Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies >> Guinea Pigging Green

Does anyone else here partake in stress-baking? I know I sure do. When the stress hits, you’ll find me scrolling through one of my many Pinterest boards for a good bread or dessert recipe. Which is exactly where I was last week when I encountered a Pin with the mysterious title “Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

The description reads:

“This isn’t just genius for a vegan chocolate chip cookie or in spite of it. This cookie, which comes from Ovenly founders Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin, can rest entirely on its own merits.”

Yay, secretly vegan things! That’s totally our jam here at GPG, along with not-so-secretly vegan things.

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies >> Guinea Pigging Green

The best part of vegan cookie dough batter? You can completely gorge yourself on the cookie dough without any fear whatsoever of salmonella. That’s our jam too. And gorge myself I definitely did, a bit TOO much (as usual) so that when the cookies came out of the oven I barely wanted any of them. Luckily, they’re just as good cooled as they are warm, still soft and chewy and delicious.

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Food52

Note: in the original recipe, it strictly instructs you to refrigerate the dough for 12-24 hours before baking which I dutifully complied with… after baking two test cookies right away. The ones that were baked after refrigeration were definitely better, so keep this step in mind!

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies >> Guinea Pigging Green

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp canola oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp water
  • Flaky salt for sprinkling on top

Method

Mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and stir to coat them in the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, stir together the sugars, oil and water until fully combined and smooth. Whip it real good.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold together until you can’t see any flour – but don’t over mix. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 12-24 hours (I did it for about 18).

Preheat the oven to 350F and line trays with parchment paper. Scoop the cookies in balls and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until just golden at the edges. Don’t overbake! I accidentally overbaked one batch and they got a little hard on the outside.

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies >> Guinea Pigging Green

Homemade Vinaigrette: A Love Story

Homemade Vinaigrette >> Guinea Pigging Green

The first book I read in 2016 was Dinner: A Love Story. I’d never been much of a reader of the blog by the same name, but I adored the book. It was chock-full of not only recipes, but also ideas for how to throw lovely (dinner) parties and how to make everyday life a little more special.

One of those ideas was to make your own vinaigrette, something I’d never really done before. Honestly? I thought it would be good, but maybe not worth the extra work it would take to make salad dressing from scratch. Well I tried it once in late January, and have probably made it at least five times since then. It’s really that good. Not to mention that it falls into every one of the categories that all my favourite recipes (and most of the recipes on this site) share: easy, simple ingredients only, takes less than 10 minutes to make, veg-friendly.

Homemade Vinaigrette >> Guinea Pigging Green

I’ve also been throwing chopped-up ends of loaves of bread into the oven with a little oil, salt, and pepper for 15 minutes to make my own croutons and yes indeed, I feel very fancy. Having a jar of lovely pink vinaigrette in the fridge and a jar of croutons in the cabinet makes me feel this awesome sense of abundance and a little spike of joy every time I see them. Plus, of course, they make my salads ten times better.

Clearly, these days I’m all about tiny little kitchen tricks that make you feel like a grown-ass person with your life together… at least in the salad department. Join me!

Lovely Vinaigrette

Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Dijon (or other fancy) mustard
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • Squeeze of lime (or lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Dried or fresh herbs (I use oregano and thyme but chives would be awesome in this!)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I usually use canola)

Homemade Vinaigrette >> Guinea Pigging Green

Put everything into a jar and shake it like crazy! Use it to make your salads just a little bit fancier and (more importantly) tastier. My current favourite is spinach with cherry tomatoes, red onion, croutons, and this vinaigrette.

Homemade Vinaigrette >> Guinea Pigging Green

Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo

vegan cauliflower alfredo

I’m not a huge fan of recipes, because I lack the patience involved in carefully measuring everything out. I prefer meals that are difficult to get wrong, and which can easily be upgraded with whatever veggies I have on hand.

Last night, with a head of broccoli and cauliflower in our fridge, I decided to make a dressed-up cauliflower alfredo.

My advice for anyone just entering the world of plant-based cooking is to not overthink it, and to learn how to recreate your favourite recipes without needing processed, pre-packaged, soy-based dairy and meat alternatives. (For the record, I sometimes eat those foods too, but am in favour of eating whole foods, often)

vegan cauliflower alfredo

For the sauce, I blended up:

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into large pieces, boiled for about 10 minutes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste
  • 1 cup of the water used to boil the cauliflower

To dress it up, I baked the following at 350 degrees:

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped

I used spaghetti, which is what I had on hand. I also happened to have some of Doug McNish’s Pumpkin Seed Parmesan, which I added because I love the texture.

The whole meal takes just over 20 minutes to whip-up, and I made enough sauce for about 4 or 5 full dinners.

What are your favourite plant-based substitutes? I’m crazy about butternut squash mac and cheese, but after tonight I might be adding this alfredo pasta to the dinner rotation.

— Laura

vegan cauliflower alfredo