Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let’s get real for a minute. Is there anything better than a warm chocolate chip cookie? Mmm hmmm. That’s that I thought.

My favorite cookies are chewy on the inside and crisp around the edges. These vegan chocolate chip cookies are just that, especially when they first come out of the oven. Mmmmm, I can practically taste them…

Okay, that’s not quite true…I can literally taste them because I’m eating one as I write this recipe.

They will start to lose their crispiness after a day or so, but they’ll stay soft and chewy for several days. Sometimes I even keep them in the freezer if I’m in the mood for crunchy cookies (or if I just need to keep them out of eyesight). Enjoy!

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings: 12 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 TBL flax meal
  • Water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (room temperature, not melted)
  • 2 TBL olive oil or neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or regular, if not vegan)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat sheet
  2. Add the flax meal to a 1/4 cup measuring cup and add just enough water to fill the cup. Set aside to rest for at least 3 minutes
  3. In the meantime, combine the coconut oil, olive oil (or neutral oil) and coconut sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until well combined (there will still be some small chunks of coconut oil)
  4. Add the maple syrup, flax mixture and vanilla and mix well
  5. Add the brown rice flour, 1/4 tsp salt and baking powder and stir until combined
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Drop heaping spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, giving the cookies plenty of space to spread out. Sprinkle with a tiny pinch of sea salt
  8. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until just set (they may look underdone, but you don’t want to overcook them). Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool
  9. Best if enjoyed right after baking (when they’re nice and crisp), but will keep at room temperature for a few days (they’ll remain nice and chewy)

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Step aside, store-bought potato chips! These simple, homemade chips will satisfy your crunchy and salty cravings without compromising your healthy diet.

It takes only 6 ingredients to make these crispy sweet and salty chips, and they pair perfectly with dips like Overnight Cashew “Cheese” Sauce. Or, pile them high with beans, sauteed onions, jalapenos and guacamole to make healthy vegetarian nachos!

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Servings: 3-4 snack-sized portions

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F
  2. Using a chef’s knife or mandolin, cut the sweet potatoes into very thin slices (about 1/8 inch)
  3. Arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer on 1-2 baking sheets (see photo below), making sure they’re not overlapping (this will cause the potatoes to steam, which will prevent them from becoming crunchy)
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with a healthy pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through to help them bake evenly
  6. Continue baking for another 5-15 minutes, checking every 2 minutes to see if any chips are ready to come out of the oven. They will be ready when the bottoms are dark golden brown, and the edges are crisp
  7. As the chips are ready to come out of the oven, transfer them to a plate (in a single layer) to cool
  8. Best when served immediately. They’ll keep for 1-2 days in the refrigerator, but they’ll lose their crunchiness within a few hours of baking

Note: We keep a very close eye on the chips during the last 10 minutes of cooking, removing them one at a time as they reach the perfect crispness. Some chips will be ready before the others, and they’ll burn easily if left in the oven for too long. This part takes some time and attention, but it’s worth the effort!

Countdown to 50K: Training Weeks 16-22

Let the countdown begin! We’re just days away from the The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K (on April 28, 2018), and Ironman Canada is just around the corner on July 29. To prepare for both races, we created an 8-month training regimen. To learn more about how we created this plan, check out “Ironman/Ultramarathon Training Plan: Weeks 1-5.”

Below is our training plan for the final 7 weeks leading up to the North Face race. We’re right in the middle of Week 22, trying to rest up and stay loose before the big race on Saturday morning. What am I most excited about leading up to the race?

  • Attending the pre-race Q&A with one of me and Tyler’s ultra-running heroes, Dean Karnazes
  • Spending race day out in nature
  • Saltines and soda! I only drink soda on race day, and boy is there something exciting about getting free soda and crackers at the aid stations during a race
  • Cheering on other runners as they cross the finish line (it feels just as good to cheer for others as it does to be cheered on ourselves)
  • Doing it all side-by-side with Tyler, the best running partner (and life partner) in the world

8 Month Ironman/Ultramarathon Training Plan

Training period: Weeks 16-22

Time until Ironman: 3 months

Time until 50K: 4 days

 

 

Please note: I am not a licensed personal trainer or medical professional. Training plans, exercises, and related content on this website were derived from my own personal research and experience. While these routines have proven to be effective for me, you should always listen to your body and seek guidance from a medical professional before beginning a new exercise routine. 

Overnight Cashew “Cheese” Sauce

If you’re looking for a dairy-free (or just plain delicious) cheese substitute, you’ve come to the right place! From lasagna to dipping sauce, to nachos and quesadillas, this sauce is an awesome substitute for melty, gooey cheese.

One of our favorite dinners is a big spread of roasted vegetables and fresh bread, served with Overnight Cashew “Cheese” Sauce and Romesco Sauce. We’ll easily work our way through a huge plate of vegetables without thinking twice about it!

After trying this base recipe, you can create endless variations by replacing the chilies with your favorite herbs and spices. I often experiment with adding chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and even fresh cilantro.

Overnight Cashew “Cheese” Sauce

Servings: About 2-3 cups of sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 package (12 oz) roasted cashews
  • Water
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (start with 1/2 tsp if your cashews are already salted)
  • 2 TBL apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBL canned diced green chilies (I prefer the hot version)

Instructions

  1. 1-2 days before you plan to make the sauce, put the cashews in a sealed container and add enough water to cover them completely. Keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the sauce (no less than 16 hours later)
  2. When you’re ready to make the sauce, transfer the cashews and the soaking water to a high-speed blender along with the remaining ingredients
  3. Blend on high until very smooth, adding more water as needed until you reach the consistency you like (I usually add about 1/3 cup of additional water)
  4. Feel free to add more seasoning to taste, or more nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor
  5. Enjoy as a dipping sauce for bread and vegetables, use as a cheese replacement in quesadillas and other dishes, or pour over homemade vegetarian nachos!

“Fancy” Popcorn

It’s snack time! When Tyler first introduced me to “Fancy” Popcorn, I was skeptical. Why would you put spices on popcorn? In my mind, popcorn had two flavor options: Cardboard or Fake Butter Flavor.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Add a dash of this and a pinch of that, and suddenly popcorn becomes exciting!

My biggest piece of advice is to start with organic popcorn (or all-natural, if organic isn’t available). Food manufacturers sneak additives and artificial flavorings into most packaged popcorn, and you don’t want to end up eating a science experiment. As a rule of thumb, look at the ingredients on the label, and don’t eat anything with ingredients that are hard to pronounce or that sound “sciency”.

Enough preaching. Let the munching begin!

“Fancy” Popcorn

Servings: About 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 oz bag organic popcorn (or about 15 cups of plain, air-popped popcorn)
  • 1-2 TBL extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (if the popcorn isn’t already salted)

Instructions

  • Prepare the popcorn as instructed on the packaging
  • Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir gently to distribute
  • Add the spices and stir well to evenly coat the popcorn
  • Feel free to add more spices to taste, and enjoy!