested? (harvested=picked)
  • How can I prepare this? (let them give you some ideas, they are happy to share!)
  • How should I store this? (Importanté!)
  • How much longer will this be in season? (that’s an advanced level question)

Your farmer is not some serious, socially inept weird-o.  They want to chat with you!  But they don’t want to assume that you know nothing, so it’s on you to engage them.  Also, a lot of people who choose to work on their own tend to be introverts.

Don’t be afraid to engage them in conversation about what they do and how they grow/raise their food.  Be interested, be curious, be whoever you are.

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All people like to talk about themselves.  Feel free to ask questions like:

  • How long have you been farming?
  • What got you into it?
  • What is your favorite vegetable/fruit/cut of meat/dairy product that you have?

Of course if they are super busy you don’t want to barrage them with small talk.  But these are people who have dedicated their entire lives to this.

Farming isn’t a 9-5 “job”.  It’s a lifestyle, a labor or love, and the people who devote their lives to this are proud and passionate about what they do.

Any other questions you think are pertinent?  Please add to the list in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you!