This Lent, I am especially thankful for our slow cooker.
It sounds silly because now that I’m home all the time, I shouldn’t need it so much, right?
Wrong. I think I’m using it more now than I did when I was working. Maybe not. But sometimes I think so.
It makes life so much less complicated. Since a lot of the last four weeks have involved not standing or even sitting too much (yay stitches), doing too much intensive cooking was simply not going to happen. I might have had the time to stand at the stove and cook for a couple of hours, but I didn’t have the energy or willpower. But I could spend 15 minutes chopping vegetables and pushing a button on the slow cooker. No problem.
So once I got back to cooking for us again (after a week and a half of others bringing us dishes–so I had a little time to rest and recover before I needed to start meal planning again), the slow cooker has been my main go-to for cooking. I especially appreciate that once it finishes its timed cook time, it switches to “warm,” so I don’t have to be hovering over it at the end like an oven-baked dish.
However, one thing I did make that does not involve my beloved slow cooker has been getting us through Lent pretty well. At the beginning of Lent, I had just enough energy to throw a bunch of ingredients into my stand mixer, mix it up, and bake. It didn’t take much time, and the stand mixer did all the mixing for me. The result was a batch of pretty healthy but pretty good-tasting cookies for snacks. Since they’re loaded with protein, it’s something my husband especially needs (he melts away during Lent if he doesn’t eat enough protein).
I took this recipe http://vegangela.com/2010/11/22/healthy-peanut-butter-oatmeal-cookie/ and made a few adjustments, just because I wanted to. I’ve been thinking about it a lot because I want to make them again. I made a triple batch and we’ll be out within the week.
The best thing I found about these cookies was that, unlike other cookies, I’m completely satisfied eating one or two. Ever since Seraphim was born, I have had hunger episodes that almost resemble panic attacks. This is shocking since I was almost never hungry during my whole pregnancy. Eating a little snack that’s still pretty healthy helps keep the “hunger attacks” at bay, which keeps my husband and me both sane, I think.
So this is what I came up with (after tripling the original recipe):
- 6 very ripe bananas
- 2 cups applesauce
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 6 Tbsp. protein powder
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp. flax seeds
- 4 1/2 cups quick cooking or rolled oats
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
I just mixed everything together and used a tablespoon measuring spoon to shape and put onto cookie sheets (they don’t expand or grow at all, so the shape and size you form them is the shape and size you get) and put in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
I think my recipe made about 50 but I didn’t bother to count. I keep about 15 out at a time in a container in the refrigerator, and the rest are in the freezer until needed.
Next time I think I’ll put some coconut in, too, just because we have some and my husband and I both like the flavour. I saw another recipe that was rather similar to this one that called for pumpkin puree. I might figure out a way to put that in as well.
Another thing I am thankful for: easy, healthy lenten recipes for things I can freeze to have on hand for weeks. It definitely helps me power through the days when I’m a little too down to do any cooking, and helps keep things positive between K and me (since he’s now the one working more than I am, at least for a little while).