- " Where is the monkfish lady?" the fishmonger yelled out into the crowd. I braved the over the top personalities of the guys who sell fish at the Pike Place Market, held up my hand so they could see me, and went up to get my fish.
A mandatory part of my visits to Seattle is a trip to the Market. My sister and I usually just walk around and people watch but this time I actually needed to make a few purchases. I get a little intimidated by the larger than life personalities of the men in orange suits and flying fish but I needed fish for a provencal stew recipe I wanted to make so I went up and asked them if they had any. Success!
For me, trips to Seattle always reinforce the idea of "you are what you eat". There is a prominent culture of eating locally, organically and wisely in this northwest state. From restaurants that boast about the farms that supply their vegetables to the local cheese shop, I've found that Seattlites are very proud of what they eat. On this recent trip to I went to a lecture by Michael Pollan. Ever since I read The Omnivore's Dilemma about 6 years ago I have been his number one fan (along with all the others, I assume, who were as inspired and motivated by the book as me). This time, he spoke about the importance of remembering to eat food, as opposed to eating " edible food like substances". One should eat balanced, real, unprocessed food. Once you have abandoned the packed and processed food look alikes, stop obsessing about the fat content of the individually packaged yogurt you just bought. Eat the whole fat one! That "light and fluffy" yogurt isn't as good for you as you might think. Trying to remove potentially harmful items (fat) and replacing them with equally unhealthy products (sugar) seems silly.
On that note, adding something healthy to a food can never hurt. The other day, I saw my brother in law go to the kitchen and start to take out flour and other ingredients. I never knew he baked so I went over to check out what he was making. Cookies! Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies actually. I looked at the recipe and it was a little more complex than I expected. These had flaxseed meal and brewer's yeast in them. Curious, I googled both ingredients. While I'm still a bit unsure what the brewer's yeast does, the flaxseed meal is a great nutritious addition to the standby recipe. Flaxseeds are high in B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese and very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. I knew some of this, but what I did not know is that flaxseeds need to be ground down to a powder in order for these nutrients to be absorbed. If you eat the seeds whole, the nutrients leave your body the same way the seeds do! The cookies came out of the oven proved that healthy is... tasty! They tasted like great oatmeal chocolate cookies with slightly more depth of flavor. If I can eat an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and help fight against cancer, inflammation and diabetes then OK! I am not sure where he found the recipe so I will call them Andy's healthier oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Andy's Healthier Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source unknown. Try finding it on epicurious.com
1 cup of butter (unsalted and at room temperature)
1 cup of brown sugar - packed
1 cup of sugar
2 tbs of flaxseed meal
4 tbs of water
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups thick cut oats
1 cup chocolate chips ( I was later told by my bother in law and his cousin that one should always double the amount of chocolate chips in a recipe. Clearly)
2 Tbs Brewers Yeast
Preheat your coven to 375. Mix the flaxseed meal and the water and let it stand for a 3-5 minutes. The meal will become almost gelatinous when all the water has soaked in. Cream the butter and sugar and then add the eggs.
Stir the flaxseed meal into the butter mixture and add the vanilla. Beat until well blended. Sift the dry ingredients together, except the oats and chocolate chips.
The recipe calls for adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. This goes against everything I've been taught about baking, so I added the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Stir in the oats and then the chocolate chips. Cover the cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop dough about the size of a tablespoon onto the paper. Bake for about 8-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. These cookies were great when my brother in law made them, and were yummy when I made them. Twice in a row can't be wrong! Give them a try! You'll feel less guilty about eating a cookie now that you know they are good for you.
(Extra points for the person who can tell me what these cookies are actually good for. They have a "special" side effect )