Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

I recently made some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and have been asked repeatedly for the recipe from everyone who tried them, so here it is! I found the original recipe online and tweaked it. There are two versions and both are not only delicious, but healthy!

Version 1: Giving Potbelly a run for it’s money

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (you can use regular flour if you want)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground flax meal + ¼ cup water (or 1 egg)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces dark chocolate

Version 2: Uber Healthy/Vegan (AND YUMMY). Don’t let the word ‘healthy’ scare you.

½ cup apple sauce (1 individual snack-pack container)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (you can use regular flour if you want)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground flax meal + ¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets

2. Place butter in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Melt in microwave, just until completely melted. Remove from microwave and add brown sugar. Stir until smooth.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flours, baking soda & salt. Stir into butter sugar mixture along with egg, and vanilla. Take a blender or dicer and put chocolate chips in it. Blend until you get the desired size. I blend it until I have a small layer of chocolate dust at the bottom (This mixes into the batter and disperses the chocolate flavor). Fold in chopped chocolate and mix well.

4. Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until they appear to be set and not gooey in the middles (I take them out when they are a little gooey to make for chewier cookies once they cool). If you choose to use apple sauce instead of butter, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and watch carefully! My kitchen filled up with smoke but the cookies were unharmed.

Southpaw’s Organic Grill

Southpaw’s Organic Grill

I got the chance to visit a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try for a while now. On my way to and from my internship last summer, I would always pass “Southpaw’s” and wonder, “is that a restaurant or a animal clinic?”. Turns out it’s a a really good restaurant serving creative, fresh, and healthy food. The concept from started by Reza Anvarian who was born in Azerbaijan. He moved to the States, became a champion boxer, and decided to open a restaurant, opening Southpaw’s Organic Cafe’ in Preston center (and that’s the short story). He later teamed up with TJ Frank, a frat brother of my boss, and opened another Southpaw’s in Uptown. The concept is simple: serve good, organic, and healthy food without added sugars, syrups, nitrates, or preservatives. The atmosphere is friendly and CLEAN. A lot of stainless steel and deep reds make the space very cool and very comfortable. The menus differ slightly between locations (The one in uptown in a “grill” while the one in Preston center is considered a “cafe”) and everything is pretty darn good. What I like most about the menu is that there are no surprises. The descriptions of the menu items leave no room for imagination and tell you like it is. No guessing. They have some killer smoothies with additive options for energy, detox, or weight loss. They also have a whole section for gourmet grilled cheeses (like the “Toastie Nut”, which features melted gouda cheese and pecans) as well as gourmet PB&J’s (like the “Soopaman”, featuring PBJ with vanilla-almond granola, sliced bananas, and agave nector). They have  large selection of signature salads, entrees, and sandwichs, and burgers, as well a a customizable sandwich menu. When I went I ordered the Chicken ‘n; Tabbouleg pita sandwich. It was light and delicious but what I liked most about my meal was the side. Instead of the usual side of fries or chips you would get at any other restaurant,  at Southpaw’s you get a good-sized helping of freshly cut fruit. I was greeted by the freshest pear slices I’ve had in a long time. They are also pretty affordable considering the quality and location and promise a healthy (as in the “appropriate amount of food”, not “super large”, sorry boys!)portion size. Not to mention, they deliver (locally)! I highly recommend checking this place out. Just make sure to go for breakfast or lunch, because Southpaw’s is closed for dinner.