This recipe for gluten-free coffee almond cookies is ridiculously easy, and the results are ridiculously good.

coffeealmondcookies

These are made with no flour at all, so they don’t contain gluten (or empty calories, for that matter). Ground almonds take the place of the flour, so they’ve got lots of nutrients and fiber. They are also quite low in carbohydrates, and very low in fat.

Given that they’re pretty good for you, I was almost surprised by how tasty they are! My kids loved them, too. These gluten-free gems make a great light dessert or snack; I venture to say a couple of these could even pass for breakfast…

Coffee Almond Gluten-Free Cookies

Adapted from the recipe for Hazelnut Espresso Cookies in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Clean Eating magazine
Makes 15-30 cookies, depending on how big you make them

Ingredients:

*2 cups almonds or almond flour
*1 tablespoon freeze-dried regular or decaf organic coffee (I use Mount Hagen brand) or use espresso powder
*3/4 cup organic sugar
*1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
*4 large egg whites
*1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Process almonds, coffee, sugar, and salt in a high speed blender or food processor until fine. Transfer to a mixing bowl. If using almond flour, you can skip the blender/food processor and mix the ingredients right in your bowl.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff.

3. Fold nut mixture into the egg whites. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and mix just until blended.

4. Spoon the batter onto your cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

chocalmondcookies

This healthy cookie recipe is linked to Slight Indulgent Tuesdays. Head over to Amy Green’s blog, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, to see the other submissions!

Highlights of My Vacation

I didn’t cook much over the last 10 days. It’s a strange fact, but it’s true.

So what did I do? I spent time with family and friends, I cleaned my house, I read a few books, and I coughed. I coughed a lot (the cough is much, much better now, if you’re wondering).

And because one of my goals for 2010 (besides eating a healthy breakfast every day!) is to become a better photographer, I also spent a lot of time “playing” with my camera,.

To that end, I decided to get more active on Flickr and to do Project 365, too…

So while I don’t have time to share a recipe today, I thought I’d share a few of the photos I took during my vacation.

Favorite Holiday Week Moments/Photos

1. For Christmas Eve, my mom made this incredible Buche de Noel Recipe from Martha Stewart. I am so impressed at the patience she has for projects like these…it was delicious and really, really beautiful, and she doesn’t even consider herself a baker. Great job, Mom:

momsyulelog

2. A few days after Christmas, my daughter and I spent a day together in New York City. We had a blast. Here’s a view of Bloomingdale’s (from across the street, which just happens to be the location of Dylan’s Candy Bar…I swear we didn’t go in ;)

bloomies

3. My brother and sister-in-law and their two kids came to visit from Colorado for a few days. We had a great time. My niece and nephew are too cute for words…here’s my adorable niece:

jasmineamdkristen

4. New Year’s Eve was a fairly mellow affair, and on New Year’s day, I took my daughter sledding…she hates having her picture taken, but was having so much fun that I managed to get this one, which I absolutely love:

maddietubing4

5. Sunday was a day of complete rest for my family. We went night skiing in truly frigid weather on Saturday, so the last day of vacation was spent doing some serious lounging. No one was more photogenic yesterday than my dog Jake, so it’s his picture that is my final one to share today:

jake10209

Recipes will return tomorrow, I promise!

Happy New Year! I hope you had as nice and restful a week as I did.

ochazuke recipe

I don’t generally venture into resolution territory, but this year I decided I really need to do something about my “breakfast problem”. For several reasons (the main ones being that I am not generally hungry first thing in the morning and I am usually rushing to get my kids ready for school), I almost always skip breakfast opting to instead eat my first meal of the day at 11 or later.

With my background in nutrition, I know this isn’t good for you (it’s problematic for your blood sugar and metabolism), yet I still constantly struggle with the whole breakfast “thing”. So my main New Year’s resolution is to eat a healthy breakfast everyday within an hour of waking up.

Recently it occurred to me that ochazuke, one of my favorite dishes from time I spent in Japan, would be a great breakfast solution for me because it’s so quick to make and if you use good ingredients, it can be an incredibly well balanced nutritious meal.

Ochazuke is usually made with white rice and tea, and is often topped with some sort of fish as well as pickles and other salty “stuff”. My variation uses brown rice, so it’s higher in nutrients and fiber, and I use edamame and egg for protein. The green tea boosts your antioxidant intake, the seaweed is great for your skin and hair, and when topped with some naturally pickled ginger and toasted sesame seeds, it’s a really tasty savory breakfast.

You can vary this pretty much infinitely: add more veggies (different seaweeds, cucumber and/or carrot cut into matchsticks, or diced avocado would be nice), use a different grain (quinoa or millet anyone?), or choose another protein (some leftover grilled salmon or any other fish comes to mind). I like this simple version, though, because it’s easy to have frozen edamame, leftover rice and cooked eggs at the ready. You could also forgo the egg and just use the edamame if you’re looking for a vegan option.

Egg Ochazuke Recipe

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

* 1/2-3/4 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
* 1/2 cup cooked shelled edamame (young green soybeans)
* 1-2 soft or hard boiled eggs (or use a poached or fried egg or two)
* 1 tablespoon all-natural pickled ginger, minced (I like The Ginger People brand)
* 2-3 Tb. rehydrated wakame seaweed and/or 1/2 sheet nori (toasted seaweed used for sushi), cut or torn into strips or small pieces
* 1-2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
* 1/2-1 cup hot green tea (sencha, hojicha or genmaicha are best; matcha is probably not the best choice)
* pinch black lava sea salt or other coarse sea salt to taste (probably not necessary if using wakame in your ochazuke as it's pretty salty)

Directions:

1. Mix brown rice and edamame in a small bowl.

2. Sprinkle pickled ginger over rice/edamame.

3. Place egg(s) on top (slice in half if using soft or hard boiled egg), and top with the nori and toasted sesame seeds.

4. Pour in the green tea and sprinkle with the salt.

brown rice and egg ochazuke

Just because I’m suggesting this for breakfast doesn’t mean you have to eat it for breakfast, though. You can enjoy ochazuke any time of the day; it makes a great light lunch, dinner or snack, too!