Vegan Caramel Apple Stacks and Chickpea Salad

It’s been a little over 2 weeks since I left my “real job” and started working from home full time. I wake up not knowing quite what day it is; and don’t really care either, take the dogs for a little walk, make a smoothie, and settle in my office for a couple of hours to write the day’s post; as I’m doing now, catch up on email and Facebook/Twitter messages, and plan for the day ahead.

Up until this point in the day, I’ve done everything that I would have done had I still had a full-time job. It’s when I’m done all of these things at around 9am that I begin to feel guilty for playing hooky, where I feel like I should be somewhere, working for someone… but I’m not. I’ve cheated the system. This is my job now. I get this big Grinch smile across my face and continue about my day by heading to the kitchen to cook a little, jumping on a conference call with potential sponsors, planning recipes, or sketching photo composition plans. Whatever I decide to do, it’s all on my own time and all in the name of my own business.

It’s too cool!

Yesterday, I was feeling a bit snacky after my morning smoothie so decided to make a couple of post-breakfast cookies. It was that or a quinoa flake bake, but I’ve been having a lot of those lately, so decided to try something new. I’m not really sure what defines a post-breakfast cookie, the idea just came to me and from experience, sometimes random ideas are best left unquestioned and just followed through on.

What I do know is that these cookies aren’t as sweet as your average cookie, aren’t as large, but just as tasty. They’re 50 calories each, could constitute as a one-bite snack, and are highly adaptable to whatever crazy ingredients you want to add in to suite your needs.

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4.8 from 4 reviews
Vegan Caramel Apple Stacks
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 stacks, 12 servings
 
Vegan cookies packed with fresh apples, sunflower butter and ground cinnamon.
Ingredients
Dry
Wet
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Whip wet ingredients with a hand blender or mixer. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Stir in chopped apples.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, about 1.5 tablespoons per stack. Place completed stacks on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake stacks for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. To store, place in an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or, wrap individual stacks in plastic wrap and store in a container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
    Notes
    Feel free to use any type of apple that you have on hand. I made the first batch with Granny Smith and the second with Gala. Granny Smith create an apple pie-like taste with a slight bitterness and Gala will make the stack a bit sweeter. Instead of xylitol: replace 1:1 with another dry sugar of your choice (palm, sugar cane, date, etc.) or, you could try replacing it with 2 tablespoons of a liquid sugar (honey, agave, coconut syrup, yacon syrup, etc.) None of these suggestions have been tested. For added protein: replace ¼ cup apple sauce with 1 egg For added fiber: replace ¼ cup apple sauce with 1 ground flax seed + 2 tablespoon warm water mixed and allowed to sit for a couple of minutes before adding to the recipe along with the wet ingredients. For added awesomeness to help with hormone health: add some maca powder!

    After snacking on a couple of these cookies, I decided to play around with Kevin’s old lighting setup that he used for his portrait work many moons ago. I’m not big on unnatural lighting for my photos because they give off this weird grey color that I can’t seem to steer clear of no matter what the setup. But, I wanted to try and figure out how it could work for me, so I made one of my favorite salads of all time; I’ve been making this salad for over 6 years but have never shared it on the blog, and went to work playing around with lighting.

    The results were okay, but I can still tell that these photos taken away from a window and shot with a flash and other gadgets. Still needs some work… but the salad was great!

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    Sun Dried Tomato and Chickpea Salad

    Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
    Yield: 3 cups, 6 servings Prep time: 10 mins

    This salad requires little skill, preparation, or dedication. Have it ready in under 10 minutes and impress everyone you serve it to… even if that everyone is just you!

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
    • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (approximately 14 leaves)
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon herbamare
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • Zest from 1/2 lemon

    Directions

    1. Blanch sun dried tomatoes. To do this, place tomatoes in a mug or bowl. Pour boiling water over top of them and allow to soak for 8 minutes or so. Drain, slice and they’re ready for the salad!
    2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
    3. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to develop.
    4. To store, place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    View nutrition info

    Okay, I’m off to finish up on a couple of recipes for Happy Days Dairies, hit up Canadian Tire for some new blog props, and water my 3 carrots from my incredibly sad first attempt at a vegetable garden. Just a couple more weeks and I’ll be able to eat those babies!

    Have a great weekend!

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